My junior high students' first exposure to Ray is "There Will Come Soft Rains." They start making all these connections and have so many questions. I finish up my unit with his final New Yorker essay. I still get choked up every time I read it, and I've read it dozens of times. I miss you, Ray, but you're here with us in my classroom and we feel it.
Do you do supplemental stuff like bringing in examples of 1950s vacuums to demonstrate that at the time, electric mice didn't exist?
We discuss how this was written in 1950 and so many things that are described didn't exist yet, like Roomba, Siri and video walls. I have to do a lot of front loading on the Cold War and our fear of nuclear destruction.
Monkeywrench, Ray Bradbury in the classroom ~ It doesn't get any better than that!
I had a great run with Mr. Bradbury's stories (s.s., novels, poems, essays, et al) with my students, 7-12. I still present adult seminars on occasion at a nearby college campus. RB works require thought. A reader must have some knowledge of literary technique, history and language. His metaphors fly from every page. His word choice keeps a reader alert as each page is encountered.
Being a teacher of young people, you are in an ideal situation to set a spark to the kindling and then to fan the small flames. Too often, in current educational methodology, it is the "Firemen" of the media, p.c., instant-tech buttons, and get-yours-free mentalities that control the classroom.
If you continue to develop a catalog of RB files and units, students will amaze you with their ideas and inspired perspectives. (I speak from my experiences of three decades of teaching Mr. Bradbury's life works.) Also, Mr. Bradbury's allusions to other authors and their actual works are second to none in the literary world.
RE: "There Will Come Soft Rains" (Sara Teasdale), along with "All Summer in a Day", reflects some of Mr. B's most stark visions of the future and individual behaviors. Even F451, with all of its destruction and dilemmas, has "Hope" in its final pages. Then, of course, his timeless tale of joy, growing up, and fears as witnessed in Dandelion Wine! So, his works are for everyone.
In any event, stay the Ray Bradbury course! It is truly a rewarding life experience.
[If you have any interest in receiving notes, units, outlines, and references I have compiled, please know they would be gladly shared, partially or in their entirety. Identify the work - I very well may have notes, chaps reviews, and writing topics all set to go . . .]
Thank you so much for your insight! I will definitely be contacting you as the year goes on. So much to choose from . . .
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