Ray Bradbury was one of the greatest Science Fiction authors of our times, He died Tuesday 2012. He was noted especially for his stories Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles,The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. There were many articles written about the man, but to us this was the best. Junot Diaz wrote a loving tribute to Ray Bradbury.
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.
Excerpt: Loving Ray Bradbury By Junot Diaz The New Yorker
“I was speaking of him only yesterday. I was with someone from the American Association of Publishers, my interlocutor and I were talking about how much we loved his work. She mentioned that she had actually visited his home, and I could only mutter, in awe, He has the greatest mind… The truth is, for me, and for a whole generation of readers, I’m sure, Bradbury is never far from mind.
He was simply too important, too indelible, his imagination too uncanny, his impact on the culture too sustained and profound…A prescient lyrical writer with an abiding hatred for intolerance, Bradbury influenced generations of readers and many of our most famous dreamers, from Stephen King to Steven Spielberg.
When I was young, Bradbury was my man. I followed him to Mars, to the veldt, to the future, to the past, to the heart of America, I rode out with him on the Pequod, and on rockets. He was the first of my literary obsessions, but he set the terms of what I talked about when I talked about loving an author.
I saw “Something Wicked This Way Comes” the Friday it opened; caught François Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451” on VCR; watched “The Illustrated Man” and “The Martian Chronicles” on TV.” read more…
Level: Intermediate -Advanced
Language Skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.
Time: approximately 2 hours.
Materials: student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.
Objective: Students will read and discuss the literary contributions of author Ray Bradbury. In groups they will create a short science fiction story based on one of Bradbury’s stories. Each group will make a presentation of their story.
I. Pre-Reading Tasks
Directions: Use this pre-reading organizer by Scholastic to assist students in explaining the story.
II. While Reading Tasks
Scramble Words Puzzle
Directions: have students unscramble the words and phrases taken from the article, then use the words to create sentences about the topic of the article.
- het nmtiraa slcrnohcei
- egesratt nidm
- shi tmiiingaaon
- ehe dillttraeus nma
Directions: Students are to circle or underline the correct word or phrases from the article. Have them skim the article to check their responses.
When I was young, Bradbury was my mom/man. I followed/fell him to Mars, to the veldt, to the future, to the past, to the heat/heartof America, I rode out with him on the Pequod, and on rockets. He was the first of my literal/literary obsessions, but he set/sit the terms of what I talked about when I talked about loving an author. I read everything of his that was in the library, which wasn’t even aquart/quarter of what he produced. Never saw the man in person/personally, but when I was young I had dreams/dreamed where he appeared, where we speak/spoke. Of course, like a faith/faithfulnerd, I saw “Something Wicked This Way Comes” the Friday it opened; caught François Truffaut’s “Fahrenheit 451” on VCR; watched “The Illustrated Man” and “The Martian Chronicles” on TV; and was a faithful viewer of “The Ray Bradbury Theater,” but none of them ever came close to the magnificent light that poured off hispose/prose.
Questions for Reading Comprehension
True / False
Directions: If the statement is true, students write (T) if the statement is false they write (F) and provide the correct answer from the article.
- She mentioned that she had actually visited his (Bradbury) home.
- He didn’t consider himself a fantasist.
- When I was young, Bradbury was my man.
- “Something Wicked This Way Comes” opened on a Monday.
- “The Illustrated Man” and “The Martian Chronicles” were written by Ray Ralston..
- And then there was his story “All Summer in a Day,” a perennial elementary-school favorite.
- I remember reading that story very young, when I was still wrestling with Spanish.
- I read that short tale, and when I came to those ruthless final lines I was pleased by them.
- I had never known what I’d been experiencing as an immigrant, never had language for it until I read that story.
- It was my first real taste of the power of fiction.
Using Adjectives to describe a photo.
Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.
For a review of Adjectives ESL Voices Grammar
III. Post Reading Tasks
Reading Comprehension Check
Directions: In groups or as a class students can answer the WH-questions to check what they’ve learned about the topic.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Writing A Short Story
Directions: Have students read the plot synopsis of the short story by Ray Bradbury “All Summer in a Day”. After, place students in groups and have them create their own short sci-fi story. For assistance have students visit
Creative Writing Prompts This site offers very interesting prompts to get students thinking.
*All Summer in a Day By Ray Bradbury-
The story is about a class of school children on Venus, which in this story is a world of constant rainstorms, where the sun is only visible for two hours every seven years.One of the children, Margot, moved to Venus from Earth five years earlier, and she is the only one in her class to remember sunshine, since it shone regularly on earth. She describes the sun as “a penny”, or “like a fire in the stove”, and the other children, being too young to have ever seen it themselves, refuse to believe her accounting of it. Out of jealousy, she is bullied and ostracized by the other students and finally locked in a closet during the time the sun is due to come out.
As the sun is about to appear, their teacher arrives to take the class outside to enjoy their only hour of sunshine, and in their astonishment and joy, they all forget about Margot. They run, play, skip, jump, and prance about, savoring every second of their newly found freedom. “It’s much better than sun lamps!” one of them cries.
Suddenly, a girl feels a raindrop on her. Thunder sounds, and they run back inside. Then, one of them remembers Margot, who is still locked in the closet. They stand frozen ashamed for what they have done, unable to “meet each other’s glances.”
The precious sun has come and gone, and because of their despicable act, Margot has missed it. They walk slowly and silently towards the closet, and let her out.
IV. Listening Activity
Video Clip: NEA Big Read: Meet Ray Bradbury
While Listening Tasks: True / /False statements
Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video. As students listen to the video if a statement is true they mark it T if the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- One of Ray Bradbury’s first quotes was “Love is at the center of your life. The things that you do should be things that you love, and things that you love should be things that you do.”
- He learned to read when he was 1 year-old.
- He loved comic strips and he loved the cartoons on Sunday.
- He got a book on fairy tales at 5 years- old.
- He loved fairy tales like like Beauty and the Beast and Jack and the beanstalk.
- And by the time he was 9 years-old he saw his first movie he saw was the Hunch back of Notre Dame, and he hoped to grow up to become a a hunchback.
- When he was 5 years he saw the Beauty and The Beast with Lon Chaney.
- He became infatuated with Lon Chaney.
- When he was 6 he saw a film on dinosaurs. and they infected his whole life.
- He was 7 years-old when he went to the library for the first time.
- Some authors he named were: Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Emily Dickerson, Edgar Allan Poe,and Robert Frost.
- The Martian Chronicles was based on the Hamlet by Shakespeare.
- At 12 years-old he looked at the planet Venus he said “take me home” and they did…
- When he was 12 he saw a carnival where he met the Illustrated man.
- He thought that if he kept writing he could live forever.
Questions for Discussion
Directions: Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.
1. After listening to this video has your personal opinion of Ray Bradbury changed in any way? Describe in what way.
2. Did you agree with everything Mr. Bradbury said? Discuss which comments you agreed with and which ones you tended not to agree with. Explain why.
3. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask the speakers.
ANSWER KEY:Ray Bradury