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Ray Bradbury's seminal novel is a perennial favourite for middle schoolers. This 49-page unit of work has been tested successfully with a mixed-ability Year 9 (age 13-15) class and provides material for a full school term.


This unit focuses on close textual analysis. There is a mixture of tasks which gets students writing analytically, personally, and creatively, helping them to build up their own unique interpretation of the work, and eventually to express this in a formal essay.

  • Commentary of each overarching section is given, and 70+ writing tasks cover the whole novel. The tasks cover a variety of levels from comprehension to complex inference and personal response.
  • There is a brief, student-friendly explanation of what a close reading actually is and how to perform it, followed by a sample close reading of a short passage.
  • Practice assessment task based on short-answer questions, a close reading of a passage, and a creative question

  • Texts of Blake's poem, 'The Tyger' and Matthew Arnold, 'Dover Beach'.
  • Five research tasksheets which can be done by groups during the novel study, as extension work for Gifted and Talented students, or as closure to a unit of study.
    • The Atomic Bomb
    • Memory
    • Phoenix
    • Railroads
    • Rivers

Each task comprises four sections, following Bloom's taxonomy, and requires students to complete: a piece of contextual research, a close reading of a nominated passage, a free-form writing at length, and a creative piece.

  • Five middle-school appropriate essay questions.

There is also a presentation on book-burning which can be used with this unit.

Unit of Work: Fahrenheit 451

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