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[Project Number: 2016-1-HR01-KA201-022159]


Title of Activity
"Marionettes, Inc.", Ray Bradbury


Description of educational activity
Duration: 1 x 45 minutes

Students’ age: 15-19

Class organization: group work

Lesson aims:

The aim of the lesson is to motivate students to read in a way that reading comprehension enables them to understand the relationship between characters - married partners, humans and robots; reflection on the issues of responsibility to the other, the question of making decisions and the consequences of the decisions themselves, the willingness to face the possibility or the inability to make the wishes and dreams come true.

The other goal is to enable Ss to develop their ability to design and develop a plot in a story based on reading the fragments.

Ss will gain the knowledge and understanding of a famous 20th century writer and his short-story opus from the SF area from the mid-20th century.



 - excerpts

 - situation description .....




1.    Students individually consider the issues and  expose their views in public:

- what is their dream or desire

- what would they be willing to do to make that dream or desire come true ?


2.     Ss  work in groups of 4-5 .

Ss  read the 1st excerpt:

From the beginning of the story

till the sentences: 

"...She won't know I'm gone. I'll be back in a month and no one the wiser, except you."


Short  summary of the excerpt:

From the conversation between two friends Smith and Brailing, they find out about their lives. They find that Brailing married 10 years ago almost against his will because of family relations. By choosing a marriage instead of traveling to Rio his life dream remains unfulfilled. Now, after 10 years of marriage, he plans to go to Rio without his wife, and she will not even notice that him  not being home for a month. The reading ends when Brailing is about to reveal how he is going to do it.

After having read the excerpt, the students have to guess how Brailing will disappear for a month without  his wife  noticing his absence.

Ss in groups publicly present their plot versions


3.  Students read the 2nd  excerpt from the story  from the sentence:


 “Hello, Braling,” he said.  

till the  sentence  

 "... From $7,600 to our $15,000 de luxe model..."



Reading it they reveal the original plan of the plot.

       - they compare the actual plot with their solutions.

        - tind find "FOR" and "AGAINST" arguments for such a decision by the main character, focusing on different aspects - ethical, humane, emotional, etc.


4.   Students read the 3rd  excerpt from the sentence:

 ...“Well, it’s the cellar box for you, B-Two.”

till the sentence

...“Don’t run!”


That is the moment when B2 defends his right to a full life and denies obedience to B1.

 Students in the groups guess how the potential problem between B1 and B2 will be solved.


5.  After presenting their final solutions to this problem, the students get the final excerpt to read  and find the actual development of the story.


From the sentence

„Braling Two said, “I’m going to put you in the box, lock it, and lose the key. “

tlil the end of the story.



6.  We divide the students into 3 groups representing 3 characters: Brailing 1, Brailing 2 and wife of B1. Within the group, they elaborate how their character will expose and defend their right to freedom of choice and decision.


For example:

B1 - his right to a fullfiling his dream

B2 - his right to the full life of a human being

The  wife - her right to a life in marriage, love, sharing, loyalty ...


7.   Conclusion - Discussion:

- Does the  aim justify the means?

- How far does personal freedom go?

- Making decisions - responsibility

- Confronting the consequences of their decisions


Evaluation methods :

During the lesson, the students will be very active in guessing and designing as well as presenting their plots.

 The Role of Teachers - monitoring the mork of students, their interaction, reading for details, making notes and participating in collective activities.

In order toevaluate  the effective effects of previous activities on the students, they are asked to make a short presentation, in no more than 5 minutes, in which to make a profound analysis of the main characters and their relationships


The Impact of RSP Reading Activity:

Practices that support students's choice, collaboration, and joint learning outcomes control can be associated with self-addressed reading interest and engaging reading behavior.

Teachers can organize reading lessons to develop self-sufficiency, competence and engagement in teens.



Connection to curriculum

Grade: 3rd


Civic education - responsible behaviour, empathy development, understanding of gender relations, (dis) ability to make decisions, dealing with the consequences of their own decisions

World Literature - 20st SF- Reading and Evaluation

History - the development of modern technologies



  • Understand relationships in fictional SF situations and compare them with real life situations
  • Develop fluent reading
  • Improve understanding by reading
  • Organize information in a certain way



  • Use handouts incentives
  • Guess
  • Compare and contrast
  • Summarize
  • Work effectively in groups, cooperate



  • Establishing the link between SF culture and our own
  • Ability to visualize the read material
  • Follow the instructions and devise the plot
  • Evaluate decisions and reflect on the consequences of these
  • Support and justify attitudes



Bibliographic reference to be used during the activity

Ray Bradbury

"Marionettes, Inc.




Number of pages:

Year od issue: 1949




Students will be able to:

  • Understand the task by reading the guidelines.
  • design a plot,
  • show different views,
  • link and design stories of different characters,
  • assess the relationship between characters,
  • justify their reactions and decisions,
  • to awaken the subtleties of certain decisions
  • guess,
  • interpret.




Teaching method and the text can help increase students’ interest in reading. This text encourages awareness of human relationships and helper robots.

The teacher monitors students to ensure they work effectively.

A short story can be adjusted to the language level of the group - it may be shorter - by cutting less important phrases related to descriptions or extending to additional fragments of the same short story. Students can be offered a glossary of difficult words.

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