Ch 7: Teaching Science Fiction Books & Stories

About This Chapter

Use supplemental lesson plans to help engage your students when reading science fiction books and stories. This chapter provides summaries and character analyses of specific science fiction titles and offers lesson plans you can implement in your classroom.

Teaching Science Fiction Books & Stories - Chapter Summary

Sometimes, students can struggle to understand the themes and story lines of assigned readings. With our helpful lesson plans, which might include videos, lesson transcripts and self-assessment quizzes, you can present ways in which students can develop a deeper understanding of science fiction books and stories. The lessons in this chapter will help you learn how to:

  • Develop lesson plans for Frankenstein, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Flowers for Algernon
  • Build a stronger sense of the themes explored in these books
  • Summarize the plots of these books
  • Explain the characters in each of these titles

How It Helps

  • Offers suggestions for student activities: Details fun activities you can use to engage your students in this material.
  • Supports standard curriculum: Enhance your teaching of the plots, characters and themes of science fiction books and stories by implementing these lessons in the classroom.
  • Emphasizes student success: Use of these lessons can increase your students' understanding of this material and improve their classroom performance and participation.

Skills Covered

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Increase student interest and engagement in science fiction reading
  • Apply lesson plans to help students gain a deeper understanding of specific science fiction titles
  • Implement various activities to support standard lesson plans
  • Present detailed summaries of specific science fiction books
  • Analyze the plot and characters of these science fiction books

51 Lessons in Chapter 7: Teaching Science Fiction Books & Stories
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Science Fiction Lesson Plan

1. Science Fiction Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about the genre of science fiction. Students start off watching a video lesson that explains characteristics of science fiction, key authors and exemplary work. Finish strong with an application activity.

Dracula Lesson Plan

2. Dracula Lesson Plan

Did your class grasp all key facts about Bram Stoker's Dracula? A video lesson helps them check their comprehension and an activity ties it all together. Related lessons and extensions create opportunities for additional instruction.

Suspense in Literature Lesson Plan

3. Suspense in Literature Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to suspense in literature. Students will watch two video lessons, discuss suspense in literature and movies, and write their own suspenseful scene.

Writing a Suspense Story Lesson Plan

4. Writing a Suspense Story Lesson Plan

Teach your students how to write suspense stories with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains the parts and literary techniques used in suspense stories, practicing with anchor texts before applying independently.

How to Write a Suspense Story

5. How to Write a Suspense Story

What keeps a reader engaged? In most cases, it's the possibility of what could happen next. In this lesson we will learn how to write a suspense story by breaking down the steps of the writing process and exploring how to build tension in a story.

Suspense in Literature Lesson Plan for Middle School

6. Suspense in Literature Lesson Plan for Middle School

Middle school students love suspenseful stories. Utilizing an informative text lesson and discussion questions, this lesson plan will help students understand some of the elements of suspense. They will then put their knowledge into practice by creating an original suspenseful radio drama.

Suspense in Literature Lesson for Kids

7. Suspense in Literature Lesson for Kids

If you've ever watched a movie and felt like you were sitting at the edge of your seat, you saw an excellent example of suspense! In this lesson, you'll learn about suspense in literature and see how books can also leave you feeling the same way.

Frankenstein Lesson Plan

8. Frankenstein Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will help your students get beyond their preconceived notions about Frankenstein and the Monster, instead helping them focus on the bigger themes at play in this work.

Flowers for Algernon Lesson Plan

9. Flowers for Algernon Lesson Plan

This lesson plan uses an activity, extension, quiz, and discussion questions to help students learn about 'Flowers for Algernon' as well as the deeper meaning behind its characters and plot.

Flowers for Algernon: Summary & Themes

10. Flowers for Algernon: Summary & Themes

''Flowers for Algernon'' is a short story and novel by Daniel Keyes that explores questions about intellect and happiness. The main character, Charlie Gordon, undertakes an intellectual journey that has far-reaching and unforeseen repercussions.

Flowers for Algernon Unit Plan

11. Flowers for Algernon Unit Plan

'Flowers for Algernon' is a short story by Daniel Keyes about an intellectually disabled man who undergoes medical treatment to become smarter. This unit plan outlines instruction for this story.

Journey to the Center of the Earth Lesson Plan

12. Journey to the Center of the Earth Lesson Plan

In Jules Verne's novel, ''A Journey to the Center of the Earth'', three travelers get more than they bargained for when they head down a volcanic crater. Use this lesson plan, accompanying video, and activity to help students understand Jules Verne's famous novel.

Big Fish Novel Lesson Plan

13. Big Fish Novel Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to increase student understanding of the novel 'Big Fish.' A text lesson guides students through a summary and analysis of the text, supplemented with discussion questions and activities to increase comprehension. Finish up with a quiz.

Big Fish: Book Summary & Analysis

14. Big Fish: Book Summary & Analysis

'Big Fish' by Daniel Wallace is the story of a a son, William, and his father, Edward. We'll take a look at the novel's plot summary while analyzing it, in which Edward is dying and William struggles to understand the man whom he loves before he passes.

Watchmen Graphic Novel Lesson Plan

15. Watchmen Graphic Novel Lesson Plan

Though it may look like a simple comic book, 'Watchmen' is a complex and multilayered work of literature. This lesson plan uses a short plot summary and analysis, pair- and group-work, and a pre-reading activity to introduce your students to this classic graphic novel. This lesson should be completed before you begin reading.

Watchmen: Graphic Novel Summary & Analysis

16. Watchmen: Graphic Novel Summary & Analysis

''Watchmen'' is one of the most influential graphic novels. The story examines the superhero genre while also demonstrating the literary value of graphic novels. ''Watchmen'' proves that graphic novels can be more than just entertainment.

Kindred Novel Lesson Plan

17. Kindred Novel Lesson Plan

This lesson plan about Kindred will help students learn more about the storyline of the book, time travel literature and slavery and racism in the 1800s. Students will complete a reading assignment, answer questions, create a time travel skit and take a quiz.

Kindred: Book Summary & Characters

18. Kindred: Book Summary & Characters

''Kindred'' is the story of Dana and her experience of traveling back in time to 1815 from her time in 1976. The lesson focuses on the summary of this story and the characters.

Physics of Superheroes Lesson Plan

19. Physics of Superheroes Lesson Plan

This lesson discusses the scientific information presented in the book ''The Physics of Superheroes.'' Students will discuss how science supports or debunks superhero powers and create their own superhero whose powers can be explained by physics.

The Physics of Superheroes Book Summary

20. The Physics of Superheroes Book Summary

''The Physics of Superheroes'' by James Kakalios, separates the science from science fiction in classic and modern comic books. We will explore three branches of physics through examples from Marvel and DC comic book characters.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Activities

21. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Activities

Are your students reading 'Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?' Help them understand this novella, its themes and its characters with these individual and group activities.

The Repairer of Reputations: Summary & Analysis

22. The Repairer of Reputations: Summary & Analysis

'The Repairer of Reputations' is a dizzying journey through the mind of the narrator - a madman. We'll summarize and analyze this weird and fantastical short story.

The Bone Clocks Lesson Plan

23. The Bone Clocks Lesson Plan

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell presents a wonderful fantasy that moves through time. This lesson plan supports a deeper understanding of this book, and an activity allows for lively analysis of the six individual sections within the book.

The Yellow Sign by Robert Chambers: Summary & Analysis

24. The Yellow Sign by Robert Chambers: Summary & Analysis

Robert Chambers was a writer of horror and weird fiction whose work inspired H.P. Lovecraft and other authors in these genres. In this lesson, we'll summarize and analyze his creepy tale 'The Yellow Sign.'

The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers

25. The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers

''The King in Yellow'' by Robert Chambers is the title of two different texts: a cursed play with a terrifying supernatural being and a collection of short stories. We'll learn about references to the play that occur in the stories.

Planets for Sale Lesson Plan

26. Planets for Sale Lesson Plan

'Planets for Sale' is a unique tale of an overzealous explorer who desires to become Master of the Ridge Stars. After students have read the book, they will answer comprehension questions and complete an activity.

A Visitor from Outer Space Lesson Plan

27. A Visitor from Outer Space Lesson Plan

Science fiction can be a powerful tool. With this lesson plan, your students are going to work with ''A Visitor from Outer Space'' to explore social anxieties and hopes in literature.

A Visitor from Outer Space Stories

28. A Visitor from Outer Space Stories

This lesson provides summarizes the 1961 Soviet science fiction anthology, 'A Visitor from Outer Space.' We will explore each of the six stories included in the collection and learn about the recurring themes that reflect upon Cold War culture, politics, and science.

The Haunting of Hill House Lesson Plan

29. The Haunting of Hill House Lesson Plan

This lesson plan may be used to help your students make inferences about the text, describe how the main characters evolve, and identify the purpose of allusions while reading 'The Haunting of Hill House' by Shirley Jackson.

The 5th Wave Discussion Questions

30. The 5th Wave Discussion Questions

''The 5th Wave'' is a young adult novel about an alien invasion and its devastating impacts on humanity. These questions can help guide your class through a discussion on the book's characters, plot, and themes.

Kindred Discussion Questions

31. Kindred Discussion Questions

'Kindred' by Octavia Estelle Butler is a novel about a woman who travels through time to save the most contemptible person in her family tree so that she will eventually be born. This lesson will guide classroom discussions about this book.

Oryx and Crake Discussion Questions

32. Oryx and Crake Discussion Questions

'Oryx and Crake' is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood about two childhood friends living in a post-apocalyptic world after a pandemic. This asset contains discussion questions for classrooms about this novel.

Never Let Me Go Discussion Questions

33. Never Let Me Go Discussion Questions

These discussion questions can help your students gain a fuller understanding of the storyline in 'Never Let Me Go'. Students will also be able to explore ideas related to the ethical boundaries of cloning.

Out of the Silent Planet Discussion Questions

34. Out of the Silent Planet Discussion Questions

''Out of the Silent Planet'' is a science fiction novel penned by C.S. Lewis. These questions can help guide your students through a class discussion about this book's characters, plot, and themes.

World War Z Essay Topics

35. World War Z Essay Topics

''War World Z'' by Max Brooks is about the invasion of zombies, the government's plan to conquer them and the lack of preparedness of its citizens. Students can expand their knowledge of the novel while exploring the main characters and themes and completing a literary analysis.

Around the World in Eighty Days Discussion Questions

36. Around the World in Eighty Days Discussion Questions

''Around the World in 80 Days'' is a fun novel, but one that's packed with events and themes. These discussion questions can help your students unpack and appreciate this classic work of literature.

The Time Machine Discussion Questions

37. The Time Machine Discussion Questions

'The Time Machine' is a novel by H.G. Wells about a time travel that demonstrates that progress is not synonymous with social improvement. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this story.

The Veldt Discussion Questions

38. The Veldt Discussion Questions

'The Veldt' is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury that warns of the potential dangers of technology. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this story.

The Veldt Activities

39. The Veldt Activities

While 'The Veldt' was published in 1950, its themes will be surprisingly relevant to students today. These activities can help students explore this short story and expand their own creative writing.

I Am Legend Discussion Questions

40. I Am Legend Discussion Questions

''I Am Legend'' is a classic work of science fiction and horror, and one that many students will find engaging. These discussion questions can help your students unpack the themes and plot of this influential novel.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield Discussion Questions

41. Uglies by Scott Westerfield Discussion Questions

''Uglies'' is the first book in a dystopian young adult series by Scott Westerfeld. These questions will help students discuss this book and can prepare them for the following books in the series.

The Maze Runner Discussion Questions

42. The Maze Runner Discussion Questions

A popular young adult novel, The Maze Runner makes for an excellent novel study in a literature classroom. Here are interesting discussion questions to use during this unit.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Discussion Questions

43. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Discussion Questions

''The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'' is a popular novel by Douglas Adams, beloved for its absurdity. Help students explore the novel on a deeper level through a guided class discussion.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Discussion Questions

44. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Discussion Questions

''Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?'' is a science-fiction novel, often known as the inspiration behind the film ''Blade Runner.'' These questions can help your students delve deeper into the novel.

World War Z by Max Brooks Discussion Questions

45. World War Z by Max Brooks Discussion Questions

'World War Z' is a science fiction novel by Max Brooks about a dystopian society after a zombie apocalypse. This asset provides discussion questions about this novel.

The War of the Worlds Discussion Questions

46. The War of the Worlds Discussion Questions

Would you like to educate your students about the classic The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells? These helpful discussion questions will be of assistance as they work in cooperation to analyze the material.

Parable of the Sower Discussion Questions

47. Parable of the Sower Discussion Questions

'Parable of the Sower' is a science fiction novel written by Octavia Butler and published in 1993. This book is written at a reading level suitable for middle and high school students.

Parable of The Sower by Octavia Butler Discussion Questions

48. Parable of The Sower by Octavia Butler Discussion Questions

Octavia E. Butler's ''Parable of the Sower'' is a classic work of science fiction. These discussion questions can help your class work through this book and its main ideas.

The Martian Book Discussion Questions

49. The Martian Book Discussion Questions

Looking for intelligent, engaging science fiction for your class? Assign 'The Martian,' then help your students think through the novel and formulate personal reflections with these discussion questions.

The Martian Movie Discussion Questions

50. The Martian Movie Discussion Questions

'The Martian' is a 2015 dramatic film by director Ridley Scott about an astronaut who is left behind on a mission to Mars. This resource provides classroom discussion questions for use with this film.

V For Vendetta Discussion Questions

51. V For Vendetta Discussion Questions

Exploring the tale of V for Vendetta brings up many complicated themes and motifs. Use this resource to help guide discussion with and among your students for a unit on this story.

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