Russell Yates


Have you ever heard a frog talk in words that you could understand? Did a real unicorn visit you with a wizard riding on its back? In the magical worlds of fantasy all of these things can happen and more! Reading fantasy stories can be an enjoyable diversion from our ordinary surroundings in which our imagination can run free. It can also be a mirror to the world in which we live, allowing us to see things from a different perspective.

To get a sample of this genre, read the two stories linked below. Look for the hidden meaning in The Velveteen Rabbit. See if you can discover what makes The Lilypad a fantasy. When you and another classmate have read both of these stories, compare what you discovered. Did the both of you find the same meaning from The Velveteen Rabbit? Did you find the same or different story features that makes The Lilypad a fantasy?

One of the most popular set of fantasy books currently available is the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Read any one of the books (or all of them if you like) and then get ready to find the cast for your very own movie! Follow the link to Scholastic's Harry Potter website. Use it for the extra information you may need for this assignment, there's even a pronunciation guide for the series!

You are to assume the roles of producer and director of the movie version of a Harry Potter book. Make a chart showing the personality characteristics and physical features for each main character. Include quotations from the book or books you read which describe these characteristics and physical features (because of this, you may want to collect these quotations while you are reading the book). Next, cast people in your school, who look most like the way you picture the characters. Finally, create a poster advertising your movie. Have fun with this, who knows, maybe it will be the beginning of a long and very rewarding career for you!

If you want to read some more great fantasy books, here is a brief list of some that you might find at your library.

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
  • The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynn Reid Banks
  • The Lemming Condition by Alan Arkin
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Jane Leslie Conly
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques

Don't forget to email me to tell me what you learned, and who you cast as Professor Dumbledore!

 Harry Potter - Scholastic
 The Lilypad
 The Velveteen Rabbit

 Notes for Teachers

  Reading the Genres Home

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