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Lesson Plan

Writing a Flashback and Flash-Forward Story Using Movies and Texts as Models

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Writing a Flashback and Flash-Forward Story Using Movies and Texts as Models

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Michelle Kimbro

Oakwood, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives





A copy of the movie The Sandlot

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Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing


Students generate descriptive timelines and can include images in the description.


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  • Preview the movie and read the stories to find out what would work best in your classroom. [Note: The Sandlot contains a few examples of language that may be inappropriate for students.]

  • Make one copy of the flashback/flash-forward handout for each student if you choose to show the movie after previewing it. If you choose not to, edit the handout to reflect the storyline of the books read in class, and then make copies. Make two copies of the flashback/flash-forward checklist for each student. One will be given to the student for peer review and another will be used by the teacher when evaluating the work.

  • Sample student paper #1 and sample student paper #2 can be used as models for both writing and assessing the stories. You can copy these or put them on an overhead projector and, as a class, review them using the checklist. This process helps students understand how their papers will be graded as well as gives them examples of how others have approached the assignment.

  • Review the article by Michele Whipple, "Let's Go to the Movies..." if you are using The Sandlot.

  • Find examples and definitions of flashback and flash-forward, narrative, and characterization at the following Websites:

  • Reserve the computer lab if needed.

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