What Makes Us Happy? Analyzing Beatty's Speech to Determine the Answer

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SWBAT come to discussions prepared and explicitly draw on preparation by referring to evidence from their homework during a well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

Big Idea

Is Beatty right about happiness?

Getting Started

5 minutes

While I check that everyone has their homework (this worksheet) at the beginning of class, students will add details about Beatty on their character chart. Since we will be discussing the homework in the first half of class, I want to make sure that everyone has come prepared.

Discussing the Homework

35 minutes

We are going to discuss the worksheet they completed for homework, working question by question. I want to make sure that students truly thought about what Beatty said to Montag about the dangers of books and being happy, and that they understand the implications within and outside of the text. I plan to hear from every student during this discussion, or at least everyone who completed their homework (hopefully that is everyone!). Some students will volunteer answers, while others will need more encouragement (SL.9-10.1a).


Take a look at some of their answers.


I think that this time will give me a clear sense of how much they understand about the text itself and its connection to modern society. Hopefully anything they struggled with can be addressed during this time, maybe even by their peers instead of me. At the end of the discussion, I will ask students if Beatty is right: aren't we happier when we all agree, like he says? Why is he wrong?


Reading: Finishing Part I

15 minutes

pages 63-68

We will finish Part I of the text during class today. At the end of this section, Montag pulls piles of books from behind the ventilator grille and sits down with his wife to read. He doesn't understand anything that he reads, nor do we really. We will briefly discuss what this feels like: liberating, frustrating, frightening (SL.9-10.1). What goes through our reads when faced with a seemingly impossible challenge? What can we tell from Montag and Mildred's different responses to the book passages? (RL.9-10.3) How many people experienced this feeling while completing their homework and gave up? How many experienced it, but persevered?


The scene ends with Montag and Mildred sitting on the floor, trying to understand the words on the page. Bradbury wants us to sit with this moment, just as they do. In a way, it sets the stage for Part II.

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

For homework, students will begin Part II: "The Sieve and the Sand." They will read to page 77, pick one quote that stands out them, and explain in a paragraph why they selected it (W.9-10.10). The paragraph will encourage them to connect to the text, instead of merely reading it as an assignment and not thinking about it.