Creating Mindfulness in Chicago Classrooms Through Books
My students need individual copies of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, so they are able to take the books home and read them. This saves us valuable class time to analyze,evaluate, and create rather than to simply read.
I work in a high school that serves low-income families. The students are deprived of resources that many would assume all schools should and would have. However, with all the difficulties my students face daily, they always seem to push through with energy and smiles. I want to provide them with the resources they deserve, which in this case is to have a book that they can call their own and read at home. It may seem like a small gesture, but I believe it's the small deeds that truly make the difference.
This year my curriculum will address my students as a whole person, not solely as: student.
Our focus will be on their academic development coupled with building character traits, such as gratitude, perseverance, self-control, social intelligence, and mindfulness through character study using the text Fahrenheit 451.
For my students to have individual Fahrenheit 451 books would show them that they are important enough to have the resources they deserve and that many students countrywide receive without question. Additionally, being able to read their texts at home will make classroom time more engaging, meaningful, and will offer the opportunity for digging deeper into the book through a multitude of activities. Some of these activities will be close reading particular excerpts, class discussions about outside readings, reflective writing about their particular worldview in comparison to the main character, Guy Montag.
By having the reading done outside of school, we can focus on the students' close reading skills, analytical skills, and creative interpretation of textual excerpts, which embraces efficiency within the classroom.
Moreover, we will not simply focus on the literary implications of Fahrenheit 451, but also the societal implications as well. We will have discussions about what it means to be a productive and mindful member of society; a person who contributes to the world in a meaningful way. My hopes are that our focus on mindfulness while we read Fahrenheit 451 will eventually extend into the students' everyday lives creating a healthier and more unified society. Fahrenheit 451 is the perfect book to create change in my classroom and then out into the world because its premise is a true mirror to our society today.
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