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Chapter 7: Modern Fantasy. By: Karen Beckman, Becky Donjon, Jenny Weber, and Kara Yelliott. Evaluating Modern Fantasy: Suspending Disbelief. Plot

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Chapter 7 modern fantasy l.jpg

Chapter 7: Modern Fantasy

By: Karen Beckman, Becky Donjon, Jenny Weber, and Kara Yelliott


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Evaluating Modern Fantasy: Suspending Disbelief

  • Plot

    • The author’s ability to make readers suspend disbelief and accept possibly to that the story could have happened is one of the greatest requirements for modern fantasy.


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  • Characterization

    • Character from whose point of view a story is told, must be believable for readers to suspend disbelief.

    • Characters must be internally coherent as well as assessable to the readers.

    • Make characters believable through language.


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  • Point of View

    • Authors must decide which point of view best facilitates a believable telling of a story and then sustain that point of view in order to persuade readers to keep suspending disbelief in the fantastic elements of the story.

    • Three persuasive parts to fantasy:

      • identifiable laws that always work

      • hero/heroine that is often lost

      • things end justly but not always happily


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Creating a World:Setting

  • If a story is to be credible, the author must develop the setting so completely that the reader can see, hear, and feel it.

    • Lots of detail


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Universal Themes

  • Memorable modern fantasy develop themes related to universal struggles, values and emotions, constant battle between good and evil, faith and social perseverance, personal and social responsibility, love and friendship.

    • Kids easily identify with such themes.


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Evaluation Criteria

  • While considering the literary elements that fantasy genre requires, consider the questions on page 353 when selecting modern fantasy to share with children.


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Bridges Between Traditional and Modern Fantasy

  • Literary Folktales

    • Some authors of fantasy have deliberately attempted to replicate the “once upon a time” of traditional folktales.


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  • Religious and Ethical Allegory

    • Religious themes provide strong links between traditional and modern fantasy.

    • Mythical Quests and Conflicts

      • Quests for lost objects set the stage between traditional myths and legends and modern fantasy.


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Categories of Modern Fantasy

  • Articulate animals

  • Toys that come alive

  • Prosperous characters and situations

  • Strange and curious worlds

  • Time warps


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Helping Children Recognize, Understand, and Enjoy Elements in Fantasy

  • Encourage the students to identify and discuss what makes each story modern fantasy. (note questions on page 386)

  • Be sure to remind students that they will not find all of these altered elements in every piece of modern fantasy.

  • Recognition of setting would be to have students close their eyes and listen.


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Interpreting Modern Fantasy Through Art: What better than imagination as a tool for illustration?

  • Well Illustrated Fantasy Selections Provide Children With:

    • the ability to respond to the illustrations

    • the ability to compare illustrations of same stories and critically evaluate them.

    • The ability to receive, process, reflect, and respond to pictures.


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  • A Three Stage Process imagination as a tool for illustration?

    • Have children describe what is happening in the illustrations and how artists present the story.

    • Consider how different artists approach the same point in the story.

    • Let children decide which version they like best and why.


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Let Children Extend Their Appreciation of Fantasy Through Art Activities

  • Murals and Frieze: children work together in group to create one large picture.

  • Collages, Montages, and Mosaics: use objects to portray meaning.

  • Shadowboxes: 3-D environment.


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Science Fiction Art Activities

  • Science Fiction is:

    • about various possibilities

    • stories about what could happen

    • about making the impossible, possible


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Advantages Art Activities

  • Using imagination

  • Creativity of characters, plot, and setting

  • Create a world where science interacts with every area of society

  • Can incorporate with other areas of education


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Disadvantages Art Activities

  • Provides fake hopes of something that does not exist

  • can create a phobia about people who are different