Reflection: Checks for Understanding The Pedestrian - Section 5: Exit Ticket: So What's the Theme?

 

Theme, theme, theme.  It's the end of the year, and we have talked about it a million times.

Yet.

So many of the students either just don't get it, or have a mental block about it.  Today was a perfect example:  We read The Pedestrian, we watched the "Ray Bradbury Theatre" version of it. We annotated and talked about it. 

So, what did the kids say the theme is?  Don't let society control you.  Umm...OK.  I like that they are cluing into the issues with conformity that the story raises.  But how can the theme be "don't let society control you" when the one person who bucks society is taken away at the end of the story? 

This is the problem.  No matter how much I try to unbrainwash them, the kids are looking for a moral, a lesson, something to believe in.  In a way, that's nice, right?  And it speaks to their developmental stage -- all in the goo between being a child and an adult.

But that's not the theme.

So, I held the class overtime until someone gave me a theme I could live with.  The kids got a little nervous until one serious child raised her hand and said something like, "If we allow ourselves to be lured by creature comforts and soothed by television, eventually, we will loose even the simplest freedoms...like taking a walk and reading books."  Ok, it wasn't quite that good.  But it was close :)

 

  Don't let society control you?
  Checks for Understanding: Don't let society control you?
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The Pedestrian

Unit 5: Science Fiction
Lesson 3 of 5

Objective: SWBAT identify the theme of the selection AND describe how the author develops it throughout the story.

Big Idea: Loneliness and isolation aren't solely confined to the thinking men of the future...

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