Teaching Lord of the Flies is something I grew into loving after many years of struggling through it. I’m not alone. I hear from many English teachers who despised reading Lord of the Flies in school and worry that their students will hate it as much as they did. This doesn’t have to be the case! By using Lord of the Flies as a mirror that reflects the darkness of the island represented in our own world, students become intrigued by “the loss of innocence and the darkness of man’s heart” and reflect on “what makes things break up like they do” in an effort to regain the same type of hope for their world that the character Ralph latches onto. These Lord of the Flies introduction activity ideas will help you hook students (and yourself!) from day one.
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Lord of the Flies Introduction and Activities:
But before we jump in, I think it’s important to assess and honor your energy. Sometimes it’s easy to judge someone for being extra or vice versa, but the truth is, we should all just learn to gauge our own energy levels. If your teacher battery is at 10% and you give 10%, then you gave your all! Therefore, I’m going to arrange this post from lowest prep to highest prep and you can take the ideas that serve you best this week!
Low Prep: Hook students with a survivor challenge
This Lord of the Flies introduction activity is super easy and requires zero prep. First, hit play on this island ambience then surprise students with a survivor challenge! The premise is that you host a mock survivor challenge. Students have 30 seconds to grab 3 belongings and form survivor groups. This introduction activity is fun and chaotic in the best way possible and goes far in sparking curiosity for the unit!
In addition to being low prep and entertaining, this introduction activity has an added perk of keeping the engagement going throughout the entire novel. You can read more about continuing Lord of the Flies survival challenges in this post.
After students complete the introduction activity, you can tie it all together by having students complete a Bookish BINGO board to see how Lord of the Flies they are. Think of these boards like a personality quiz that helps students see how they will relate to the topics and themes in the book. Be sure to grab your FREE Lord of the Flies activity here:
Medium Prep: Transform your room into a jungle
While the outcome looks impressive, I can assure you that it only took one hour to transform my classroom into a jungle and was a lot of fun to decorate if that’s your thing! I kept these decorations throughout the entire unit so definitely got enough use out of them to justify the cost and time.
Lord of the Flies Transformation Supply list:
- Tropical leaves (free in some areas, but low cost on Amazon)
- Tiki centerpieces (borrowed for free, but lots of different options at the dollar store!)
- Yellow and green streamers to make “palm trees” from the ceiling
Here’s what I did for this Lord of the Flies introduction:
First I gathered some banana leaves from my yard to make placemats for the student tables, made two palm trees out of green and yellow streamers, and played island ambient sounds from my computer. If you don’t have banana leaves, any type of greenery will work. But to be honest, if you wanted to make this even more simple, just take 30 seconds to put on the ambient sounds because this was the biggest hit of it all!
High Prep (with a low prep option): Create a microcosm
For my last attempt at creating a WOW-worthy start to Lord of the Flies, I came up with the idea of having groups work together to create a microcosm. While the cost to make this activity added up, we were able to use these miniature worlds throughout the entire Lord of the Flies novel study, and my students understood the concept of Golding’s microcosm more than any other way I’ve taught it in the past!
Lord of the Flies Microcosm Supply List:
- Plastic bowls with lids or paper craftivity in this unit plan
- Play dough
- “Creepers” from the Dollar Store (craft section)
- Sticks from outside
- Miniature shells
- Plastic army figurines (added later to represent the parachute man)
- Red jewels or play dough (added later to represent the fire)
- Paper clips (added later to represent Piggy’s glasses)
Admittedly, this Lord of the Flies project adds up. If you like the concept but want to do it at a lower cost, then I suggest having students make a version of a “bloom ball” to represent the microcosm. You can find my directions and handout in this unit, or you can make your own using a version from the web!
I really loved seeing my big kids turn into little kids as soon as they started playing with the supplies I brought in. It was a fun and effective day! I started chapter one out with the whole class then had students read independently and work in groups to make their island look like the one Golding describes. I walked around the room and had students talk to me about what the text said that made them put things in certain places. This encouraged students to closely read the text and was an easy way for me to assess their comprehension.
Each time something new was introduced to the island, we added it to our microcosms and used sticky notes to write down the symbolism of each item (red jewel for fire, army man for parachute man placement of the “fear” near the “hope” of fire, paperclip for Piggy’s glasses, and shell).
Lord of the Flies Chapter Activities
After such an engaging start, it was easy to keep students actively learning throughout the rest of the novel! Keep reading here to discover more meaningful and fun Lord of the Flies activity ideas!