Dystopian Text Set
After reading The Giver and The Hunger Games, we were set out on the task to find a common theme. In an ideal situation, teachers would be able to embellish on these young adult books by supporting them with supplemental sources. Through the use of newspaper articles, magazines, picture books, videos, trailers and clips, and electronics our tenth grade English class will explore and discover the theme; dystopia paired with defiance.
Dystopia literally means “ bad uptopia”. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, dystopia is defined as “an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives”. Unlike utopia, where a society is perceived to be a perfect place to reside, dystopia differs in that what is “perfect” often causes an undesirable place to live.
Having students be able to understand these complex themes in addition to the “on the surface” themes that exist within this young adult literature would ensure a deeper meaning/understanding of the text for them. In addition, being able to present the idea to students in a multitude of facets helps to differentiate learning for students. Also, students are able to gain a better understanding of what dystopia really means when they see it being used in multiple different contexts.
This particular English 10 class is a co-taught class of twenty-five including six students with disabilities. There are two students with autism, three with multiple disorders and one student with hearing impairment. By using varying kinds of texts, teachers can provide different modalities of learning for all students, especially those with disabilities. Regardless of if a student is classified with a disability, all students learn differently. Being able to meet students’ needs by providing tactile learners a way to touch, visual learners a way to see and auditory learners a way to hear is key/hugely important.
Our students will be using the following text set sources to obtain a deeper understanding of a dytopian society. The goal is that, by providing more than one perspective for students, each student will walk away from our dystopia unit with a clear understanding of what it is. References
Collins, S. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press. The Hunger Games, written by Suzan Collins is a novel written for young adults. North America has been destroyed and is now run by the powerful Capital and is divided into 12 districts (district 13 has been destroyed due to a rebellion). Katniss Everdeen, is a 16 year old girl, who hunts, gathers and trades to provide food for her family. To keep the 12 districts aware of who runs the county, the Capital arranges a game to the death each year in an elaborate arena. Each district holds a drawing of one boy and one girl to go as tributes. When her sister is picked, Katniss exercises her option to volunteer for the games. Along with Katniss comes the town baker’s son Peeta, who grew up with her. Katniss and Peeta must fend for themselves against natural elements, the Gamemakers and the other contestants whose only option is to kill or be killed. By the end of this novel, students should have a comfortable handle on what dystopian governments should look like. In the novel, ancient and futuristic concepts about freedom and government are used side by side. The residents of District 12 are enslaved in a very depressed government controlled state through force, sanctions, electric fences, and hardship. Whereas the people of the Capitol have a very opposite type of life: their obsession with appearance, bizarre make-up, and cheering on the deaths of fellow countrymen. The citizens of the Capitol appear free when compared to District 12, but they too are trapped, and prevented from flourishing as humans. The Hunger Games is 810 Lexile and is recommended for 7th grade, but some some of the deeper concepts are targeted for an older age. This concept...
References: Collins, S. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York: Scholastic Press.
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