Divergent won the box office race last weekend as teens raced to see the popular YA novel brought to life (my daughter saw it twice in three days). Slate.com film critic Dana Stevens has a slightly snarky take on why teens find dystopian stories so appealing.
“Why teens love dystopias” – article with study questions.
Her article is not an easy read, but might provide an example of how an engaging topic and strong prior knowledge can help students bridge vocabulary challenges. The final paragraph of the article includes the words: “realpolitik”, “allegorical”, “multitiered”, “affiliation”, “constrictively”, and “malevolent”. Rather than pre-teach the vocabulary, consider challenging the students to closely read the final paragraph and construct meaning using strategies they devise.