Activity Overview

Valuable aspects of any literary work are its themes, symbols, and motifs. Part of the Common Core ELA standards is to introduce and explain these complex concepts. However, abstract ideas are often difficult for students to anatomize without assistance. Using a storyboard, students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts, and master analysis of literary elements. For best practices, see our article with specific lesson plan steps on setting up your classroom and activities to teach themes, symbols, and motifs.

In the classroom, students can track the theme this story uses to communicate important messages to the reader.

Theme for Discussion: Letting Love Go

If you truly love a person, you must let them be happy

Have you ever heard the saying “if you love someone, let them go”? The story of Lumnay and Awiyao wrestles with this difficult issue. Despite how upsetting it is to Lumnay, she must let Awiyao go, not only because of their culture, but also because it is clear that he will not be happy without a child.

For this assignment, you can have students come up with times that they had to let go of something they love.

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

Think about one of the themes from "The Wedding Dance". Create a storyboard that connects your life with this theme.

  1. Identify a theme from the story.
  2. Think of three times in your life that could be applied to this theme.
  3. Depict each event using any combination of scenes, characters, items, and text boxes.
  4. Write a short explanation under each cell.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/1] Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/3] Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot)


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

Connection to Theme
Create a storyboard that identifies a theme in the story, and how you connect with the theme. Illustrate examples from your own life of each theme and write a short description below each cell.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Identification of Theme
Identified theme is an important take-away message from the story.
Identified a theme, but it is either unclear or missing a key part.
The theme is incorrectly identified.
Examples of Theme
All personal examples support the identified theme.
Most personal examples fit the identified theme.
Most personal examples do not fit the theme.
Illustration of Theme
Images clearly show connection with the theme.
Some images help to show the theme.
Images do not help in understanding the theme.

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