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Kim Stanley Robinson


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


English Language Arts, Health

Resource Type

  • Ebooks

Regional Focus


"The Ministry for the Future" | Chapter 1

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  • This excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson's science fiction novel The Ministry for the Future offers a harrowing glimpse at how rising global temperatures will impact human survival in the near future.
  • Amidst an unprecedented heat wave in Uttar Pradesh, India, an American aide worker tries to help people and keep himself alive when the electric grid fails.

Teaching Tips


  • This gripping excerpt will keep students interested.
  • The story shows how developing countries suffer disproportionate consequences of rising global temperatures even though they did little to create the climate crisis.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should preview the text and be aware that some students might feel overwhelmed by the tragic events in the story.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of the causes of global warming and the impacts that it is having on the Earth.


  • Students who have difficulty reading independently can be paired with a partner or read the story together in a small group.
  • English language arts teachers can use the text as an example of how descriptive language can transport the reader into the story.
  • Science teachers can ask students to identify the real scientific concepts that the author uses in this work of fiction and then ask students to discuss whether or not they believe that the text presents a realistic view of the future.
  • Social studies classes could discuss Frank's role as an aide worker in India. Students could reflect on why the man with the gun tells Frank, "You did this."
Scientist Notes

This is a work of fiction, and there is no science to verify, but the story is useful to spur students to engage in climate action to make the planet habitable. This resource is recommended for teaching.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.11-12.6 Analyze how authors employ point of view, perspective, and purpose to shape explicit and implicit messages (e.g., persuasiveness, aesthetic quality, satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement). Explain how an author’s geographic location, identity, and culture affect perspective. (RI&RL)
  • Health
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1:4:A5 Analyze how environment and personal health are interrelated.
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