Teaching Magical Realism: 7 Actionable Resources
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Magical Realism in Literature Guide
  2. Lesson Plan on Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  3. Interactive Activities for Teaching Magical Realism
  4. Short Films to Illustrate Magical Realism
  5. Book List for Teaching Magical Realism
  6. Podcasts on Magical Realism
  7. Online Course on Magical Realism

Teaching magical realism can be like trying to explain a rainbow to a person who's only ever seen black and white. It's a whole new spectrum, blending the ordinary with the extraordinary in a way that can challenge both the teacher and the student. But with the right teaching resources for magic realism, you can turn this challenge into an engaging learning experience. Let's start this exploration with the first resource on our list!

Magical Realism in Literature Guide

This guide is your go-to resource when you're planning lessons on magical realism. It provides a clear and simple explanation of what magical realism is, its origins, and how it differs from fantasy or science fiction. Here's what you can expect to find in it:

  • What is Magical Realism? - An easy-to-understand description of magical realism, using examples from popular literature to illustrate the concept. Perfect for an introduction lesson.
  • The History of Magical Realism - A journey through time, tracing the roots of magical realism in literature. This will help your students understand the context in which magical realism evolved.
  • Distinguishing Magical Realism from Other Genres - A comparison of magical realism with fantasy and science fiction, highlighting the unique elements that set it apart. This is a great way to reinforce the understanding of magical realism.
  • Key Authors and Works - A list of notable authors in the genre and their significant works. This list can serve as a reference point when choosing texts for your lessons.

Remember, teaching resources for magic realism should not only provide information but also spark curiosity and engagement. This guide does just that — making it easier for you to build a solid foundation for your lessons on magical realism.

Lesson Plan on Gabriel Garcia Marquez

When discussing magical realism, one name that usually stands out is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the author of the magical realist masterpiece, "One Hundred Years of Solitude". To effectively teach his style, having a focused lesson plan is invaluable. Here's what this resource offers:

  • Author Profile: A brief biography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this gives students an idea of the man behind the magical realism marvels. It's a great way to start the lesson, and sparks interest in the author's work.
  • Summary of Works: An overview of Marquez's significant works, with a special focus on "One Hundred Years of Solitude". This helps students gain familiarity with the author's style and themes.
  • Discussion Points: The lesson plan includes thought-provoking questions, designed to engage students in deep conversations about Marquez's work. This is where the magic of magical realism truly comes to life in your classroom.
  • Activity Suggestions: To reinforce learning, the lesson plan includes various activities that range from writing exercises to group discussions. This active learning approach ensures that students grasp the essence of Marquez's magical realism.

With this lesson plan in your teaching resources for magic realism, you'll have a roadmap to navigate the spellbinding world of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with your students. So, ready to dive into the depths of magical realism?

Interactive Activities for Teaching Magical Realism

Teaching resources for magic realism often focus on reading and discussion. But to truly engage your students, why not add some interactive activities into your lesson plan? These activities can bring the magical realism genre to life, helping students grasp its unique blend of the real and the fantastical. Here are some suggestions:

  • Magical Realism Art Project: Have your students create an artwork that represents a magical realism scene. This could be a painting, a sculpture, or even a digital design. It's a fun, hands-on way to explore the genre.
  • Story Remix: Ask your students to select a familiar story and rewrite a section of it with a magical realism twist. This exercise not only deepens their understanding of the genre, but also strengthens their creative writing skills.
  • 'Spot the Magic' Game: This can be a fun classroom game where students read a passage and identify elements of magical realism. You can make it more challenging by including passages that are not from the magical realism genre.
  • Magical Realism Debate: Hold a classroom debate on a relevant topic - for example, "Is magical realism a genre or a narrative technique?" This can stimulate critical thinking and engage students in an in-depth exploration of magical realism.

Remember, the goal of these activities is not just to teach magical realism, but to make it an engaging and memorable experience for your students. After all, isn't that the essence of teaching?

Short Films to Illustrate Magical Realism

When it comes to teaching resources for magic realism, short films can be a powerful tool. They can help students visualize the blend of reality and fantasy that is the hallmark of this literary style. But which ones to show in class? Here are a few suggestions:

  • "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore": This Oscar-winning short film is a stunning example of magical realism. It tells the story of a man who loves books, and the books love him back — literally!
  • "The Red Balloon": A French classic, this short film explores the extraordinary relationship between a young boy and his magical red balloon. It's a great way to introduce the concept of inanimate objects having a life and will of their own.
  • "Ryan": This animated documentary about Canadian animator Ryan Larkin uses surreal imagery to depict the inner world of its subject, making it a good example of magical realism in film.
  • "Alma": This short film about a girl who gets pulled into a doll's world is a thrilling example of magical realism. It's a bit scary, so it might be best for older students.

Short films can create an immersive learning experience, showing students what magical realism looks like in practice. They just might spark your students' imagination and inspire their own magical realism creations.

Book List for Teaching Magical Realism

Perhaps one of the most effective teaching resources for magic realism is the use of books themselves. A well-curated selection of books can provide your students with a deep understanding of this literary style. Here's a list of books that perfectly embody the magical realism genre:

  1. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: This iconic novel is a must-read for anyone interested in magical realism. It weaves together generations of the Buendia family's history, interspersed with fantastical elements.
  2. "The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allende: This is another classic example of magical realism. It offers a vivid portrayal of the Trueba family over several generations, with a dash of the supernatural thrown in.
  3. "Beloved" by Toni Morrison: This powerful novel uses magical realism to explore the traumatic legacy of slavery. Ghosts and other supernatural elements are woven into the narrative, making it a striking example of the genre.
  4. "Midnight’s Children" by Salman Rushdie: This Booker Prize-winning novel uses magical realism to tell the story of India's transition from British colonialism to independence.

These books not only give your students a taste of magical realism but also expose them to different cultures and historical periods. So, why not add a few to your syllabus?

Podcasts on Magical Realism

Podcasts are often overlooked, yet they are great teaching resources for magic realism. They allow students to delve into discussions, author interviews, book reviews, and even dramatized versions of magical realism stories. Here are a few podcasts that can support your lesson plans:

  1. "Bookworm": This podcast often features discussions on magical realism novels, with in-depth analysis of prominent authors and their works.
  2. "The New Yorker: Fiction": A monthly reading and conversation with the New Yorker's fiction editor. Sometimes, they discuss magical realism stories.
  3. "LeVar Burton Reads": In each episode, the beloved actor reads a short fiction story -- and some of them fall under the magical realism category.
  4. "Writing Excuses": This podcast is a goldmine for aspiring writers. They have several episodes dedicated to the craft of magical realism.

Podcasts can make the studying process more interactive and engaging. And who knows, your students might discover their new favorite story or author along the way!

Online Course on Magical Realism

When it comes to teaching resources for magic realism, online courses are a real treasure trove. They offer detailed insights, guided learning, and expert analysis that can make the subject come alive for your students. Here are some online courses that you might find useful:

  1. "Magical Realism: A Journey into the Surreal": This course takes a deep dive into the world of magical realism, exploring its history, major works, and distinctive elements.
  2. "Understanding Magic Realism": This course helps students to understand and appreciate the nuances of magical realism by analyzing famous works in the genre.
  3. "The Art of Storytelling: From Parents to Professionals": Offered by The Great Courses, this includes a section on magical realism. It provides an understanding of how magical realism can be used in storytelling.
  4. "Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World": A course by the University of Michigan on Coursera that covers a variety of literary genres, including magical realism.

Online courses are an excellent way to supplement your teaching. They provide a structured learning experience, with the added advantage of letting students learn at their own pace. Plus, they can also be a great refresher for you, the teacher!

If you're fascinated by the world of magical realism and would like to further develop your teaching skills in this area, be sure to check out the workshop 'From Dream to Reality: The Magic of Concept-Art' by Hope Christofferson. This workshop will help you bring the magic of concept-art into your classroom and provide actionable resources for teaching magical realism.