Activity Overview

A dilemma is the major focus of the short story. It is a choice between two unfavorable outcomes. In this story, as in most literature, dilemmas form potent conflicts for characters to encounter.

The Dilemmas in “The Lady or the Tiger”

There are three main dilemmas in the story:

The first is for the accused person in the arena. Their dilemma is simply which door to choose. This is a dilemma because each door could have an unpleasant outcome; the person is either devoured by a tiger or married to a beautiful lady. This might not seem like a dilemma, but if the subject is already married, or has a family, this could be a huge problem.

The second dilemma is the princess’s choice. She possesses the knowledge of the doors, and she can give it to her lover. However, the woman that is waiting behind one of them she believed was exchanging glances with her lover. Not only that, but this woman rivals the princess in her beauty. Therefore, the princess can choose to let her love be with another woman or die by the tiger; a choice between jealousy and sorrow.

The last dilemma is for the reader. The author leaves the story without a definitive ending. Is it a story of lovers doomed to be apart, or a gruesome bloodbath?

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that analyzes a dilemma that a character is facing in "The Lady or the Tiger".

  1. Identify the problem and depict it in the "Introduction" cell.
  2. Show and discuss the character's possible choices under "Problem 1" and "Problem 2".

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/1] Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Dilemma Rubric
25 Points
21 Points
17 Points
Try Again
13 Points
Choice of Scenes
Accurately depicts the scenes that show the character's main dilemma.
Mostly depicts the scenes that show the character's main dilemma.
Vaguely depicts the scenes that show the character's main dilemma.
Barley or does not depict the scenes that show the character's main dilemma.
Captions are accurately related to the dilemma and story. The connections are very easy to understand.
Captions are mostly related to the dilemma and story. The connections are easy to understand.
Captions are vaguely related to the dilemma and story. The connections are not easy to understand.
Captions do not relate well to the scenes, or are not related to the dilemma and story. The connections are very hard to understand.
The main characters are accurately and clearly identified. Their actions are well matched to their actions in the story.
The main characters are mostly clear and identified. Their actions are mostly matched to their actions in the story.
The main characters are vaguely defined or identified. Their actions are somewhat matched to their actions in the story
The main characters are lacking clarity or are not identified. Their actions are poorly matched to the story.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar
There are no spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors.
There are some spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors.
There are many spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors.
There are too many spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors.

How To Help ELA Students in Creating Visual Vocabulary Boards


Explain the Activity

Introduce the visual vocabulary boards to ELA students and explain the objectives of the activity to them. Tell the students that they will be picking some complex words or that teachers will be providing them with a list of complex words from a future lesson plan so they can familiarize themselves with the complex terms beforehand. Using those words they will create vocabulary boards with the meaning of the word and a sample picture.


Show Samples

Students will learn better if they are able to see some sample vocabulary boards and how they can be created. Teachers can either help the students practice some examples in class or show some samples of already made vocabulary boards for enhanced understanding.


Select a Platform

Help the students select a platform to create their visual vocabulary boards. Students can use Storyboard That and choose their own templates, descriptions, and visuals. If students want to make this activity more fun they can make these boards using chart papers or by hand. They can also make scrapbook style boards to make the process more engaging.


Present and Discuss

Encourage the students to share their boards with the rest of the class. This enhances comprehension and promotes a collaborative learning atmosphere. Guide the students to start conversations about the terms, their definitions, and how the images aided with understanding.


Reinforce the Concept

Encourage your students to review their visual vocabulary boards during their study sessions. They can review and reinforce what they know about the terms with the help of these. Students can also make vocabulary boards for future lessons beforehand.

Frequently Asked Questions About "The Lady or the Tiger" Vocabulary

How can teachers explain complex vocabulary terms that require additional context?

If the vocabulary terms in the lessons are a bit more complex such as from another time period or culture, they will need some additional context for students to understand. Teachers can create a list of vocabulary terms while making the lesson plans and identify what sort of context each term needs. Before starting the lessons, teachers can then use that context and give a brief explanation of the context, and how it will help the students understand the vocabulary as well as the story.

What components must every vocabulary board include in order for it to be effective?

A description, a passage from the story utilizing the word for context (optional), and a picture that explains its significance should all be included on each vocabulary board. Students can add more elements depending on their understanding to make their boards more interesting and comprehensive.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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