My students are a group of precocious, intellectually curious individuals. They have a diverse range of creative skills and enjoy working in groups to annotate a text. While we read Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to begin the year, we are now wanting to read The Lord of the Flies to continue looking at our big idea of the duality of man. The students are passionate and have strong beliefs on the subject.
At the same time, my seventh graders are examining the duality of man but more as it is projecting into our society.
They are looking at the question of: how far is too far. By analyzing The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, they will have already reflected on themes of technology and its potential for good or evil. With Fahrenheit 451, the seventh graders will be able to probe more thoroughly into the notion of a totalitarian state where information is controlled.
These novel sets will allow my seventh and eighth graders to critically read and engage the text and to analyze theme and determine how literature embodies human experience as well as how our own culture reflects the narratives we tell each other.
The eighth graders will be able to look at the nature of evil and civilization and what it is that makes us exercise social restraint.
They will critically read The Lord of the Flies and write intensively in response. Collaboratively, they will discuss major themes that emerge in the text.
The seventh graders will continue to look at evil as an extrinsic force. They will question whether or not our society is on a trajectory towards progress or self-destruction. Fahrenheit 451 will generate discussion on where our own culture is in terms of knowledge, literacy, autonomy, and censorship.
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