Ursula K. LeGuin was born on this day in 1929.
Ursula K. Le Guin is the noted author of fantasy and science fiction novels for young adult readers. Her Earthsea Cycle, first published in the 1970s, remains a favorite series for fans of fantasy fiction. Le Guin passed away in 2018.
The task of a fantasy writer is, first and foremost, to create some semblance of believability in the world in which the story is set. Since many students will be familiar with some fantasy worlds (e.g., Hogwarts School from the Harry Potter series, Middle Earth from The Hobbit), have them construct a two-column chart. In the first column, ask students to list the realistic elements of a familiar fantasy story of their choice. In the second column, students should indicate the "fantastic" aspects of each realistic element. For example, in Harry Potter, there are rules for appropriate behavior, which is a realistic element. The rules themselves, however, such as not performing magic in front of Muggles, show the addition of the fantastic element.
This site dedicated to Le Guin provides information about her books, her life, and her writing.
Cynthia Leitich Smith, children's author, offers a list of suggested reading in this genre, plus some interesting links to websites related to science fiction and fantasy.
This article from The ALAN Review provides an overview of Le Guin's Earthsea novels.