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Clowne Junior School

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L.I: To give identify the techniques used in, and give examples of, Flashback writing. 


Read the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book 4) by JK Rowling. Then, read the first 2 pages of Chapter 2. What happened?

Harry Potter is in his bedroom in Privet Drive and he’s dreaming. Some of the first chapter is what he dreamt. Return to beginning of Chapter 1 where Rowling describes what happened 50 years earlier, when the Riddles are mysteriously killed.


What does this mean?

It is a narrative device which writers, TV programme directors & film-makers use. It allows them to go back in time to describe something that happened before the ‘now’ of the story.

How do you know it’s a flashback in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire?    




Look at the following list of films that contain flashbacks that you may have seen (maybe have a look for some of these on Youtube): 


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

This film has a flashback sequence showing Willy Wonka discovering the Oompa-Loompas, a scene which featured in the book, but which was not included in the 1971 film version.


The Incredibles

The movie starts with a flashback sequence showing the Incredibles in action during their heyday.


Finding Nemo

This film features a sequence showing Dori in a flashback sequence of Nemo being captured by the scuba diver after she meets him.


X-Men: The Last Stand

This film opens with a flashback sequence showing Magneto and Professor X as they were 20 years ago.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

This film features many flashback sequences in the form of Harry’s nightmares, particularly in the first hour! They are used as an explanatory plot device so that watchers who have seen earlier films can follow the story.


Toy Story 2

Jessie's story and life as a toy is told through a flashback sequence during this film.



Think about what techniques are used to show the viewer (or reader) that the character is having a flashback - list them. 

You may also be able to suggest other books or films that include flashbacks – list any that you know.