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Delirium:

Dystopian Literature and Cultural Values


Summary
This genre study introduces students to the genre of dystopian ction, a subset of speculative
literature that has exploded in popularity in recent years. Throughout the unit, we question why
dystopian ction is so popular, what types of values it reects, and how dystopian literature can
resonate with the real world -- both on a global and personal scale.
Because dystopian literature often employs unfamiliar societies and world-building (though not
too unfamiliar), reading dystopian ction helps introduce readers to meaning-making strategies,
which we model and practice throughout the unit. Students work to develop annotation skills
and use a variety of means -- from debating to creative writing to graphic design -- to uncover
the core ideas of Delirium and then connect them into broader schemas of knowledge.
Outcomes
Speaking & Listening
GCO 1: Use oral language to learn
1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share during a discussion
1.2 ask questions for clarication, elaboration, to qualify, or question relevance, accuracy,
1.4 explain and advocate point of view and support it with evidence from various sources
1.5 listen critically and determine the effectiveness of the speaker based on the accuracy
and appropriateness of the information he or she presents
GCO 2: Communicate using clear oral communication
2.1 contribute to small-group and whole class discussions using a variety of strategies for
effective talk
2.2 use appropriate vocabulary, sentence structure, speed of talking, and tone for different
audiences and purposes
2.6 understand how the content and message are affected by verbal and non-verbal
language (repetition, eye contact, and volume)
GCO 3: Interact with sensitivity and respect
3.2 show respect and sensitivity toward others and their differences when giving personal
opinions
Reading & Viewing
GCO 4: Read widely and with understanding
4.2 read a variety of texts including ction and literature, non-ction, and media texts
from different provinces and countries
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4.3 explain how authors use text features to create meaning and achieve different
purposes
4.4 use text features to construct meaning and understand the text
4.6 independently use a range of reading strategies (predicting, connecting, questioning,
inferring) to make meaning from complex print and media texts
4.7 consistently identify and discuss the kinds of strategies good readers and viewers use
GCO 6: respond personally
6.1 go beyond initial response to give more thoughtful interpretations by questioning,
connecting, evaluating, and extending
6.2 support personal response to the issues, themes, and situations in texts and give
personal examples and evidence from text with increasing sophistication
GCO 7: read critically
7.2 evaluate the relevance and reliability of the content presented
7.3 recognize increasingly complex tools authors use in their writing to achieve their
purpose (organization of info, word choice, use of time, imagery)
7.4 evaluate the impact that text form, content, and structure have on meaning
Writing & Representing
GCO 8: Use many kinds of writing to think and learn
8.2 write for a variety of reasons
8.4 use various forms of note-making for different purposes and situations
8.5 integrate interesting effects in their writing (feelings and thoughts, detail, correct
inconsistency, avoid extraneous detail, language choice, vocabulary, and phrasing)
GCO 9: Create a variety of texts
9.1 continue to use a variety of forms as well as other art forms such as visual arts, music,
and drama
GCO 10: produce clear and effective writing and other representations
10.2 consistently use the conventions of written language in nal products
10.3 use various technologies for the purpose of communicating (video, email, word
processing, audiotape, Internet)
10.4 demonstrate a commitment to crafting writing and other representations
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Time Frame
30 classes (approximately 6 weeks)
Outline
Introduction to Dystopian Literature -- 4 classes (R. Wheadon)
Reading Strategies for Big Ideas & Dystopian Literature -- 4 classes (R. Wheadon)
Themes, Symbols, and Beyond-the-Book Connections -- 4 classes (R. Wheadon)
Character Development and Creative Writing -- 5 classes (E. McKenney)
Changing Attitudes and Perceptions -- 6 classes (S. Sherman)
Personal Values and Growth -- 2 classes (R. Wheadon)
Creating Your Own Dystopia -- 5 classes (A. Bakes)
Assessment
1. Conversation Journals: Students will receive assessment for learning and personalized feedback
in conversation journals, which they will write in regularly.
2. Short Story: Students will be writing a short story that focuses on character development and
dystopia. Feedback will be formative.
3. Book Cover Creation: Students will be creating symbolic book covers for Delirium, focusing on
theme, symbol, and important quotations. Feedback will be formative.
4. Charts: Throughout the unit, students will be asked to engage in close reading or analysis and
track their ndings on chart paper.
5. Small Group Discussion: Students will regularly meet in small groups to discuss ideas, read
sections of the text, and ask questions. They will receive feedback on their participation and
speaking and listening skills.
6. Debate: Students will engage in a debate mid-way through the unit to address speaking and
listening skills. Assessment will be formative.
7. Dystopian Community Creation: In groups, students will create a dystopian community at the
end of the unit to demonstrate that they understand the genre. Each student will be
responsible for part of the project so that students can be assessed individually. Assessment
will be summative.
8. Reective Portfolio: Students will conclude the unit by submitting a reective portfolio -- a
collection of the pieces they have worked on throughout the unit with several items
annotated by the student to demonstrate assessment as learning. Students will receive a mark
for this.
Texts
After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia. Eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. New York:
Hyperion, 2012. Anthology.
Aysha. Cupid in a War Zone. Brave New Voices. YouTube.
The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction. Room for Debate. The New York Times. 26 December
2011. Web.
Durfee, Arik. Creating a Dystopia PREZI Lesson Plan. Prezi. Web.
Fisher, Helen. The Brain in Love. TED Talks. YouTube.
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Ford, Katie. Create Your Own Dystopian Society. Dystopian Literature: Whats Wrong With This
Picture. Web.
Hambouz, Annissa and Schulten, Katherine. Dark Materials: Reecting on Dystopian Themes in
Young Adult Literature. The New York Times: The Learning Network. 6 January 2011. Web.
Hill Campbell, Kimberly. Less Is More: Teaching Literature with Short Texts -- Grades 6-12. Portland,
ME: Stenhouse, 2007.
Jemisin, N.K. The Valedictorian. After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia. Eds. Ellen
Datlow and Terri Windling. New York: Hyperion, 2012. 45-63.
Nahill, Steven. Create Your Own Dystopia. Prezi. Web.
Oliver, Lauren. Delirium. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. Novel.
Sesler, Henry. Examination Day. The Boston Bachelor. 20 October 2008. Web.
Valentine, Genevieve. The Segment. After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia. Eds. Ellen
Datlow and Terri Windling. New York: Hyperion, 2012. PAGES.
Wilcox, Christie. Time -- and Brain Chemistry -- Heal All Wounds. Scientic American. 24
October 2011. Web.
Wong, Jan. Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now. Toronto: Doubleday, 1997. Memoir.
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Delirium:
Introduction to Dystopian Literature
Summary This lesson introduces students to dystopian literature as a genre: we
address predominant ideas in dystopian literature, imagined ideal
societies (utopias), imagined worst societies (dystopias), student-
generated ideas on dystopia, and author opinions on dystopia. Students
will then link these core ideas to a variety of dystopian book covers,
which we will analyze as a class.
Objectives Students should leave this lesson with a sense of the common themes
and ideas in dystopian literature, as well as a few ideas as to why dyslit
is so popular right now. They should also begin thinking about themes
and symbols and how the two are related. Students should also
practice pulling ideas from non-ction texts (Dark Materials) and
evaluating whether or not they agree.
Outcomes Met 1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share
during a discussion
1.2 ask questions for clarication, elaboration, to qualify, or question
relevance, accuracy
2.1 contribute to small-group and whole class discussions using a
variety of strategies for effective talk
6.1 go beyond initial response to give more thoughtful interpretations
by questioning, connecting, evaluating, and extending
6.2 support personal response to the issues, themes, and situations in
texts and give personal examples and evidence from text with
increasing sophistication
Materials Chart paper, markers, journals for distribution, poker chips
Pre-Work Photocopy Dark Materials articles for distribution
Prep list of dystopian texts to discuss (if necessary)
Prepare dystopian book cover slideshow (poker chips if necessary)
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Plan
Warm-Up
(1.5 classes)
1. Split students into groups with chart paper and markers. Ask them
to draw a line down the middle. On one side, have students write
Best. Explain: Imagine youre a space explorer who has discovered a
new inhabitable planet. Because youve discovered the planet, you get to
decide how to set up your society so that everyone is happy and healthy
(please dont pretend youre the supreme ruler and everyone needs to
grovel at your feet!). What would your society look like? Try to think of
descriptive words such as organized or free, with a brief explanation (1-2
sentences) of how that description would manifest in the society. Briey
model.
2. Allow class time for students to generate a list. Circulate.
3. Once all groups have three or four descriptors down, reconvene.
Have them share with the class, keeping track of items. Do we see
any patterns or are our ideas about an ideal society very different?
4. Next, ask students to label the other side of their chart Worst.
Prompt them: Look at your list of descriptors. If that descriptor
(organized) is characteristic of the best society, what would the worst
society look like (chaotic)? Include a brief explanation (1-2 sentences) of
how your Worst column descriptor would manifest in a society. Briey
model.
5. Allow class time for students to translate utopian ideals to dystopian
standards. Circulate.
6. Once the groups have their dystopian lists, reconvene and share.
Write down descriptors and see if you can notice any patterns
7. Explain that students have essentially created utopian and dystopian
societies. Ask each group to create a denition of utopia and a
denition of dystopia based on our ndings. Write these denitions
on the bottom of each column on chart paper. Post around the
room.
8. Bring up the denition of dystopia from After. Give them time to
circulate and evaluate the other denitions.
9. Introduce students to nal portfolio and conversation journals (split
journal pages; student writes on top, teacher responds below). Ask
them to describe their impressions of the idea of dystopias. Do they
notice any patterns? Do they disagree with any denitions? Have
they read any dystopian literature or seen any dystopian movies?
Collect.
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Main Act
(2 classes)
1. As a class, do a brainstorm of all of the dystopian texts we can think
of (movies, television shows, comics, novels, short stories, video
games). Ask students to include a one sentence summary and what
they think the main theme is. If students are unfamiliar with dyslit or
they need to get into the genre more in-depth, break into groups
and assign each group a dystopian text to research on smart
phones, iPads, or computers. Good texts would be The Hunger
Games series (books), Divergent (book), V for Vendetta (lm or comic),
Revolution (TV), Bioshock (game), and Dollhouse (TV). Reconvene and
share. Video clips from YouTube could be very helpful.
2. Once students have a solid idea of similarities between dystopian
texts, have them break into groups to think about why dystopian
literature is so popular -- trends dont arise in a vacuum! Ask each
group to come up with two reasons they think dystopian literature
might be so popular and why it might appeal to each student
individually.
3. After students have generated their two reasons, collect their
thoughts and distribute Dark Materials texts -- assigning each
group a different text. Have groups read through, highlighting and
summarizing what their author thinks about dystopian literature;
encourage each student to create a concept or idea map.
4. Jigsaw: Form groups so that each new group has one member from
each of the old groups. Have students share what their author
thought and discuss. What do they nd most believable? How do the
authors reasons compare to their own?
5. Have students stand up and read key statements from each text and
from student-generated reasons as spectrum questions.
Conclusion
(0.5 class)
1. Put up a series of dystopian book covers. Have students predict
what they think each story will be about, its theme or big idea,
based on the cover and the title. Have students work in groups;
discuss ideas as a class.
2. This can be made into a game: each group starts out with ten red
poker chips (guesses) to use throughout; they need to spend a red
chip to guess. Any group thats close gets a white chip in return. Each
red chip remaining counts as one point; each white chip counts as
two. The group with the highest total is declared victorious; the
group with the lowest is exiled to the barren wastelands! Students
may point out that some peers may have read some of the books
Im putting up; explain that, in our dystopian dictatorship, fairness is
not a concern. This is just a fun way of getting students into the
mood for actually reading dyslit.
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Assessment Formative: respond to conversation journals.
Also circulate and monitor student discussion and make note of
whole-class discussion. If students appear to be having difculty with
the concepts, rework lesson plans to support student learning.
Adaptations Students with exceptionalities will be given visual organizers to help
brainstorming processes. Cause and Effect chart would be useful for
the rst activity (Best and Worst societies). Students who struggle
with reading should nd jigsaw groups helpful -- be sure they have
adequate time to read/process/learn from peers.
Extensions Extra time can be lled by moving on to the next lesson -- The
Examination is a fairly short story to read aloud and we could do the
initial read-through in one class and the second read-through (with
notes, annotations) the next day.
Research/
Resources
Hambouz, Annissa and Schulten, Katherine. Dark Materials: Reecting
on Dystopian Themes in Young Adult Literature. The New York
Times: The Learning Network. 6 January 2011. Web.
After: Nineteen Stories of Apocalypse and Dystopia. Eds. Ellen Datlow and
Terri Windling. New York: Hyperion, 2012. Anthology.
The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction. Room for Debate. The New
York Times. 26 December 2011. Web.
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Delirium:
Reading Strategies for Big Ideas & Dystopian Literature
Summary This lesson introduces students to reading strategies that help clarify
meaning, theme, and content. It is particularly helpful for students who
are new to speculative ction to have an understanding of how to
unpack meaning in unfamiliar worlds with unfamiliar norms and values.
We also address the early themes in Delirium of government control,
regulation, and systems that function to eliminate free-thinkers. The
lesson begins to draw connections between Delirium, other texts, and
the real world -- a direction carried on and developed to a greater
extent in the next lesson.
Objectives By the end of this lesson, students should be comfortable identifying
important passages and searching for clues in dyslit as to setting,
world-building, and theme. Students should also begin to think about
how a texts big ideas can be connected to ideas, situations, or texts
beyond the original piece.
Outcomes Met 1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share
during a discussion
1.2 ask questions for clarication, elaboration, to qualify, or question
relevance, accuracy
4.2 read a variety of texts including ction and literature, non-ction,
and media texts from different provinces and countries
4.3 explain how authors use text features to create meaning and
achieve different purposes
4.4 use text features to construct meaning and understand the text
4.6 independently use a range of reading strategies (predicting,
connecting, questioning, inferring) to make meaning from complex
print and media texts
4.7 consistently identify and discuss the kinds of strategies good
readers and viewers use
8.4 use various forms of note-making for different purposes and
situations
Materials Chart paper, sticky notes, highlighters, pens/pencils
Pre-Work Photocopy The Examination
Distribute highlighters, sticky notes
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Plan
Warm-Up
(1 class)
1. Read The Examination aloud. Re-read, doing verbal annotations
and asking students to highlight important parts.
2. Read the rst three chapters of Delirium, doing verbal annotations
and asking students to mark down important parts with post-it
notes. Have students jump in with passages that stick out to them as
well.
3. Have students read Chapter 4 aloud in groups, continuing post-it
annotation. Circulate and monitor to check reading skills and
strategies.
Main Act
(2 classes)
1. Split the class into groups. Ask half of the groups to come up with
1-2 sentences summarizing what The Examination seems to
suggest about government tests; ask the remaining groups to do the
same for Delirium. Why is there testing in each book? What do they
think it means? Is it important?
2. Reconvene. Have each group share one idea they had, leading into a
discussion about exams and tests as methods for control/regulation.
What type of society uses exams to determine someones entire
future? Does our society do this? What about others in the world?
Is it necessary, right, wrong, manipulative, organizing?
3. Return to the text in groups. Ask students to nd three passages
from the rst four chapters that tell them about the world Lena
lives in -- setting -- and theme. What passages did they use to help
them gure out whats going on? On chart paper, ask students to
write down passages in one column and two or three words that
correspond to that passage -- the information they were able to pull
(for example, controlling, no freedom, lack of individuality).
Model rst.
4. Once each group has written down three important passages and
corresponding descriptors, tape the chart paper up and have the
class function like a carousel. Every group should move to another
groups paper and add descriptors or comments, generating at least
one word per entry.
5. Reconvene. What ideas did the students notice coming up again and
again? What does that tell us about the setting of the novel? The
themes? The atmosphere?
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Conclusion
(1 class)
1. Give students time to start reading Chapter 5 in their groups,
keeping track of how theyre progressing in reading strategies.
Chapter 5 is a turning point, so its important that students are truly
grasping the storyworld and themes.
2. Conversation Journal: Do you ever feel like youre being judged through
testing or exams? Have you ever felt like you were supposed to say one
thing, but had a different thing in your heart? Why do you think Lenas
answers at the end of her interview are suspicious? What might they tell
the examiners about her?
Assessment Formative: Respond to conversation journals.
Monitor student use of reading strategies. Explicit instruction may need
to be carried on if students are struggling with comprehension.
Adaptations Reading strategies should help struggling readers, but may need to be
made more explicit/tailored to particular learners. Students who have
difculty with visual processing could be given an audio book.
Extensions Any extra time can be lled with group reading, silent reading, or
whole-class reading.
Research/
Resources
Hill Campbell, Kimberly. Less Is More: Teaching Literature with Short Texts
-- Grades 6-12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse, 2007. (Annotation
strategies)
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Delirium:
Themes, Symbols, and Beyond-the-Book Connections
Summary This lesson helps clarify and anchor the themes of Delirium in students
minds by linking themes with symbols through book cover design.
Students also engage in reading strategies by predicting how they think
the novel will play out by evaluating its themes and plot thus far (up
through Chapter 9). This lesson also draws intertextual connections
between Delirium and music, highlight the power of music (love songs,
songs as cries for rebellion or protest) both in the novel and in our
lives.
Objectives Students should leave this lesson with a clear sense of the themes in
Delirium and how those themes can be connected to other texts --
especially those beyond literature. Students should have initial ideas
about what Delirium may be about and how it might play out.
Outcomes Met 1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share
during a discussion
1.2 ask questions for clarication, elaboration, to qualify, or question
relevance, accuracy
4.2 read a variety of texts including ction and literature, non-ction,
and media texts from different provinces and countries
4.3 explain how authors use text features to create meaning and
achieve different purposes
4.4 use text features to construct meaning and understand the text
4.6 independently use a range of reading strategies (predicting,
connecting, questioning, inferring) to make meaning from complex
print and media texts
4.7 consistently identify and discuss the kinds of strategies good
readers and viewers use
8.4 use various forms of note-making for different purposes and
situations
9.1 continue to use a variety of forms as well as other art forms such
as visual arts, music, and drama
10.4 demonstrate a commitment to crafting writing and other
representations
Materials Art supplies for book cover creation (magazines, paper, paint, markers,
glitter, etc.)
Pre-Work Prepare colour symbolism sheet and font sample sheet
Photocopy Book Cover assignment hand-out
Choose pertinent songs for Delirium music tie-in
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Plan
Warm-Up
(1.5 classes)
1. Construct a timeline of what has happened so far in the novel
(Chapters 1-5). We know Alex has asked Lena to meet him: do we
think she will? What will happen? What do we think is going to
happen in the next few chapters? Explain that making predictions is a
reading strategy; were always trying to gure out whats going to
happen next. Encourage students to jot down their ideas or
speculations on post-its as they read -- even if their guesses dont
come true, theyre evidence of good reading practices.
2. Read Chapter 6 aloud, comparing what happens to our initial
predictions and stopping once in awhile to ask for additional
predictions. Model and encourage students to contribute.
3. In their groups, have students read Chapters 7-9. Circulate and
monitor. Students can read either silently in their groups, pausing to
check in with the others and to make predictions, get clarication,
or speculate on motives, or can read aloud as a group.
Main Act
(2 classes)
1. Assign each group a section of the novel. Ask them to pull out the
most important section that relates to Deliriums themes. Reconvene
as a class and share. Write down the quotations on the board and
discuss: do we all agree these are signicant? What do they tell us?
Would a person who didnt know anything about the novel get a
sense of Deliriums big ideas?
2. Have students choose a section from the novel and design a cover
based on the section theyve chosen (this is done individually).
Revisit the dystopian covers we looked at initially; remind students
that covers can be minimalistic and symbolic -- they dont need to
depict a scene. Allow plenty of time for this, asking students to write
their corresponding quotation and an explanation of their cover on
the back of the page. Advise students to be thoughtful in font and
colour choices (distribute sheet with font samples and colour
symbolism).
3. Once students have nished making their book covers, put them up
around the room. Note similarities and differences. Has anyone done
something very different from the others? Are they all very different?
Can we spot any patterns? What does this information tell us?
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Conclusion
(0.5 class)
1. Music plays a huge part in this section of the novel and in Lenas
transformation, highlighting the governments censorship and the
power of art to take one outside of social limitations. Select a few
pieces of music to bring in that relate to love or rebellion and play in
class with accompanying lyrics sheets. Have students highlight any
sections that make them think of Lena, Hana, or Alex -- or that
remind them of Delirium in general.
2. In groups, ask students about censorship: Why would the
government in Delirium want to censor certain texts and songs? Are
there any texts or songs they can think of that the government
would denitely censor? Is this censorship realistic? Reconvene and
discuss.
3. Conversation journal: Has music ever inuenced how you feel or think?
Have you ever listened to a song, album, or artist that just clicks with
where you are in your life? Do you think music can be a form of protest or
rebellion? What do you think about censorship? Does that happen today?
Is it right or wrong?
Assessment Formative: Students will receive feedback on cover creation as
comments without grades. Conversation journal responses as usual.
Adaptations Students still struggling to read should receive appropriate support in
terms of reading strategies and instruction. Organizational sheets may
help as well.
Extensions Students can either continue reading Delirium or can, with laptops or
iPads, go to 8tracks.com and create fanmixes of their own -- they could
make playlists that tie in with the novel or the novels themes (love,
control, fear) or songs that changed their lives.
Research/
Resources
Research into appropriate music that interests/engages students will
need to be conducted with individual class. Possibilities include hip-hop
(particularly for music meant to incite rebellion), rock ballads, folk
music, etc. Any music that employs unconventional sounds would be
especially powerful (see Lenas description of rst hearing music that
has been banned) -- perhaps a band like Radiohead or Sigur Ros or a
musician like Bjork.
Research into the history of censorship of media may also be helpful
for the lesson, if class interests tend that way.
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Book Cover Assignment
So far, weve gured out some big ideas a lot of dystopian ction shares. Weve also
started digging into Delirium a little and have started to make some predictions about
what the novel is about and where it might be heading.
Imagine you are a book cover designer working on a very tight deadline. You need to
create a new cover for Delirium, but you havent had time to read the entire novel. Youve
read the premise (the back cover) and one section of the book (the section you group
has been assigned). Thankfully, you are also familiar with dystopian literature.
Based on your section, what are the big ideas or dystopian themes you think Delirium
addresses? List 2 or 3.
What are some symbols that correspond to those ideas? List 2 or 3.
What kind of mood do you want the font to convey? List 2 possible moods.
What could you represent through colour? Check the colour symbolism sheet. List 2 to
3 possible symbols and colours.
Now that youve nished with your initial impressions, choose the symbol(s), font, and
colour(s) you want to use and create your cover! Please explain your choices on the
back of the cover you create.
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Delirium:
Character Development and Creative Writing
Summary The purpose of these 5 lessons will be for students to understand the
elements of character development. They will be asked to look closely
to how the characters are developing throughout the novel, how their
relationships change, how they interact with one another and how
their personal values change throughout the course on the novel.
Students will also be given a creative writing assignment that will be
placed in their portfolio as a piece to their nal project.
Objectives For this lesson on character development, students will be able to see
how the characters of dystopian ction develop, how the author places
value on certain aspects of each character and, how the characters
personal values evolve throughout the course of the novel. Students
will be expected to have thoughtful, meaningful conversation about the
characters in the novel and to incorporate imagination and background
knowledge into a creative writing assignment.
Outcomes Met 1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share
during a discussion
1.2 ask questions for clarication, elaboration, to qualify, or question
relevance, accuracy,
1.5 listen critically and determine the effectiveness of the speaker
based on the accuracy and appropriateness of the information he or
she presents
3.2 show respect and sensitivity toward others and their differences
when giving personal opinions
4.2 read a variety of texts including ction and literature, non-ction,
and media texts from different provinces and countries
4.6 independently use a range of reading strategies (predicting,
connecting, questioning, inferring) to make meaning from complex print
and media texts
6.1 go beyond initial response to give more thoughtful interpretations
by questioning, connecting, evaluating, and extending
7.4 evaluate the impact that text form, content, and structure have on
meaning
8.2 write for a variety of reasons
8.5 integrate interesting effects in their writing (feelings and thoughts,
detail, correct inconsistency, avoid extraneous detail, language choice,
vocabulary, and phrasing)
10.4 demonstrate a commitment to crafting writing and other
representations
English 9, E. McKenney
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Materials Excerpts from Red China Blues by Jan Wong, projector and a
computer with access to YouTube, The Segment (short story)
Pre-Work Ensure students have read to at least the end of Chapter 10
Prepare excerpt from Red China Blues
Photocopy Character Development article for distribution
Photocopy The Segment for distribution
Plan
Warm-Up
(for every class)
Each class will consist of 15 to 20 minutes of silent reading,
conversation journal, or of writing prompts. Students are to be reading
Delirium for the 15-20 minutes of silent reading at the beginning of
each class. Students will be reminded to continue to make annotations,
and to note important or confusing passage. Students will be
encouraged to communicate with peers or with the instructor to help
clarify any confusion.
Main Act
(4 classes)
Lesson 1:
For the rst lesson, students should be on chapter 10 but not past the
end of chapter 13. To introduce character development, We will begin
the class by splitting into small groups, and asking the students to think
about and discuss what they know about our three most important
characters: Lena, Alex and Hana. I want to know how they feel so far
about: (10-20 minutes of discussion)
What changes are we seeing in Lena?
How is she starting to differ from Hana?
Do you notice a pattern of progression in Lena? What might some
of her next choices be?
What has surprised you the most about Alex?
Students in this rst lesson should be able to understand that, the way
in which characters are developed in a story affects how we connect
to the story itself.
20-30 minutes: The activity I would have them do, is create a character
using the following guidelines:
http://freelancewriting.com/articles/2012-character-development.php
We will spend the rest of the class working on this activity. At the end
of class they will be asked to hand in what they have done so far, and it
will be kept in their portfolio. For the next class they will be ask to
read to chapter the end of chapter 15.
English 9, E. McKenney
17
Lesson 2:
In lesson 2 we will begin with our 15 minutes of silent reading
activities.
20-30 minutes: At the end of silent reading we will read together as a
class the short story by Genevieve Valentine called The Segment. I
will then have a class/group discussion on the similarities and
differences that the students nd in the short story and Delirium.
Students will break into groups and be asked to brain storm a list of
differences and similarities between the characters and plot of the two
texts. The main thing students should be able to connect about the
two stories are the idea of perception. Some things for students to
think about are:
How do the higher powers running society in both stories, get
the rest of the public to believe something?
What do the things we perceive in a society, say about our own
personal and moral values?
30 minutes: Once we have done so I will hand back out the character
development they worked on it the previous day. The creative writing
assignment for their portfolio will be explained.
Students will be asked to write a minimum 2 page short story based
on the dystopian ction genre. Students may choose to write their
short story in parallel with the dystopian society they created in
previous classes. Students must have a peer edit their rst draft and
give each other detailed and constructive feedback or suggestions for
the nal draft.
Students are to place emphasis especially on character development.
For their short story, students will be asked to use the character they
had began to create in the previous class. That character is to become
the protagonist in their short story. I want students to pay close
attention to the personal values of the characters in Delirium and, to
how they evolve throughout the story. The purpose of this assignment
is for students to think creatively and to develop characters with moral
and personal values, which are continuously developing in the story
they write.
Students will be given the rest of the class to work on this. Students
will be expected to read to the end of chapter 17 for next class.
English 9, E. McKenney
18
Lesson 3:
15 minutes of silent reading activities.
20-40 minutes: At this point students should be at least to the end of
chapter 17 in Delirium. At this point in the novel, Lena is in full delirium
and the character relationship between Lena and Alex has progressed.
Though neither one can say it to the other directly, they are in love.
To illuminate to students why we cant always change what we think
the heart wants, even though our head tells us something differently, I
will show them the Brave New Voices poem Cupid in a War
Zone (this depends on the maturity of the class; its a very powerful
poem but requires a relatively mature audience because of its
complexity). This will be followed by a short discussion. I want to see if
students will be able to understand why Lena and Alex have such a
connection to one another. Students will then be given the task of
predicting what they think may happen for the two next. Do star-
crossed lovers always end up together? Does the real world intervene?
Do things play out differently in real life than in ction? What kind of
factors can complicate love? Or can love triumph over everything?
20 minutes: Students will have time to work on their creative writing
short story for the rest of class. By next class students will be
expected to have read to the end of chapter 19.
Lesson 4:
15-20 minutes of silent reading activities. Students should read up to
the end of chapter 19.
20-30 minutes: Students will be given a handout with an excerpt from
the novel Red China Blues by Jan Wong. As students read the
excerpt, I will ask them to think of the following questions;
Does what Wong is describing in communist china, relate to the way
in which people are treated in Portland in Delirium?
How are the governments the same? How are the different? What
are the main goals of oppression of the people?
Does knowing that real world situations can seem like dystopias
change how you think about dystopian ction? Do you think it makes
dystopian ction more serious or important, or does it draw
attention away from real world problems?
I will then ask students to take a few minutes and write in their
journals what they nd most compelling about the similarities or the
difference of the two, one being ction, the other being real life.
20 Minutes: Students will be given the last 20 minutes of class to work
on their creative writing short story.
English 9, E. McKenney
19
Conclusion
(1 class)
15 minutes of silent reading activities.
10-15 minutes: We will use this class to wrap up the importance of
character development and discuss how many different factors go into
the development of creating a well written character. It is all the little
details that are put into creating a character that make him or her
realistic and believable. Characters become someone that we connect
with, by seeing a little of ourselves in them. When thinking about what
makes us connect with certain characters, I would like students to
think about a few things:
Have the ever read a book or a story about a character they
absolutely hate?
Did that change how they felt about the novel?
What about a character they love? For example, if you took Harry
out of the Harry Potter series, would the books make readers feel
the same way? What about The Hunger Games without Katniss?
40 minutes: Students will be given the rest of the class to work on and
nish up their creative writing short story assignment.

Students are to have read to Chapter 23 for the following day.
Assessment Reading and viewing, speaking and listening, writing and representing.
Students will be assessed based on their in class discussion, group
discussion, and creative writing assignment and journal writing.
Students journals and creative writing will be assessed with feedback,
not grades.
Adaptations In the lesson on character development, students will have adaptation
in the areas of creative writing -- they will be asked to write a shorter
page limit. Students may read the chapters at an appropriate pace with
the learning center in necessary. If necessary, students will be able to
use graphic organizers and story boards to help with visual
representation.
Extensions If students nish early, they will be asked to write me an exit slip based
on the novel. They will be asked to think of 2 questions that they nd
puzzling up to this point in the novel.
English 9, E. McKenney
20
Research/
Resources
Aysha. Cupid in a War Zone. Brave New Voices. YouTube.
http://freelancewriting.com/articles/2012-character-development.php
http://www.castrovalleyhigh.org/ourpages/auto/2010/6/8/57458832/
Examination%20Day%20_WP_.pdf
Valentine, Genevieve. The Segment. After: Nineteen Stories of
Apocalypse and Dystopia. Eds. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling. New
York: Hyperion, 2012. Anthology.
Wong, Jan. Red China Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now. Toronto:
Doubleday, 1997. Memoir.
English 9, E. McKenney
21
Creative Writing Short Story Rubric
6.1 - respond to some of the material they read or view by questioning, connecting,
evaluating, and extending; move beyond initial understanding to more thoughtful
interpretations
4 3 2 1
Student demonstrates
multiple connections
between the short story and
the characteristics of
dystopian fiction. Student
was able to bring together
their own thoughts with the
short story
Student demonstrates many
connections between the
story and the characteristics
of dystopian fiction. Student
brought together their own
thoughts with the story a
majority on the time
Student demonstrates some
connections between the
story and dystopian fiction.
Student was able to
incorporate their thoughts
with the story some of the
time
Student demonstrates a
connection between the
story and the characteristics
of dystopian fiction. Student
is having some difficulty
incorporating their thoughts
with the story
8.2 - use a range of strategies in writing and other ways of representing; to extend ideas and
experiences; and to explore and reect on what has been viewed
4 3 2 1
Student demonstrates an
excellent reflection and
explores options to extend
the story.
Student demonstrates a
strong reflection, explores
many options and extends
the story in a well thought
out manner
Student demonstrates a
reflection and explores a few
different options, which
extends the story.
Student demonstrates a
reflection on the story.
8.5 integrate interesting effects in their writing (feelings and thoughts, detail, correct
inconsistency, avoid extraneous detail, language choice, vocabulary, and phrasing)
4 3 2 1
Student constantly promotes
character development and
consistently stays with the
theme of the story
Student usually promotes
character development and
consistently stayed with the
theme of the story
Student somewhat promoted
character development, and
somewhat stayed with the
theme of the story
Student did not develop
characters but, stayed with
the theme of the story
9.4 Students gave feedback about writing and apply it to future drafts
4 3 2 1
Student gave detailed
feedback during
brainstorming process, and
considered peer opinions
and feedback
Student gave detailed
feedback during
brainstorming process, and
often considered peer
opinions and feedback
Student gave some detailed
feedback during the
brainstorming process, and
sometimes considered peer
opinions and feedback
Student gave detailed
feedback during
brainstorming process, but
did not consider peer
opinions and feedback
English 9, E. McKenney
22
Delirium:
Changing Attitudes and Perceptions
Summary From this lesson students will begin to grasp an understanding of what
it is to have external force acting upon you, and the necessity of
creating your own viewpoints, personal values and having a sense of
independence. Students will question the idea of what is love, and how
does it feel both in the context of the novel, as well as for
themselves, as well as beginning to make personal connections to the
text (i.e. how would they react to living in a dystopian society? How
would they be affected?)
Objectives The objective for the lesson is to have students understand the
emotional component attached to living under a sense of oppression
within a dystopia and how this affects, and essentially changes attitudes
and opinions.
Outcomes Met 1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share
during a discussion
1.4 explain and advocate point of view and support it with evidence
from various sources
1.5 listen critically and determine the effectiveness of the speaker
based on the accuracy and appropriateness of the information he or
she presents
2.1 contribute to small-group and whole class discussions using a
variety of strategies for effective talk
2.2 use appropriate vocabulary, sentence structure, speed of talking,
and tone for different audiences and purposes
2.6 understand how the content and message are affected by verbal
and non-verbal language (repetition, eye
contact, and volume)
3.2 show respect and sensitivity toward others and their differences
when giving personal opinions
6.1 go beyond initial response to give more thoughtful
interpretations by questioning, connecting, evaluating, and extending
6.2 support personal response to the issues, themes, and situations in
texts and give personal examples and evidence from text with
increasing sophistication
7.2 evaluate the relevance and reliability of the content
presented
8.5 integrate interesting effects in their writing (feelings and thoughts,
detail, correct inconsistency, avoid extraneous
detail, language choice, vocabulary, and phrasing)
English 9, S. Sherman
23
Materials Chart paper
Markers
Pre-Work Students will have nished reading Chapters 20-23 inclusive of the
text
Copies of Valedictorian for the class have been made
Materials have been collected (chart paper, markers, etc.)
On days of group work, seats have previously been arranged into
groups
Copies of Debate Rules to hand out to students
Copies of Debate Assessment Guidelines for students to have as
they prepare
Plan
Warm-Up
(1 class)
Students have previously completed reading chapters 20-23. Begin by
reviewing the events of these chapters with the class. Ask students to
consider the following questions during class discussion:
1. How does Lenas attitude begin to change about love and
having the procedure from the beginning up until this point in
the novel?
2. Is there a distinction between love and lust? Does Lena really
love Alex? Or, does she simply want what she cant have. Vice
Versa?
3. What kind of an inuence do you believe that Alex has over
her?
4. What kind of an effect does thinking for herself, and making her
own decisions have on Lena?
After the class discussion, students will watch a video from YouTube
titled Helen Fisher: The Brain in Love:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYfoGTIG7pY&list=PLOGi5-
fAu8bFTShPncnjmrCtuSCR5ShTW
After watching the short video. Guide the students into a Think-Pair-
Share activity. Model. Ask students to think about the following
questions:
1. What does love do to the brain?
2. How much control does Lena have?
3. What are the choices she could make, if any?
English 9, S. Sherman
24
After students have the opportunity to discuss the video with a
partner, ask students to respond to the following response in their
conversation journal:
1. How does love feel, or, how is it supposed to feel? What are
your perceptions of it? Now that Lena has fallen in love with
Alex, how does this change her perception on society, and her
family?
Main Act
(4 classes)
Class 1
Students have previously begun the process of thinking about what
love is, how it affects the brain, and how Lenas perception towards
love changes, as well the affect it has on the perception of society and
her family. In this sense, Lena is developing a sense of independence
and is branching out beyond what is seen as the justied norm for
young people of her age. Students will be introduced to the short
story The Valedictorian by N.K. Jemisin which focusses around many
of the same elements of developing independence and beginning to
branch out and think for yourself.
The story will be read out loud in class and discussed. Students will be
asked to pull on their prior introductory knowledge of dystopian
ction what makes this story a dystopia? What kind of control is
represented? What is the central fear or anxiety?
After students have a grasp of the short story itself, students will be
divided into groups of 4-6 students (dependent on class size). Each
group will be given a piece of chart paper, and markers and asked to
create a Venn Diagram in thinking about the types of choices both Lena
and Zinhle make. How do they begin to branch out? How are they
similar? How are they different? Students may use the backside of the
chart paper to make jot notes and organize their information before
lling in the diagram. These will be shared with the class and placed on
the walls around the room for students to reference for the next
activity.
English 9, S. Sherman
25
Class Two, Three, Four
In this class, students will read an article from Scientic American:
http://blogs.scienticamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/10/24/
brain_chemistry_emotional_wounds/
After reading, students will be presented with the following question: If
we were able to create a drug to chemically alter the way the brain
reacts to emotion, should we? Students will be divided into two groups
and will be required to argue either for, or against the issue in the form
of a debate. Students must draw on the novel to support their
responses. Students must also think about why we as a society place a
value on love. Refer back to the novel, and think about why the
reasons why the society in the novel has turned out the way that it
has. Is there a certain kind of logic to their choices? Should we avoid
feeling certain pains?
Students will be given one class to prepare for the debate, and the
debate will take place the next class period. While they are preparing
each student should be responsible for taking his/her own notes.
Students must adhere to debate rules which will be handed out to the
groups while they are preparing.
Conclusion
(1 class)
Debrief the debate with the class. What were the main points that
came out of the debate? Aside from which team you were on, how do
you feel about the idea of creating a drug which can alter your
emotional reactions to pain?
Through the reading of the short story, a comparison of characters and
the texts through the use of the Venn Diagrams, and the debate,
students will now be asked to make personal connections with the
text.
To set the scene: students have been spending time looking at
characters who, essentially, have been born into a dystopia, and have
always been under some type of systematic control. They, in turn,
attempt to break out of that mould to nd a sense of independence,
and all of the turmoil that comes along with it. Now it is their turn.
Students will be handed out the handout How Would You Feel? They
will be responsible for producing a one page response drawing
connections between themselves and the texts. Students will be given
class time to work on their response.
English 9, S. Sherman
26
Assessment Students conversation journals will be collected weekly and feedback
will be given to the student on an individual basis.
Venn Diagrams will be formative.
The debate will be assessed according to a feedback sheet.
Adaptations For students who have difculty speaking out in class, on a one on one
basis students will meet with the teacher and present their argument.
Students who have difculty speaking during the debate may also
submit the notes which they took so that their participation in the
preparation in the debate is noted.
Similarly, for students who have difculty reading, audio books may be
used.
As for writing prompts, students with difculty in articulating their
thoughts in sequential and organized ways, students may write in point
form. Students may also audio record their responses.
Extensions If students nish an activity with time to spare, students are to
continue reading in their novel. Students will also a complete an exit
slip at the end of each class. Students will be asked to pose any burning
questions which they may have about the novel on these exit slips.
They will be read by the teacher before the next class, and will be
addressed at the beginning of the next class.
Research/
Resources
http://blogs.scienticamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/10/24/
brain_chemistry_emotional_wounds/
http://web.archive.org/web/20060503194518/http://w3.tvi.edu/~cgulick/
roles.htm
http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/socstud/frame_found_sr2/g_blms/
g-15.pdf
The Valedictorian by N.K. Jemisin
Fisher, Helen. The Brain in Love. TED Talks. YouTube.
English 9, S. Sherman
27
Lets Debate!
Think about this: if we were able to create a drug to chemically alter the way the brain reacts to
emotion, should we? You will be divided into two groups and will be required to argue either
for, or against the above question. You are to draw on the novel to support your responses.
Think about why we as a society place a value on love. Refer back to the novel, and think about
why the reasons why the society in the novel has turned out the way that it has. Is there a
certain kind of logic to their choices? Should we avoid feeling certain pains?
Respect your peers, and their opinions! During the debate, the following rules will be put into
play:
1. No put downs.
2. You must raise your hand if it's not your time to speak.
Teams lose 1 point for each interruption.
Teams lose 1 point for whispering while another speaker is talking.
Be prepared to speak when it is your turn. Each group will have the following amount of time
for each section of the debate. Remember, be clear and concise in what you have to say. Make
notes, be organized.
Opening statements for both sides = 3 minutes each
Arguments for both sides = 3 minutes each
Rebuttal conference = 10 minutes
Rebuttals = 2 minutes each
Preparation for closing statements = 5 minutes
Closing statements for both sides = 3 minutes each
English 9, S. Sherman
28
How Would You Feel?
You, as grade 9 students have freedom to do whatever you wish imagine that you are going to
be placed under a method of control placed into a dystopia to which you must conform,
maybe even against your will. How would this make you feel?
Write a one page response to this question. Draw connections between yourself and the texts
we have read would you react like Lena and Zinhle? Would you panic? Why? What anxieties
do you think you would experience under such control?
English 9, S. Sherman
29
Debate Feedback Sheet
Debating Team Name and Position: ____________________________________
Date: _______________
1. The speakers statements clearly supported their position in the debate.
2. The speakers statements appeared to be well researched and documented.
3. The speakers addressed the opposing team and made appropriate eye contact.
4. Arguments were presented with clarity and appropriate volume.
5. Speakers were well rehearsed with minimal reliance on notes.
6. Rebuttals were specific to opposing arguments and expressed with clarity.
7. Rebuttals showed evidence of good listening skills.
8. Concluding arguments and statements were effective and convincing.
9. Speakers adhered to the rules of the debate.
10. The overall collective effort of the debate team was effective.
English 9, S. Sherman
30
Additional Comments:
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
English 9, S. Sherman
31
Delirium:
Personal Values and Growth
Summary Previously, students have considered the ethical implications of altering
the human experience of love and pain; they have also started to think
through how characters and people change over time, developing and
rening a sense of self. In this lesson, students will think about their
personal values and their own senses of self, as a way to lead into the
creation of their own dystopian society, showing that any value, no
matter how noble, can be distorted.
Objectives Students should leave this lesson with a clearer picture of what they
believe, what they value, and who they are. They will also be able to
better understand the choices Lena makes at the end of the novel.
Outcomes Met 1.1 reinforce or develop new understanding from what others share
during a discussion
2.1 contribute to small-group and whole class discussions using a
variety of strategies for effective talk
3.2 show respect and sensitivity toward others and their differences
when giving personal opinions
4.4 use text features to construct meaning and understand the text
6.2 support personal response to the issues, themes, and situations in
texts and give personal examples and evidence from text with
increasing sophistication
Materials Chart paper, markers
Pre-Work Prepare & photocopy values checklist
Plan
Warm-Up
(0.5 class)
1. Return to students character development sheets. Remind them
that a key part of knowing a character is knowing what he or she
values. Break students into groups and assign each group a character
from the novel (Alex, Hana, Lena, Aunt Carol, Annabel). Ask them to
brainstorm three key values that those characters hold dear -- have
students write down these values on chart paper with supporting
quotations.
English 9, R. Wheadon
32
2. Once students have nished writing their values down, post the
chart paper in the room and have students complete a carousel,
either adding a value, a quotation, or a comment about the
character. Then go around the room and ask if each character
changes over the course of the novel or stays the same. Discuss
briey why some people change and others stay the same. It seems
that developing as a person is linked to the ability to love, to be
passionate, in Delirium. Do the students agree? Can Aunt Carol ever
grow if she cant really feel?
Main Act
(1 class)
1. Have students individually complete the personal values checklist.
What do they value? What matters most to them? How do their
values impact their choices? What would they do if they were in
Zinhles position? What would they do if they were Lena? (You
should do a checklist as well to share!)
2. Once students have nished, have a talking circle about personal
values. Ask students to share their two most important values.
Encourage them to share where their values come from and why
they chose these two as the most important. Also share with the
students.
3. After students have shared their values, we will re-introduce the
nal portfolio assignment. Students will be given some time to begin
working on their portfolios or to continue reading.
Conclusion
(0.5 class)
1. Conversation Journal: Which character do you think you are the most
like in the novel? What would you do if you were in Lenas shoes? Would
you nd leaving difcult? Could you, like Alex, make sacrices to save
someone you love? How do your choices reect your values?
Assessment Students will receive formative feedback for speaking and listening, as
well as a checkmark for each (if, indeed, they speak and listen). This, and
the debate, should help prepare them for their Dystopia presentations.
Conversation journals, as always, will be returned with comments.
Adaptations Students should have access to dictionaries to help with understanding
some of the language. Some learners may need visual organizers.
Students with severe anxiety will be asked to just share the two values
and need not explain (except to me and two friends from the class).
Extensions Any free time will be devoted to working on student portfolios.
Research/
Resources
None.
English 9, R. Wheadon
33
Personal Value Checklist
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Achlevement
lrlendshl
Advuncement
Eulness
Lnjoyment
Adventure
lumlly
Power
Authorlty
Aectlon
Eellng others
Prlvucy
Arts
Eellng soclety
luclng chullenges
1he envlronment
Loyulty
Stublllty
veulth
Stutus
lreedom
Love
Eumour
Eurd work
Eonesty
Purlty
Chunge
lndeendence
lnfuence
Communlty
Eurmony
Recognltlon
Resect
Cometence
lntegrlty
Rellglon
Slrltuullty
Cometltlon
lntelllgence
Meunlng
lree tlme
lume
Crder
1runqulllty
Stublllty
Conformlty
Sontunelty
Lxcltement
Reututlon
Cooerutlon
Resonslblllty
Nutlonullsm
Luughter
Eeulth
Eerltuge
Securlty
Creutlvlty
lnowledge
SelfResect
Leclslveness
Leudershl
Qulet
Sllllness
Lemocrucy
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English 9, R. Wheadon
34
Delirium:
Creating Your Own Dystopia
Summary From this lesson students will pick a criticism that they personally
hold from our society and communicate it through the development
of their own dystopian society. Students will present their projects
and speak to why they formed their society in the way that they did
and what the implications of it are on the way they view the existing
world around them.
Objectives Students will be able to understand the concept of a Dystopia and
the elements within it that place criticism on a certain society.
Students will start to understand that any value, taken to the
extreme can have damaging effects. Essential Questions: What are the
downfalls of society today? What aspects of our society might be
revealed as bad through a dystopian critique?
Outcomes Met GCO 4: read widely and with understanding
4.2 read a variety of texts including ction and literature, non-ction,
and media texts from different provinces and countries
4.3 explain how authors use text features to create meaning and
achieve different purposes
4.4 use text features to construct meaning and understand the text
4.6 independently use a range of reading strategies (predicting,
connecting, questioning, inferring) to make meaning from complex
print and media texts
GCO 6: respond personally
6.2 support personal response to the issues, themes, and
situations in texts and give personal examples and
evidence from text with increasing sophistication
GCO 7: read critically
7.3 recognize increasingly complex tools authors use in their writing
to achieve their purpose (organization of info, word choice, use of
time, imagery)
GCO 10: produce clear and effective writing and other
representations
10.2 consistently use the conventions of written language in nal
products
10.3 use various technologies for the purpose of communicating
(video, email, word processing, audiotape, Internet)
10.4 demonstrate a commitment to crafting writing and other
representations
English 9, A. Bakes
35
Materials Chart paper
Markers
Pre-Work Students will have nished reading Chapters 24-27 at home
Copies of Final Project Assignment for everyone
PREZI: Creating A Dystopia
Copies of Dystopia Worksheet
Plan
Warm-Up
(1 class)
Begin the lesson by summarizing the ending of the novel. Students
will construct a timeline of major events in pairs and then share as a
class. Ask students if they had any questions, comments or concerns
(allow time for discussion). Students will write in their conversation
journals to the prompt:
1. Did you nd the ending satisfying? Why or why not?
2. Looking back on your predictions were you close to the original?
To give students background information and to refresh their
knowledge about a dystopia society present for 20 minutes using the
*PREZI: Creating A Dystopia. Students could be asked to take notes
during the power point presentation. The class will then discuss the
questions before beginning the project.
Remind students about their previous debate: Is there a danger is
placing a higher value on emotions? What are some other aspects
from todays society that we place high value on? What happens
when that value is corrupted? In Delirium the central fear is love; ask
students to work in pairs to brainstorm some criticisms they have
from todays society.
Hand out nal project assignment (see attached Create Your Own
Dystopia) and go over it with the class making sure to read over the
rubric and clarify any questions or concerns students may have. Use
Delirium to provide an example of this assignment: Love is the central
fear; re-read to students some of the government documents,
slogans, child poems etc. provided at the beginning of each chapter as
examples of what this society looks like; ask for ve laws introduced
in Delirium and discuss how this dystopian society is different from
our own.
The remainder of the class will be used for students to form their
own groups of 3-4 and begin working on creating their own
dystopian society. Circulate to make sure students are on task.
English 9, A. Bakes
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Main Act
(3 classes)
On Day 2, Students will begin class by writing in their journals. On
the board will be the big questions for students to consider before
we continue our group work:
1. What are the downfalls of society today?
2. What aspects of our society might be revealed as bad through a
dystopian critique?
Students will be allocated 3 classes to continue working on their
dystopian society. Chart paper will be provided for students to
creatively interpret how their society might look. Students are
encouraged to write their 5 laws and main theme on their
representation. Continuously check in with each group to keep them
on task and clarify any questions.
Conclusion
(1 class)
For the nal class students will turn in a completed representation of
their own dystopia. Each group will present their nal project to the
class in a 10 minute presentation. Once presentations are complete
ask students to individually write a short explanation of why they
created their dystopia in the way that they did.
Students will hand-in their reective portfolios on the last day of the
unit.
Assessment Students will be assessed using Create Your Own Dystopia
Rubric (see attached). Reective portfolios will be assessed using
attached rubric.
Adaptations Students will be encouraged to respond to their writing journals in
writing, however other idea representations will be accepted: mind
maps, illustrations etc.
The Create Your Own Dystopia project can be completed
individually if a student will be missing class time to work on the
project.
Students who have severe anxiety with public speaking have the
option to present their dystopia at lunchtime in front of two peers
and me.
Extensions To extend this lesson students could peer evaluate each others
dystopian projects.
Students could share their portfolios with each other.
English 9, A. Bakes
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Research/
Resources
Durfee, Arik. Creating a Dystopia PREZI Lesson Plan. Prezi. http://
www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Creating-a-Dystopia-
PREZI-Lesson-Plan-208816
Ford, Katie. Create Your Own Dystopian Society. Dystopian
Literature: Whats Wrong With This Picture: http://
www.d.umn.edu/~lmillerc/TeachingEnglishHomePage/
TeachingUnits/DystopianLiterature-Ford.htm
Nahill, Steven. Create Your Own Dystopia. Prezi: http://prezi.com/
laisrcwyuzjp/create-your-own-dystopia/
English 9, A. Bakes
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Dystopia Worksheet
What is a DYSTOPIA?
What is a UTOPIA?
Name two of the classic dystopian novels written between 1930 and 1980:
1.
2.
Why do you think dystopian literature has been so common throughout history?
What novel seemingly opened the oodgates for young-adult dystopian literature?
Name four of the young-adult dystopian novels published since the year 2000:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why do you think dystopian literature is such a popular trend among todays young adults?
English 9, A. Bakes
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Summarize at least two of the common story elements shared by most dystopian stories.
What are the two most common ways dystopias are created in stories?
Why do you think ctional utopias always tend to go horribly wrong and become dystopias?
Name at least four of the common themes in dystopian literature.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Why does the way in which a ctional dystopia was created affect the possible themes of the
story?
English 9, A. Bakes
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Final Group Project:
CREATE YOUR OWN DYSTOPIA

YOUR TASK:
The end has come! The world as we know it and most of the people in it have been obliterated
by an apocalyptic event. After the initial months and years of terror and struggle for survival,
Earths survivors have banded together to create a new society.
Describe what this post-apocalyptic society is like in the beginning and how it is different from
the world of the past. Remember that, at this stage, this society and its government are honestly
trying to do their best to save society.
______________ (value) is idolized
Describe how (and why) ________________ is valued in this society. Include ceremonies, etc.
related to this idolized thing. Include at least one slogan and one symbol for your new society.
______________ (value, belief, activity) is outlawed
Describe what is restricted or outlawed in this society. Include one reason the Government says
the outlawed thing is wrong (or impossible).
The government has passed a series of laws to keep this fragile society from falling apart.
Describe ve new laws that have been passed in order to keep people from obtaining what was
outlawed. Explain what each law does and what problem it is intended to solve. Include
punishments for having (or using or doing) this.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
English 9, A. Bakes
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A hundred years later, our post-apocalyptic society has become a dystopia. Injustice runs
rampant, and the world has become a horric place. It could be that the laws were corrupted,
unfairly enforced, or just carried way too far. Or it could be that the original apocalyptic event
complicated things further. Describe what this dystopian society is like now. Include elements of
dystopia (elements include: Surveillance, Fear of Outside World, Limited Freedom, Propaganda,
Distrust of Nature, Believing the Current Society is Perfect, Overpowering Ruler, etc.)
How can we salvage this mess that weve made? How can the world ever regain sanity? How
can justice be restored? Imagine a hero or heroine or a heroic group of people (not
superheroes, just heroic human beings) who could rise up against the evil dystopian government
and bring the world back to the way it used to be. Explain what would need to happen in order
for this dystopia to be undone.
What are some possible themes that might be taught through a story about your dystopia?
What messages or lessons about the real world could the readers get from this?

To present your dystopian society to the class you may use:
1. Prezi
2. PowerPoint
3. An iPad app to create a presentation
4. A poster
5. A users guide to surviving in (and rebelling against!) your dystopia
Have a different idea for presenting it? Talk to me about it!
English 9, A. Bakes
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Create Your Own Dystopia
Rubric
Name: _________________________________
4 3 2 1
Required
Elements
Includes all required
elements (as
described on hand-
out) and is
represented
creatively.
Includes all required
elements.
Includes all but one
required element.
Does not include all
required elements.
Write-Up
Write-up is well
written and explains
explicitly the decision
making process for
setting up the
dystopia at every
stage.
Write-up is well
written and
successfully explains
a several elements
of the dystopia.
Clearer reasons for
the choices made
would help.
Write-up attempts
to explain elements
of the dystopia.
Clearer reasons for
the choices would
help.
Write-up contains
elements of
dystopia. Reasons
for choices are
needed.
Presentation
Student explains
project thoroughly (all
required elements
present) and does so
clearly (eye contact,
good voice
projection, logical
ow, reasons explicit).
Student explains
project clearly.
Needs to
remember to share
all required
elements.
Student tries to
explain project.
Needs to
remember to share
all required
elements with the
class and practice
clarity when
speaking.
Student does not
present.
Additional Comments:
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Final Portfolio Assignment:
Delirium & Dystopia
Throughout this unit, you will be writing in your conversation journal as a way to delve
into your ideas about Delirium and its themes, as well as the other texts we do. You will
also be engaging in smaller projects, like book cover design, creative writing, debating,
and constructing a personal value checklist.
At the end of the unit, you will make a portfolio of all of the pieces you have worked on
throughout the unit. You can collect these in a folder, on a blog, or in a binder. If you are
creating a physical portfolio, please choose ve entries or items to annotate with sticky
notes: reect on what you thought then and if your ideas have changed; if youre
responding to a conversation journal entry, feel free to add another comment for me to
read! If youre choosing to do a digital portfolio, please add your reection under the
entry -- maybe as a comment on the blog.
You will receive a small amount of class time to work on this portfolio, but you should
try to do some work outside of class as well. If you want feedback at any point in the
process, please come speak with me!
Please remember to keep track of all of the items you work on throughout the unit! If
youve lost all of your work, youre going to have to start from square one at the end of
the unit -- which would be a disaster of apocalyptic proportions! :)
Outcomes
6.1 go beyond initial response to give more thoughtful interpretations by questioning,
connecting, evaluating, and extending
6.2 support personal response to the issues, themes, and situations in texts and give
personal examples and evidence from text with increasing sophistication
8.2 write for a variety of reasons
8.4 use various forms of note-making for different purposes and situations
9.1 continue to use a variety of forms as well as other art forms such as visual arts,
music, and drama
10.2 consistently use the conventions of written language in nal products
10.4 demonstrate a commitment to crafting writing and other representations
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Where Youve Been and How Far Youve Come:
Portfolio Rubric
The Portfolio
Demonstrates: Target Acceptable Developing
Professional Appearance
Portfolio exhibits an
appealing creative
format, expresses well
written prose with a
logical progression of
thought and displays
excellent editing.
Portfolio conveys an
appealing/creative
format, however minor
flaws in writing or
editing exist which
distract from the
presentation of the
work.
The student tries to format
the portfolio in an
interesting way, however
there are major errors in
writing and editing which
highly distract from the
presentation of the work.
Organization
Organization of the
portfolio follows a
theme which is logical
and consistently
followed
organization clearly
shows student`s
progression toward
achieving their
learning goal.
Organization of the
portfolio follows a
general theme, however
some pieces may be out
of place which makes the
path taken towards their
learning goal unclear.
The student tries to
organize their portfolio.
Many pieces are out of
order which make the
progression through the
portfolio choppy and
student growth toward
their goal is difficult to
see.
Originality
The portfolio is
comprised totally of the
student`s original work.
At least 80% of the
portfolio is comprised
of students original
work. Pieces which are
not student work may
include exemplars
which students
attempted to model to
some degree.
Student includes mostly
exemplars of what the
work should have looked
like. There are few pieces
of original student work.
Variety
The portfolio
demonstrates student
ability across a wide
range of skillsets.
Portfolio only
demonstrates the
students capabilities in
two or three skillsets.
Portfolio only
demonstrates students
capability in one skillset.
Breadth/Depth of
Coverage
Student demonstrates a
mastery of the outcomes
in a balanced manner
through the pieces
chosen for the portfolio.
Student demonstrates
competency of the
outcomes throughout
their portfolio, however
there are still some areas
which students need to
work on.
Student tries to
demonstrate an
understanding of the
outcomes; however
students needed to show
better pieces to showcase
their understanding.
English 9, S. Sherman
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Additional Comments:
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
English 9, S. Sherman
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