How does fear threaten freedom? How can language overcome limitations?
Day 1 – SEED 1
Day 2-4 – PLAN 1
Day 5 – SEED 2
Day 6 – PLAN 2
Day 7 – PLAN 3
Day 8-10 – SEED 3
Day 13-20 – PLAN 4
Day 21-23 – PLAN 5
Day 24-25 – SEED 4
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CCSS Standards for this Unit
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OVERVIEW OF LESSON
“Harrison Bergeron” has a Lexile level of 1050, which places it in the 9th and 10th grade range. The story is appropriate for ninth grade because of its
readability and interest. The simplicity of the syntax is a reflection of the limitations placed upon the society. At times, Vonnegut uses words and phrases
rich with imagery that contrast with the simple words and phrases; this vocabulary is accessible to all students. Students should find this dystopian society
interesting because it is the opposite of modern society, in which people are rewarded for being the best, and competition is found in all parts of life.
This lesson requires students to use discern the motivations for censorship in landmark U.S. court cases and explore the protections offered by the First Amendment.
Then, using the Anticipation Guide, students engage in a short discussion about each of the statements (or only those statements chosen by the teacher) gives the
students the opportunity to think about their own beliefs before being confronted with a dystopian society. Some ideas for the Anticipation Guide were taken from the website
. After reading and discussing the text in small groups, students revisit the Anticipation Guide to consider the inferences within the story. The writing assignment asks students
to look at two simple sentences; however, the sentences are very different in imagery and vocabulary. Students need to understand that the simplicity of Vonnegut’s syntax
changes when Harrison Bergeron is “free” and defiant of the limitations of this dystopian society. The assignment should lead the students into insight about the
ramifications of the Essential Questions.
TEACHER PLANNING, PREPARATION, AND MATERIALS
Student Outcome:Students will discern the freedoms and limitations censorship in landmark U.S. court cases pertaining to the First Amendment and in the dystopian short story.
CCSS STANDARDS ALIGNMENT
RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
RL. 9-10.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.
RL. 9-10.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
RL.9-10.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it, and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
RL.9-10.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
W. 9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Speaking and Listening
SL. 9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
SL. 9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
L. 9-10.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L. 9-10.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing
L. 9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
L. 9-10.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
L. 9-10.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.