There is a wide range of options available when it comes to teaching science fiction. One of the first things I read when deciding to put together a science fiction literature study was the article, Why Teach Science Fiction? by Professor James Gunn. In it, he writes:

The kinds of subjects that can be taught through science fiction involve all the social and physical sciences, history, ideas, futurology, religion, morality, ecology, reading skills, and many others. In fact, looking at the course descriptions gathered for this issue of Science-Fiction Studies, I am impressed by the fact that they are addressed to almost every issue but the genre itself.

When teaching science fiction from a literary perspective, he outlines three approaches, any or all of which would be valid:
  1. The "great books" approach, in which the focus is on novels and critical analaysis of what makes them great.
  2. The "ideas in science fiction" approach, dealing with how science fiction stories can be used to dramatize contemporary problems.
  3. The historical approach - what is science fiction and how did it get to be that way?

Before I get back to planning our literature study, here were a couple of other ideas that captured my interest:

Teaching Science with Science Fiction

Teaching Writing with Science Fiction


*The first three books are specifically for middle grade students, while the last two are for adults, but still of value.

Miscellaneous Resources


  1. Jen's Busy Days said...
    If you want to learn more about governments, ethics etc then check out Anne McCaffrey's Crisis at Doona and follow ons. Also her dragon series is a great one for medieval influenced guilds and an interesting look at governing bodies too. These are more sci-fi fantasy though.

    Best of luck, it sounds like a lot of fun. Asimov was a good read although it may depend on the ages of the students.

    Best wishes
    Jen in Oz
    Kristine said...
    Thanks Jen, I will check out your suggestions!

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