Here is an introduction to our new unit...
OTHER SKIES AND THE WORLD OF DYSTOPIA
Big question – What can we learn about our world by reading dystopian literature?
Many ideas from NY Times Lesson Plans Site have been used and expanded upon. Reference: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/the-odds-ever-in-your-favor-ideas-and-resources-for-teaching-the-hunger-games/
BACKGROUNDER… AUTHOR INSPRIRATION…
What inspired or influenced the authors of our dystopian novels when writing their books? What is the background of the novels? Are they about, how humanity survives… Government or Political Structure… The role of “Big Brother” watching you… The use of resources or amount of resources….
What is it about the world of the future that should be perfect, yet is not??? What is the controlling force that gets in the way of freedom? How is our world "foreshadowing" the world of the future? Is there a connection between the world of the dystopian novel and an element of these worlds?
Before we even begin, check out the links below to author interviews, book trailers and fan blogs... Even if you are not assigned the book that captures your interest... you can always read that particular novel after our Literature Circles! Remember you are not LIMITED to reading just one book. BIG BROTHER will not stop you in you quest to read and enjoy books!
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins http://www.scholastic.com/browse/video.jsp?pID=1640183585&bcpid=1640183585&bckey=AQ~~,AAAAAFv844g~,BASb5BU03X_L2cn86MC9qSzQHunGEilJ&bclid=1745181007&bctid=1840656769
Book Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TnxXoMpF3c
Movie Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIVKX4Wu77U
Divergent – Veronica Roth
Book Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu5Erw-posg
Matched – Ally Condie
Book trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaeNWL8rlBI
Author Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gBf1QBZ1xU&feature=related
Maze Runner – James Dashner
The Eleventh Plague – Jeff Hirsch
Book Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__f4S0hv1EI
WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S THE HYPE WITH DYSTOPIA??? HERE ARE SOME DEBATES, ARTICLES AND ESSAYS ON THE TOPIC FOR TEENS AND THEIR PARENTS!! Seriously, read some of the links below and discuss the issues with your parents... get's you thinking!
WHY DOES DYSTOPIAN LITERATURE CAPTIVATE TEENS? Questions and Answers for Teens and Their Parents…. A selection of Debates, Articles and Essays…
Why are dystopian novels so compelling or engaging for young readers? Everyone is wondering, maybe those who wonder, haven’t read any of the books, so they prefer to wonder…. Anyways the following essay, “Teenage Wastelands” explores some well known dystopian books and reasons for their popularity. I love the fact that the guy who wrote, the non-fiction-turned-fiction novel, A Million Little Pieces, also wrote I am Number Four… Hilarious!! http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/magazine/20FOB-WWLN-t.html?_r=1
The debate, “When Authors Take Risks That’s Not Kid Stuff” really captures my attention and in a couple of the debaters arguments, actually makes my blood boil (imagine that!). Seriously! Check out, “Adults Should Read Adult Books”… This guy, Joel Stein, really ticks me off, as he makes fun of adults who read young adult's books, yet admits he has never read any of them. (Grrr!!!) What a know-it-all, elitist jerk! A good book is a good book! It’s good to read a book for entertainment’s sake and one that is thought provoking. Thank Goodness, there are thought provoking novels for teens! Maybe this is a soft spot for me as a teacher who started reading young adult fiction to find out what to recommend for kids, then found herself enjoying teen fiction just as much as adult fiction…. Anyways, check out the debate, it’s thought provoking and interesting. I need to think about other things before I get too riled up! And for the record, I am not ashamed that I read the Twilight series! (Yes I even said it in print!) Here’s the debate…See what get’s Ms. SM steamed about literary debates…
Will teen books like The Hunger Games make teens glorify violence? Is The Hunger Games just a book about "kids killing kids"? Is this new craze for dystopian genre which explores "more adult-like" political topics a new thing? Or are political topics in children’s literature something that even Lewis Carroll explored in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland back in the late 1800’s? In the following article, “No More Adventures in Wonderland”, the author examines how serious and sometimes violent concepts in children’s writing is not a new thing, and sometimes just a better vehicle for exploring serious issues and getting the message out there. Is it important to "bubble wrap" and keep kids in the dark, or educate and encourage kids to think about these issues through discussion? Just check out the article...
Check out the debate that further explores the issue, “The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction” from different writers, including the authors of Shipbreaker, Uglies, and Shiver… http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/12/26/the-dark-side-of-young-adult-fiction
The Great Dystopian Debate…
Why do you think teens are drawn to dystopian literature? Read the debaters points from above, and think about who is right… or why do you think they are right? Get ready for an intense class discussion on the topic, prepare to justify who you agree with most? Why? What is your opinion?