Activity Overview

A theme is a central idea, subject, or message in a story. Many stories have more than one important theme. For this activity, students will create a storyboard that identifies and illustrates the themes in Lily’s Crossing.

Examples of Themes in Lily’s Crossing


Throughout the book, Lily finds herself telling lies and getting lost in the lies that she has told. This constantly worries her, and she wonders why she lies. Lily learns that her big lies can get her in trouble, and even be dangerous to herself and others.


Lily has two close friends in the novel, Margaret and Albert. When Lily first meets Albert, she thinks he’s strange and does not want to get to know him. She learns that he is a true friend and their friendship evolves and grows throughout the story.


Lily and Albert both have lost family members, but continue to have a strong family value. The love and bond of family is consistent throughout the novel.


Lily and Albert have both experienced grief, and this makes them closer. The theme of grief is present a great deal in many ways: losing family, missing people, the toll of war, and fear of losing loved ones.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & Motifs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Lily's Crossing. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.

Student Instructions:

  • Click "Start Assignment".
  • Identify the themes from Lily’s Crossing you wish to include and write them in the headings.
  • Create an image for an example that represents this theme using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
  • Write a short description of each of the examples.
  • Save and submit storyboard.
  • Requirements:

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