Dystopian Literature: Promoting Awareness & a Joy of Reading
Help me give my students popular novels to add to their Literature Circles. These novels: "Uglies", "Ready Player One" and "Red Queen" are dystopian literature that will help with teaching important issues and create a joy of reading.
I teach 8th grade English. Our school is unique in that our 8th graders are now a part of the high school. They have come from a middle school background that has a strong reading program, a kind of program that does not exist within the high school (beyond the required curriculum in the classroom of only two novels). I want to use literature circles to add to their required reading list.
These dystopian novels will accomplish three important curriculum goals for my students: foster critical thinking about real-world issues, provide students with novels that meet their reading level, and instill joy of reading by using fun modern works geared for teens.
In my class I use Literature circles to foster a joy of reading and to promote communication and collaboration between students. This year I hope to add Dystopian Literature to our list of titles: "Uglies", "Ready Player One" and "Red Queen". These titles will help students to become aware of and think critically about real-life issues that plague today's society and the popular titles promote a passion for reading.
Also, the novels provide the additional benefit of meeting a range of reading levels that will help meet students at their reading level.
The unit overview is as follows: Each week students, in small groups, read a section of the text accompanied by a worksheet that covers comprehension and critical thinking skills. These critical thinking skills cover elements of literature such as theme and symbolism, but these questions also cover real-world issues such as thinking about current problems addressed in dystopian literature: pollution, economic inequality, consumerism, corporate power and the 1%, issues of privacy and surveillance, overpopulation, the value of human life, unemployment and the increased automation of jobs, and our society's reaction those they do not understand.
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