Fantasy Genre Lesson Plan

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

This lesson plan utilizes a video lesson describing the traits of modern fantasy literature, as well as an activity involving writing an original fantasy story. An exit ticket and extension ideas are also included.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define and identify fantasy literature
  • Explain the fantasy characteristics of modern literature
  • Create a short story containing the traits of fantasy literature


50-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3

Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5

Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9

Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

Key Vocabulary

  • Fantasy Literature
  • High Fantasy
  • Urban Fantasy


  • Other examples of fantasy as needed
  • Notebook paper and writing utensils


  • To begin, write a list of aspects of fantasy literature on the board. Here are some examples: werewolves, magic, vampires, witches, wizards, elves, hobbits, dragons, etc.
  • Give 5 minutes for a free write. Ask students to write about their thoughts on literature that contains these types of ideas. Do they like that literature? Is it interesting? Is it just for kids?
  • When time is up, ask students to share something about what they wrote.
  • Explain that all these ideas are often seen in fantasy literature. The rest of the lesson will focus on modern fantasy.
  • Begin watching the video lesson What is Modern Fantasy Literature? - Definition, Authors, & Novels. Have students take notes as they watch.
  • Stop the video at 1:35. Make sure students added the definition of fantasy to their notes.
    • Discussion Question: Fantasy is defined as literature that depicts abilities, creatures, or settings not found or feasible in the real world. Why do you think so many people enjoy this? What is the appeal? Why do/don't you enjoy it?
  • Return to the video and watch until 3:25.
  • Make sure students have entered information into their notes on the following ideas: mythic origins, paranormality, and exotic locales. Answer questions as needed.
    • Discussion Question: What makes a work one of high fantasy? What are some other examples in books, movies, or TV that are high fantasy? How are they high fantasy?
  • Return to the video and watch until 4:01.
    • Discussion Question: What aspects of His Dark Materials are fantasy? Are there mythic origins? Exotic locales? Paranormality? Is it high fantasy? Explain.
  • Before returning to the video, assign students one of the three remaining examples. For each, they will have to respond to the previous discussion questions after the video has been watched. Also, be sure they add in the term 'urban fantasy' to their notes.
  • Return to the video and watch until 6:14.
  • Have students discuss the following questions according to the example you assigned to them.
    • Discussion Question: What aspects of this work make it fantasy? Are there mythic origins? Exotic locales? Paranormality? Is it high fantasy? Is it urban fantasy? Explain.
  • Return to the video and watch the lesson summary.

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