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Farenheit 451: Novel Study

Better Lesson/Nicholas Gearing

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This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2015. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

Background from OER Project Review Team
BetterLesson was founded by a group of teachers from Atlanta and Boston public schools to help educators create, organize, and share their curricula. Through their Master Teacher Projects, they recruit the highest performing teachers in the country to share the full suite of their effective practice (all of their lessons and best practices).

EQuIP (Learn more)

Revision needed (7.5)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 2.25, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 2.0, Instructional Supports: 1.75, Assessment: 1.75.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 2.0, Interactivity: , Exercises: 1.25, Deeper Learning: 2.0.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

Minor (1.75)

Comments/Ideal Use:

This unit and text cultivates student engagement. There are several opportunities for guided discussion of the text and student thinking that allow students to talk and/or debate with each other. This text also allows for further discussion of censorship, etc.

Attention to close reading - several assignments ask for students to support their responses with the text. Practices characterization, analysis of utopian vs. dystopian societies, theme, and symbolism.

Without the adaptations, this resource would be best used with experienced teachers who have taught the novel previously. It requires some connecting of the dots to ensure all students meet the targeted standards.


  • The major writing assignment does not have clear structure. It also does not include a rubric aligned to the CCSS.
  • No informational text.
  • Limited opportunities to challenge advanced learners.
  • Reading questions focus on comprehension.


  • Provide greater structure and rubric.
  • Use some current articles related to the topics/concepts discussed in lesson 13 to allow students practice with citing textual evidence for their thinking.
  • Include some questions that push advanced learners to synthesis and evaluation levels or DOK 3/4.

Comments/Ideal Use:

The unit comes with a resource packet that includes vocabulary activities. The unit uses a complex text and asks students to analyze the ideas in that text.

An experienced teacher, familiar with the text, might want to use some of the vocab puzzles, figurative language table, and or peer editing activities, but would need to augment for writing instruction and or a balance of literary and informational text.


  • Instructional supports are limited - there aren't any rubrics, examples, or scoring guides.
  • The only text is the anchor text Farenheit 451.


  • Add rubrics/scoring guides that would allow a teacher to instruct to and see the end in mind.
  • Supplement the unit with some informational text/literary nonfiction and have students write from those sources.

Comments/Ideal Use:

This unit could be used in a general education class by a novice through veteran teacher. That being said, a novice teacher would have more work to do in getting this ready for a classroom.

The unit aligns to rigor and depth of the CCSS Reading shift, includes Writer's Workshop model implementation, and provides teacher metacognitive notes.


  • Differentiation lacking - lesson did not include scaffolding and modifications for ELL and/or struggling readers, nor did it address enrichment opportunities.
  • Cyclical nature of concepts – example: character work builds on work from earlier in the school year. This is excellent reinforcement and extension of concepts. That being said, if a teacher is at the beginning of the school year, the prior learning will need to given.


  • Provide supports and enrichment.
  • Provide more explicit instructional tools for teachers who have not yet taught a given concept.

Comments/Ideal Use:

Any teacher using the novel as a class novel could utilize this lesson.

Lessons are divided nicely. The unit is broken down down by lesson which you can click on individually. Worksheets are easily accessible. Once you click on the lesson, you can access the resource provided.


  • Must become a part of the community in order to access the lessons. I could only access lessons 1-5 before being required to register with their community.
  • Some of the instructions are vague and do not guide teachers with enough information to successfully complete the task.
  • Doesn't provide example questions for teacher to discuss with students.


  • Allow teachers to access site without having to sign-up.
  • Provide examples for new teachers or teachers new to the material.

Creative Commons License
This work by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.