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Ready-Set-Tech: Dystopia


Luke Janka, Teacher

Name ____________________________ Date _____________

Worksheet #1: Cloning, Machines, Drugs and Your Mind

Dear Students,

Please use the following questions to focus your reading of the material presented through the links on the “Machines” and the “Drugs and your Mind” sub-pages.

Henry Ford (www.time.com/time/time100/builder/profile/ford.html)

•  How did Ford's ideas for mass production and the use of the assembly line throw “America's Industrial Revolution into overdrive?”

•  Ford reduced the workday by 1 hour and increased his employees' salaries from $2.34/day to $10/day. Why did Ford make these two decisions? How did they contribute to an increase in mass consumption?

Ivan Pavlov (www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpavl.html)

•  Explain Pavlov's experiments using dogs, food, and a metronome (bell).

•  What did he discover that ultimately happened to dogs when they kept hearing the bell and no food was presented to them?

•  What is this type of behavior modification called?

BF Skinner ( www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhskin.html )

•  How did Skinner develop the ideas of “operant behavior” and “shaping behavior” with pigeons?

•  What similarities did Skinner notice between how children learn to speak and his experiments with pigeons?

•  What is your opinion on Skinner's experiments using “punishment” and “reward?”

•  Do you agree that “everything we do and are is shaped by our experience with punishment and reward?” Why/not?


Worksheet #2: Final Project Clarification

In short, you are going to write an account (story) of a trip you will take with Henry Foster and Bernard Marx to a utopian/dystopian society that really existed at some point in history. (Henry – because he is an example of a “typical” Alpha male. Bernard – because he is an example of an “atypical” Alpha male.)

While in the society the three of you are visiting, you meet two people – a regular citizen of the society you are visiting, and the leader/ruler/founder of the society you are visiting.

Together, the five of you have a conversation in which you compare life in your world (NYC, 2002), life in the World State, and life in the society you are visiting. In the end, you need to determine which society is the best one, and you must explain why.

Checklist of what you need/must do for this project

___ Identify the society you will visit with Bernard and Henry.

___ Meet and talk to both an average citizen and the leader/founder of the society.

___ Figure out and state “why” this society was started.

___ Figure out and state what life in this society is like – are the people happy or sad, do they live peacefully together, or in terror? Why?

___ How does living in this society compare/contrast to living in yours (NYC, 2002) and living in the World State? Which society seems to be the “best.” Why?

___ What are the positive aspects and negative aspects of life in all three societies (yours, the World State, and the one you're visiting)? Why?

___ Determine and explain whether you, Henry, or Bernard would like to live in this society, or if the two members you meet (the citizen and the ruler/founder) would like to live in either yours or the World State.

Dystopias you can use:

  • The killing fields of Cambodia's farm-based utopia under the rule of Pol Pot


  • Germany under the rule of Adolph Hitler (visit the links regarding education, the role of women, and the Hitler Youth)


  • South Africa during Apartheid (This site provides a lot of great information about the history of Apartheid in South Africa)



  • The Paris Commune of 1871, the first attempt made by the working class to make social change


Utopias you can use:



  • Modern Utopias ( http://d.umn.edu/~aroos/modernutopias.html )
    • This site is awesome! Here you'll find information about Robert Owen and New Lanark in Scotland, the Rappite-Harmonists, Zoar Separatists, William Robert Owen the New Harmonists, and the Oneida Perfectionists (bizarrely sexual) in the United States (1880s) – all communitarian and communist societies that actually worked!



Luke Janka, Teacher

Name ______________________________ Date _____________



Worksheet #3: Final Reflection

Dear Class,

Please answer the following reflection questions about our work with the “Incredible Journey” website and its connection to Huxley's novel Brave New World .

•  How did the use of the website enhance your understanding of Huxley's novel?

•  In terms of the research possibilities the site provides, which was your favorite (cloning, Pavlov's and Skinner's behavioral psychology, Ford's economic and technological contributions, the links to the utopian and dystopian societies)? Why?

•  What were you able to learn about Huxley's world, history, and yourself from the culminating writing project? How?

•  Did you like posting and responding in the Nicenet classroom—why/not? How did it compare to traditional discussion in the classroom—why?


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