“Science Fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not” ~ Isaac Asimov

      The main goal of this course is for you to become a better thinker, a more independent thinker.  Sometimes the world is not as we perceive.  In science fiction and fantasy we must be critical of the world around us, analyzing and evaluating the people in it and the choices we all make in order to gain a greater understanding not just of our surroundings but of ourselves. 

     In Science Fiction & Fantasy students explore the notable genres of both Science Fiction and Fantasy.  It is a journey of exploration and discovery.  Throughout the course of the year students look to the works of the past to see how they are representative of our contemporary works.  Students examine the fundamental themes, conflicts, and ideas of as they were presented in their authors’ times as well as how society and culture today may have molded those same themes, conflicts, and ideas for contemporary audiences.

     Students will explore units of fantasy to see different people and races working to a common goal; overcoming adversity and becoming better as a result.  Students will journey into the future to appreciate the present for its beauty as well as its flaws and see just how human a robot can be. 

     The course will also focus on a review of grammar, punctuation and spelling conventions as students will use the writing process (prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) in order to practice skills and strategies in various modes (exposition, description, narration, and persuasion).  Students will practice speaking and listening skills on a daily basis, and will be required to plan and present at least on oral presentation / speech.  Students will also be required to study and review vocabulary; study-thinking-reference skills.



    Each focus area/thematic section will have assigned readings providing the historical background for that section from the beginnings of SF (or F) to the present.  These readings are to be done prior to reading the assigned short fiction. Class time will be divided into lecture and discussion, with extensive time made available for the discussion of important authors, important works, major influences, trends and primary themes/concepts within the focus area.


    NOVELS –

          Each student will select and read one novel from the list of options presented for the semester. If a student wishes to read a work not on the list, the alternative selection must be approved in writing at the beginning of the semester.

          After reading the novel, Students will create a way to present the novel to the rest of the class. Each presentation must contain the following elements:

    ü  An oral presentation (a written summary is not enough but must be included)

    ü  A summary of the novel’s setting, plot, characters, and important elements, which may include special definitions, literary devices, illustrations, etc.

    ü  The student’s individual reaction to the novel, showing thoughtful consideration

    ü  An analysis of how the novel ties into the overarching theme of one of the units/sections

    ü  A visual/auditory aid – poster, video, music, power point . . . . .

    The instructor will model an appropriate presentation but the student should not limit themselves to the format and structure as presented by the teacher. Creativity is encouraged and expected in meeting the basic requirements of the novel assignment.


    SHORTER FICTION (including short stories, novellas, novelettes, and poetry) –

    Each student will read the short stories assigned for each section as assigned. Students are expected to participate in and contribute constructively to each short story discussion. In addition, students may be given “pop” quizzes on the short stories due for that day’s class. Some stories have study guides to complete while reading. Some stories will tie into another media – TV show, film, or song – and this connection will be explored as well.

    Students will be expected to tie the ideas presented in the short stories to the ideas of the larger thematic concept and to the concepts illustrated in their novels.


    MEDIA –

    Students will explore the various media options available and connect these media options to the        larger unit themes. Possibilities include film, television, art, video games, etc.


    You are expected to attend class each and every day unless you have a valid excuse accepted by the Attendance Office.  If an assignment is due on a day where you are absent it is due at the start of the next class the day you return to school.  If an assignment is due and you miss class without a valid, legal excuse you will earn a grade of a zero (0) for that assignment.  When you are absent it is your responsibility to find out what you may have missed during your absence.  This includes all notes, handouts, and homework assignments.

    You are expected to be seated before the bell at the start of class, ready to work.  Additionally you are expected to be seated until the bell dismisses you from class.  If you are not seated at the start of class you will be marked as coming to class late.  After three lates you will be marked absent and will have an instructor consequence in addition to any zeroes for assignments.  Please do not be late without a pass and be ready to work for the entire period.


    There are three (3) categories of grades.

    1.  Major Grades (40%) – such as essays, unit tests, individual and group projects and will be announced in advance for students to prepare.  Individual essays that students take home to complete will count twice toward their Major Grade percentage.  However, in many instances the student may resubmit the work after making individual arrangements with the instructor.  The original grade will count once and the resubmission grade will count once.  Resubmissions must be completed in a timely fashion, otherwise this offer is withdrawn. 

    2.  Minor Grades (40%) – such as quizzes, reading checks and in-class assessments.

    3.  Homework (20%) – Nightly written assignments or reading selections will be checked the following day(s) through questions, written responses, or informal discussion and participation.

    All assignments are to be fully completed by the due date at the beginning of class.  Grade assignments may be turned in up to two days late with a 10 point penalty for each day late.  After the two days a grade of zero is earned.  On one occasion during the semester, the student may claim extenuating circumstances thereby avoiding the above penalty.  To do this, the student muse see the instructor on the day the assignment is due in order to establish a reasonable alternate due date.

    If a student skips the class or is truant from school, a grade of zero is earned for the work done during that time. 


                The instructor will allow a few minutes at the end of each class period for students’ individual comments or concerns.  This time is provided for questions, getting started on homework assignments, studying notes, etc.  It is expected that all students will remain seated and quietly working or conferencing with other students or meeting with the instructor.

                However, it is advisable for the student to meet with the instructor before or after school in room 306.  More time and privacy are available during those times.  Please refer to “Office Hours” posted in the classroom or on the class website.  Although students may drop in at any time, it is understood that their needs may not be accommodated without an appointment.


                It is the responsibility of each student to make the instructor aware of his/her specific, individual needs, concerns, and/or problems as they arise, and if possible to propose solutions.  The instructor is better able to accommodate these special circumstances if he is aware of them in advance and/or reminded of them.



      Click link to download a physical copy of the Science Fantasy Course Outline

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