Subject: English / Language Arts
Category: Teach the Future Materials
Keywords: common core, creative writing, design, differentiated, discussion, evidence, main idea, point of view, question, science fiction, theme, vocabulary, writing
Sometimes writers write about a world that does not yet exist. We do it for a hundred reasons. (Because it’s good to look forward, not back. Because we need to illuminate a path we hope or we fear humanity will take. Because the world of the future seems more enticing or more interesting than the world of today. Because we need to warn you. To encourage. To examine. To imagine.) The reasons for writing about the day after tomorrow, and all the tomorrows that follow it, are as many and as varied as the people writing. – Neil Gaimon
Reading and writing fiction are powerful tools for students to understand the world around them and their own beliefs about it. This 6-week unit, designed for 8th or 9th grade learners, revolves around classic speculative fiction novels challenges students to face complex dilemmas about the kind of future we hope to see. They will also read nonfiction texts trends, events, and issues in today’s world, develop their own questions and engage in academic discussion with classmates, and write their own speculative fiction based on their insights from the novel and articles. This unit is highly differentiated, with texts at different levels and ongoing small group working, which allows the teacher more focused time with each student. By observing their world and imagining possibilities, students can create the future.