William Golding: Lord of the Flies (Activities Before Reading)

Exercise using the Lord of the flies story’s atmosphere; making the students think and speak to convey their feelings to others

1) TAKING UP THE ATMOSPHERE is the first activity that precedes working with the text (the students are not familiar with the book at all).
a) The students close their eyes and imagine being 11-year-old boys. They use the following plan to tell the others:
WHAT COLOUR IS YOUR HAIR?
WHAT CLOTHES AND SHOES DO YOU WEAR?
HOW TALL ARE YOU?
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING?
b) Now the students are told that the story takes place on a tropical island. The students are still identified with the character of an 11-year-old boy. They imagine surviving a plane crash with several other children. It is very hot outside.
The students close their eyes again and empathise with the character. What a child can see or hear on an uninhabited island in the Pacific after a plane crash? What the child can touch? Is there any imminent danger?
The students open their eyes and write down their associations.
2) DIALOGUE is the second activity.
The students imagine another boy from the plane emerges from the jungle. What will they talk about?
Split into pairs, the students prepare a conversation and show it to the class later.
The rest of the class writes down the most interesting parts of the conversations.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Education techniques
  • Motivation and resilience

Actual outcomes

Educational objective: Taking up the story’s atmosphere; making the students think and speak to convey their feelings to others

Qualities in focus: Memory, imagination, ability to objectively judge the situation

Target group, age of the students: 14–15 years of age

Suitable for:  – composition, literature

Resources required

The Lord of the Flies book by William Golding

Time needed

1 unit for 45 minutes

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

These proven activities develop imagination in children and motivate them to read the story, making them think what is important when they get into an extreme situation. They will read the book not as mere consumers, but they will give contemplate about the characters.
The activities naturally seized the students’ imagination and curiosity and they were looking forward to reading the book, anticipating adventure.
The students fulfilled the activities with pleasure, hoping to learn more about the story. The teacher must explain when the story takes place – in an era without mobile phones or any other modern communications technology.

Links to related resource files

Contact information

hana.maresova@upol.cz