Josh Shaine has been working with gifted students of all ages for more than 35 years, including many years teaching, administrating, advising, and sometimes directing programs for 7th – 12th graders through MIT’s Educational Studies Program. He has taught at public, private, and alternative schools, as well as working with special needs students, either at home or institutionalized, for school districts in several states. He was the headmaster of a small 7th – 12th grade alternative school in Boston for gifted “disgruntled” students. In addition to teaching and consulting, Josh currently organizes the Beyond IQ conferences near Boston and serves on the board for Hoagies Gifted. He’s more fun than this makes him sound!
Speculative literature spans diverse genres such as science fiction, fantasy, utopias, dystopias, and improbable histories. All stories need a comprehensive world to be told. In this class, we will explore principles of worldbuilding looking across diverse stories.
This class is recommended for learners aged 7-13 and meets twice a week for 4 weeks. Students will have a chance to work on their own worlds while also sharing a collaborative project Our goal in this introductory course is not to craft complete worlds, but to establish the basis for our worlds – a platform from which you can develop the rest of it.
Students will be expected to read short stories or snippets of novels each week, some familiar and some not, to look at different elements being applied by their authors. Sometimes assignments may be of artwork or recordings, instead. They will also be required to participate in the discussions about our collaborative project. And the hope is that they will share their own creations, in part, with the class to aid in students learning from one another.
Sample Course Outline
This class has 8 meetings where each meeting focuses on different elements of worldbuilding. A sample outline is provided:
- Session 1: What is worldbuilding? Some examples and how to use these worlds
- Session 2: What do you want to create? Where do you start? Collaboration
- Session 3: Researching examples and ideas
- Session 4: Why Science is Important: Planets, Moons, Stars, and Assumptions
- Session 5: What are Culture and Society?
- Session 6: Conflict – types and causes, ways to resolve it (them). Do you need it?!
- Session 7: Applications – where do you want your world to be used?
- Session 8: Presentations – share your world with us!
Worldbuilding is offered Summer 2019.