Language Arts/Literature

Cox, Mitch. "Engendering Critical Literacy through Science Fiction and Fantasy." English Journal 79:3 (1990) p. 35-38.

Describes how a nine-week mini-course in science fiction and fantasy stimulated students to think critically and creatively and to make connections across disciplines. Notes that the mini-course was replaced by a required survey of the British classics, sacrificing critical literacy for cultural literacy.

Marks, Dorothy. "When Children Write Science Fiction." Language Arts 62:4 (1985) p. 355-61.

Presents a case study of a fourth grade boy writing science fiction in a writing workshop.

ED 312 703 (on microfiche)

Roth, Lane. Teaching Science Fiction Film Genre: Theory, Form and Theme. 1981.

Intended to provide a paradigm for teachers planning a course in science fiction film, the instructional approach outlined in this paper examines films in relation to each other and to culture. The paper provides a course outline, a discussion of lecture topics, a suggested reading list, and a film list. The instructional approach suggested by the paper is divided into three parts--the first third of the course approaches the film genre from a theoretical perspective sufficiently broad to introduce any film genre course, so that as a module it could be "plugged into" alternative studies of the Western, horror film, et cetera. The second and concluding segments of the course focus on the science fiction film by examining, respectively, its formal properties and representative themes. The paper includes 27 notes.

Wolk, Anthony. "Challenge the Boundaries: An Overview of Science Fiction and Fantasy." English Journal 79:3 (1990) p. 26-31.

Defines the boundaries between "realist" literature and science fiction and fantasy. Describes science fiction writing assignments. Mentions science fiction and fantasy books suitable for the uninitiated reader.


Barra, Paul. "It Was a Dark and Stormy Chemistry Class..." Science Teacher 55:7 (1988) p. 33-35.

Describes a science fiction writing project for ninth-grade physical science classes. Provides some examples of science fiction stories written by the students. Selects grammar, punctuation, science content, sentence structure, and originality as the criteria of grading.

Q 192 D8 1988

Dubeck, Leroy, et al. Science in Cinema: Teaching Science Fact Through Science Fiction Films. New York: Teacher's College Press, 1988.

Many feel that secondary school graduates are not prepared to compete in a world of rapidly expanding technology. High school and college students in the United States often prefer fantasy to science. This book offers a strategy for overcoming student apathy toward the physical sciences by harnessing the power of the cinema. In it, ten popular science fiction films are analyzed in depth. Detailed plot summaries are provided and a point-by-point guide to the scientific issues raised by each. Also included are capsule descriptions of 24 additional science fiction films, many of which can be found on videotape. The document states that science fiction films can reverse negative attitudes that many students have toward real science by moving them from familiar experiences they enjoy to an appreciation of unfamiliar experiences such as physics, chemistry, astronomy, and biology.

ED 269 183 (on microfiche)

Hall, William. Outer Space: A Multi-Age, Integrated Subjects Curriculum Unit. 1985.

This multi-age integrated teaching unit on outer space was developed by 19 rural teachers (grades K-8) from 12 Gallatin County (Montana) districts to associate all school subjects with a common theme, promote teaching efficiency by focusing on more than one subject at the same time, and increase student excitement. Topics explored by each grade level are space travelers (grades K-1), the solar system (grade 2), the moon (grade 3), galaxies (grade 4), comets (grade 5), exploration in space (grade 6), astronomy (grade 7), and science fiction (grade 8). Core activities are outlined for each grade level in reading/language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, art, music, and physical education. The lesson plans consist of a general focus statement, specific behavioral objectives, designated classroom activities, lists of materials needed, and a teacher log section. Lists of vocabulary words are included in each unit with some coded to a key for word attack through structural analysis. Accompanying each unit is a list of available resouces, both material and human. Evaluation worksheets to be utilized when assessing student performance on specific objectives are included.

Weiss, Rick. "Education by Exaggeration: One Professor's Offbeat Answer to Entomological Illiteracy." Science News 135:9 (1989) p. 136-37.

Introduces one professor's endeavor, "Insect Fear Film Festival," to educate the public about entomology. Discusses some related topics and misconceptions.

Social Studies

Prosser, H.L. "Teaching Sociology with 'The Martian Chronicles.'" Social Education 47:3 (1983) p. 212-15.

To illustrate how individual stories from "The Martian Chronicles" can be used to teach sociological concepts to secondary students, the story "Ylla," which can be used to teach about race-ethnic relations, is analyzed and discussed. Other issues of "Social Education" featuring science fiction and additional resources are cited.

Reynolds, John. "Teaching Socialization through Science Fiction." Clearing House 56:9 (1983) p. 404-07.

Provides a rationale for the use of science fiction materials to teach socialization and presents a list of resources for teachers, curriculum directors, and supervisors for use in developing lessons in this area.

ED 289 793(on microfiche)

Sanchez, Tony. Jamestown II: Building a New World. 1987.

This simulation uses a science fiction setting to capture the unparallelled adventure, danger, and uncertainty of the colonization period in the United States history. The simulation can be done in small groups or individually, and value judgements affect the outcome of the simulation. The premise of the simulation is that due to overpopulation, starvation, and pestilence, the United States has decided to experiment with building a space colony on Mars, tentatively dubbed "Jamestown II." The simulation is composed of eight basic problems. The four considered before the trip are to: (1) submit a blueprint and cost estimates of the proposed colony within the given area; (2) determine the jobs and requisite skills for the 500 colonists; (3) decide which essential supplies must be taken on the initial trip; and (4) propose laws or rules for governing the colony. The four problems considered after colonization are to: (1) write a speech to address questions posed by 200 disgruntled colonists who want to return to earth; (2) decide what action should be taken against two saboteurs; (3) convince the inhabitants of Mars that the colonists mean them no harm; and (4) write a report to the President of the United States evaluating the success or failure of the colony and recommending whether other colonies should be built. A schedule for the simulation is appended.


Greenlaw, M. Jean. "Science Fiction as Moral Literature." Educational Horizons 65:4 (1987) p. 165-66.

The author discusses the use of science fiction as a catalyst for values education for adolescents.

ED 314 281 (on microfiche)

Payson, Patricia. Science Fiction: Self-Directed Study Units for Grades K-3 and 4-8, Gifted. Easily Adapted for Regular Classroom Use. Zephyr Learning Project. 1982.

Originally designed for gifted students, these reproducible units on science fiction emphasize the use of higher order thinking skills and are appropriate for use in any classroom. Interdisciplinary in content, the units provide a broad view of science fiction. Included are two complete units, one created for the upper elementary gifted student and the other for the lower elementary gifted student. Suggestions for adapting the materials to fit other classrooms are included. Several learning modalities are designed into the materials to encourage active student participation.

Prothero, James. "Fantasy, Science Fiction, and the Teaching of Values." English Journal 79:3 (1990) p. 32-34.

Addresses two misunderstandings about science fiction and fantasy: that fantastic literature is not serious; and that modern scientific civilization neither has nor needs mythology. Argues that values can be transmitted through science fiction and fantasy, which are modern-day forms of mythology.


Last updated July 3, 2012