Language Arts Lesson (Day 3)
IntroductionThis lesson should begin by the teacher and several students reading Bible selections that describe supernatural, cosmic, angelic or meteorological activity: Jacob's ladder to heaven (Genesis 28:12), the whirlwind of Elijah (II Kings 2:11), the sun standing still (Joshua 10:13), the star if Bethlehem and annunciation of Christ's birth, etc.
Begin a discussion how Biblical writers viewed Man's relationship to the Cosmos. Did they see the universe as hostile or indifferent? Or, did they see the created heavens as a participating link between Man and God? Help students to see this as an important element of a Biblical view of the universe.
ObjectiveSmall groups of students will write and present a short, science fiction story as an in-class project. They will be given specific time limits and objectives for each phase of their project, culminating in group presentations of their writing products.
Students should be divided into small writing groups of no greater than four members each and given the following assignment. This may be displayed on an overhead or a written given to each group.
1. Select a scenario for a simple, one-act science fiction play to be written by the group. Identify the scenario by answering the 5 "W's. Be ready to share these with the class in a few minutes.
2. Decide which characters each group member will play.
Create fictional characters and a central plot. After a few minutes of brainstorming, record the story's central plot/scenario and share this with the class. Students will be invited to respond with questions that will help to focus and clarify the scenario.
3. Each group then writes their play on two or three large pieces of paper, e.g., lined chart paper, butcher paper or white poster board.
Both sides of poster board may be used. Writing should be large enough for the group to be able to read during their presentation. Common conventions and elements of science fiction identified earlier should be incorporated. A list of these should remain visible in a prominent place.
4. Finally, groups will hang or places their writing product so that it can be seen by all group members as the dramatic dialogue can be read by each participant. After each group has finished reading, the remainder of the class will be invited to identify the target story elements identified earlier.
The teacher should summarize and review examples of good science fiction writing in the class writing products. The benefit of this series of lessons is to enable students to develop a thoughtful and critical approach to this popular genre of literature. Although this type of imaginative writing may not be a student's favorite reading genre, it is important to be able to discern the key elements the worldview of the author's work. This is becoming an increasingly popular literary form used by Christian fiction authors.