Lesson: Analyzing Details - Foreshadowing

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to analyze details of the story to find examples of foreshadowing and use that to predict what may happen in the plot.

Lesson Plan

Objective:  Students will be able to analyze details of the story to find examples of foreshadowing and use that to predict what may happen in the plot. 

Lesson Plan


Do Now:   Read Chapter 19 and make a visualization of The Penguin Palace (see attached file)  

Opening:  As we have been reading “The Secret Zoo” we have figured out this book is a mystery.  The job of every good author is to not only keep you guessing, but also give you hints as to what may or may not happen next.  This is called foreshadowing; and many times we read right through these foreshadow-ings and not even think about them. 

Good readers are able to see these foreshadow-ings and get a much better understanding of the story, because they will that the authors words and begin to predict and make inferences.

Direct Instruction (I DO):

Explain that Foreshadowing is the use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in literature.

In “The Secret Zoo” Bryan Chick does a lot of foreshadowing.  We just read Chapter 19 and their was a rather obvious example of foreshadowing right at the end.

Read Chapter 20 with your students.   

Re-read last paragraph in Chapter 20:  “Though the words were intended to be a fond farewell, Ella was right:  She would see Little Bighorn again.  She would see a lot of him indeed.”

As a good reader, that really gets my mind going; I now have a lot of questions about what is going to happen next.  When will we see LBH again?  What is he going to be doing in the story?  Is LBH going to be helping to find Megan? 

But what is important to see here is that the author gave us this hint.  He set us up to not only think about the here and now, but also about future events.

The important thing to note is that in this example, the author was very matter of fact and didn’t hide his foreshadowing…he came right tout and said that they would see each other again.  Do we know when?  Do we know where?  Do we know under what circumstances?  The answer to all these questions is no, but do you see how it gets you to think about and get engaged in your reading a lot more?

A lot, if not all movies use foreshadowing as well take a look at this clip and see if you can figure out what is being foreshadowed: 


There is some sort of danger in the meadow in being foreshadowed by her conversation about the threats of danger.    

·         As I watch this, questions start popping into my head:

o   What kind of danger?

o   What could happen?

o   Why must they be so timid or cautious?

Watch this next clip: My questions get answered



Guided Practice (WE DO):

Take a look at this clip from Charlotte’s Web as see what questions you have, write them down and we will share as a class.

See if you can notice a point of foreshadowing in this clip:

(use the clip where charlotte is talking to Wilber about not being around forever and not able to protect him always) – couldn’t find it online, must look search on dvd.

Allow student to share the questions they had about what event Charlotte was foreshadowing when talking to Wilber.

Put students into groups and assign them two chapters that have been previously read.

Go back into a past chapter of “The Secret Zoo” and have students point out various instances of foreshadowing.  There are many.

Students will use the Foreshadowing worksheet to guide their class work (see attached file).

Circulate and facilitate conversation about foreshadowing and help those students that are struggling.

Independent Practice (YOU DO): 

What is foreshadowing? 

At the beginning of the story, the narrator says that Megan’s journal “would eventually alter the course of the world” (pg. 7).  How is this statement an example of foreshadowing?  Name 2 other examples of foreshadowing in the novel.  (see attached file)

Closing:  Quickly have a discussion about foreshadowing and why it is important to good readers.

Homework:  Students will read Chapters 20-23 and find 2 examples of foreshadowing in the story; this is part of their independent practice work.

Lesson Resources

Lesson 40 Do now   Starter / Do Now
Lesson 40 CLASS HOMEWORK   Combination
Lesson 40   Lesson Plan
Lesson 40 Group Work   Classwork


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