The Treasure of Lemon Brown Lesson Plans

"The Treasure of Lemon Brown" is a short story published by the author Walter Dean Myers. Myers is famous for other works such as the young adult novel Monster, Fallen Angels, and Bad Boy. Myers was born in West Virginia and grew up in Harlem. He sadly passed away in 2014.

The story is about Greg Ridley, who has a bad start to his day. In this narrative, a youngster named Greg Ridley meets the former blues singer Lemon Brown in an abandoned house. Greg then goes on to learn some of life's most valuable lessons and what treasures Lemon beholds.

Student Activities for The Treasure of Lemon Brown

Summary of "The Treasure of Lemon Brown"

Greg Ridley was a normal kid. He had bad grades and his father wouldn't get off his back about it. Greg was a keen sportsman but due to his bad grades, his father forbade him to play. His father thought sports was a joke and life was all about education and finding a good job.

During the story Greg went to an abandoned building, looking for something to do on a Friday night. With the rain of the night coming in, Greg started to explore the old house. During this, he came across some unwanted encounters, or so he initially thought.

In the house, he met an old man named Lemon Brown, who lived in the building and was rumored to have a treasure. Initially, Lemon threatened Greg with a razor until the man realized Greg meant no harm. Greg didn’t believe the stories, but he asked Lemon about the treasure anyway.

Lemon Brown tells Greg that he used to be a famous blues singer, but he didn’t sing anymore because he's too old and life became hard. Lemon said he hadn’t given up on the blues but more so it had given up on him.

Thugs often came to bother Lemon, which happened during the story. They were after his rumored treasure, but Greg decided he wanted to help defend Lemon against the thugs, which was a scary encounter for both Lemon and Greg.

After they got rid of the thugs, Lemon slowly let loose about his treasure and said to Greg that the only treasure he had was his music and family memories. The author showed that every man had a treasure, it's just about finding it. Greg didn’t understand what Lemon Brown meant at first, but he eventually realized that music and family were the most important things in Lemon Brown's life - therefore his treasure.

What is "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" About?

"The Treasure of Lemon Brown" is a heartwarming story about the importance of following your dreams and finding what matters in life. Walter Dean Myers does an excellent job of illustrating the power of music, and family and how they can be seen as treasures if you get the right perspective. This is a great story for readers of all ages.

The underlying message of "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" is that it's never too late to follow your dreams. Lemon Brown was a blues singer who gave up his music when he got older, but he eventually realized that it was the most essential thing in his life.

The book offers some deep messages and lessons to children, but it's also a fun and easy read. The story is fast-paced and engaging, and readers will be eager to find out what happens next. Walter Dean Myers is a masterful storyteller, and the Lemon Brown story will be educational as well as fun for the students.

Lemon Brown's Story

After the thugs had left, Greg and Mr. Brown continued talking. Lemon tells Greg of his accomplishments in the past as a well-known blues singer and harmonica player. He used to be famous.

In addition, he had a wife and son but when his wife died, his sister-in-law took custody of the boy which resulted in Lemon losing contact with him over time. Furthermore, once he lost access to his son, Lemon's musical abilities began to decline because he no longer had a reason for playing music.

What is Lemon Brown's Treasure?

When Mr. Brown's son went off to war, Lemon didn't know if he would come back home. Later on, he found out that his son had died in battle and was carrying around his dad's old "mouth fiddle" as well as some clippings of when Lemon used to play back at home.

His son must have really loved him to carry those things around with him while at war. When Lemon realized this, the clippings became his treasure because they meant so much to him now knowing what they represented - the love of a father and son. Lemons also believed that every man had their own sort of treasure like this one.

After the thugs were gone and Lemon had finished his story, the rain let up. Lemon told Greg he should go home, and Greg agreed. As he walked home, though, he started thinking about the lecture his dad was going to give him. It made him smile a little—he realized he’d learned something important from Lemon tonight. He now understood better what his own father did for him and why it mattered. So, now students know what Lemon Brown's Treasure is.

"The Treasure of Lemon Brown" Questions

"The Treasure of Lemon Brown" questions are:

  1. Why does Greg want to go inside the building at the start of the book?
  2. Whom does Greg meet in the abandoned house?
  3. How does the author describe the voice that spoke to Greg in the house?
  4. How does Greg meet Lemon Brown?
  5. What does the voice say to Greg?
  6. How does Lemon Brown support his family?
  7. What happens to Lemon's treasure when someone tries to steal it?
  8. How do Lemon and Greg stop the thugs from stealing his treasure?
  9. What are the treasures beheld by Lemon Brown?
  10. What is the name of Lemon's son, and what happens to him?
  11. How have Greg's thoughts towards his father changed throughout the book if we compare them between the start and end of the story?

Why "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" Analysis is Used in Schools

T"he Treasure of Lemon Brown" analysis in school is excellent for learning material because it is easy to read and is only a short story. It will not take a huge amount of time or lessons to break the story down into its core messages.

Regardless of its short format, the story packs a lot of deeper meaning messages within. Students will get to take on life lessons from the book, to prepare them for life in the real world as adults.

Student Activities Available For "The Treasure of Lemon Brown"

Four resources are available at StoryboardThat for teachers to use with children. Each develops a different set of skills for the children and breaks down the core elements of the story. For "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" post reading activities for students, these resources are:

Plot Diagram

"The Treasure of Lemon Brown" plot diagram allows students to break down the story into a beginning, middle part, and ending. Students can then build up each part of the story with key scene storyboards and graphics. They can add a description to each scene to bring the storyboard to light.


The settings within the story are described in great detail, which allows children to use their imagination and understand what it would be like if they were there. This helps with descriptive writing as a follow-up activity.

There are three settings within The Treasures of Lemon Brown – the kitchen, the street, and the abandoned home. Children can then design each setting with pictures and graphics to create a storyboard while adding text to describe the mood of each setting.


The themes of the story are very clear and concise. This allows children to understand them quickly and develop their own opinions on each one. These can be used as a starting point for debates and discussions in class.

There are three themes – father-son relationships, poverty, and treasure. Each one is developed well enough that children can understand them, but leave room for interpretation. Their interpretation can be illustrated within this recourse with graphics and "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" text.

Comparing Prospective

The story is a good example of how different people can have different interpretations of the same event. This is due to the difference between prospective and retrospective theories.

The perspective theory states that people make decisions based on their goals and what they want to achieve. Retrospective theory, on the other hand, states that people make decisions based on their past experiences.

Lemon Brown's perspective is retrospective, as he looks back on his life and what he has achieved. Greg's perspective is prospective, as he looks to the future and what he wants to achieve. This can be used as a starting point for discussions on different theories and for summarizing "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" and how they can be applied to real-life situations.

How to Use Storyboard That Worksheets for "The Treasure of Lemon Brown"


Access Storyboard That

Go to the Storyboard That website and either create an account or log in if you already have one. Navigate to the "Worksheet" section to access the available worksheet templates.


Choose the Desired Worksheet Template

Select a worksheet template that aligns with the specific activity you want to implement in your lesson. For "The Treasure of Lemon Brown," consider using the plot diagram, settings, themes, or comparing perspective templates.


Customize the Worksheet

Customize the worksheet by adding relevant instructions or information specific to your lesson. For example, if using the plot diagram template, provide instructions for students to identify the beginning, middle, and ending of the story.


Guide Students Through the Activity

Explain the instructions and expectations for the worksheet activity to your students. Provide any necessary guidance or clarifications, especially if they are new to using Storyboard That or the specific worksheet template.


Review and Discuss

Collect the completed worksheets and review the students' work. Use the worksheets as a basis for class discussions, sharing different interpretations, and exploring the deeper meanings and lessons within the story.

Frequently Asked Questions about "The Treasure of Lemon Brown"

Who are the main characters in “The Treasure of Lemon Brown”?

The main characters in “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” are a teenage boy named Greg Ridley, and an old blues singer named Lemon Brown. The two characters meet when Greg goes to an abandoned building where Lemon Brown lived.

What is Lemon Brown’s treasure?

Contains Spoilers!: Lemon Brown’s treasures were newspaper clippings about Lemon when he played the blues, and his old harmonica. These items were treasures to Lemon Brown because his son carried them with him when he was away at war. When he died in battle, these items were found on him.

What is the main theme of “The Treasure of Lemon Brown”?

The main theme is that treasures and valuable things aren’t necessarily things that have monetary value. The things that we treasure are symbols of love and people that are important to us.

Find more lesson plans and activities like these in our English Language Arts Category!
View All Teacher Resources
*(This Will Start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)
© 2023 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
StoryboardThat is a trademark of Clever Prototypes, LLC, and Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office