Lesson 4 – Let’s Get Dystopian

Grade: 9-12 (Elective course)
Duration: 54 minutes
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, students will…

  • Role-play as a character studied previously this year.
  • Review Frankenstein and discuss expectations for the remainder of the novel.
  • Review conventions of dystopian fiction.
  • Contemplate and discuss the effect of remorse/regret in human endeavors.
    • Guiding excerpt: “This state of mind preyed upon my health, which had perhaps never entirely recovered from the first shock it had sustained. I shunned the face of man; all sound of joy or complacency was torture to me; solitude was my only consolation – deep, dark, deathlike solitude” (Shelley 94).



  • Students will begin class by responding to a five-minute role-play/quick write: “Assume the perspective of a dystopian character we’ve encountered this year. As that character, react to the following excerpt…” (See attached slideshow presentation).
    • As students finish they will be encouraged to hold onto their writing for use later in the class.
  • After the role-play writing, the students will be offered a chance to share their thoughts about Frankenstein in an “Open Forum” styled discussion featuring the prompt “What are your thoughts about Frankenstein thus far? Plot? Writing style? Expectations met? Speculation?”
  • The class will then be divided into four groups for the purposes of investigating dystopian fiction with a few activities.
    • First, the group members will read their role-play/quick writes to one another.
    • Second, each group will be assigned one of four conventions of dystopian fiction:
      • Totalitarian Government/Police State
      • Environmental Cataclysm
      • Widespread Poverty
      • Suffering as Normal
    • Each group will tasked with providing a definition for their assigned convention as well as an exemplar from one of the dystopian texts read earlier in the course.
      • Groups will take turns presenting their definitions and exemplars to the class, posting their work at the front of the class (on chart paper).


  • Read chapters 10-13 in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!
  • Return signed permission slips for viewing Blade Runner!

[next up: lesson 5]

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