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Unit Overview (9th Grade)
The main objective in this unit is to study the themes of conformity vs. individualism and censorship that is included in the novel Fahrenheit 451. Other themes include the impact of television and other forms of social media that impact the use of literature.

The author, Ray Bradbury, says that in this novel the state is not the reason why the books are being burned, but it is the acceptance of the people that allows books to be burned. American students need to know that our government is something run by people. Even if everyone does not agree with the government, the government is in some measure the voice of majority.

Bradbury is concerned that the general public is consumed with television and the other popular forms of media. In our time, media does not only mean television and radio, but also the Internet, even online books. This may be baffling to think that books are destroying each other, but there is a great difference between holding a paperback or hardcover book versus reading a book online or on a tablet. Discussing these differences with students is beneficial because they were born in a time different even from their younger teachers. Today's students grew up with technology and do not know how the world was before all of this technology taking over every aspect of life.

Fahrenheit 451 is a classic, and it sets forward a dis-utopian vision that could actually happen. In this vision tangible books are less and less prevalent and their only use is in a classroom. Instead of reading books to children, parents are allowing their children to watch more TV and use tablets and other media to read and play games. Allowing students to compare their lives to the novel and how they view the use of tangible books allows them to see how this worry of the loss of tangible books is slowly coming true. Students can explore and come up with their own conclusions to determine how Bradbury decided how this idea of losing books came about.

Students will fulfill the follow standards in this unit:
  • R.NT.08.04 analyze author’s craft including symbolism, imagery, and consistency to develop credible narrators, rising and falling actions, and minor characters;
  • R.CM.08.01 connect personal knowledge, experiences, and understanding of the world to themes and perspectives in text through oral and written responses;
  • R.CM.08.02 retell through concise summarization grade-level narrative and informational text. These standards will be fulfilled through the reading the novel and participating in class discussions, as well as completing a project as well as some in-class activities that will have students demonstrate their knowledge of the novel, its characters and themes and be able to connect the elements of the novel into the life and background knowledge of the students.

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Activity One
Students will pick a passage that demonstrates conformity and relate it to the conformity that today's citizens have made to technology. To make this assignment effective for learning purposes, I will be looking for the accuracy that the passage is according to the student’s interpretation. If there are connection between the ways the student perceived the passage and the real-life example, the student successfully completed this portion of the assignment. The next portion of this assignment has the student demonstrate a time where he or she chose to do an activity that involved social media rather than using a book. The student will discuss why they chose the media over the tangible book and relate that to a character who supports the burning of books. Finally, the student will conclude based on his or her opinion and insight from the novel if tangible books are going to exist -and should exist! They must explain why they feel that way and be able to back it up with background knowledge as well as two sources that can include the novel, Fahrenheit 451.
Exceeds Expectations
Meets Expectations
Does Not Meet Expectations
Finding and accurately explaining the passage in great detail (20 pts)
Student uses great examples and detail to demonstrate knowledge from the passage and connects it to background knowledge (full 20 pts)
Student uses examples to demonstrate knowledge, but could use more detail and references. Accurately uses background knowledge to explain connections (16 points)
Student uses little to no examples to demonstrate knowledge and detail of the assignment. Does not include enough personal relationships between the text and background knowledge (12 points)
Student Inquiry of social media versus traditional text. (10 pts)
Student chooses character that they believe relates to them and has several reasons to back it up. (full 10 pts)
Student chose a character that relates to them but does not have a lot of examples. (8pts)
Student chooses a character but includes very little to no reasons why they are related (6 pts)
Final opinion (15 pts)
Student creates a valid opinion that is backed up by two sources that can include the novel. Student uses great detail and has good insight to their predictions. (full 15 pts)
Student creates a valid opinion that includes 1 source including the novel. Student uses detail, but can include more to provide greater insight to their predictions (12 pts)
Student creates opinions but there is little to no connection to validate them. No sources were included in this portion of the assignment (9 pts)
Grammar/Spelling/legibility (5 pts)
Students have 5 or less grammar/spelling errors (full 5 pts)
Students have between 6-8 grammatical/spelling errors (4pts)
More than 9 grammatical/spelling errors (3 pts)

Activity Two
This assignment is an individual project. Students will define conformity and individualism in their own words. Students will create a movie poster, picket sign, or political poster that they think best describes Fahrenheit 451. To do this, students will find a passage that stuck out to them the most that relates to individuality or conformity. Students may use quotes from the book (cited of course), as well as any other ideas that they think are appropriate. What I am looking for is how detailed the poster is, decorative, does it stand out, and what is your poster saying? Will others who have not read Fahrenheit 451 be able to understand it?
Exceeds Expectations
Meets Expectations
Does Not Meet Expectations
Poster Detail (15 Pts)
Student's poster has great detail and a lot of images, organized, color and stands out (Full 15 pts)
Student's poster has some detail and some images. Organized. (12 pts)
Student's poster is unorganized, has little to no detail and vague images (9 pts)
Book Quotes (20 pts)
Student has various quotes/thoughts (3-4) that helps explain the purpose of their poster (Full 20 pts)
Student has 2 quotes/thoughts that explains the purpose of their poster, but the student needed more (15 pts)
Student only has 1 quote or thought. (10 pts).
Grammar/spelling (8pts)
Student has 3 or fewer grammar/spelling errors (Full 8 pts)
Student has 4-6 grammar/spelling errors (6 pts)
Student has 7 or more grammar errors (5 pts)
Neatness (2 points)
Very legible and took a lot of effort (Full 2 pts)
Somewhat legible and took some effort (1 pt)
Not legible/did not use enough effort [resubmit] (0 pts)