by Ray Bradbury
Lesson plans and teaching materials
13 quotes from
that will make you think differently
Quotations that underscore Brandbury's themes.
An Anti-Hero of One's Own
This TED-ED video (4:11) explores the pattern of the anti-hero using references to Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 , among others. Captioned, includes follow-up questions and other support.
The Big Read:
A suggested teaching schedule for a 10 day class study of the novel. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view individual lesson plans and handouts.
Scroll down for Bradbury's observations, "There is more than one way to burn a book."
A Conversation with Ray Bradbury
In this YouTube video (8:00) Ray Bradbury discusses his early love of reading, writing Fahrenheit 451 , and his writing process.
Defining risk: A search for theme in
Students explore their understanding of the notion of risk in relation to their own experiences and in response to a variety of quotations. This lesson plan includes supplemental materials.
Historical background, author biography, related works, discussion questions, related resources, and a thorough teacher's guide. These materials were prepared as part of the NEA Big Read.
Several resources for teaching the novel, including an anticipation guide, a KWHL activity, and a research/writing task. Adobe Reader required for access.
This site offers a summary, theme openers, crosscurricular activities, research assignments, and suggestions for related reading.
These short videos from 60second Recap (downloadable from YouTube) introduce students to different aspects of the novel:
Top 10 things author Ray Bradbury hates about our culture. The video includes a sly dig at itself. Follow-up: what might we add to this list after reading the novella?
This overview focuses on setting and theme.
Overview of Mildred, Clarisse, Beatty, and Montag. Leads into follow-up video focusing on Montag exclusively.
Emphasis on censorship and on narrowmindedness.
An exploration of paradoxes in the book.
This video explores fire as it represents a "burning need for meaning."
This video explores blood as it represents life.
A bookend to the introductory video, an exploration of Top 10 things Bradbury likes.
60 Years Later: "Why do we need the things in books?"
This nonfiction piece would make a good post-reading writing prompt. Why DO we need the things in books?
and the Dystopian Tradition
Text of a lecture exploring "a literary and historical context" of the novel.
This short video (1:40) could serve as a prereading activity.
Reading Group Guide
Thirteen discussion questions. Follow links for an author biography and excerpt.
Extensive background information, discussion questions, and ideas for projects. This 46-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.
Letters about Literature: Dear Ray Bradbury
A middle school student writes about the impact that reading Fahrenheit 451 had on her. Short writing prompt: write a comment for the bottom of the blog, responding to the student. Longer writing prompt: at what points do you agree and why? Where do you disagree and why?
Nazi Book Burning
On May 10, 1933, German students under the Nazi regime burned tens of thousands of books nationwide. In this captioned video (9:42), a Holocaust survivor, an Iranian author, an American literary critic, and two historians from the United States Holocause Memorial Museum discuss the Nazi book burnings and why totalitarian regimes often target culture, particularly literature. A great nonfiction piece. Downloadable at YouTube.
Pray That This Scary, Galloping Four-Legged Robot Never Comes for You
This article reports the development of WildCat, a device that moved on legs like an animal at 16 mph. Parallels to the Mechanical Hound are obvious. The article states, "Its still not totally clear what … applications … WildCat will have once fully developed." What answer might Bradbury offer? What possibilities might students brainstorm?
Suggestions for Pairing Contemporary Music and Canonical Literature
A list of songs that were inspired by reading literature. Organized by the last name of the author (e.g. Chinua Achebe, William Butler Yeats), the list includes song title, performer, year of release, and more. The list includes 6 songs inspired by Fahrenheit 451 .
The Use of Literary Quotations and Allusions in: Ray Bradbury,
A list of allusions found in the novel and their sources.
- Part 1, The Hearth and the Salamander , 40 words
- Part 2, The Sieve and the Sand , 30 words
- Part 3, Burning Bright , 30 words