98 pages 3 hours read

John Green

The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet

Nonfiction | Essay Collection | Adult | Published in 2021

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Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity.

“Turn an Essay into Art”

In this activity, students will demonstrate their understanding of the hopes and fears expressed in Green’s work by translating one of his essays into a nonverbal medium of their choice.

The essays in The Anthropocene Reviewed reveal a number of hopes and fears for humanity. Choose one of the essays and decide how Green uses its subject matter to convey larger ideas about humanity. Then, create a project in a nonverbal medium, using the same subject matter to convey the same larger ideas about human beings.

1. Choose an essay and list its key ideas.

2. Decide what the key ideas demonstrate about the best and worst qualities of humanity—and what possible futures these qualities might lead us to create.

3. Choose a medium for your project. You might choose one of the following, or come up with your own idea—as long as your project does not use words in any form:

  • collage or assemblage
  • video or animation
  • drawing or painting
  • photography
  • mixed media
  • textiles
  • digital art

4. Use your chosen medium to create a project that communicates the essay’s key ideas as well as the larger concerns about humanity.