Term: Semester 1
Start Date: September 9, 2022
Class Meets: Fridays at 12:00 pm - 12:55 pm
Duration: 13 Weeks
Grade Range: 9th - 12th
Students will become immersed in the imaginary worlds they construct in this unique course that encompasses elements of fiction writing, sociology, and anthropology. Worldbuilding is the foundation of speculative fiction, such as sci-fi and fantasy, role-playing games, videos, comics, and other visual media. Countless examples of Worldbuilding exist in the movies and books we consume every day such as Tolkien's Middle Earth, the many elaborate settlements of the Star Wars franchise, and the popular RPG, Dungeons and Dragons.In this course, students will develop a fictional locale. Will it be a small village in a known place, a new planet, or an original universe?
Students will be guided through an interactive, iterative process of "top-down" design of their unique world, determining broad characteristics first then then elaborating with increasing detail. Builders will make coherent and integrated decisions on geography, climate, ecology, flora, fauna, inhabitants, races, history, social customs, language, religion, origin story, powers/magic, legal system, currency, and technology. The class will read excerpts and watch clips of well-known fictional works which will provide strong examples of each of the elements.
First semester, the class will create fantasy-inspired worlds. Students, along with their instructor, will develop an in-class world as an example. Students will use the lessons and exercises reviewed in class to further develop their individual world project.
Students will be expected to keep a notebook of decisions and details as they progress through designing the elements of their world. The class will use World Anvil, a web-based subscription service which allows students to create maps, timelines, and other tools to organize their made-up world. Each student will be expected to make a PowerPoint presentation at the end of the semester which addresses each of the built-world elements.
Workload: Students should expect to spend 2 hours per week outside of class.
Assignments: Will be posted in a Google Classroom
Textbook/Materials: Students will need to create a login and pay for a Master Level subscription to World Anvil (worldanvil.com) for approximately $35.00.
Lab/Supply Fee: A class fee of $15.00 is due payable to the instructor on the first day of class.
Non-Meeting Days: In addition to the scheduled days-off on the published Compass schedule, this class does not meet on November 4, 2022.
Topics in this Series: Fantasy (Semester 1), Science Fiction (Semester 2).
Students continuing from first semester receive priority pre-registration for second semester.