I am always on the lookout for an engaging lesson idea that will grab student attention from the beginning, and then sneak in some critical thinking when they least expect it, and I have just that type of lesson for you today!
If you haven't experimented with using picture books in your secondary classroom, this lesson might just be the one to convince you to try it - listen to this episode of the Brave New Teaching Podcast for a little background and the full lesson walk-through.
In preparation for our Fall 2021 Festival all about teaching dystopia, Amanda (my Brave New Teaching other half) and I have been compiling our very best lessons and ideas for incorporating the elements of dystopia in our classrooms, whether that means an entire unit (or course!) devoted to the genre, or just using elements here and there in lessons. Since I am teaching 11th and 12th grade this year, and dystopia is a large focus of the 10th grade curriculum at my school, I put on my thinking cap and looked for the major elements and themes in dystopia that have a broad connection to other genres.
Lucky for me, the world we live in is pretty dystopian right now, so it really wasn't a stretch...
Here is a run-down of how I taught the Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs lesson as an entry into the foundations and functions of government with my 11th grade American Literature class.
Make sure to register for the FREE Brave New Teaching Fall Festival: Teaching Dystopia to get your hands on this entire lesson plan!!