Magical Realism Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach students about the literary genre of magical realism with this lesson plan. Students will watch a video lesson, discuss and analyze samples, then do an activity and take a quiz to show understanding.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define 'magical realism.'
  • Explain the history and characteristics of magical realism.


1 hour for main lesson plus one to three class times for the activity


Key Vocabulary

  • Magical realism
  • Latin America
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Isabel Allende
  • Clairvoyant
  • Haruki Murakami
  • Salman Rushdie

Curriculum Standards


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Give students five minutes to brainstorm words they think of when they hear the term 'magical.'
  • After brainstorming, break students into small groups to share their word lists. What thoughts and images do students have in common? What do they think of when they hear 'magical?'
  • Now have students repeat the brainstorming activity using the word 'realism.' What does realism make them think of? What are their experiences with realism?
  • After a brief class discussion on realism ask:
    • Are the terms magical and realism opposite?
    • Can something be magical and real? How?
  • Tell students they will learn about a genre called magical realism, and allow them to infer and predict the meaning.

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