The following collection of worksheets will teach your students how to identify and use symbolism.

If you have used our activity sheet sets on similes and metaphors, then you have already introduced your students to two forms of symbolism. In many cases, authors will use symbolism to allude to real life events in a fictitious setting. This set of activity sheets covers several different types of symbolism. Answer sheets have been provided for worksheets for instructors, but please note that in some cases, your students' answers will vary.

Symbolism started as a French literary movement in the late 1800s. It later caught on in the art world and the rest is history.

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Printable Symbolism Worksheets

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From Bathroom Signs to Our Computers

Study the symbols below. What does each symbol mean to you?

Symbolism in A Midsummer Night's Dream

In each instance, the moon is being used as a symbol. Explain the symbolism.

Symbolism in To Kill a Mockingbird

What is the predominant symbol in the story, and what does it represent?

Animal Symbolism

Consider each of the animals below. What could they symbolize? Explain. If you have seen this animal used symbolically in literature before, describe where you saw it and what it symbolized.

Color as Symbol in Literature

Symbolism is a type of figurative language. Like a metaphor, a symbol is identified with something that is very different but shares some of the same qualities. Colors are commonly used as symbols in literature.

Symbolism in Lord of the Flies

A symbol is a thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object that represents something abstract.

Symbol Notes

As you read, use this sheet to take note of the symbols that you encounter.

The Four Seasons

Seasons are often used symbolically in literature to represent the different stages of life. Think about what occurs in each season of the year. Then fill in the table to explain how the four seasons might be used symbolically.

Symbol Practice

Practice identifying symbols. Read each passage. Identify the symbol, and explain what you think it means.

Knowledge Check

Many of the items below are often used symbolically in literary text. Discuss some common interpretations of these symbols.

Symbolism in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

A helpful outline for you to run along with the book.

Using Symbols When You Write

Consider each of the abstract ideas below. Can you think of an object that could work as a symbol in a story that has this as a theme? Write your ideas on the line.

Symbolism and Allegory in "The Lottery"

Discuss how each of the items below functions as symbol or allegory in Shirley Jackson's story.

Symbolism in Great Expectations

Discuss the symbolic meaning of the following items in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.

A Christmas Carol

Read the passage. Identify the symbol at work in the passage. Based on your understanding of the story so far, discuss the meaning and the importance of the symbol.