City of Ember





This story describes a ‘dystopia’. What’s a dystopia? It’s the opposite of a ‘utopia’, of course!

Time to check these two terms. Understanding what a dystopia is, and why it’s significant, is important to our understanding of this book. It’s also important because, since ‘Twilight’-style vampire stories went out of fashion, dystopias have become trendy. You’ve seen some yourself, and have perhaps read some too.

When you’re sure what a dystopia is, it’s time to investigate them in more detail. You will make a presentation on one example of dystopian fiction of your choice (as long as you choose from the list on the document below!).

Here are the instructions.

Dystopia Presentation Instructions.pages


Here are some Reading Questions for you to think about as you read the book. These are not questions about what happens, but rather about why. These are important for classroom discussions, so make sure to jot down some ideas in your notebooks.

City of Ember Discussion Questions.pages



Literary Essay

It’s MYP now, so it’s time to learn about expressing your ideas and opinions in a formal setting. And that means… essay writing!

Essays are important for structuring your thoughts, and for planning ideas in a clear and logical way in order to show your knowledge and understanding. You should also use an essay to support your ideas with evidence (quotes and other references to the text). But planning an essay can be difficult; it’s difficult to know where to begin, how to continue, and how to finish.

To help you, here’s a plan to follow. Download this! It’s a Pages document, which you should use to write in. Fill in all the stages of the document, and only print it when you’re sure you have a complete essay.

MYP Generic Essay Scaffold

You can use the Generic Essay Scaffold for any literary essay you write, in this school or any other.

For our essay, here’s another document with the topic we will write about.

City of Ember Literary Response.pages

Pay attention in lessons, keep lots of notes, and you’ll be fine.

Enjoy it. Pay attention, make your mistakes now, learn from them, and you’ll also be fine in the next essay!

Watch Veracross for details.



Once we have finished reading the book and discussing it, and once we have finished working on the essay, we’ll relax. Just a little.

A Written Task is something we do in MYP Language & Literature that allows you the freedom to write in different styles and contexts. For example, on your Grade 6 course you have already written newspaper articles as well as a whole short story.

For ‘City of Ember’, you are going to write a diary. You will be either Lina or Doon, and you will write a diary at the point at which you enter the outside world and see the sun rising for the first time. What have you just been through? Why did you do it? How do you feel now? What do you see around you?

Instructions are here.

City of Ember Diary Instructions.pages

Watch Veracross for details.


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