Activity Overview

A theme is a central idea, subject, or message in a story. Many stories have more than one important theme. For this activity, students will identify and illustrate 2 of the themes in When You Trap a Tiger. Teachers may want the students to identify and illustrate 2 themes, one for each cell, or identify one theme and show two examples of it, one example per cell.

Examples of Themes in When You Trap a Tiger


Lily, her mother, and her sister move to Washington to take care of Halmoni. Family is a very big part of Lily’s life. Lily will do anything to save her halmoni’s life.

Korean Culture

The theme of Korean culture is prevalent throughout the book. One example of this is when Halmoni does a “kosa”, which is the laying out of plates and foods for their ancestors, so that they may eat before the living.


The entire novel is based around the stories of Halmoni’s past and the stories that she stole from the tigers. Lily learns that stories can bring up very strong emotions.


At the beginning of the story, Lily is quiet and often feels invisible. Her sister calls her a stereotypical “QAG”, or Quiet Asian Girl. Lily wants to be more outgoing and brave, and does not want to be invisible anymore.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in When You Trap a Tiger. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the themes from When You Trap a Tiger you wish to include and write them in the headings.
  3. Create an image for an example that represents this theme using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a short description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & Motifs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

More Storyboard That Activities for

When You Trap a Tiger

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