Symbolism and Themes Lesson Plan: The Lord of the Flies Game
Grade Levels: 6-8
In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6-8, students use BrainPOP resources (including an online interactive game) to explore the symbolism and themes of William Golding’s novel “Lord of the Flies.”
- Explain the symbolism in William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies" and explain various interpretations.
- Analyze the themes of the novel through online interactive game play.
- Interactive whiteboard (or just an LCD projector)
- Computers for individual or pairs of students to use
- Class set of photocopies of the Activity
capacity; civilized; exterior; evacuate; logical; democratic; conch; status; allegory; abstract
Preparation:This lesson plan uses an interactive online game based on William Golding's first novel, Lord of the Flies. The game's objective is to introduce some basic analytical aspects of the book and to challenge the reader's memory through play. Who are the different characters in the book Lord of the Flies? What is a symbol? How can you interpret the book? The game presents one possible interpretation of Golding's book, which is no more legitimate than any other. As Golding himself claimed, "The right interpretation is the one that rises to the reader the first time he reads the book."
Game play begins with a short introduction. Afterward, you will see the island. The only thing that moves is the silhouette of a boy. As you move your mouse cursor over the boy, a yellow "X" appears. Click on it with the mouse button to explore part one of the game. In the first part of the game, you are supposed to match objects, thoughts and sentences with the correct boy. Match an object by pointing at it with the mouse, drag it with the mouse button pressed down to the black area symbolizing the boy and release the mouse button. If you drag the object to the correct boy, it disappears and a black dot appears on the boy's name sign. If you choose the wrong boy, or if you drop the object outside the black silhouette, it jumps back to its original position. When you have matched everything, you will see all the boys and a "Go on" sign appears in the bottom righthand corner. Click on it with the mouse button. You now return to the island. The only things that move are pigs running in the forest. As you move your mouse cursor over them, a yellow "X" appears. Click on it with the mouse button to explore part two of the game.
In part two of the game, you have to match one object with each palm tree. Match an object by pointing at it with the mouse, drag it with the mouse button pressed down to the trunk of a tree and release the mouse button. If you drag the correct object, it stays below the trunk and three signs with quotes from the book appear on the trunk. If you move an incorrect object to a tree, a sign with a quote appears as a hint and the object jumps back to its original position. When you have matched everything a "Go on" sign appears in the bottom righthand corner. Click on it with the mouse button. You now return to the island. The only thing that moves is a palm tree. As you move your mouse cursor over it, a yellow "X" appears. Click on it with the mouse button to explore part three of the game.
In part three of the game, a parrot asks you four questions about the book. Two possible answers are given to each question. Choose an answer by clicking on the speech bubble. If you pick the correct answer a butterfly will stay on a flower. If you pick the wrong answer a flower will wither. When you have answered the four questions, a "Go on" sign appears in the bottom righthand corner. Click on it with the mouse button. You now return to the island. The only thing that moves is a boy who jumps on and off a boat. As you move your mouse cursor over him, a yellow "X" appears. Click on it with the mouse button.
The final screen shows your score as a number of butterflies, and gives a little information about the author William Golding. Click on the "Go on" sign to find links to William Golding's biography, Nobel Lecture, Nobel banquet speech and much more.
More information about the game can be found on the Nobelprize.org website, which portions of this lesson plan have been adapted from.
- On the first day of class after students have read William Golding's novel "Lord of the Flies", project the Graphic Organizer for them to see. Have students work with a partner to talk about or jot down characteristics of each character.
- To review the overarching themes and plot of the book, play the Lord of the Flies movie for the class. Turn on closed captioning to help students understand and retain the information they learn. Encourage students to use their graphic organizers to jot down additional notes as they view the movie.
- Tell students that they will have the opportunity to explore an interpretation of the book through an interactive game. Pair students up and have them play the game independently or in pairs. Remind students that they can use the help button at the bottom of the screen if they need clues or assistance. In part 1 of the game, you may want to remind students to drag the speech bubbles to a character, and in part 2, let them know that the same object can be dragged to multiple trees.
- As an assessment, have students complete the Activity and/or take the Quiz.
Extension Activity:Challenge students to write a fictional interview of the boys who survived and returned to England and produce a news article or broadcast about it. Students should cover the main topics addressed in a newspaper article or news report (who, what, when, where, why, and how) and should also compose thought-provoking questions that provide insight into what the boys were thinking and feeling during their adventure. Students may exchange their interview questions with a partner and answer them as if they were one of the boys in the novel. Afterward, students can use the responses they received to their questions to write their article or produce a news cast video.
Be sure to explore the other games featured in BrainPOP's GameUp!