“The Fun They Had” Lesson Plan: Theme and Author’s Purpose

Margie even wrote about it that night in her diary. On the page headed May 17, 2157, she wrote, “Today, Mr. Tommy found a real lesson plan book!” It was a very old lesson plan book. Margie’s grandfather once said that when he was a first year teacher, his grandfather told him that there was a time when all lesson plans were printed from pdf files found online.

Theme Lesson Plan for “The Fun They Had”

Author’s Purpose and Theme Lesson Plan for “The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov. This “The Fun They Had” lesson plan forms a small part of “The Fun They Had” unit. 

More “The Fun They Had Lesson Plans

"The Fun They Had" Lesson Plans being taught by an excited teacher.

You have three minutes between the end of school and the next parent teacher conference? How exactly are you going to create lesson plans for the following week without staying at work until dinner time? These “The Fun They Had” lesson plans are ready to use. All you need is a printer and a copy machine. There’s no additional prep.

If you’re the type who likes to dig deep when teaching, here are ideas for teaching “The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov. Teacher ready, student ready handouts with answer keys, along with detailed lesson plans are contained in “The Fun They Had” unit. You can check it out on the right. Be sure to download the free pdf theme and author’s purpose lesson plan above.

  1. Making Predictions. A critical part of science fiction is predicting what will take place in the future. There are many predictions in “The Fun They Had” that have come true—partially or fully. Use the chart to examine Asimov’s predictions.
  2. Although this is a science fiction short story, the story’s theme deals more with human nature with an ironic ending.
  3. Author’s Purpose. Is Asimov’s purpose to entertain? Or is it to inform?
  4. Main Idea. Asimov’s essay “The New Learning” explains in a non-fiction form the education system in “The Fun They Had.”
  5. Narrative Writing. Write a story in the future with characters trying to explain something that you find normal.
  6. Making Connections. If the story’s theme focuses on human nature, readers should be able to relate, even if these characters live 200 years in the future.

“The Fun They Had” Summary

Tommy found a book in the attic. A real book. One with pages you turn. Margie found this fascinating. The two children discuss the odd thing. They can’t figure out what to do with a book once you finish reading it. What a waste! After all, their television screen holds millions of books they could access at will.

Wait until you find out what the book is about. It’s about school. Margie can’t figure out why anyone would ever write a book about school. How boring! But wait until you hear this. The school in the book has human teachers. And these human teachers don’t come to your house. You went to a building with other children your own age and you were all taught together.

Meanwhile, a county inspector has shown up to diagnose the mechanical teacher. As it turns out, there is a problem with the teacher that causes Margie’s geography grade to drop. The clerk fixes the problem. Then she’s upset because she has to go to school, which is in her house, where she receives lessons from a robot—more or less.

All Margie can think about is how much fun the kids must have had in schools back in the day.

“The Fun They Had” Analysis

Kids learn with these great "The Fun They Had" lesson plans.An analysis of “The Fun They Had” produces the following discussion topics and observations:

  • Science Fiction. “The Fun They Had” was originally published on December 1, 1951. The first time I used the Internet was 1994. Asimov makes predictions in 1951 that undoubtedly readers thought were absurd. Not so absurd now.
  • Theme. Although this is a science fiction short story, the story’s theme deals more with human nature with Margie wishing she lived in previous times where they could go to school and have so much fun. The grass is always greener, anyone?
  • Author’s Purpose. This is certainly an interesting story, mildly entertaining in a traditional plot sense, but very informative as a look at the future.
  • NonFiction Analysis. Asimov expounds on his educational theories in an essay titled “The New Learning.”

Standards Focus

In case you need to jot down a standard or two from the Author’s Purpose and Theme Lesson Plan for “The Fun They Had” by Isaac Asimov, here you go.

  1. Reading Standard 1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  2. Reading Standard 2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
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