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.
- 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
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.