This project-based learning resource gives students the ability to analyze and critique multiple texts in order to discover the commonalities of a genre. In this case, the genre is dystopian literature.
This unit plan is designed to take place over one quarter with a reading day once per week. It could also be assigned as outside reading with meeting days assigned ahead of time. In my classroom, I use The Hunger Games, Matched, Divergent, Legend, and Unwind, but you can use ANY dystopian novels with this unit plan.
Students will read one of the chosen texts and participate in structured group discussions three times throughout their reading. Then, final groups will be made of one person from each literature circle (jigsaw). The final group will outline details of their own dystopian society, using elements of each novel, and then create a propaganda campaign to promote the message of either the controlling body or rebelling faction of that society.
Students will answer the driving question: Why is propaganda such a powerful means of control in a dystopian society?
They will follow these steps to deeper understanding of the genre:
Students will be able to infer the traits of a dystopia and how control leads to a dystopian society.
Students will be able to compare themes and structure across a variety of texts.
Students will be able to synthesize details from multiple texts to develop their own vision of a dystopian society.
Students will be able to create a propaganda campaign for their fictitious society.
This complete unit includes the following:
Lesson layout with detailed description of the project process
Introductory presentation to explain of the driving question and learning scale
Group discussion template for those reading the same novel, with three prompts they must respond to as a group
Graphic Organizer to guide groups in creating their own society
Propaganda group project assignment sheet (students create a video and meme)
Propaganda group project rubric
All components delivered as one pdf. Links to working google docs are included for easily editable versions of all documents (simply make a copy and edit!)
*In my classroom, I read all of the texts and have short “book talks” with students on an as-needed basis to ensure they have read the material before allowing them to be in a final group.
If you love this project but don’t have enough time for full novels, check out my project “It’s the End of the World (as we know it)”
that uses a project-based approach to teach the genre of Dystopian short stories!