On March 21st, adolescents and teenagers everywhere will flock to theaters for the release of Divergent, a novel-turned-movie about futuristic and dystopian Chicago. Drawing on similar themes as other popular young-adult novels like The Hunger Games & The Maze Runner, the much anticipated movie will surely be as big of a blockbuster as The Hunger Games saga. While these books and movies are well-loved by our students, they often fail to realize that the themes and settings found within the novels are very much a part of our history and every day society. Concepts like revolutions and modern medicine can be seamlessly woven into our lessons to help students make connections between their pleasure reading and classroom reading.
Using Big Universe as a guide, start a discussion with your middle and high school students about revolutions in history and how the themes in those echo the themes in Divergent. Enlighten them about Chicago if they’ve never had an opportunity to travel there, and share with them the marvels of modern medicine. Bring Divergent to life in your classroom with the following e-books!
Bring Divergent to Life in Middle School
Causes of the Revolution
by Jill K. Mulhall
Great Britain passed the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, which made colonists angry. Eventually they boycotted and refused to purchase British goods. Great Britain sent soldiers to the colonies, which caused conflict like the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine helped convince people that they were no longer British citizens. The foundation for the American Revolution had been laid.
Early America: The American Revolution
by Christi E. Parker
The American Revolution was the colonists’ fight for freedom in the New World. It involved the help of spies, women, and people from other countries. The colonists fought against a giant, and they won their freedom from Great Britain against all odds. After winning the impossible, the colonists had a new battle to fight: setting up a new government and nation.
Great Chicago Fire
by L.L. Owens (author) © 2008
ISBN: 9781617851599 AR: / Points 2.0
Describes the events when a small barn fire ignited into one of the greatest urban disasters in U.S. history.
What's Next?: The Future of Medicine
by Lori Dittmer (author) © 2013
A look at potential future developments in medicine, including the use of nanotechnology, as well as genetic mapping and other technologies that are currently considered state-of-the-art.
by Joseph R. O'neill (author) © 2009
ISBN: 9781617851742 AR: / Points 2.0
This title examines an important historic event, the Bolshevik Revolution. Readers will learn the history of Russia leading up to the revolution, key players and happenings in the revolution, and the event’s effect on society and politics. Color photos and informative sidebars accompany easy-to-read, compelling text. Features include a timeline, facts, additional resources, web sites, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. Essential Events is a series in Essential Library, an imprint of ABDO Publishing Company. Grades 6-9.
Bring Divergent to Life in High School
A Tale of Two Cities
by Charles Dickens (author) © 2010
Journey between London and Paris during that perilous time known as “The French Revolution.” This is a story of two men that look alike- one in danger of being beheaded by the guillotine, and the other, a hero that sacrifices his own life for his friend. The French Revolution has been called “The Reign of Terror,” and you will feel the terror in your own bones as you read!
Bring Divergent to Life in the Classroom
Are your students captivated by Divergent, too? What are your ideas for incorporating other popular YA novels into the classroom? We'd love to hear more!