Flashback and Foreshadowing

16 02 2010

The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is a great book to read to students when working on foreshadowing. As I read the book aloud, I have my students make a double entry journal in their notebooks. I have them write who they think the stranger is in the left column, in the right column I have them write what in the book makes them think this. The students love to try to figure out who the stranger is (he is Jack Frost).

There are also some great movies that have examples or foreshadowing and flashback. I made a DVD of clips from the following movies that show examples of foreshadowing and flashback. My students love to try to guess which movie is foreshadowing or flashback and pick out the techniques the movie creators used to convey this to the audience.

Foreshadowing Movies:

Beautiful Mind, Notting Hill and A River Runs Through It

Flashback Movies:

Titanic, Forrest Gump, Superman Returns

I also copy some chapters from the following books. I have the students read the sections and then pick out where they see foreshadowing and flashback. I have them take note of the words or elements the author uses to signal a change in time:

Holes– ( I use Chapter 7)

My Side of the Mountain– ( I use the first 8 pages)

Number the Stars: (I use Chapters 1, 2)

After we have seen examples of foreshadowing and flashback in movies, picture books and chapter books I tell them it is their turn to write stories using these elements. I have the students in groups write their own stories using flashback and foreshadowing. I give them a story prompt and have them plan out and come up with a group story to share. Examples of short story prompts; Mrs. Hagedorn is teaching when she suddenly disappears in the closet, Mrs. Cunert’s dog, Stanley, gets lost in the school.

I have found that the students really enjoy these foreshadowing and flashback activities.




One response

19 02 2010
Stacy Nockowitz

I really blow the students’ minds when I have them read Robert Cormier’s I Am the Cheese. Two storylines- one seems to be a flashback- that are actually happening AT THE SAME TIME (one in the lead character’s head and one in the institution where he is “housed). It’s a mind-bender!

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