New
New
Year 2

Exploring themes in 'The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark'

I can explore the key themes in the story and give a personal response.

New
New
Year 2

Exploring themes in 'The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark'

I can explore the key themes in the story and give a personal response.

Share activities with pupils
Share function coming soon...

Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Plop is a young barn owl who is initially scared of the dark but gradually learns to appreciate the night time.
  2. Plop meets lots of characters who all help him in overcoming his fear of the dark.
  3. A personal response is what you think and how you feel about the story, including whether you liked it or not.
  4. The theme in a story is the big idea or lesson that the author wants you to explore and understand through reading.
  5. Key themes in ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark’ are curiosity and courage.

Common misconception

Pupils may think that Plop was not brave because he was scared of the dark.

Explain to the children that bravery/ courage is all about facing your fears and doing something even though it might frighten you.

Keywords

  • Personal response - what you think and how you feel about the story and whether you liked it or not

  • Theme - the big idea or lesson that the author wants you to explore and understand through reading

  • Curiosity - a strong desire to know or learn something

  • Courage - the ability to do something that frightens you

Children should have read the whole text ahead of this lesson. Depending on reading ability, it could be read to them aloud, or the children could read the text themselves or in pairs.
Teacher tip

Equipment

You need a copy of the 2014 Farshore edition of ‘The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark’ by Jill Tomlinson for this lesson.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

Loading...

6 Questions

Q1.
What type of text is 'The Owl Who was Afraid of the Dark'?
newspaper
Correct answer: fiction
non-fiction
Q2.
True or false? The author of 'The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark' is Jill Tomlinson.
Correct Answer: true, True
Q3.
True or false? Plop is just the same as every other barn owl.
Correct Answer: False, false
Q4.
Match the character from the story to the word they used to describe the dark.
Correct Answer:young boy,exciting

exciting

Correct Answer:old woman,kind

kind

Correct Answer:Scout,fun

fun

Q5.
Which of the following describe Plop's appearance?
curious
kind
Correct answer: round, fluffy body
Correct answer: soft feathers
Q6.
Which of the following describe Plop's personality?
Correct answer: curious
Correct answer: brave
clumsy
round eyes

6 Questions

Q1.
True or false? Your personal response to a story should be the same as your partner's.
Correct Answer: false, False
Q2.
Match the character from the story to the word they used to describe the dark.
Correct Answer:young girl,necessary

necessary

Correct Answer:man with telescope,wonderful

wonderful

Correct Answer:Orion the cat,beautiful

beautiful

Q3.
True or false? Plop changes his mind about the dark by the end of the story.
Correct Answer: True, true
Q4.
Match the keywords to their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:theme,the big idea or lesson that the author wants you to explore

the big idea or lesson that the author wants you to explore

Correct Answer:courage,the ability to do something that frightens you

the ability to do something that frightens you

Correct Answer:curiosity,a strong desire to know or learn something

a strong desire to know or learn something

Q5.
Select the themes that could be found in 'The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark'.
Correct answer: courage
Correct answer: learning
cruelty
selfishness
Correct answer: beauty of the natural world
Q6.
Select the themes that could be found in 'The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark'.
Correct answer: family
Correct answer: overcoming fear
Correct answer: growth
climate change
disobedience