Learning Recommendations:  None

General Description:  Students will explore the fantasy and science fiction genres through text, film, and other artistic compositions. While grounded in student choice, the curriculum emphasizes an examination of genre style, interpretation of theme, and the importance of viewpoint in speculative literature, exposing students to a variety of perspectives as represented by authors from around the globe. Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate the personal, social, and cultural ramifications of these different works and consider their fluctuating relevancies. The reading, writing, speaking, and listening exercises in this course are designed to prepare students for post-secondary options of all kinds, for the vocational- as well as for the college-bound student. 

Content: All course content is anchored in Washington’s Common Core State Standards for 12th grade. Students can expect to cover: 1. Historical development of fantasy and science fiction, 2. Definitions of key terms and techniques, 3. Theme interpretation, with attention to narrative structure, style, figurative language, and characterization, 4. Subgenre creation, 5. Evaluation and discussion of class, gender, racial, and environmental representation, 6. Comparison and critique of crossover compositions, and 7. Creation and presentation of original compositions (e.g. story, film, script, score, blog, multimedia, etc.) reflecting genre specific and crossover elements. 

Novel selections are driven by student choice from book clubs and independent library check-outs. These novels are supported by teacher selected supplemental materials such as films, art, poetry, short stories, screenplays, novellas, novel excerpts, and graphic novels. Writing practice both in and out of class will include short and extended pieces demonstrating narrative, informative/expository, and argumentative craft.  Listening and speaking skills will include (but are not limited to) informal classroom discussions, Socratic Seminars, and formal presentations. 

Strategies:  Students learn through a combination of:

  • student choice with book club and independent book selection 
  • model texts and passages study 
  • direct instruction, including lecture and note-taking 
  • independently directed note-taking, reading, and analysis 
  • large and small group discussions 
  • independent and group project development and presentation 
  • journal writing 
  • multiple draft writing in conjunction with peer review, evaluation, and feedback 
  • critical lenses 
  • narrative, informative/expository, and argumentative compositions (e.g. essay, student film, digital media curation, artistic rendering, etc.) 

Homework:  When appropriate, students should dedicate twenty to thirty minutes each day to homework for this class. Additionally, students are expected to create and follow a daily reading scheduled agreed upon by the course instructor. Students should plan to this time outside of class to review notes, study for quizzes, and read. Some time to work on extended composition/presentation projects will be allotted during class, but completion of these assignments may require time beyond the recommended twenty to thirty minutes per day.