To wrap up the 8th grade World War II Humanities Unit students were asked to read a dystopian or utopian novel. Dystopian and utopian fiction explore social and political structures, utopia being a place that is too good to exist and dystopia being a place that we certainly do not want to exist.
Children growing up during WWII experienced drills like “duck-and-cover” in school to prepare for nuclear attack. Adults of the WWII generation suffered the ravages of war both overseas and on the home front. Post WWII America marked a new era and with it came an emergence of dystopian fiction. Today’s youth is experiencing similar anxiety due to evolving social and political unrest. For example, war-torn regions, terrorism, the global spread of infectious diseases or the climate crisis.
Grade 8 students read a dystopian or utopian novel and identified structures of government like totalitarian or communist regimes and characteristics like oppression, fear or lack of choice. Students then made connections between their novel and today’s regions of political unrest and global anxiety.
To view some of the dystopian and utopian titles book talked check out this Google slideshow.