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Holes Symbols

posted Jan 9, 2014, 10:15 AM by mdreyfus@ctkschool.org   [ updated Sep 11, 2016, 3:16 PM by kmcmillan@ctkschool.org ]
Holes is a book where many of the physical objects, places, and names represent larger ideas. In this project, we will identify those ideas and produce a video to share our thoughts with others. First, let's identify some symbols.

Identifying Symbols

  • Look for objects, places, or things that come up often. Since Holes ties together 3 different places and times - Stanley's story, Kate Barlow's story, and Madame Zeroni's story - look for things that show up across those 3 stories.
  • Think about what happens around those objects, places, or things. What do onions do? When do the yellow-spotted lizards show up in Green Lake's history?
  • Think about how those objects, places, or things might connect to the themes of the book. Some themes in Holes are the power of fate, the connection between past and present, the benefits of friendship, the cycle of death and rebirth.
  • Finally, search for evidence to support your claim that your object, place, or thing is a symbol. You should have at least two pieces of evidence from the text.

Table of Symbols

 Symbol  Meanings Evidence 
 onions healing, health, purity Sam sells them as medicine, Zero and Stanley recover by eating them

In groups of four, create a table to write down your symbols, what they mean, and the evidence.

Group Roles
  • Timekeeper - let's the group know how much time is left
  • Scribe - Writes everything down
  • Brainstormer - Keeps the group adding new ideas
  • Critic - Checks the evidence for new ideas

Writing Your Video

  1. Create a Google Doc named "<Table #> Holes Symbols" and share it with your teammates and Mr. Dreyfus-Pai.
  2. Together, complete your table of symbols in the Google Doc.  You must have at least 4 symbols!
  3. Each person take a symbol and write the script for explaining it. It should have 4 parts:
    1. Your name
    2. An image or image link
    3. <symbol> represents <meaning> in holes
    4. "You know this because"/"This is clear because"/"The evidence for this is" <evidence>
  4. Finally, write an introduction and conclusion to your video.
    1. The introduction should state that Holes uses many symbols to communicate its themes.
    2. The conclusion should explain how symbols are important to Holes and stories in general.

Here is a sample document

Finding/Creating Images

After writing your script, you may begin creating or looking for images.
  • To create your own images of your symbols, you may use Pixie, Drawing Pad on the iPad, draw by hand on paper (and scan it in), or use any other app/method you like!
  • To find images, you must follow the guidelines in Media For Projects. 
  • Images should be large, wide (rather than tall), and school appropriate
  • When you find an image you want to use, copy and paste the address into your script.

Creating your Video

  1. Log in to Google Drive on an iPad and open your script. You'll want to be in "View" mode.
  2. Open the links to your images in Safari or Chrome and save them to the Camera Roll.
  3. Create a new iMovie project - use Movie (instead of trailer) and any theme you want. 
  4. Add your photos into the timeline.
  5. Take a picture to use as the background for the introduction. It should be fairly blank.
  6. Take a video of books in the library to use as the background for your conclusion.
  7. Record your individual parts of the video.