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The Wedding Dance Lesson Plans

"The Wedding Dance" by Amador Daguio is a powerhouse of raw emotion for such a short story. As the reader is drawn into the tale of love and cultural reality, it jars with our contemporary view of the world. Get the most out of the story and explore the deep symbols and themes with storyboards.

Student Activities for Wedding Dance

"The Wedding Dance" Activities

In this premade teacher guide, you will find the following:

  • Essential Questions: These questions can be used as group discussion questions, journal questions, or simply as questions to consider while reading.

  • ”The Wedding Dance” Summary: A brief plot summary that may contain spoilers! This information helps the teacher pinpoint the important events of the story.

  • Plot Diagram Activity: This premade activity is a great way to have your students provide a “The Wedding Dance” analysis in storyboard form. Students are required to identify the exposition, the conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and the resolution of the story. They will use images and words to show what they know. This activity is a great way to gage what the students consider to be important information, and it is interesting to see how the same story will result in such different interpretations and storyboards!

  • Characters Activity: For this activity, students will create a character map for the characters in this story. They will include an image with a background, and record information about each character in this storyboard..

  • Symbolism Activity: Symbolism is an important element in many literary works. Part of the Common Core ELA standards is introducing and explaining this complex concept. Like themes, these ideas are abstract and are often difficult for students to grasp on their own. This is why using a storyboard is helpful. Storyboards allow students to visually demonstrate their understanding of a concept like symbolism. For this activity, students will track symbols in the story that communicate ideas about culture and marriage.

  • Theme Connection: For this activity, students will think about the main theme: letting someone (or something) go. They may also choose another theme, but this is the theme used in the example. Students will think of three times when this theme could be applied to their lives and create a storyboard that illustrates those examples.

Essential Questions for "The Wedding Dance"

  1. What are the expectations for men in Awiyao’s culture? What about for women?

  2. How does your culture influence your decisions? Does it affect your plans for your future?

  3. Is it true that love conquers all? When might this be untrue?

  4. How important is having children to you? How important is it in your family? What about in your culture?

  5. What do you think about how Awiyao treated Lumnay? Do you think he really respected Lumnay's love?

  6. Even though Awiyao loves Lumnay, he chooses having a child over their marriage. Why does he do this? What is Awiyao's promise?

"The Wedding Dance" Background

Awiyao and Lumnay most likely belong to the Igorot people who inhabit the mountain areas of Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. The Philippine islands were settled by various migrants from Southeast Asia for centuries. These peoples built up a number of different cultures and clan-based social structures on the many islands of the archipelago. In the 1500s, Spain colonized the islands, spreading Christianity and the Spanish language. Following Spain’s loss in the Spanish American war of 1898, the Philippines became a territory of the United States. During World War II, the islands were occupied by the Japanese until gaining their independence in 1945. The Igorot people maintained many of their traditional cultural practices through the late 19th century. Even today, dance and gangsa music form an important part of their celebrations. View the videos below to get a sense of the gangsa sound and the Kalinga wedding dance featured in “The Wedding Dance”.

Amador Daguio was born in the Ilocos province of the Philippines in 1912. He began writing poetry in high school and published his first poem before he graduated. Throughout his career, he taught at a number of schools in the Philippines and also worked as a lawyer, editor, reporter, and public relations officer for the Filipino government. In his writing, Daguio seeks to establish a pure Filipino voice, distinct from its colonizers. Even in English, Daguio’s writing is Filipino in essence. In “The Wedding Dance”, he draws upon the culture of his ancestors to explore Filipino traditions along with the universal themes of love, suffering, and societal expectations. You can also read more information about Daguio to elevate your unit.

"The Wedding Dance" by Amador Daguio Summary

"The Wedding Dance" is a short story about a husband and wife, Awiyao and Lumnay, who had been married for seven years. In spite of being in love with his first wife, Awiyao feels the need to marry again to produce children with his second wife; if he doesn’t have a son to carry on his name, Awiyao will feel shame from the entire tribe. At his second marriage wedding feast, Awiyao goes to check on Lumnay at his and Lumnay’s house, knowing she is upset. Awiyao thought the answer to Lumnay's sorrow would be to have her join the other women during the tribe’s custom wedding dance, so he decides to personally inviter her. Lumnay was in fact at his wedding, but left. She could not stand the idea that her husband left and is marrying another woman because she could not bear children.

Lumnay begs Awiyao to stay and she recalls fond memories of them in their Philippine house, and in the mountain province. Awiyao tells her to keep the house, but she doesn’t want it. She says that she will go back and live with her parents, where she will no doubt die from sadness and the fact that she cannot be with the man she loves because, the bitter truth is that her husband married someone he doesn't love. Awiyao offers her beads that are worth 20 fields so that she may always have enough. Lumnay takes the beads that he gives her, and Lumnay walks away to mourn the end of her marriage. The reader is left wondering, what happens to Lumnay?

Ideas for Post-Reading Activities

Storyboard That is an excellent tool for students to create fun and engaging projects as a culminating activity after finishing a novel. In addition to our premade activities, here are some ideas that teachers can customize and assign to students to spark creativity in individual students, pairs, or small groups for a final project. Several of these ideas include Storyboard That templates that can be printed out or copied into your teacher dashboard and assigned digitally. All final projects can be printed out, presented as a slide show, or, for an extra challenge, as an animated GIF!

  1. Using the timeline layout, retell the story in chronological order.

  2. Create a map of the setting using the small poster or worksheet layout. Use free form or other text boxes to include a key or label the different parts of the map.

  3. Using one of Storyboard That’s board game templates, create a game based on the book for your classmates to play!

  4. Using the worksheet layout and Storyboard That’s worksheet assets, create a test or a quiz for other students in the class. You can create all kinds of questions such as multiple choice, short answer, and even matching! When you are done, be sure to make an answer key.

  5. Using one of Storyboard That’s biography poster templates, create a poster about Lumnay, Awiyao, or both. Be sure to include important biographical features such as: place and date of birth, family life, accomplishments, etc. Although we don’t know much about the characters in this story, students should use their imagination!

  6. Create a book jacket of the novel using one of Storyboard That’s book jacket templates. Use Storyboard That art to create the cover, and write a summary of the story on the back, just like real books have!

  7. Using one of Storyboard That’s social media templates as a starting point, create a social media page for one or more of the characters in the novel. Be sure to think how the character thinks while creating this page.

  8. Create a scrapbook page made by one of the characters in the novel. Storyboard That has lots of premade templates that you can use as is, or change to fit your character’s personality! Check out our scrapbook templates today!

  9. Write a “The Wedding Story” analysis with a partner or small group. Consider why Awiyao would choose a child over his wife and what you would do.

How to Analyze the Symbols and Themes in "The Wedding Dance" by Amador Daguio


Identify the Symbols

Read "The Wedding Dance" by Amador Daguio carefully and identify the symbols used throughout the story. Symbols can be objects, actions, or characters that represent deeper meanings or ideas. Pay attention to recurring symbols and their significance.


Analyze the Symbolism

Analyze the symbolism in "The Wedding Dance" by considering the context in which the symbols appear and their potential interpretations. Reflect on how the symbols contribute to the overall themes and message of the story.


Identify the Main Themes

Identify the main themes present in "The Wedding Dance." Themes can be recurring ideas, concepts, or emotions that the author explores in the story. Look for themes related to love, cultural traditions, gender roles, sacrifice, and the clash between personal desires and societal expectations.


Analyze the Themes

Analyze the themes in "The Wedding Dance" by examining how they are developed throughout the story. Consider how the characters' actions, dialogue, and conflicts contribute to the exploration of these themes. Reflect on the author's intended message or commentary on these themes.


Create a Storyboard

Create a storyboard using Storyboard That's customizable templates to visually represent the symbols and themes in "The Wedding Dance." Choose appropriate scenes, characters, and symbols to depict the key moments and ideas in the story. Add captions or descriptions to explain the significance of each element.

Frequently Asked Questions about "The Wedding Dance"

What is the situation of Awiyao and Lumnay’s marriage?

Awiyao and Lumnay are in love and have been married for seven years and have been unable to have a child. Awiyao feels insecure and disrespected by the men in his tribe because of this, and leaves Lumnay to marry another woman named Madulimay.

How did Lumnay respond to Awiyao?

Lumnay didn’t feel angry, she felt sad and didn’t want the separation. She begs Awiyao to ignore the tribe’s tradition and to stay and refuses the things he offers her, except for beads that are worth 20 fields. Lumnay takes the beads and says she will go back to her parents where she knows she will die.

What do the beads represent in “The Wedding Dance”?

The beads represent a promise that Awiyao made to Lumnay that he would take care of her. By giving her the beads, Awiyao shows Lumnay that he still loves her and knows her worth. The beads are worth a lot, but Lumnay cares about nothing except for Awiyao.

What is “The Wedding Dance” Summary?

This short story takes place a long time ago and is about two people and love. Awiyao is deeply in love with his wife, but must marry someone else so that he can have a son to carry on his name. Awiyao personally invites his wife, Lumnay, to join him in a traditional wedding dance at the ceremony of his new marriage. Lumnay refuses, heartbroken and suffers from extreme loneliness.

Find more lesson plans and activities like these in our English Language Arts Category!
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