What it means to be an Ender: A Study in the Duality of War

Megan C. Shellenberger, William Amos Hough High School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


“What it means to be an Ender” aims to highlight the duality in war, how we can simultaneously love and hate it. Through an examination of Orson Scott Card’s science-fiction novel, Ender’s Game, students will discuss the psychological factors that endorse war as well as the factors which promote peace. This unit covers approximately ten instructional days wherein students are digging into the novel in conjunction with a variety of informational texts. Ender’s Game will be read entirely outside of class and should be completed before the first instructional day so that students have the opportunity to discover connections among themes, characterization, plot, language, setting and mood. While the language of Ender’s Game is simple, the themes are not. In this unit, I encourage students to engage personally with the characters while noting their process of thinking. Getting students to think about their thinking can be challenging; however, it is paramount in this unit. When students begin to understand their thinking, they can begin to understand the causes and effects of conflicts, and by extension, be able to peacefully resolve them.