The Lady or the Tiger Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

~'The Lady or the Tiger?~' is a complex and dark story that many students will find very compelling. This lesson offers a series of activities you can use in your classroom to involve students in the text.

Teaching ''The Lady or the Tiger?''

Are your students reading ''The Lady or the Tiger?'' by Frances Richard Stockton? This is the story of a king who has a unique system of justice wherein the accused has to choose between two doors: Behind one door is a lady, but behind the other is a tiger. When his daughter's suitor is faced with this choice, she secretly signals him as to which door he should choose. The story contains many compelling characters and plot twists, and the ending will catch many students off guard.

To make sure that all of your students can access the story and get as much out of it as they can, you might want to incorporate activities into your instruction. The activities in this lesson are designed to keep all students engaged with ''The Lady or the Tiger?''

Visual Activities

This section offers activities that will appeal most strongly to the visual learners in your class. Their paintings will provide an illustration of the story's central premise and help them think about all of the challenges embedded in the suitor's choice.

Painted Doors

The scenario that the king has established for the accused in ''The Lady or the Tiger?'' is such a dynamic and intense one, and many students might benefit from the opportunity to visualize it on a deeper level. Have them work alone or with partners to paint the two doors that the courtier would face, showing what is behind each of them, using your choice of mural paper or posterboard and washable paints.

Like Father, Like Daughter?

The princess is one of the most surprising characters in ''The Lady or the Tiger?'', and this activity can help students think about the ways she and her father are alike and different. Using crayons or markers, create two (or more, depending on the size of the class) large outlines of people and hang them on the classroom wall, designating one as the king and the other as the princess. Ask students to work together to fill in the outlines with character descriptions of each of these people. Students can continue adding to their descriptions as they make their way through the story.

Tactile Activities

This section provides activities that let students use their hands and bodies to make better sense of the themes and plot in ''The Lady or the Tiger?''

Sculpted Themes

Many of the themes in ''The Lady or the Tiger?'' will be very meaningful to your students; some examples include the themes of love, choice, anger and fear. Ask students to work with clay or recycled materials to create abstract sculptures representing their own inner thoughts and feelings behind one of the themes from the text. Then, have them write captions connecting their sculptures back to the story itself. Make sure to leave time for them to view each other's work.

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