Teaching Materials


While The Fifth Season does an effective job at making a distant, fantasy world feel real, teaching it in a high school classroom is probably a bit less-than-realistic. Below are resources geared, in particular, toward college-level instruction, although certainly not restricted to it.


Additional Resources
  1. https://library.vassar.edu/commonreading2017
    1. Check out Vassar College's excellent introduction to The Fifth Season, which was the college's Common Reader selection in 2017. Here, you'll find an accessible introduction to the work and its critical reception, as well as further resources.
  2. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/the-control-of-nature
    1. Longtime New Yorker environmental journalist John McPhee has been exploring nature, and our fraught relationship with it, for nearly five decades. This collection of articles–also available as a print book, titled The Control of Nature–explores our (often futile) efforts to guide nature according to human intentions, an idea explored in detail throughout The Fifth Season. Any of the articles could serve as helpful supplementary reading in a classroom.
  3. https://www.vox.com/2014/9/5/6108169/yellowstone-supervolcano-eruption
    1. In The Fifth Season, Jemisin takes a real–if improbable–feature of our own world and expands it. Namely, she takes once-in-millenia supervolcanic events and makes them routine. This report, from Vox, explores what a supervolcanic eruption would mean in our own time, with helpful references to relevant scientists and studies. The article, like McPhee's work, could be useful in grounding and inspiring discussion about The Fifth Season


The Fifth Season’s Homepage

Caleb Owens 2020

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