Making Curriculum Pop

I am going to be teaching Fahrenheit 451 this fall to high school sophomores and I want to make sure they really connect with the novel. I never read the novel for a class or saw it taught, so I want to make sure I can tailor it for the age group and make it really meaningful to the students. If anyone has any suggestions for how to go about teaching it or specific activities that have been effective in your own classroom, I'd love any advice! I just feel like this is such an influential and important novel and want to help the students get as much out of it as possible!

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Comment by Ryan Goble on October 19, 2009 at 6:28pm
Hey Robert can you add a hyperlink for the clip OR better yet can you embed it? There is usually an "embed code" when you click on "share video" just paste that into a comment! Can't wait to see the clip. Ryan
Comment by Robert Seng on October 19, 2009 at 5:07pm
I'm reposting this comment here - if anybody is teaching this right now - this is invaluable.
I just played a clip from the Oct. 12 Daily SHow about CNN - it dovetails neatly with what Beatty says to Montage. Take the time to watch the clip - my students really did make the connection and it tied into my overriding question of "Are we in a dystopia now?" This clip really helped some kids "get" it.
Comment by Ryan Goble on August 19, 2009 at 1:40pm
Rob, thanks for posting this!! Did you see the main thread of this (we double posted it) in the American Lit group? Lots o' other resources posted there. Your right about Idiocracy, it is not teachable BUT I have used the opening sequence a lot in classes, I'm sure the key with that film is finding the good 5 minute clips that go with 451! Great ideas, hope things are groovy in KY!

Comment by Robert Seng on August 19, 2009 at 6:50am
One thing I like to do is point out how that was science fiction back then is now science fact. For example, wall-mounted tvs and reality shows. This leads into a discussion of how much of an impact these shows have had on our culture and then we look at how these shows helped the society in the book to detoriate. It helps to see how dangerously close we are to some of the elements of a dystopian society. I'm also going to rewatch the brilliant satire Idiocracy; the premise complements a study of dystopian lit so well but, alas, it's Rated R so hopefully I can find a scene or 2 I can use in class. I also get parental permission forms to view a dystopian movie (as the best ones are Rated R) and I let them choose from V For Vendetta, Equilibrium, Bladerunner, Children of Men or 12 Monkeys and then they write a compare/contrast between the film's dystopia, Bradbury's dystopia and they conclude by drawing parallels to our society
Comment by Marek Bennett on August 2, 2009 at 7:20pm
There's a new graphic novel out now, based on Bradbury's novel:
Comment by Ryan Goble on July 22, 2009 at 2:42pm
Syndey - you might consider posting this in the discussion forum of the American Lit Group - - that way a lot of Am lit specialists will see it right away. Blogs don't get a ton of visibility right away....


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