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How to Train Your Dragon (ATOM Study Guide)

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How to Train Your Dragon (Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, 2010) follows the adventures of Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), an inventive but accident-prone Viking teenager who lives on the Isle of Berk, where dragon fighting is part of everyday life.

Hiccup wants to prove he's just as tough as the other Viking teenagers in his village and capable of hunting dragons. He is determined to prove his worthiness to his father, Stoick (voiced by Gerard Butler), who also happens to be head of the tribe. However, when Hiccup does locate a dragon, he finds that it is injured, and before long he has become friends with it. It is then that the adventures begin.

Curriculum Links:

How to Train Your Dragon draws upon a range of features from the fantasy genre to create an adventure comedy set in a mythical world inhabited by Vikings and fierce, wild dragons. The film is inspired by Cressida Cowell's 2003 book of the same name, the first in a series of Hiccup's adventures. The film version of How to Train Your Dragon offers opportunities to engage students from early primary years through to lower secondary years in learning activities that explore the following themes and topics:

  • identity
  • accepting difference
  • drawing upon personal skills, attributes and strengths
  • rites of passage and coming of age
  • Vikings
  • myths, legends and dragons.

In addition, this study guide provides an extensive range of information, activities and discussion questions to assist teachers and students in investigating key aspects of the transformation from book to film. Related activities explore the film trailer and draw upon the film to explore aspects of narrative such as characterisation, setting, plot and 3D animation.

To support studies that extend aspects of the film's plot, the guide provides activities that will assist students to investigate Vikings and dragons.

Teachers are encouraged to select those activities that best relate to the needs and interests of the students in their classes.

Where appropriate, the study guide includes activities that will help teachers to extend thinking and learning for gifted students and those with high potential or a keen interest or particular talent.

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