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A Formal Analysis of Science Fiction

Author: Catharine Niuzzo Honaman



Time: 2 days
Preparation
Time:
30 minutes to read the lesson plan
Materials: Access to a computer lab to write and edit the themes
Students will need the story they read and their notes from the Explain Lesson

 


Abstract
Students will use the observations that they made on how the short story they read qualifies as science fiction and any notes that they took in the Explain Lesson class discussion to write a five paragraph expository theme. In the theme they will show how the author skillfully used three literary elements to create a fine piece of science fiction literature.

Purpose – This is the Apply Lesson. Students will write a formal five paragraph expository theme in which they highlight three aspects of the story that they read, explaining how these make the story science fiction.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
1. Write a five paragraph expository theme
2. Explain in their theme how the story they read qualifies as science fiction
3. Write using all the conventions of English correctly

English Education Standard
WRITING
W-P1. Use transitional devices; varied sentence structures; active voice; parallel
structures; supporting details, phrases, and clauses; and correct spelling,
punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and usage to sharpen the focus and
clarify the meaning of writing
PO 1. Use transitions (e.g., conjunctive adverbs, coordinating conjunctions,
subordinating conjunctions) where appropriate
PO 2. Vary sentence structure (e.g., compound, complex, compound-complex)
PO 3. Use active voice as appropriate to purpose
PO 4. Use parallel structure appropriately
PO 5. Sharpen the focus and clarify the meaning of their writing through the
appropriate use of:
- capitalization
- standard grammar and usage (e.g., subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement and consistency of verb tense)
- spelling, with the use of a dictionary/thesaurus (as needed)
- punctuation (e.g., comma, ellipsis, apostrophe, semicolon, colon)

W-P3. Write an analysis of an author’s use of literary elements such as character,
setting, theme, plot, figurative language, and point of view.
PO 1. Develop a thesis that states a position about the author’s use of literary
elements
PO 2. Support the thesis with relevant examples from the selection
PO 3. Analyze the author’s use of literary elements
PO 4. Organize the analysis with a clear beginning, middle, and ending

Teacher Background
An appreciation for imaginative writing and science fiction

Resource Websites

List URL and title of page

 

 

Activity
1. These two days will be used by the students to write their expository themes. Begin the class by going over the requirements of the paper and how it will be graded (see the Embedded Assessment section for these). Explain to the students that the purpose of the theme is to show in detail how the author of the short story (or book) that they read used at least three literary elements to create a work that qualifies as science fiction. The more direct quotes and specific examples that they can incorporate into the body paragraphs of their theme, the stronger their paper will be.
2. The basic outline of the paper will be:

Introduction
Sets forth the premise that the short story is an interesting or well-
written or excellent example of the science fiction genre.

1st body paragraph in which the student explains how one literary element
is used to create a science fiction story.
Direct quotes and examples from the text need to back up the topic
sentence.

2nd body paragraph in which the student explains how a second literary element
is used to create a science fiction story.
Direct quotes and examples from the text need to back up the topic
sentence.

3rd body paragraph in which the student explains how a third literary element
is used to create a science fiction story.
Direct quotes and examples from the text need to back up the topic
sentence.

Conclusion
Contains a review of the pertinent arguments of the paper and a final idea for the reader to ponder.

3. After students finish writing their first draft they may wish to/should ask another student
to proofread their work before they print out a final copy.

Closure
The papers are handed in to be formally evaluated.

Embedded Assessment
The five paragraph expository theme will be evaluated for form, content and mechanics. It is suggested that the area of mechanics be assessed for:

Correct use of transitions (e.g., conjunctive adverbs, coordinating conjunctions,
subordinating conjunctions) where appropriate
Varied sentence structure (e.g., compound, complex, compound-complex)
Use active voice as appropriate to purpose
Appropriate use of parallel structure
Appropriate use of:
- capitalization
- standard grammar and usage (e.g., subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement and consistency of verb tense)
- spelling, with the use of a dictionary/thesaurus (as needed)
- punctuation (e.g., comma, ellipsis, apostrophe, semicolon, colon)

The form of the theme should follow the format of a five paragraph expository theme in which the student has:

Developed a thesis that states a position about the author’s use of literary
elements
Supported the thesis with relevant examples from the selection
Analyzed the author’s use of literary elements
Organized the analysis with a clear beginning, middle, and ending

In the area of content, check to see that the student has used at least one example from the story to back up every point that the student asserts about the work.

Homework
None.

Embedded Assessment

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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