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Public Education Educator Resources Fahrenheit 451 and Dalmatians

Learning Objectives

Students will conduct research and analyze text to determine the reasoning behind an author’s choice and will describe how that choice impacted the novel.


Grade Levels



Common Core Standards

  • Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

Materials Needed

Mechanical Hound/Dalmatian venn diagram (from previous lesson)

Student copies of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Computers with internet access

Graphic organizer

Prior to Lesson

  • This lesson is an accompaniment to the first lesson on the Mechanical Hound. You should teach that lesson first.


  • Review what students have already read of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
  • Review the Mechanical Hound lesson taught previously. Have students describe the attributes of the Mechanical Hound.


Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling

  • Have students take out their Mechanical Hound/Dalmatian venn diagram.
  • Tell students that previously we focused on the characteristics of each “animal” in regards to physical and behavioral characteristics. Today we are going to learn about the history of Dalmatians and try to determine why Ray Bradbury fashioned the Mechanical Hound after Dalmatians.

Independent Working Time

  • Read about the history of Dalmatians here: History
  • Read about their fire service here: Fire Service
  • Students should make notes in their graphic organizer.
  • Students should re-read the Mechanical Hound section of the novel and jot notes in their graphic organizer.
  • Partner students together to share their graphic organizers.
  • Students should then work together to write an argument that addresses the following questions:
    • Why do you think Ray Bradbury fashioned the Mechanical Hound after a Dalmatian?
      • Cite evidence from the Dalmatian history and the novel to support your claim.
    • How did this choice affect the character of the Mechanical Hound and therefore the entire story?

Review and Closing

  • Invite students to share their response.


Bradbury, R. (1953). Fahrenheit 451. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.

Burke, A. (2017, March 8). What was the Dalmatian bred to do. Retrieved from

Geier, E. (n.d.). A History of Fire Dogs and the Lives They’ve Saved. Retrieved from