Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Looking at the Past to Understand the Future: Analyzing Irony in the Opening Page - Section 3: Beginning "The Hearth and the Salamander"


I have less than 20 classes left with my students and we only read two pages today. It might seem crazy-- it might be crazy, actually-- but I think that it's important to begin a book slowly. I'm worried about time and it's temping to move faster, but I decided before class to to enter slowly and gain momentum, despite my fears about time. And after today's class, I'm glad that I resisted temptation because my students needed time to think. This is their first time reading this text (obviously), so even when it feels like an old friend to me and I'm quoting from it without even noticing, they need time to think about Montag and what kind of guy he is, especially in the first few pages of the book. These pages set the tone for Montag's development and drastic changes. If I start the class too fast now, they will not notice that he is introduced to us as a carefree and confident man, which in turn will mean that they don't understand why he reacts so drastically to certain situations later in the text. His world is turned upside down, but this is the only time we see him before the change.


We will take the reading slowly for now and gain momentum as we become more comfortable with the text.

  Beginning Slowly
  Grappling with Complexity: Beginning Slowly
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Looking at the Past to Understand the Future: Analyzing Irony in the Opening Page

Unit 9: Fahrenheit 451: The Hearth and the Salamander
Lesson 2 of 10

Objective: SWBAT propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate to current discussion to broader themes by connecting our society to that in Fahrenheit 451.

Big Idea: We use what we know from the 1950s to talk about Bradbury's vision of the future, which is, at this point, the present.

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