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Fahrenheit 451 Activities

Instructor: Jason Lineberger

Jason has 20 years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

Ray Bradbury's novel 'Fahrenheit 451' is rich with classroom possibilities. This lesson will give you five activities to reach a variety of learners. Choose from hands-on, kinesthetic, critical thinking, writing, art, and more!

Persuasion

Towards the end of the novel Montag joins with a group of renegades, each of whom has memorized one novel. In this way, they have become a living library, saving a select set of books from destruction. Set the scene for your class; they have entered the world of the novel. You've found a hiding spot, a cache that's sure to stay secret and secure, but it only has room for five books. Ask students to think about what book they would choose, if they had to pick a single one to save. They should then write a 30 second persuasive pitch, delivered to the class, before you vote on which five pitches were the most persuasive. If your class has access, these pitches could be filmed and uploaded to a class webpage, and the voting could be done online.

The Art of Collage

Collect a stack of old magazines from your school's media center or request students to bring them in. Then, either individually or in groups, assign students one of the major themes of the novel: technology, censorship, morality, law, or satisfaction. Give them pieces of paper (the size is up to you) and have them cut out images and words to create a collage around that theme. The collages should eliminate all blank space, and they should include specific words and quotes from the novel. You can also have the class develop a grading rubric before they begin the assignment. Follow up by displaying them around the classroom and hosting a gallery walk where students explain their ideas to the 'art critics' who have come to view it. Including guests from outside the class is a plus!

Unsolved Mysteries

Clarisse McClellan disappears from the novel without an explanation. Have students write the short 'lost chapter' from the book that details what happens to her. Another option would be to role-play this chapter, either by scripting it or improvising the scene. In groups, students could act out their interpretations then take questions from the class. To increase the level of thinking, require that students develop one of the major themes from the novel in their written chapter or skit.

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