Our Real Teens Read group read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and the following poems to accompany the novel:
- “Fire and Ice” and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
- “The Soldier” by Rupert Brooks
- “The End of the World” by Archibald MacLeish
- “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen
- “The Unknown Citizen” by W. H. Auden
- “Warning” by Jenny Joseph
To encourage the teens to really dig into the novel and develop strong literary analysis skills, I gave them a list of themes, symbols, literary allusions, and cultural references to investigate.
They also did character sketches. Using post-it notes, the teens look for examples in the novel and mark the pages, writing brief notes on the post-its so they can find their examples during our discussion. We start off with a question and answer format, but the teens quickly jump in and offer their opinions and reflections. They always amaze me with their insight and unique perspectives.
Some of the themes we talked about — youth, manipulation, warfare, isolation, competition, and identity. We also looked at biblical and historical references and talked about the characters, including the buggers.
After filling up on pizza and brownies and having a great conversation, the teens all made their own Sculpey clay interpretation of a bugger based on what they imagined and the details in the novel.
We will be going to see the Ender’s Game movie when it hits theaters!