Beyond IQ

Speculative Literature: Worldbuilding

Register for Speculative Literature: Worldbuilding here!

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Language Arts
Instructor: Josh Shaine
5-10 students
Suggested Age Ranges: 13+ years old or 7-13
Meets: TBD


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 or 13+) and meets for 8 sessions. 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, with each session focused 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!

Specific sessions may change based on students' interests.

Register for Speculative Literature: Worldbuilding here!

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