Friday, February 6, 2009

Fahrenheit 451 Reading & Dystopia Discussion


For the first part of today's class, we read. My goal was for us to read most of the chapter we're currently on, entitled "The Sieve and the Sand". We made it to page 85 before we started our group discussion activity over the term dystopia.

Before we separated into our groups, I explained to you all my rationale as to why we're having a lot of group work in this course. Basically, I asked you all why you thought we were working in groups so often. Your answers pretty much mirrored my rationale. I explained that adults and teens are not always well-equipped to complete projects and/ or assignments in a team approach, but that you're often asked to work in groups as an adult. This is a skill that we ALL (even I) need to work toward perfecting. You all seemed pretty receptive to this idea.

Next, we moved to our activity/ discussion. I handed each of the seven groups a characteristic of a dystopia. They were:

Human Misery
Violence
Totalitarian Government
Poverty
Pollution
Disease
Oppression

Once you and your partner(s) had your characteristic, you needed to write connection from Fahrenheit 451 to your topic on the notecard provided. After five or so minutes, we came back as a group and shared some of the connections on our cards. Some of the connections were more "out of the box" than others in that the book may not directly address the topic, but if you thought about it creatively, you could come up with a connection. For instance:

disease=drug addiction, cluttered minds, blindness, lack of knowledge
pollution=brainwashing of minds, noise pollution (shell and subway)
poverty=intellectual poverty, social poverty, poverty of imagination

These were probably the hardest of all the seven topics, yet you found ways to connection them to the book. Bravo.

If you were absent, you need to read to page 85 and add some connections to at least one of the cards.

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