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F1 English - Futuristic Writing: Teacher

Resources to use during the F1 Futuristic Writing Inquiry

Lesson 1

Quick recap:

They have spent a lot of time looking at the text of Floodland, and the context of that novel – both geographical and literary:

    • An imagined future – where everything has gone wrong.
    • Dystopian [with some cause for hope?]
    • Specifically climate fiction – an event has occurred caused by the effect of humans on the planet.

Now we are going to flip that around and think about what is happening in the world now, the technological advances that are being made, so that they can use these as the basis for their own futuristic world. This imagined world will then form the context, the setting for their own text.

The best way to predict the future is to invent it (Alan Kay) – what do they think this means?

    • To invent the future you have to be able to imagine it, or you would not know what it was you wanted to be able to invent
    • This is why dystopian writing sometimes, although not always, features worlds where technology has gone wrong.


Current technologies give us a look at the near future.  Predicting the future by inventing it based on 7 technologies (How 7 sci-fi technologies are shaping our future) – use images without headings, they say what they think each image is representing:

What are they looking at?  What language might they need to describe what they see?

The 7 technologies can be grouped into different areas of development

Go through each area and as you discuss they can make notes on their CONNECT/WONDER sheet for each one - p2 in their workbook.  If remote, can print just this page from LibGuide.

WONDER: Speculation before they do some reading

Think specifically about what they already know about these particular technologies and what they would like to find out. They might want to think about:

  • What stage that technology is at now;
  • How it might change in the future;
  • Potential positive and negative impacts on our lives.

The three areas of development:

  • Going places: how technological developments in the way we travel could shape the future:
    • Self-driving cars
    • Other transport on Earth
    • Space travel
    • Alien life – as a consequence of space exploration
  • The stuff of life: how technological developments in the way we understand and modify living things could shape the future:
    • Human genetic modification
    • Plant an animal genetic modification
    • Other genetic technologies
    • Human technological modification (cyborgs)
  • The robots are coming: how technological developments in Artificial Intelligence and robotics could shape the future:
    • Robots and AI at work
    • Rights for robots
    • Robots and AI in the home
    • Robots and AI at war

When they have finished wondering, they should decide which of those areas they are most interested in exploring further, and let you know.

Lesson 2


They are going to have time to read a selection of articles which will allow them to build up a picture of a futuristic, potentially dystopian world.

  • Show them how to find the relevant LibGuide (Oakham Start-Library-Guides for Lower School-choose ‘F1 English - Futuristic Writing’, click ‘go’.
  • If they are doing remote learning, they will need to click on The Day and The Day Explorer from Subscription Databases page to open it, and then go back to LibGuide and click on articles there.
  • Introduce articles for initial research (via tabs at the top) – based on the three groups of technologies.
  • Introduce investigative journal and how they will use it – p3-p6 in workbook

This is the information I have found in the article … and this is what it will mean for the world I am going to create...

  • Pupils have opportunity to read through the articles/sources they have been directed to. 
  • If time, allow feedback on what they have been ‘blown away by’ in different areas of development, and which they think they might like to include in their story.  They might hear ideas they wish to include in their worlds, or might have things they wish to find out more about.

Lesson 3

Looking back at the FOSIL cycle and explaining steps they have gone through and that now they have reached the CONSTRUCT stage.

BUT – you need to know what it is you are constructing – introduce GRASPS task

HOWEVER – slow down, not going to be writing just yet!  Need to do some planning first.

This will have two phases:

1. How can I use the literary techniques we have seen in other openings for stories this term to help me to express my ideas? [Use Constructing my literary toolkit as scaffolding for this-could fill  it in together on the board during whole class discussion and then give time to copy to workbooks.]

  • This is a recap exercise of all the techniques they have seen in the different stories they have studied. Might be best done as a whole class exercise, both to make it easier for weaker students and to save time?
  • They should have Floodland and hopefully the other openings they have looked at in class.
  • SLIDES 29-33 give ideas of things they have looked at/can include, and which they have done annotation work on already

2. What is my world like? [Use Constructing my world worksheet as scaffolding for this]

  • They need to build up a clear picture of their world so best if it is based on somewhere they know (best fiction comes from prior knowledge)
  • Should also be feeding ideas in from their investigation.
  • Perhaps they could base it on their memorable place from the start of term as this is a place they know well, what would happen if their technology had an effect on that place?
  • Links back to what done already, connecting different elements of the unit.

If time, or if pupils are struggling for ideas, the video on SLIDE 35 could help.

Lesson 4

EXPRESS – What they need to write. The task is to write an opening for a futuristic novel, not the whole story, based both on the openings they have studied and the investigation they have been doing. This lesson should be for them to write a first draft, print it off and then, hopefully, for it to be peer-reviewed.

Setting up and saving the document – instructions in LibGuide – making sure they can all save to OneDrive as final piece will be submitted by Teams as an assignment.

Use the two construct sheets from last lesson to plan what they want to write and then produce their first draft.

If appropriate (and time allows), you may wish to show Austin’s butterfly ( – about 5 minutes long) to help them to understand that redrafting is a vital part of the creative process (for authors as well as artists).

Ask them to reflect in pairs on each other’s work (using Redrafting: using the techniques we have learnt this term in my writing as scaffolding).

Lesson 5

Once work has been peer-reviewed (obviously this will be difficult if they are not in the room) they have a go at producing a second draft. They should save a copy of both drafts to stick into their workbook so that they can demonstrate the effect of redrafting.

Final version will be submitted via Teams – instructions in the LibGuide if they are unsure.

Will need to be added as an assignment in English Team for them to submit there.

Time needed for them to be able to reflect on the processes used to build up their world and use it for creative writing – which they can do using the Reflection on the Unit sheet – good to point out the different types of reflection they have engaged in – reflection on both the product (to help them to make this piece of work better) and the process (to help them to make their next inquiry better – even if it’s in another subject).

They might need some individual help with this as reflection is a vital metacognitive skill but it doesn’t necessarily come naturally and needs to be taught.


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