Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz – Planning Overview



As teachers, we all know the importance of providing our students with engaging and enjoyable book experiences. Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz is a fantastic option for your next read-aloud to keep your students hooked until the last page.

This thrilling spy adventure follows Alex Rider, a fourteen-year-old recruited into MI6, as he attempts to save England from a menacing villain—a task made increasingly more complex with every twist and turn in the story!

In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to plan a fantastic unit of work around Stormbreaker, including discussion prompts, extension activities and assessment ideas. So grab a copy of the novel and prepare for some exciting learning!

Related: For more, check out our article on Wonder by R.J Palacio  here.

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Storyline of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Part 1: Discovery Alex Rider discovers his uncle, Ian Rider’s death was not an accident and that he was a secret agent. Alex discovers the truth behind his uncle’s life and death.

Part 2: Investigation With help from his friends at school, Jack Starbright and Sabina Pleasure, Alex infiltrates the organisation his uncle was working for. He discovers they are planning to launch an attack on England with deadly missiles disguised as toys called Stormbreakers.

Part 3: Confrontation Alex confronts and defeats the villain responsible for his uncle’s death – Herod Sayle – before finally neutralising the Stormbreaker project.

Part 4: Resolution Ultimately, Alex saves London from destruction and stops the missile launch before it’s too late.


Main Characters

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz features several key characters, each playing an essential role in the story.

Alex Rider is the protagonist of the novel. He is a 14-year-old spy who sets out to uncover the truth behind his uncle’s life and death. His bravery and quick thinking save London from destruction and stops the missile launch before it’s too late.

Ian Rider is Alex’s deceased uncle, who was a secret agent. His mysterious death serves as Alex’s motivation for embarking on his mission.

Jack Starbright and Sabina Pleasure are Alex’s friends from school who help him infiltrate the organisation his uncle was working for so he could uncover the truth about the Stormbreakers project.

Herod Sayle is the villain responsible for Ian Rider’s death. He is ultimately defeated by Alex, ending his plans to attack England with deadly missiles disguised as toys.

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

What is Herod Sayle’s plan?

Herod Sayle planned to launch an attack on England with deadly missiles disguised as toys called Stormbreakers.

The aim is to cause chaos and destruction in the country, but Alex Rider manages to prevent this by infiltrating Sayle’s organisation and defeating him in a confrontation.

Teaching Opportunities

Stormbreaker can be used to teach a variety of language and structural writing features, such as:

  • Persuasive writing techniques
  • Creative sentence structures
  • Descriptive language
  • Literary elements such as foreshadowing Students can practice each component while reading the book. For example, teachers can explain how Sayle’s Stormbreaker missiles create an exciting plot device for introducing persuasive writing concepts.
  • Similarly, the dynamic dialogue throughout the story provides valuable examples of using creative sentences and idioms. Additionally, suspenseful moments like those involving Jack enable students to apply descriptive language to enhance the narrative.
  • Lastly, literary devices like foreshadowing can be discussed to help illustrate how authors use them to create engaging stories.

Lesson Plan

This lesson plan provides a variety of language and structural writing features that can be taught using Stormbreaker. It covers the following topics:

  • Persuasive Writing Techniques
  • Creative Sentence Structures
  • Descriptive Language
  • Foreshadowing as a Literary Element


  • Students will use persuasive writing techniques to engage readers and create a compelling argument.
  • Students will construct creative sentences using various literature tools, such as idioms and imagery.
  • Students will understand how to use descriptive language to draw readers in and create suspenseful moments.
  • Students will learn the fundamentals of foreshadowing as a literary tool.

Materials Needed:

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz or any other suitable materials


  1. Begin by discussing persuasive writing techniques with students, using Sayle’s Stormbreaker missiles as an example from Stormbreaker. Ask students how the plot device was used to forward the story.
  2. Have students identify examples of dynamic dialogue in the book and discuss how it can help them craft more engaging conversations in their writing. Ask for their interpretation of each dialogue exchange.
  3. Have students read certain parts of the book that contain suspenseful moments aloud and ask how they would describe them to make them even more exciting or thrilling using descriptive language.
  4. As they read throughout the novel, have students look for examples of foreshadowing and explain why it is practical device authors use in storytelling.


Facilitate a discussion where students share what they learned about these different language features related to Stormbreaker, including persuasive writing techniques, creative sentence structures, descriptive language usage, and foreshadowing elements used throughout the novel.

Descriptive Paragraphs About Alex Rider

Alex Rider was a fourteen-year-old boy with an air of quiet determination about him. He had dark brown eyes and sandy blonde hair that always seemed to need a trim. His body was tall and lean, the ideal specimen for a spy – agile, fast, and strong enough to take on whatever challenges he would face. Whenever he spoke, his words were measured yet confident – no doubt the result of spending so much time undercover and in danger.

Alex’s clothing usually consisted of comfortable T-shirts, jeans or cargo pants, and sneakers that were as practical as they were stylish. However, on a mission, he preferred to wear clothes that blended seamlessly with his surroundings to remain undetected by potential adversaries. His outfit was usually black combat fatigues topped off with black leather gloves.

Growing up as an orphan meant that Alex had developed a deep sense of independence from a young age, along with formidable skills in self-defence, which would prove invaluable when it came to his missions as an MI6 agent. At heart, however, he was still just a teenager who loved video games and spending time with his best friend, Jack Starbright – one of the few adults who knew about Alex’s dangerous double life outside school hours.

Despite all the hardship and the physical danger he endured during his missions for MI6, there was something about Alex Rider that made him an excellent candidate for secret missions – courage beyond his years or perhaps something in his soul that pushed him forward even when it felt like giving up hope would be easier than trying again; whatever it may have been it gave him strength and resilience to keep going even when everything went wrong on the field.

Above all else, though, what set Alex apart from other people his age was his unwavering moral compass which guided every decision he made, whether it be personal or professional – ensuring that no matter how bad things became, there would always be least one person fighting for justice which could not be bought or swayed by any means apart from their own beliefs.

Website Resources

This collection of websites includes resources to support reading and teaching Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker novel.

The first website provides a whole scheme of work and related activities, including downloadable worksheets, quizzes, and character analyses.

The second website comprises readers’ notes and activities to explore the novel’s themes and language.

Finally, the third website offers creative exercises to help students create their descriptions of events or objects based on the novel’s content.

Tes | Scholastic | Teachit

Scholastic provides worksheets for readers to complete activities such as exploring themes and language in the novel, discussing characters and predicting outcomes.

For example, a word search game encourages students to think about what makes Alex Rider an effective spy. Other activities help them explore why certain characters act the way they do throughout the story. 

Tes also offers downloadable worksheets related to Stormbreaker, including a quiz, character cards, and cloze exercises.

Alex Rider

In wrapping up, our comprehensive guide to planning a unit of work around ‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz is the perfect resource for educators seeking to provide their students with an engaging and exciting literary experience.

This guide not only equips you with insights into the thrilling world of Alex Rider but also offers practical strategies for stimulating discussions, fun extension activities, and effective assessment ideas.

Whether you’re a seasoned educator or a novice stepping into the realm of teaching, this guide will help you navigate the complex plot twists and turns of ‘Stormbreaker,’ transforming your students’ reading experience into a memorable journey of suspense, adventure, and learning.

So, why wait? Grab a copy of the novel, dive into our detailed guide, and prepare your students for an exhilarating ride into the world of spies and espionage!


How can ‘Stormbreaker’ by Anthony Horowitz be used in a classroom setting to develop children’s writing?

‘Stormbreaker’ is a treasure trove of rich language, complex characters, and intricate plots that can inspire students to enhance their writing skills. Teachers can use passages from the book as examples of descriptive writing, character development, or plot structure. By analyzing these components, students gain a deeper understanding of effective writing techniques they can incorporate into their own work.

What specific activities can I use when teaching ‘Stormbreaker’?

There are several practical activities you can use. For instance, you could ask students to write diary entries from Alex Rider’s perspective, encouraging them to delve into the character’s thoughts and emotions. Alternatively, they could rewrite a scene from the book from a different character’s viewpoint. These tasks promote creativity while also reinforcing the importance of perspective in writing.

Does the genre of ‘Stormbreaker’ contribute to enhancing students’ writing skills?

Definitely. The spy thriller genre of ‘Stormbreaker’ can spark students’ interest, making learning more enjoyable. It exposes them to a distinct style of writing filled with suspense, action, and intrigue, which can help broaden their writing repertoire.

Can ‘Stormbreaker’ improve my students’ vocabulary?

Absolutely. ‘Stormbreaker’ includes a variety of sophisticated vocabulary and technical jargon related to espionage, providing an excellent opportunity for teachers to introduce new words and phrases to their students. This can significantly enrich their language use, making their writing more nuanced and engaging.

How can I assess my students’ writing progress using ‘Stormbreaker’?

You can assign tasks like writing book reviews, character analyses or alternative endings to the story. Such assignments not only test their comprehension of the book but also provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate their writing skills. By regularly assessing these tasks, you can monitor their progress, provide feedback and guide them towards improvement.






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