6. Course Contents & Unit Overview

This curriculum project is designed to create a practical foundation for The Dark Days of Future Past while illustrating what a representative unit from the course may look like. As such, there is a certain straddling of purpose here, honoring the goal of displaying both a macro and micro view of the class. To achieve this end, the conclusion of this rationale features a brief explanation of the course contents and a general introduction to the unit to be presented.

The Dark Days of Future Past is conceived as a year-long course guiding students through an examination of genre fiction, specifically Gothic and dystopian literature. With two genres at hand, it follows that the course be divided into two half-year segments, with two terms devoted primarily to the Gothic and two terms devoted primarily to dystopian fiction. Each semester will operate as a survey, enabling students to become familiar with the respective genre’s defining features, foundational works, seminal texts, and modern manifestations. To best ensure that this goal is reached, the course reading list (see attached) is crafted to promote breadth and depth; during each half-year segment, students will read two to three novels recognized as exemplars of their genres, as well as myriad supplemental texts that run the gamut from the foundational to the wildly interpretative. The Dark Days of Future Past will conclude with a cross-examination of the genres that have been investigated over the course of the school year.

The representative unit presented in this curriculum project is the course capstone. While this unit serves as a review of Gothic and dystopian fiction, it also requires students to synthesize connections between the two genres while considering their implications for today. To illustrate how this will be achieved, ten lesson plans have been crafted, taking the reader through the sequence of activities in which students read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and watch Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner as means of delving into the course’s summative experience. Additionally, artifacts from this unit – such as slideshows, writing prompts, video clips, and assignments – have also been included in this project.

[next up: prospective reading list]

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