Young Goodman Brown - Themes

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Grade Level
High School
Length of Time
45 minutes/homework

In this lesson, the students will read Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and write an essay about the theme the author wanted to reveal to readers.


To read and understand Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
To learn about themes
To write an essay over a short story and state the theme and write supporting statements.

Materials Needed

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Notebook paper


In this lesson, the students will learn about themes. First, the students will read the short story titled Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne. As they read the story, they will take notes on the sections that reveal the theme. Then, they will take their notes and write an essay on the theme of the short story. The theme is the main idea of a story. It is what the author wants to reveal to readers. When the students begin their essays, they need to first write what they think the theme is, and then they need to locate places in the story that support their idea about the theme and include those sections in their essays.

The students will answer the following questions in their essay. Who were the main characters in Young Goodman Brown? What is the theme of the story? In other words, what was the author wanting to reveal to readers as to why he wrote the story? How does the author reveal this theme throughout the story? How did you feel about the story and what the author tried to reveal?


You can grade the students' essays on sentence structure, paragraph structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. You can also grade the students on how well they interpreted the theme of the short story and the statements they used to support their idea.

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