Back to School Book Blogger Challenge: Day 2 – If I Were an English Teacher…
Day 2 – If you were/are an English teacher, share with us your dream lesson plan as far as reading assignments.
I get asked quite a lot if I want to be a teacher in the future (I’d be a terrible teacher, so I’m leaving that to my brother), but I’ve never been asked what my dream lesson plan would be, so I’ve had to think a lot about this!
If I were to teach a module or unit (I don’t know what other schools call them), I would teach the dystopian genre because it’s one that I feel like I know pretty well.
I couldn’t have my reading assignments just be crusty mid 20th century books, could I? Since I imagine this would be for people in school, I have to include some YA books into the mix because, in my opinion, YA dystopian is different from adult dystopian and the genre has changed since its inception. So, here I have three different types of dystopia: one that looks like a utopia, but is actually still pretty bad (Uglies); one where the population is kept in constant fear (The Hunger Games); and one where everybody is dying and there’s pretty much nothing that can be done about it except forcing girls into polygamous marriages (Wither).
I hadn’t heard of this story until I watched a YouTube video titled ‘Top 10 Most Depressing Games’ (sounds lovely, doesn’t it?) because I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream was adapted into a video game. Cool, huh? obviously the video game is about twenty years old now, so i don’t have a way of playing it anytime soon but i gave the story a read and holy crap. This story is what made me realise the difference between YA dystopians and dystopians of the past. There’s just a feeling of hopelessness once you get to the end, which I still have yet to get from a YA dystopian. And there’s just nothing like coming out of class feeling incredibly disturbed, isn’t there? You can read the story HERE, if you’d like to. Just don’t read it in the dark at 2AM like I did. That was a bad decision.
Yes, I am truly that cruel. Just kidding! Nineteen Eighty-Four is one of my favourite books ever (I’ve read it twice, and the first time it wasn’t for school) and I actually only studied it for one lesson when I was in sixth-form and supposed to write an essay on it, so I would love to include it in a lesson plan and see how other people would interpret it and read deeper into it. That’s the beautiful thing about studying literature; there are technically no wrong answers! Unless you completely read it all wrong like the people in a class I was in once did (even the teacher had a look of pure ‘did we read the same book?’ on her face, they got it so wrong).
And just as a bit of fun…:
Create your own dystopia! The worse the society, the better. Extra points if it’s just beyond overthrowing!