Evaluating Montag's Decisions and Behavior
Lesson 2 of 5
Objective: SWBAT analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text by discussing Montag's behavior and determining whether he is a hero.
We are going to begin class today by journaling. Students will have 10 minutes to answer this question in their notebooks: Is Montag a hero? (W.9-10.10)
In our reading yesterday, Montag killed Beatty and two other firemen. Then he began to run toward Faber's house. Some students will think that Montag was wrong to kill three people, that's he's worse than Beatty was, while other will think that he had to act drastically in order to protect himself and Faber. The writing time will give students a chance to determine what they think. Then we will discuss our reactions (SL.9-10.1). Here are a few examples.
While students write, I will collect their open responses, which was homework assigned two days ago (see the end of this lesson for the assignment).
Read: Montag on the Run
In this section of reading, Montag almost gets hit by a car. The only thing that saves him is that he accidentally trips and falls just before the car approaches him, which causes the driver to swerve, so that the car doesn't flip over. The crazy part is that this close call has nothing to do with his fugitive status; it is merely a group of teenagers out for a joy ride, showing that no one pays attention to the truly important things happening around them. After this harrowing moment, Montag breaks into a fellow fireman's home, plants a book, and then calls it in anonymously.
We will read aloud, and we pause a couple of times to clarify some confusing parts. For instance, it is not clear right away why Montag doesn't get hit or that it is unrelated to the chase, but these are important details. Students also get confused when Montag enters the Black house and starts talking to Mrs Black. He isn't actually talking to her, but more to himself, so this is another detail worth clarifying. It will help when we reevaluate Montag and his motives (RL.9-10.3).
Discuss and Reevaluation
After we read, we will return to the question from the beginning of class: Is Montag a hero? (RL.9-10.3)
Students will write for five minutes and then we will discuss our reactions (SL.9-10.1).
Ultimately, students will have to ask themselves whether Montag had to plant the book in the fireman's house; was it the right thing to do? These questions will affect their original answers from the beginning of class. Either this section will reinforce what they already argued, or they will be forced to reevaluate their first statement. In either case, they are contemplating the plot and the change in Montag.
In the last few minutes of class, I will assign homework. Students will read pages 130-145. Then they will select one quote that they like and write a paragraph explaining their choice (W.9-10.10). They are well-versed in this kind of assignment by now, since we have written this kind of response throughout the novel. It has helped them connect more personally to the text.