Dystopian Elements Overview

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SWBAT determine themes of dystopian literature and analyze how these themes are developed by participating in class discussion.

Big Idea

As we prepare for our first official text-based discussion on our dystopian novels, we will take note of the common elements for this genre.


10 minutes

We will start class with our typical ten minutes of reading time. I will read with the students during this time. 

Individual Book Club Prep Time

20 minutes

In preparation for our first book club meetings tomorrow, I will allow students 25 minutes of individual work time to prepare their roles. Each role requires students to gather three significant quotes from the assigned reading and then analyze them according to the perspective they are assigned for that day's discussion. The roles/requirements are: 

  • Team Leader: Guides discussions by creating prompting questions based on three significant quotes/passages from assigned reading (SL.9-10.1c). 
  • Allusionator: Find three quotes/passages that represent allusions to history, art, literature, etc and provides analysis for each. (L.9-10.5)
  • Style Monster: Finds three quotes/passages that represent stylistic elements (plot structure, figurative language, etc.) and analyzes how these choices impact the book. (RL.9-10.4 and L.9-10.3)
  • Character Stalker: Finds three quotes/passages that represent character development and analyzes how characters interact with each other and with the plot (RL.9-10.3).
  • Minister of Propaganda: Finds three quotes/passages that represent the mind-control/rhetorical strategies employed within the novel and creates an artistic representation of their analysis. (RI.9-10.6)

These roles are critical for many reasons. In addition to being assessed on their ability to read their novel for comprehension, students need to be independently responsible (and held accountable) for their reading and their ability to meet the various standards that are assessed over the course of this unit. Because of this, when my teammates and I worked to create the structure for the book club, we made sure that we knew which standards we wanted to measure and made sure that there was a unique role that each student would have a chance to fulfill to demonstrate their mastery. By giving them the opportunity to do a different role each time, I also hope that they will be able to engage with the book from a variety of perspectives, which will help them to have a deeper understanding of the novel as a whole. 

While students work, I will wander to answer questions about their duties or their novels. 

Dystopian Elements Overview

20 minutes

For the last chunk of class, I will spend some time doing a little direct instruction through whole class discussion (SL.9-10.1) about larger themes/motifs/stylistic elements of dystopian fiction. I want students to be able to recognize their books as the grand-daddy novels of the modern dystopian craze and am also going to ask them to analyze their novels for these elements as a part of their group discussions moving forward. 

I will provide them with a note-catcher and briefly introduce each element orally. I will ask students to help me come up with examples from modern movies and books as well as examples from their own novels as I share these elements and they take notes. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

I will hopefully have a few minutes left at the end of class to remind students about their required reading and work for tomorrow's book club meetings, but we'll see. I have a feeling today is going to be busy and that I won't have much time for wrap up before we have to boogie on to other learning opportunities.