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FAHRENHEIT 451 WRITING & EVIDENCE LESSON PLAN

November 2014
Literary Heritage Honors 10th Grade English
Conceptual Framework: The students will have read most of Fahrenheit 451. The purpose of
the lesson is to prepare them to write an essay on the novel. In their previous essays, many of
them struggled to analyze evidence — that is, if they included evidence, for many did not quote
from the text at all. My three essential questions are: Why is evidence important? What makes
good evidence? What constitutes an analysis of evidence?
Standards: Common Core: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.1 “Write arguments to support
claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and
sufficient evidence.”
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.9 “Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support
analysis, reflection, and research.”
Knowledge/Understanding: Students should begin to see why evidence is valuable,
what qualities makes it effective, and how to analyze it. I hope they grasp the idea that they
should never let a quotation speak for itself. They should provide at least two types of
commentary. First, they should provide enough basic plot context, so that someone who has not
read the novel can figure out what is going on. Second, they should explain something about the
passage that the author did not make explicit.
Skills: Students will continue to learn how to find and interpret evidence in their writing.
Assessment: Informal assessments through class participation and by walking around the
classroom during a group activity to read student writing.
Instructional Approach: Group writing activities and debriefs.
Materials, preparation, and/or on-line resources to be used: Computer and projector
to show sample evidence and essay body paragraph.
Hook: Do-Now writing activity: Was there an instance in your life, outside of school,
when you needed to find evidence/proof to make your point? What made the evidence/proof
successful or unsuccessful? AND/OR: Was there an instance in which you changed your mind
about something based on evidence/proof? Why did that evidence/proof cause you to change
your mind?
Activities: Spend ten minutes on do-now. Spend 2-5 minutes discussing answers. After
that, we’ll turn to the novel. I’ll have them divide into groups of three to find two pieces of
evidence and write two short paragraphs based on a claim that I provide. First, I’ll model this

exercise. Here is the argument: Through the character of Mildred, Bradbury shows how
overexposure to technology and underexposure to reading are detrimental to a person’s mind.
Here is my context and evidence: For example, in the following scene, Mildred has a
banal conversation with her husband about her day’s activities:
‘I had a nice evening,’ she said, in the bathroom.
‘What doing?’
‘The parlor.’
‘What was on?’
‘Programs.’
‘What programs?’
‘Some of the best ever.’
‘Who?’
‘Oh, you know, the bunch’ (Bradbury 46-47).
Here is the analysis: Mildred only gives the briefest of answers to her husband’s questions. She
says the programs were “some of the best ever” but cannot say why. In this way, she is like a
child who refuses to be engaged in conversation with her parent. She cannot have a normal adult
discussion because watching “the family” all day has clouded her social intelligence.
I will present this information by highlighting the different components in different colors:
Through the character of Mildred, Bradbury shows how overexposure to technology and
underexposure to reading are detrimental to a person’s mind. For example, in the following
scene, Mildred has a banal conversation with her husband about her day’s activities:
‘I had a nice evening,’ she said, in the bathroom.
‘What doing?’
‘The parlor.’
‘What was on?’
‘Programs.’
‘What programs?’
‘Some of the best ever.’
‘Who?’
‘Oh, you know, the bunch’ (Bradbury 46-47).
Mildred only gives the briefest of answers to her husband’s questions. She says the programs
were “some of the best ever” but cannot say why. In this way, she is like a stubborn child who
refuses to be engaged in conversation with her parent. She cannot have an adult discussion
because watching “the family” all day has weakened her social intelligence. Bradbury depicts her
as a victim of technology.

The students will find 2 quotations of their own to support the claim about Mildred. Then they
must write two short paragraphs that: a) provide a context for the evidence; b) provide the
evidence; and c) provide an analysis. They will work in groups of three to find quotations and
discuss analysis, but not everyone needs to write exactly the same thing.

Differentiation including SEI considerations: I would explain each activity verbally
and in writing. As I work the crowd during the group activity, I will make sure to check-in with
the students who need additional help.
Grouping: Students in this class are of relatively similar ability. I would group by
counting off.
Sponge Activity: If students finish early, I would have them find one more piece of
evidence.
Homework when appropriate: Finish the assignment for homework on their own.
Continue reading the novel.
Wrap-up: I would wrap-up by having students what is needed when presenting
evidence: context and analysis.
Potential Pitfalls: There will likely be some confusion about directions. I will make sure to
remember to ask for questions and have someone repeat back the instructions. It will be
especially important to work the room, so that I can help students who have questions. They will
definitely have some.