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The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

Teacher Guide by Rebecca Ray

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our High School ELA Category!

The Most Dangerous Game Lesson Plans

Student Activities for The Most Dangerous Game Include:

“The Most Dangerous Game” is a fascinating short story, filled with mystique and suspense. With deft pacing, the story builds tension and action as the hunter becomes the hunted!

The Most Dangerous Game Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Plot Diagram | The Most Dangerous Game Summary


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A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a novel. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a novel with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the story in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.



Example Plot Diagram for “The Most Dangerous Game”

Exposition

Setting: Caribbean Sea/Ship Trap Island. Rainsford, a big game hunter, is traveling to the Amazon by boat. He falls overboard and finds himself stranded on Ship Trap Island.


Major Inciting Conflict

On the Island, Rainsford finds a large home where Ivan, a servant, and General Zaroff, a Russian aristocrat, live. They take Rainsford in. However, he soon learns that to leave, he must win a game where he is the prey! General Zaroff’s "most dangerous game" is hunting humans.


Rising Action

Rainsford must survive for three days. He sets three traps to outwit the general, Ivan, and his bloodthirsty hounds.


Climax

Cornered, Rainsford jumps off a cliff, into the sea. He survives the fall and waits for Zaroff in his house.


Falling Action

Rainsford ambushes Zaroff, and the men duel. Presumably, Zaroff is killed and fed to the hounds.


Resolution

The story ends with Rainsford saying he has never slept more soundly in his life.


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of “The Most Dangerous Game”.


  1. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  2. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  3. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Visual Vocabulary with "The Most Dangerous Game"


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Another great way to engage your students is with storyboards that use vocabulary from "The Most Dangerous Game". Here are a few vocabulary words commonly taught with the short story, and an example of a visual vocabulary board.


“The Most Dangerous Game” Vocabulary

  • palpable
  • debacle
  • naïve
  • dank
  • tangible
  • doggedly
  • vitality
  • lacerate
  • cannibal
  • ardent
  • surmount
  • scruples
  • grotesque
  • stealthy

In the vocabulary board, students can choose between coming up with their use of the vocabulary word, finding the specific example from the text, or depicting the definition without words.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in "The Most Dangerous Game" by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Internal and External Conflict


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Literary conflicts are often taught during ELA units. Building on prior knowledge to achieve mastery level with our students is important. An excellent way to focus on the various types of literary conflict is through storyboarding. Having students choose an example of each literary conflict and depict it using the storyboard creator is a great way to reinforce your lesson!

In this story, the major conflicts arise from General Zaroff's practice of hunting human beings.


Examples of Literary Conflict from “The Most Dangerous Game”

MAN vs. MAN: Rainsford vs. Zaroff

Most of the conflict centers around Zaroff's bet with Rainsford. If Rainsford can survive on his island for three days while being hunted, Zaroff with help him leave Ship Trap Island.


MAN vs. NATURE: Rainsford vs. Nature

Rainsford must overcome and survive nature several times. Examples: he falls off the boat and must make it ashore, and he must survive in the jungle for three days.


MAN vs. SELF: Rainsford vs. Himself

At the beginning of the story, Rainsford expresses an intense admiration for hunting. However, once he becomes the prey, he sees the sport from a different angle, and begins to shift his ​views.


MAN vs. SOCIETY: Zaroff vs. Society

Zaroff's view of life and hunting have forced him into seclusion​ on Ship Trap Island. After becoming bored with hunting animals, he began to hunt humans, "the most dangerous game", which is illegal​ and frowned upon by society.


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of literary conflict in “The Most Dangerous Game”.


  1. Identify conflicts in “The Most Dangerous Game”.
  2. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  3. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  4. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Quick "The Most Dangerous Game" Summary

Sanger Rainsford, a big game hunter, is on his way to the Amazon by boat, accompanied by his friend Whitney. The two men discuss their plans to hunt big game, but, in the middle of the night, Rainsford falls off the boat. He swims to the nearby Ship Trap Island, a place of sail lore and great superstition. He finds his way to a rather large ‘chateau’, where he is held at gunpoint by a rather large man named Ivan. Soon the proprietor of the house, General Zaroff, immediately recognizes Rainsford as the famous hunter, and welcomes him. Zaroff claims to be a hunter himself, and tells Rainsford he has found a new joy: the most dangerous game to hunt on this island: humans. The General gives Rainsford an ultimatum: play his game, or die. If Rainsford can make it three days, Zaroff with allow him to go free.

For three days and two nights, Rainsford manages to outwit Zaroff, setting elaborate traps to delay the hunter. Finally, Zaroff seems to have him cornered without escape, so Rainsford is forced to jump off of a cliff into the sea. Zaroff returns home, where he is ambushed by Rainsford. That night Rainford says he never had a better sleep in Zaroff's bed!


Essential Questions for “The Most Dangerous Game”

  1. How can an author build suspense?
  2. What are your personal views on hunting? Do you think animals know they are being hunted?
  3. What does “survival of the fittest” mean?


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•   (English) The Most Dangerous Game   •   (Español) El Juego más Peligroso   •   (Français) Le jeu le Plus Dangereux   •   (Deutsch) Das Gefährlichste Spiel   •   (Italiana) La Pericolosa Partita   •   (Nederlands) The Most Dangerous Game   •   (Português) O Jogo Mais Perigoso   •   (עברית) המשחק המסוכן ביותר   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) اللعبة الأكثر خطورة   •   (हिन्दी) सबसे खतरनाक खेल   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Самая Опасная Игра   •   (Dansk) Den Farligste Spil   •   (Svenska) De Farligaste Game   •   (Suomi) Vaarallisin Peli   •   (Norsk) The Most Dangerous Game   •   (Türkçe) En Tehlikeli Oyun   •   (Polski) Najgroźniejsza gra   •   (Româna) Jocul Cel mai Periculos   •   (Ceština) The Most Dangerous Game   •   (Slovenský) Najbezpečnejšia hra   •   (Magyar) A Legveszélyesebb Játék   •   (Hrvatski) Najopasnija Igra   •   (български) Най - Опасната Игра   •   (Lietuvos) Labiausiai Pavojingas Žaidimas   •   (Slovenščina) Najbolj Nevarno Igre   •   (Latvijas) Visbīstamākais Spēles   •   (eesti) Kõige Ohtlikum Mäng