Literature and Symbolism

Scripture: Daniel 2,4

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn that God sometimes sent prophecies in dreams.
  • Students will learn God’s prophecies are often in great detail and always come true.
  • Students will learn God does not want us to put ourselves in the position in our lives meant for God.
  • Students will learn how symbolism is used within literature.

Guiding Question: How can students learn why type of symbolism is used in literature?

Materials: Texts from procedure section

Procedure: Review the stories of Nebuchadnezzar’s two dreams. Point out that in the first dream, Daniel explained about four great world kingdoms. The symbols represented real kingdoms that eventually ruled the world. The first was Babylonia (which probably made Nebuchadnezzar very happy.) The other three were prophecies of future kingdoms – Persia, Greece and most people believe Rome is the fourth.

It took seven years for Nebuchadnezzar to learn his lesson. In the end, he realized God deserves all of the glory. Anything man has is merely a gift from God – including power, position and wealth.

Explain that literature often uses symbolism. Give students several more examples from readings they may know (dependent on age/school experience). Have them create a guide to common symbols used in literature from the passages you read to them. Can they think of other examples or different symbols in texts they have read? Encourage them to use the guide when reading literature that has symbolism in it.

Additional Questions: How can students apply knowledge of symbolism?

Supplemental Activity: Have the students create a short, fiction story including symbolism used at least three times. When students are done, they can share in front of the class and have the audience try to find the symbolism/make meaning of it.

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