Johns Hopkins University Secondary Support Initiative (JHUSSI)  

Science Fiction


The fantastical nature of science fiction texts can motivate young readers and instill a love of reading in students who are not inspired by realistic fiction (Smith, 2012). While science fiction and fantasy evoke children’s natural curiosities and imaginations, science fiction reading can also supplement foundational reading skills and extend themes and concepts that children may not explore in traditional fiction texts (Czerneda, 2006). Science fiction exposes readers to a broad range of topics, including social and physical science, futurology, religion, morality, and ecology. The themes that science fiction is able to touch on promote questioning and argument building on the part of the reader, which can translate to thought provoking classroom discussions and persuasive opinion writing (Gunn, 1996).


The following lessons use science fiction short stories to promote writing skills. The strategies highlighted in the lessons utilize acronyms to help students compare multiple texts and generate arguments pertaining to related themes and ideas.