Learning the genre of fantasy with "The Sound of Thunder"

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SWBAT understand the genre of a fantasy fiction story by reading one and plotting the main events of the story.

Big Idea

The origin of the "butterfly" effect.

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “We have been brainstorming ideas for our fantasy stories and drafting scenes. In order to see how an author crafts a short fantasy story, we are going to analyze the moves the author makes in a fantasy story called “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury, a famous fantasy writer.

Teach: I will say, “In order to learn about the genre of fantasy fiction, I am going to show you how to practice the skill of analyzing an author’s craft and the strategy of annotating for fantasy fiction details. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Read the story A Sound of Thunder.

2) Annotate when I see an author making a craft move

3) Add how the details add to this story being a fantasy

I will model for students how I read through the first part of the story and how I notate the authors’ moves by annotating on the text and using the author’s craft resource sheet and fantasy fiction brainstorming sheet (see below video). 

Active Engagement

20 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “You will now read through the rest of the story and stop and jot at least twice on the page where you see Ray Bradbury including details that truly make this a fantasy story (they will read independently, with a partner or as a whole class read* (this depends on their stamina)).”

I will ask the students, (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard) “What did you jot notes about and where did you annotate it in your text? How could you use the same type of “moves” in your writing?”

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers practice the skill of learning a new genre by using the strategy of using a mentor text to discover the craft moves authors make. The process they use is review terms that are connected to author’s craft’s moves, read the text, stop and jot where they see the author’s moves and connect it to how they could use the same moves.”

*The below is the story read in an audio book to use for a whole class read.


Independent Practice

15 minutes

Independent Practice:  After we have read the story, students will a clip of the film version of “The Sound of Thunder” to see additional craft moves the author (director/screen play writer) made in the movie. Students will be asked to “turn and talk” about the craft moves the author of this movie made and how they could use that in their writing throughout the story.

Since this is a long movie, I will only show them a short clip of the first film version (1/3 on You Tube below) or the first part of the 2005 movie. Since it is on You Tube, I can either give them homework to finish it at home or tell them to finish it on their own. Another option is to show them the movie trailer of the 2005 version (also on You Tube).

For example one student said, in the movie they use “scary” music and “dark lighting” to tell the people watching there is something bad coming. 

The 2005 version

The trailer


I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an exit ticket in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: They will turn in their annotations.