Teaching Theme, Character, and Symbolism for Lord of the Flies

Add visuals to your Lord of the Flies Unit Plan

Lord of the Flies has A LOT of very similar characters…

A LOT of boys…


I use visual tools to simplify the basics like character, theme and symbolism.


I introduce the visuals right before we jump into chapter 1.


Lesson plans and activities are simple with visual cues. Even high school students can benefit from more than just handouts.

Character, Symbolism and Theme in Lord of the Flies

Characters in Lord of the Flies

Piggy is easy.

But Jack, Ralph, Simon, Roger…

Learning the characteristics of these boys comes so much easily with a simple visual reminder.


The movie puts everything into context, but character visuals are a great place to start.


  • Ralph
  • Piggy
  • Simon
  • “Samneric”
  • “Littuns”

  • Jack – with and without war paint
  • Roger – with and without war paint
  • Maurice – with and without war paint
  • Percival
  • The Beast

Make your theme lessons visual



Themes are all about ‘reading between the lines’, and this is a challenge to most students.


So much time is spent flipping through chapters after chapter.


Theme visuals keep ME and my students focused on what really matters in the play. They act as visual targets to narrow and focus our daily discussions.



Pick 4-6 themes to focus your unit and lesson planning around

  • The question of human nature
  • War and the future of humankind
  • Primitivity vs civilization
  • The need for social order
  • The struggle to build a civilization
  • The power of fear
  • Savagery & “the beast”
  • Spirituality & Religion
  • Hierarchy of the weak vs. strong
  • Wisdom and Knowledge
  • The dangers of mob mentality
  • The loss of innocence
  • Human’s inherent evil

Symbolism and Motif in Lord of the Flies



Need teaching ideas?


Visual resources create a concrete starting point to explore the use of abstract literary devices.


With a concrete visual displayed on the board, students can more easily recognize the variations and layers of symbols and motifs that get brought up again and again in the play.



Pick 4-6 Symbols to focus your lesson and unit planning around

  • The Lord of the Flies/Pig Head
  • The conch
  • Piggy’s glasses
  • The Fire
  • The Island
  • “Littuns”
  • The Beast
  • Painted Faces/War Paint
  • Clothing

Check out my pre-made theme visuals for Lord of the Flies in my TPT store

These links will take you to each resource in my TPT store