Comparing "Burning a Book" to Fahrenheit 451

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SWBAT analyze the representation of a subject in two different artistic mediums by comparing how two different authors discuss the act of burning a book.

Big Idea

True or False: "Some books ought to burn..."

Getting Started

5 minutes

At the beginning of class, we will show off our illustrations. For homework, students were asked to draw the mechanical hound, citing at least four quotes that correspond to their work. We will quickly show our work to each other and give praise were applicable (SL.9-10.1).


Here are a few of their masterpieces: mechanical hound 1mechanical hound 2 and mechanical hound 3.

What does it mean to be a friend?

25 minutes

Before we read, we will journal briefly about what it means to be a friend. I will ask my students to think about their own friends and what makes them a friend (W.9-10.10). This personal response will guide our reading of the next two pages, wherein Montag and Clarisse really seem to be building a friendship. After we read these pages, we will return to our notebooks and write about their friendship. I will ask that students cite specific information from the text when describing their friendship (RL.9-10.1). Take a look at some of their responses: friends 1, friends 2, and friends 3.


This activity focuses students on Montag's attitude. We see small changes in his personality, due to Clarisse's influence. She makes him better: more reflective, more open. When she describes the taste of rain, he, almost uncontrollably, tilts his head up and tastes the rain too, something he would never have thought to do on his own.


The next activity isn't about friendship, but it is about seeing how outside forces can affect us.

"Burning a Book"

25 minutes

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

For homework, students will write two paragraphs. In the first paragraph, they will compare "Burning a Book" to Fahrenheit 451. In the second paragraph, they will compare the poem to our society (W.9-10.10). In both, they should cite specific lines from the poem (RL.9-10.1).