How to Recognize a Dystopia

This How to Recognize a Dystopia video also includes:

Viewers need not be fans of dystopian literature to be engaged by a short video that traces the development of the genre from Plato to the present. Gulliver's Travels, The Time Machine, The Iron Heel, Brave New World, Animal Farm, and We are just a few of the classic novels discussed. Video games and films are also featured in a cautionary tale about cautionary tales.  

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have fans of dystopian literature identify the films the animated images are referencing
  • Before showing the video, have individuals journal about their perfect world, explaining their vision, and answering the three questions that conclude the video: What would it take to achieve this utopia, how they would make people cooperate, and how they would make this world last
  • Flip the lesson, asking class members to view the video, respond to the comprehension questions, and research some of the links out of class before returning for a full class discussion
Classroom Considerations

  • To replay the video, click the arrow on the right side of the screen

  • Animated images reference additional works
  • Links are provided to permit free downloading of many of the works mentioned
  • The resource includes a comprehension check as well as discussion questions 

  • None