Science Fiction Lesson for Kids: Definition & Stories

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in outer space or travel to another time? What do you think technology will provide us with in the future? In this lesson, learn about science fiction books and where they can take your imagination!

What Is Science Fiction?

Definition

Think about traveling to outer space in a glass elevator. Look at how tiny some objects seem to get as your glass elevator lifts farther and farther away from Earth...

Looking down from a glass elevator
Glass Bottom

This is exactly what Charlie gets to do in Roald Dahl's book, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. This book continues the story of Charlie and Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Wonka sells his factory to Charlie and they take the glass elevator through the sky to Charlie's house to share the news!

And their adventures are just beginning. Charlie, his family, and Willy Wonka blast off in the glass elevator at an uncontrollable speed. They end up stranded in outer space and people from the United States government start to believe they are some kind of aliens. Now what will they do?

This story was an example of a science fiction book. Science fiction is a genre that creates stories based on scientific or technological advances. A genre is a type of book that has certain characteristics or elements. In literature, you can read a variety of genres in addition to science fiction, such as fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction and more.

Elements of Science Fiction

Science fiction stories are great if you have a wild imagination, enjoy science, and/or just want to read something out of this world! These stories are fake or fiction, but often involve something real in science. They could even include an aspect of what society feels or thinks about changes that have really occurred or might occur. You will usually read about things of the future, time traveling, outer space, aliens, or current breakthroughs in science.

The chart shows common story elements and examples of science fiction.

Chart on Common Elements of Science Fiction
Science Fiction

Now that you have a good idea of what science fiction is, let's take a look at two popular examples!

Examples of Science Fiction Stories for Kids

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Go on an unbelievable adventure with two children, Lina and Doon. At only twelve years old, they graduate from school and get a job. As a messenger, Lina learns that townspeople are afraid of losing power and food in their city. Doon discovers the generator powering the city is slowing down. If the lights go out, how could they survive in total darkness when there is no escaping Ember?

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