Lessons & Units :: Genre 3rd Grade Unit

Lesson 2: Fantasy

Lesson Plan

Zathura | 540L

Learning Goal
Identify the characteristics of fantasy.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Fantasy Characteristics Chart for Direct Teaching, Example Chart for Direct Teaching and Guided Practice
Not Provided: Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg, fantasy books from classroom library, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will introduce the genre of fantasy books and explain that these stories are highly imaginative, with events that could not take place in the natural world. I will introduce the characteristics of fantasy books by listing them on a chart. (Direct Teaching Chart is provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.) I will explain that every fantasy book contains some of these characteristics. I will read Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg (stopping at page 8) and identify, discuss, and chart (see example) evidence from the book that shows this is a fantasy book.

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I know that Zathura is a fantasy story? Students should respond that you read the story and identified details that were magical, mythical, and represented battles between good and evil.

  • Guided Practice

    will identify, discuss, and chart evidence from the rest of the book that proves this is a fantasy book. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart is provided below.) We will discuss the differences between fantasy and realistic fiction, referencing lesson 1.

  • Independent Practice

    choose one fantasy book from the classroom library and identify the characteristics of the book that tell you it is fantasy.

    TIP: Depending on your students’ writing ability, they can write a list of the characteristics of the fantasy text or write a paragraph describing the characteristics for the Independent Practice.

Build Student Vocabulary rotated

Tier 2 Word: rotated
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story The robot’s head rotated back and forth, and then the robot looked at Walter.
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) To rotate is to go around in a circle, or to turn around. When the robot rotated his head, he turned his head around.
Students repeat the word Say the word rotated with me: rotated.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts The wheels of a car rotate. Since the Earth rotates on its axis, we have day and night. Our teacher makes sure that we rotate the classroom jobs, so everyone gets a chance. Crops are rotated in a field to keep the soil healthy. One year the farmer plants beans, and the next year he plants corn.
Students provide examples Can you think of other things that rotate? Tell me about it by saying, “A ____________ rotates.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? rotated
Additional Vocabulary Words sob, reversed

Build Student Background Knowledge

Pause while reading page 7. Explain that meteors are bits of rock from outer space that get sucked onto Earth by gravity. This typically happens when a comet is flying through outer space close to Earth, and a loose rock finds its way into Earth's atmosphere. Since Earth is mostly covered in water, many meteors land and fall to the bottom of oceans. Most meteors are about the size of pebbles. However, 65 million years ago, an 8 mile wide meteor fell on Earth and created a dust cloud that killed many dinosaurs and caused a cooling on Earth.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)