Ender’s Game Literary Unit | 123Read&Write

The science fiction novel, Ender's Gameis written by Orson Scott Card. The story’s main setting is in Earth's future, as the novel presents a troubled mankind after military conflicts with the "Buggers", an alien species. This page offers a portion of an 8th/9th grade lesson plan unit to coincide with this work of science fiction. For the full unit plan, please see my educational store at Wake Up Sunshine!

Movie Time

Now that students have had an opportunity to focus their thoughts on the concept of Science Fiction, it now can be a good time to show some simple video clips of Science Fiction movie trailers. Depending on the age of your students, choose what works for you. As I teach teenagers, I have a few PG-13 clips, but feel free to use whatever works for your situation. After each clip, the students fill in the thought bubbles on what makes each example Science Fiction.

For full unit, please visit http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Wake-Up-Sunshine

Reading 3: Psychoanalysis Non Fiction Text

Read the following non fiction text with regards to psychoanalysis. Answer the questions which follow.

Psychoanalysis is a body of ideas developed by Austrian Physician Sigmund Freud and continued by others. It is primarily devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior, although it also can be applied to societies.
Psychoanalysis has three applications:

  1. a method of investigation of the mind;
  2. a systematized set of theories about human behavior;
  3. a method of treatment of psychological or emotional illness.

Freudian psychoanalysis refers to a specific type of treatment in which the "analysand" (analytic patient) verbalizes thoughts, including free associations, fantasies, and dreams, from which the analyst formulates the unconscious conflicts causing the patient's symptoms and character problems, and interprets them for the patient to create insight for resolution of the problems.
The specifics of the analyst's interventions typically include confronting and clarifying the patient's pathological
defenses, wishes and guilt. Through the analysis of conflicts, including those contributing to resistance and those involving transference onto the analyst of distorted reactions, psychoanalytic treatment can clarify how patients unconsciously are their own worst enemies: how unconscious, symbolic reactions that have been stimulated by experience are causing symptoms. 

25. Who developed the idea of psychoanalysis?

26. What are the three applications to psychoanalysis?

27. What’s another word for an analytic patient?

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28. Using context clues, in the second paragraph, what do you think the word “interprets” means?

29. Using context clues, in the third paragraph, what do you think the word “transference” means?

Picture Reference: La Main (Les Remords de conscience), 1930 Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989)

Reading 4: The Conscious and Unconscious Mind Non Fiction Text

Excerpt from "The Conscious and Unconscious Mind: The Structure of the Mind According to Freud” By Kendra Van Wagner, About.com 

Many of us have experienced what is commonly referred to as a Freudian Slip. These misstatements are believed to reveal underlying, unconscious thoughts or feelings. The founder of psychoanalytic theory was Sigmund Freud. While his theories were considered shocking at the time and continue to create debate and controversy, his work had a profound influence on a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, literature, and art.

The term psychoanalysis is used to refer to many aspects of Freud’s work and research, including Freudian therapy and the research methodology he used to develop his theories. Freud relied heavily upon his observations and case studies of his patients when he formed his theory of personality development.

According to Freud, the mind can be divided into two main parts:

The conscious mind includes everything that we are aware of. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about rationally. A part of this includes our memory, which is not always part of consciousness but can be retrieved easily at any time and brought into our awareness. Freud called this ordinary memory the preconscious. 

The unconscious mind is a reservoir of feelings, thoughts, urges, and memories that outside of our conscious awareness. Most of the contents of the unconscious are unacceptable or unpleasant, such as feelings of pain, anxiety, or conflict. According to Freud, the unconscious continues to influence our behavior and experience, even though we are unaware of these underlying influences. 

More fantastic work from some wonderful students!

For full unit, please visit http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Wake-Up-Sunshine

After the Book

When the students finish the book, you have an opportunity to conduct many types of final assessment. I chose to have them write a multiparagraph essay, with a twist. In order to encourage them to use the highest levels of thinking (analyzing and synthesizing), I chose three songs, which I thought correlated well with three of the the story’s main characters. The songs and correlating characters are as follows:

The students created a three column t-chart to take notes while I played the songs with a PowerPoint (with the song’s lyrics) playing on the Smartboard. When they observed lyrics that they believed that could connect to the character’s behavior, attitude, or experiences, they wrote them down. When complete, the students chose which song they believed they could connect with specific parts of the story, in conjunction with their chosen character. Each paragraph needed to contain a lyric from the song and its correlating connection to the text, within the book (complete with in-text citation). 

As always, my students never cease to amaze me. Their papers, while challenging, proved what they are truly capable of when given an opportunity to set sail. Below is one example of the paper’s I received. 

For full unit, please visit http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Wake-Up-Sunshine


1. Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game. New York: Tor, 1991. Print.

2. Droman, Sara. "What Do Your Dreams Mean?" IVillage Messageboards. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.ivillage.com/forums/node/2354023>.

3. "The Conscious and Unconscious Mind: The Structure of the Mind According to Freud” By Kendra Van Wagner, About.com