To: Ms.

Robins From: Date: February 28, 2011 Re: Dystopia

Message
As an elementary school teacher, I know the importance of cautionary tales and stories for young children. Stories, whether we realize it or not, are hugely influential and are an integral part of development and formation for children. This is why so many stories that many of us read as children were didactic and taught us lessons, lessons like “treat others as you wish to be treated,” “don’t talk to or trust strangers,” or even “slow but steady wins the race.” Sometimes these lessons are very basic, but other times they must deal with very adult issues, which is what leads me to my point. I know in class you are studying utopias and their descent into dystopias. I want you to use your studies in class to create stories for my students that include lessons on how to avoid the perils of dystopia. In these stories, I would like to see the formation and desire for a perfect society. Following this, show the students how and why a perfect society can fail. It might help to include some of the ideas you gain from reading the book Animal Farm. By showing the students that even people striving for a more just and perfect society can fail in very human ways, maybe these young people can begin to think of ways to prevent such catastrophe and help change the world for the better.

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