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WT 098 Writing Time-Travel Fantasies

Teacher Tips and Answers


WT 098

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Writing Time-Travel Fantasies

Would you like to live in dinosaur times? What about in the far future out in space? You can go anywhere you can imagine when you write a time-travel fantasy!

Ask “What If?”

Start your time travel with a magical question:

  • What if I could hunt dire wolves along with Neanderthals?
  • What if I had a robot friend who explored the galaxy with me?
  • What if Abraham Lincoln walked into my classroom today?


To discover ideas for your time-travel fantasy, ask your own “what if” questions.

Reclining Dino
© Thoughtful Learning 2025

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Thinking About Time Travel

Think about all the interesting times and places you could visit in your time-travel fantasy.

Choose a Time and Place 🟪 If you could travel to the past or future, where would you go? Would you want to help build the pyramids, or would you want to tame a saber-toothed cat? Would you travel into the future to meet your own children?

Learn About It 🟪 Read about the time you will travel to. Use your history book or search on the Internet. Write down key information that you can use in your story. Here are facts for “Dino Time Slip.”

Diplodicus Notes
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Decide How to Travel in Time 🟪 Will you use a time machine? A magic spell? A dream? A strange event?

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Writing a Fantasy


Invent the Characters 🟪 Create characters who will travel in time, or bring a person from the past or future to the present.

Create a Problem 🟪 Choose a problem your characters face. In “Dino Time Slip,” Luis and Rosa are getting hunted by a T-Rex.

Dino Cluster
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Choose a Setting 🟪 Decide on a place and time for the start of your story. Decide on another place and time for the characters to travel to.

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Writing a Draft

Dino Head
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Take Off 🟪 Create your time-travel story.

  • Place your characters in the setting.
  • Show how the time travel occurs.
  • Use the facts you collected.

Introduce the Problem 🟪 Get your characters into trouble. Build the tension. Raise the stakes. By the end of the story, show how the characters resolve the problem.


In “Dino Time Slip,” Luis and Rosa travel back to the time of the dinosaurs. They are trapped in a cave in a rain forest when a T-Rex notices them and stalks toward them. . . .


Review Your Draft 🟪 Do you create interesting characters? Is the time travel effective? Do the characters face a difficult problem? Make changes to improve your story.

Editing & Proofreading

Check for Errors 🟪  Review your work and correct errors in spelling and punctuation. Create a neat final copy to share.

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Sample Time-Travel Fantasy

Dino Time Slip

The story introduces people in a place and time. Luis looked out his bedroom window. Cars whooshed past on the rainy street. “Why does everything have to be boring? Why can’t we live when things were cool?”

His sister Rosa sat at his desk. “What? Would you rather be running from a T-Rex?”

Luis sighed. “You bet I would!”

The time travel happens. Those words were like a magic spell. The window frame got kind of wobbly, and the cars got kind of blurry, and the horn of a passing bus got kind of dinosaury: “Groowwwwlllll!”

Suddenly, the bus was a long-necked Diplodocus, stomping its huge feet through the forest. Behind it came a plodding Triceratops and a sail-finned Dimetrodon and a herd of Hadrosaurs. The street had become a trail through a forest, and Luis’s room was a cave.

“Rosa? Are you seeing this?”

She came up beside him. “What did you do to your room? Mom’s going to be so mad!”

“I just made a wish,” Luis replied. “We’re back in dinosaur times!”

The problem gets worse. Just then, a blood-chilling roar filled the jungle. The dinosaurs stampeded away, leaving just dark ferns and swaying palms.

“Where’d they all go?” Rosa asked.

“They’re hiding,” Luis said, “from that!”

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The tension rises. A T-Rex stomped into view. It reared its huge head and snarled, revealing steak-knife teeth. Tiny front claws slashed at the air, and a powerful tail smashed a tree, uprooting it.

“Great,” Rosa said, “you had to wish us into a time with a T-Rex!”

The T-Rex turned its head toward them.

“Um, we better go deeper in the cave.”

They pivoted, but the stony cave was shallow, with no passageways. It curved like a band-shell, wide open to the T-Rex.

It now was stalking toward them.

Rosa screamed. The sound echoed off the cave wall, filling the woods. The T-Rex paused, its little arms reaching up to plug its tiny ears.

The main characters create a solution. “That’s it! The cave amplifies sound,” Luis said. “Scream like your life depends on it!”

Luis and Rosa shrieked and bellowed and wailed at the top of their lungs. The sound roared out into the jungle, surrounding the T-Rex. It staggered, wincing away from the noise. The sound shook the ancient palm trees and made the ground tremble. With a last angry glare, the T-Rex turned and fled.

“What are you screaming at?” asked Mom, poking her head into Luis’s room.

The ending resolves the problem. Everything was suddenly back to normal.

“Oh, nothing, Mom,” Luis said. “We were just wishing the day was less boring.”

“Why not help me make dinner?”

“Gladly!” Luis said.

Dinosaur Writing
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