Dystopian Fiction as Social Commentary

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SWBAT gather evidence to support interpretation of polemics in their choice novels by working with peers to generate summaries and interpretations about each of their choice novels.

Big Idea

As we transition to a new unit, we will spend time looking at the social commentary utilized in dystopian novels.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading time. I will wander the room to see if students have gotten a new choice novel. With any remaining time, I will read. 

Analyzing Purpose and Use of Polemics

25 minutes

Later this week, students will write their final response to their choice novels that they have been reading for the past few weeks. To bridge the gap between the literary analysis skills we were working with in the last unit and the social commentary analysis and creation we will be starting at the end of this week, I will gear my students' essay writing efforts towards an analysis of the polemics presented in their novels. 

Polemics is likely a word that my students promptly forgot once we discussed it at the beginning of our reading, so I will spend a little time reviewing what the term means (a strong argument/criticism presented in a work of fiction) (L.9-10.6)

Once I am sure that students understand the term, "polemics," I will ask them to create large novel groups with all the other students that read their same choice novel and begin to discuss/brainstorm all the polemics of their novel. 

Each group will gather around a white board so that they can track their discussion in writing and each student will have a sheet to fill in as they discuss authorial argument and purpose (RI.9-10.8). These sheets will be the basis for work on thesis statements tomorrow and can serve as a place to gather evidence to support their claims (W.9-10.9).

As they are working, I will also ask them to think about how these polemics serve as themes for the novel and encourage them to work together to summarize key events/ideas from their books (RL.9-10.2). I will also encourage them to consider how the dystopian elements/ideas enhance these arguments/messages.  

Individual Research/Evidence Gathering

15 minutes

After the students have a chance to brainstorm together, I will give them a short amount of time to continue working on gather evidence using their books and using Chromebooks to review the ideas presented in the student blog posts (W.9-10.6 and W.9-10.8). This will be independent work time and will hopefully help students feel prepared to write on at least one of the polemics they brainstormed earlier in the class period. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

5 minutes

In the last few minutes of class, I will have students return computers. This will likely take all of our remaining time, but if there is time left, I will ask students to begin drafting an argumentative thesis statement tonight (W.9-10.1).