The Bone Clocks Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell presents a wonderful fantasy that moves through time. This lesson plan supports a deeper understanding of this book, and an activity allows for lively analysis of the six individual sections within the book.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the plot of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • analyze key characters in the book
  • discuss the themes presented in the book


  • This lesson plan is designed for students who have recently read The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell in its entirety.


30 to 60 minutes for instruction and several days for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.


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).


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.


  • Copies of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • Oversized craft paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Smart devices (optional)
  • Projector (optional)
  • Popcorn


  • Begin by dividing the class into six groups.
  • Write the following categories on the board for the class to see: 'Plot', 'Setting', 'Characters', 'Problem', 'Resolution' and 'Themes'.
  • Assign each group to one of the six individual sections of the book The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell.
  • Give each group a sheet of the craft paper and access to the colored pencils.
  • Explain to the class that each group is responsible for creating a movie trailer for their assigned section of the book. This process must begin with a storyboard, created using the craft paper, that includes each of the categories written on the board. This story board will list key elements, that together, will become the movie trailer.
  • Once each group has completed the storyboard for their assigned section of the book, take the time to review each one to ensure that they have adequately covered key content areas before moving on to the activity.

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