In a person vs. supernatural conflict, a character battles that which is beyond nature. It can’t be explained by natural law. This could be witches, vampires, mythical creatures, and so forth.
For elementary students, this type of conflict can be explained in simple terms such as “Sometimes, people have problems with things that are not real or natural, like ghosts or monsters. These problems can be really scary, but the person has to find a way to face their fears and find a solution to the problem, like using their own courage or seeking help from others.”
Types of Conflict Organizer
Use this organizer/booklet independently or place it inside an interactive notebook. On each page, students write a definition and give examples of the type of conflict. On the final page, students summarize internal and external conflicts.
In this quiz, students read short passages from novels and answer questions related to types of conflict in the literature about the passages. A link to the Google Doc version of the quiz is included in the pdf for teachers who wish to alter the quiz to meet the needs of students.
Teaching Person vs Supernatural Conflict in Literature with Movie Trailers
While in a hotel in England, Luke spies on a convention of witches. He learns the Grand High Witch plans on turning all children into mice. Now Luke who has been turned into a mouse must fight the witches.
A gadget salesman buys his son a pet mogwai. He is warned never to expose it to bright light, water, or feed him after midnight. The boy inadvertently breaks these three rules. This unleashes a horde of mischievous monsters in a small town.
A team of specialists tours an island theme park. Dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA populate the park. Although the park is supposed to be safe, it suffers a breakdown. Ferocious predators break free and go on a hunt.
Yi discovers a Yeti on her rooftop and embarks on a journey to reunite the creature with its family. Yi faces obstacles and is pursued by a businessman seeking to capture the Yeti for profit.
In 15th-century Transylvania, the Sultan demands 1,000 boys for his army. To save his son, Vlad makes a deal with a monster. This enables him to defeat the Turks. It also costs him his humanity.
A satellite engineer spots a 3,000-mile-wide ship approaching Earth. Fortunately, 20 years earlier Earth prepared for a battle. Nations across the world started to use recovered extraterrestrial technology to develop a defense program. When the alien invaders attack, humans are ready for battle.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington becomes bored with his role as Halloween Town’s ruler and discovers a portal to Christmas Town where he decides to take over Christmas. The conflict arises between Jack’s desires and the supernatural forces that control the holiday world. He must learn to balance his ambition with the reality of the situation.
Book Examples to use for Teaching Person vs Supernatural Conflict
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
- The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
- Vampire Boy’s Good Night by Lisa Brown
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling :
Throughout the series, Harry Potter and his friends face a variety of supernatural challenges, including battling Voldemort and his Death Eaters, facing dangerous creatures like werewolves and dementors, and dealing with magical artifacts like the Sorcerer’s Stone. The person vs supernatural conflicts arise from the supernatural world of magic and the challenges that come with it.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan:
In this series, Percy Jackson, a demigod, faces a number of supernatural challenges as he tries to save the world of the Greek gods and monsters. He battles monsters like Medusa, the Minotaur, and the Hydra, as well as the god of the underworld, Hades. The conflicts arise from the supernatural world of the Greek gods and the dangers they pose.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis:
In this classic novel, the four Pevensie children are transported to the magical land of Narnia, where they must help defeat the evil White Witch and restore the rightful ruler, Aslan the lion. The conflict arises from the supernatural world of Narnia and the battle between good and evil.
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
In this dark fantasy novel, Coraline discovers a hidden door in her home that leads to a parallel universe where her “Other Mother” and “Other Father” have buttons for eyes and want her to stay with them forever. Coraline must find a way to escape the supernatural world and return to her own reality. The conflict arises from the supernatural world of the Other Mother and the dangers it poses to Coraline.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The protagonist, a young boy named Luke, finds himself in a battle against a group of witches who seek to eliminate all children. Luke must use his wits and bravery to outsmart the supernatural witches and save himself and other children from their evil plans.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle:
Meg Murry, a young girl embarks on a journey through time and space to rescue her father from an evil force known as “The Black Thing.” Along the way, Meg and her companions encounter supernatural beings such as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, and must use their strength and intelligence to overcome the powers of darkness in a person vs supernatural conflict.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card:
The protagonist Ender Wiggin is trained as a military strategist to lead a battle against an alien race known as the Formics. Ender faces both physical and psychological challenges as he fights against the Formics, who possess advanced technology and otherworldly powers that make them formidable foes.
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles:
Oedipus unwittingly fulfills a prophecy that states he will kill his father and marry his mother. This supernatural fate, foretold by the Oracle of Delphi, haunts Oedipus throughout the play and ultimately leads to his tragic downfall as he struggles to defy the gods’ will.
Types of Conflict Organizer
This organizer/booklet may be used independently or placed inside an interactive notebook. On each page, students write a definition and give examples of the type of conflict. On the final page, students summarize internal and external conflicts.