Get kids excited about reading with The 39 Clues series and use these resources to help you teach the books in the classroom.
About The 39 Clues
The 39 Clues is an exciting adventure series that will visit every continent and lead your students through 500 years of history, all while introducing them to fascinating historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Amadeus Mozart, Amelia Earhart, and more!
Designed to connect with even the most reluctant readers, it meets children where they like to learn in a multi-platform approach. It will get your students engaged in history and leave them ready to devour the next book in the series. By combining a ten book series with an online game where students can solve puzzles, each child is able to become a member of the Cahill family and join in the pursuit of the clues to find the ultimate source of the Cahill fortune and power.
About This Guide
Use this guide to bring the excitement of the 39 Clues books into the classroom — and to explore geography, history, literature and math — while at the same time teaching to the reading standards, in ways that can be geared to multiple learning styles.
The guide to Book #7 covers foreshadowing and flashback.
Find guides to all other books on the teaching resources for The 39 Clues page.
Guides written by Laura Stockwell, Fifth Grade Teacher, Orlando, Florida
Guide to The 39 Clues Book 7: The Viper's Nest by Peter Lerangis
Theme of this section: Foreshadowing and Flashback
What the Book is About
It's no longer a game. The body count is rising. Shaken by recent events, Amy and Dan flee to a distant land and trace the footsteps of their most formidable ancestor yet: a military leader of mythic proportions. Yet just as the siblings begin to master the art of ancient warfare, they confront a dangerous enemy that can't be felled with a sword: the truth. With the stakes higher than ever, Amy and Dan uncover something so devastating it changes everything – the secret of their family branch.
About the Author
Peter Lerangis is the author of over 150 books, for early readers through teens, which have sold nearly 3 million copies. He injects his own brand of suspense, humor, and colorful characters into many different writing genres - mystery (the Spy X series), science fiction (the Watchers series), teen romance (the Drama Club series), and serious historical fiction (Smiler's Bones).
Foreshadowing and Flashback
Two literary elements that can be as elusive as a Madrigal are foreshadowing and flashback. While foreshadowing is used by the author to provide a hint to the reader about something that might happen later in the plot, flashback interrupts the plot by telling an event that happened before the time of the story. Both literary elements provide plot clues without giving away the ending. They help build interest and suspense as the reader speculates how the clue will affect the ending.
Students will stay in front of the competition in the hunt for The 39 Clues by becoming experts in detecting the use of foreshadowing and flashbacks. In The Viper's Nest, Grace, Arthur, and Hope come alive to the reader through the author's use of flashbacks. Flashbacks are easy to spot because the text often reverts to past tense. Amy shares her memories of her parents through flashbacks frequently as she begins to remember how and why her parents died and who was responsible!
Foreshadowing in The 39 Clues is sort of like a clue hunt within a clue hunt. The author plants hints in the text for the reader to find. One signal of a foreshadowing clue is when the reader thinks, "I wonder why the author told me that..."
Identifying foreshadowing in a story can be tricky. Master this plot element by discussing foreshadowing clues from books 1-6 or reflect back upon them in book seven. Finding foreshadowing when the story is complete will help students to easily identify it when reading in the future.
Teaching students to analyze plot elements like foreshadowing and flashback opens literary doors by showing the student that there's more to the story than just what's obvious. Great stories are like puzzles waiting to be solved.
What does the following paragraph foreshadow? Why does Lerangis use foreshadowing and how does it support the plot?
"Well, yes, one of the family branches is rumored to have developed antidotes to Kabra poisons
over the years. I always suspected Grace of being behind this. But oh, dear, I do suppose it's a bit too late for the children to run crying to her, isn't it?"
Flashback to the Future
Create a memory book of Arthur and Hope based upon Amy's flashbacks. Gather pictures of the places they visited. Create photographs or draw what they might look like based upon their characterizations. Put the artifacts of their adventures together in a scrapbook for Dan and Amy to remember their parents. While investigating the flashbacks in the 39 Clues, is it possible to find foreshadowing in a flashback? What predictions can you make after studying the flashbacks?
Grace's friends provide valuable information to Dan and Amy while they hunt for the Clues. They are a great place to start when searching for foreshadowing clues as a reader too. Students should examine details Grace's friends tell to Dan and Amy and how some of the details about her adventures foreshadow future events.
Finally, help students appreciate how difficult it is to write using these literary tools by having them create their own story with a flashback or foreshadowing. Have students pretend to be Arthur Trent telling Grace about an adventure he had as Roger Nudelman. Perhaps if they master this element they can win a Nobel Prize in Literature like Winston Churchill!