Read All About It! Sensationalism in F451 (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT identify and explain the theme of sensationalism in F451 by discussing out-of-text examples in groups and then by focusing that insight on the character's plight in F451.

Big Idea

We turn back to F451 with new insights on sensationalism--bringing new understanding to our reading of the text.

Review of Sensationalism

10 minutes

RI/RL Crossover.  I plan to cite a couple of examples from the students notes yesterday in class as we begin the discussion.  The point of this part of the lesson will be to revive the idea that reading for sensationalism requires critical reading (RI.9-10.6).  So often, we consume messages in our society uncritical of how a speaker is shaping his or her message.  The danger of this lack of insight is a populace and electorate that is sleepy to key issues that  should be taken in hand. Turning toward F451, the average Joe in their society is simply incapable of thinking critically, so the humanity of all of the society becomes impoverished.  Thus, this lesson gives a bit of a crossover: we are handling a RI standard within a piece of fiction, but I do think that there is enough social commentary in this part of the book and enough instruction for readers in a democratic society that this crossover is well warranted. 

We turn the theme to the novel and will begin to use it to explore figurative language.   I will bridge this point by asking some questions about the characters (RL.9-10.3) and then follow with the next part of this lesson which guides students to do a focused analysis and offer examples in discussion (SL.9-10.1).  

Questions for Discussion:
How does sensationalism show up in the media present in the novel?

What is the effect of sensationalism on Mildred's thinking?  How do we know that Bradbury is critical of this kind of existence?

What is the effect of sensationalism on the youth?

To what extent do you think that sensationalism has had a similar effect on our world?  What should we do about it? 

Quiz on part/book 2

15 minutes

I am beginning class with a quiz 85-95 just to make sure that the students are reading with the ability to capture the evidence (RL.9-10.1) that we will need for the activity.  I have found the over-relying on quizzes can tend to drive students away from reading, but also the absence of quizzes leads to my even more imperfect sense of who is reading and who is not as well as a need for accountability.  In contrast to years' past, the role of quizzes has changed in my classroom, however, as now I focus on using quizzes as a diagnostic for me to know which students need extra support. 

Bridging Sensationalism to the Novel

20 minutes

The point of this activity is to have students explore the images of the  novel, and several of the strongly connotative words and images (RL.9-10.4) on the images handout for circle activity are affected by and colored by words that critique sensationalism (RL.9-10.2).  


Students will be asked to accurately complete two of the lines of the table and be ready to share out their responses with the class.  They will work with a partner, as this type of analysis is challenging.  I am hoping to see that their ability to comment on these images is gaining facility and accuracy, as we are halfway through the unit and the students will be expected to comment on the specific word choices that make up the figurative language concerned (RL.9-10.4).  

After the students are done with their paired work, I will ask them to circulate informally to share and swap insights, and after that, I will use a class discussion (SL.9-10.1) to see if they understand the images that were explained to them by a peer. 


Wrap up

1 minutes

At the end of class, I remind students to continue to read the next section of the novel, actively taking notes as they progress.  I am hoping to continue to develop the skills and reading stamina that the student need by having a fairly aggressive reading pace (10-15 pages per day).