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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

Switch to: Common CoreArizonaCaliforniaColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaKansasMarylandMassachusettsNebraskaNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioOklahomaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah


(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.

How To Help Students Make an Alternate Ending for “The Wedding Dance”


Analyze Current Ending

Help the students analyze and discuss the current ending of the story. Encourage the students to share their feedback on the ending and why they think the author decided to end the story this way. Discuss any possible factors that could influence the author to write the ending and how the ending could be extended.


Research Context

In order for students to come up with a logical ending that supports and connects with the rest of the story, they must understand the context and background information regarding the story. Students can conduct some research on the culture, societal expectations, and traditions to understand the context of the story.


Brainstorm Ideas

Ask the students to brainstorm ideas for an alternate ending or an extended story. Ensure that the students have logical reasoning as to why they want the story to end in a specific way. Students can brainstorm ideas individually or in a group form.


Examine the Messages and Central Ideas

Students should be asked to consider if the ideas or messages that their potential conclusion expresses vary from the original. Talk about the ways in which changing some aspects of the narrative might result in different readings. Students can consider a different direction for their resolution as compared to the original ending however, it should not look out of place.


Discuss and Reflect

Encourage the students to share their endings with the rest of the class. Invite them to share the reasoning behind their imaginative decisions and the way they see the revised ending. Discussions on the many interpretations and points of view may result from this.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Theme of The Wedding Dance

What important part does the concept of tradition play in the narrative?

Due to the protagonists' adherence to the social mores of their town, tradition plays a significant role in the narrative. The necessity of having children and the tradition of the wedding dance serve as major motivators for the decisions and actions of the individuals. The central conflict of the story is based on the hardships and sacrifices that the characters have to experience because of these cultural norms.

Is love an important theme in the narrative?

A strong and nuanced feeling, of love is shown in "The Wedding Dance." It is clear from Awiyao's love for his family, his want for a child, and the intense bond he has with Lumnay. The societal influences that finally force people to make tough choices are contrasted with love.

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