Using Movie Clips to Teach Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is one of my favorite concepts to teach. To teach the literary device of foreshadowing, my class analyzes various movie clips in order to build a connection with our weekly stories.

Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips

In eighth grade ELA, we read a really neat short story called “A Monkey’s Paw,” by W.W. Jacobs. It tells the story of a mysterious monkey’s paw, akin to a lucky rabbit’s foot, that has magical abilities to grant wishes. However, be careful what you wish for is definitely the main theme in this story.

Four Types of Foreshadowing

W.W. Jacobs displays all sorts of foreshadowing throughout which aligns with the spooky tone of the story. The four types of foreshadowing we explored were abstract, prophecy, fallacy, and concrete foreshadowing. To delve into the four types of foreshadowing, we watched various movie clips.

Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips

Abstract Foreshadowing

Abstract foreshadowing is when the reader must think outside of the box to determine if something will turn out to be foreshadowing. We watched Finding Nemo clips that exemplified this. When Nemo is in the fish tank in the dentist’s office, a person holding a fishnet scoops him up. Instantly, the other fish jump in and swim down to make the net heavier. This makes the person holding the net drop it. The scene is mimicked later in the movie when a fishing boat scoops up hundreds of fish. Nemo and his father hop in to tell the fish to swim down. This makes the net heavier and then it breaks from the fishing boat, releasing the fish.

Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips

Prophecy Foreshadowing

We watched a Lion King clip in which a young Simba is with his father under the night sky. Mufasa explains how their guardians are in the starry sky and that Simba will never be alone. They will be there to guide him. Mufasa says, “Those kings will be there to guide you and so will I.” We discussed how this was prophecy foreshadowing because Mufasa later does in fact die and helps guide him from the stars.

Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips

Fallacy Foreshadowing

Pathetic fallacy foreshadowing is when a setting or mood forewarns of what is to come in a scene. For example, rain creates a sad mood, whereas thunder and lightning create an angry mood. In Lion King, when Scar has taken over the Prideland, the dead trees and barren land foreshadow and symbolize how Scar has destroyed the kingdom and is a horrible ruler. On the other hand, Lion King’s opening scene with the sunshine and the strong rock foreshadows happy times in the beginning.

Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips

Concrete Foreshadowing

Concrete foreshadowing is what we typically think of when we think of foreshadowing: an author giving a blatant clue that they are forewarning us of the main event soon to come. It is so obvious that the reader can recognize it almost immediately before they even know what is going to happen.

In Frozen 2, Anna and Elsa’s mother sings a lullaby, All is Found.” In the song, the lyrics “For in this river all is found in her waters, deep and true lie the answers,” foreshadow blatantly that the river holds the answers to the past.

Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips

After each movie clip, we discussed how it relates to each specific type of foreshadowing. Students then fill out a google slide graphic organizer detailing the four types of foreshadowing found in our short story.


I was able to use YouTube to find these movie clips very quickly. A search on the internet shows so many examples of movie clips connecting to language arts objectives. It is a neat way to analyze some familiar movies, connect it to stories, and have some fun in the process while teaching the literary device or foreshadowing.

Love to grab our Teaching Foreshadowing with Movie Clips Google Slides Graphic Organizer or Printable Version? Just click DOWNLOAD below. Hope you enjoy!!!

Or visit our Teachers Pay Teachers store for this AWESOME FREE product too. Your choice!

Using Movie Clips to Teach Irony

Movie clips are a great way to give students a respite from their typical reading assignments and to teach ELA objectives in a relatable, fun way. A couple of weeks ago, I incorporated movie clips in order to teach different types of irony.

Teaching Irony with Movie Clips

I am a firm believer that when teachers are excited about their material and lessons, their students will be just as enlivened, or at least intrigued.

In my seventh grade ELA class, we completed a two-week O. Henry author study in which we delved into the different types of ironic endings this author is well known for, situational and dramatic irony. We read “The Gift of the Magi” and another O. Henry story called, “After Twenty Years.” In both stories, irony is present.

Teaching Irony with Movie Clips

Dramatic Irony

In “The Gift of the Magi,” O. Henry displays dramatic irony. For example, the audience knows the main character, Della, sold her hair to buy her husband a pocket watch chain. Nevertheless, her husband does not know this has happened and buys her a set of ornamental combs for her long hair. This is dramatic irony in which the audience is aware of something in a story that a character does not know.

To explore dramatic irony, we watched A Toy Story clip. Toy Story displays a lot of dramatic irony since the audience knows the toys are alive, but the human characters in the movie do not.

Teaching Irony with Movie Clips

Another dramatic irony clip to watch is from the classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It is a personal favorite of mine! In the movie clip, Snow White does not realize the wicked witch intends to kill her with the apple the old lady gives to her, but the audience does know.

Teaching Irony with Movie Clips

Furthermore, dramatic irony is often seen throughout the book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events, written by Lemony Snicket. The Netflix series created from the books is a perfect tool to utilize to demonstrate irony. Please watch the clip below and you will definitely understand.

Situational Irony

When we read the second O. Henry story, After Twenty Years, we explored situational irony. The main character, Silky Bob, does not realize that his friend who he intends to meet up with after twenty years, is actually the policeman who will arrest him. O. Henry’s surprise ending is situational irony since what the audience expects to happen is not what happens at all.

We explored situational irony through a movie clip of Tangled. When the Vikings put on a song and dance show and start singing about their dreams. This movie clip displays situational irony. The audience does not expect the Vikings to start singing and dancing and to have all sorts of different dreams that really do not suit the burly persona of their characters.

Teaching Irony With Movie Clips

Another awesome example of irony is in the movie Finding Nemo. Dora and Nemo’s dad are bullied by Bruce the Shark to attend a party that he is having with a group of his shark friends in a ship. The audience automatically assumes the end result. However, once they reach the ship and the party, they soon realize it is a party for sharks who do not want to eat fish. Please watch the clip below.


With each movie clip, we discussed how each specific type of irony is displayed. Students filled out organizers exploring irony within our stories and we discussed and connected the movie clip examples of irony back to the stories, as well.

Love to grab our Teaching Irony with Movie Clips Google Slides Graphic Organizer or Printable Version? Just click DOWNLOAD below. Hope you enjoy!!!

Or visit our Teachers Pay Teachers store for this AWESOME FREE product too. Your choice!