Here are my notes from Workshop 1:
To Boldly Go… the new Level 2 Analyse Connections standard AS91104 using Science Fiction and Fantasy as a Genre base – Summar Austin, Pakuranga College
Why genre rather than theme?
Genre allows students to analyse the choices made by the author. Texts are connected by shared conventions, but may address different themes, which allows variation in text choices.
Speculative fiction, particularly SF, lends itself to study because of the way writers use metaphor to critique the world around them.
Eg. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series provides a comedic commentary on our own society. Kurt Vonnegut’s short story Harrison Bergeron explores the downside to equality.
Student feedback shows they enjoy exploring a genre in depth.
Summar gave out the task she used this year. She intends to revise this next year tailoring it more specifically to a genre approach, as students are more used to a thematic approach.
Poem Eugenesis by William McIlvanney – you can find it on this blog site if you scroll down – thanks Miss Macdonald! introduce a stanza a day – students to write quick responses.
- · The Machine Stops, EM Forster.
- · Asimov, Robot AL-76 Goes Astray
- · Compassion Circuit, John Wyndham
- · The Large Ant, Howard Fast
- · Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow – Kurt Vonnegut
- · The Weapon, Frederick Brown.
- · Minority Report
- · Gattaca
- · Aliens series
- · Bladerunner
- · The Island
- · Total Recall
- · Terminator trilogy
- · Space Odyssey 2001
- · Barbarella
- · Star Wars
- · 12 Monkeys
- · The Day the Earth Stood Still
- · Independence Day
- · Mad Max
- · Space Balls
- · Mars Attacks
- · Demolition Man
- · The Fifth Element
- · Vexille
- · Lord of the Rings
- · Howl’s Moving Castle
- · Journey to the Centre of the Earth
- · Children of Men
- · Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep – Philip K Dick
- · Spares – Michael Marshall Smith
- · Dracula
- · Frankenstein
- · Gulliver’s Travels
- · The Handmaid’s Tale
- · The Time Traveller’s Wife
- · A Clockwork Orange
- · Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
- · Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- · The Wastelands, The Dark Tower – Stephen King
- · The Giver – Lois Lowry
- · Nineteen Eighty-Four
- · Only Forward – Michael Marshall Smith
- · The War of the Worlds – HG Wells
- · A Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
- · Brave New World
- · The Lord of the Rings
- · The Hobbit
- · Eragon series
Authors for students to check out:
- · Michael Marshall Smith
- · Isaac Asimov
- · Ursula Le Guin
Mentioned by other attendees:
- · Feed, MT Anderson
Examples of themes identified by students to base their Connections study around:
- · How technology is represented in Science Fiction
- · The demon inside the hero in Fantasy fiction
- · Representations of women in speculative fiction
- · Different endings – representing the apocalypse
- · Representations of dystopia in SF
- · The changing face of the zombie
- · The role of fate in fantasy fiction
Class texts used: Only Forward, Inception, The Machine Stops.
“I enjoyed reading texts that I wouldn’t normally read.” - Student feedback.
Timeline – 2-3 terms
Needed to give time to write logs in class to get the quality – checkpoints for reading logs after each literature study. Time given to conferencing and guiding text choices. Some students relied heavily on texts studied in class, other chose all the texts themselves – allowed for differentiation.
Themes – Power & Justice; Action & Inaction.
Options to present – podcast, powerpoint, seminar as well as written report.
Check out www.sfsignal.com
Great workshop!!!! Thanks, Summar!!!!