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All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury

Teacher Guide by Becky Harvey

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Middle School ELA Category!

Student Activities for All Summer in a Day Include:

"All Summer in a Day", a Ray Bradbury short story, was originally written in 1959 for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It is a futuristic view of life on Venus. Though we now know that Venus is uninhabitable by humans, this work depicts a thriving, albeit miserable, colony of “rocket men and women” and their families. On Bradbury’s Venus, it violently rains with hurricane force for seven years at a time, and the sun only breaks through for a predictable two hours between these downpours.

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




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A Quick Synopsis of "All Summer in a Day" (Contains Plot Spoilers)

Margot moved to Venus with her parents when she was four. She can remember Earth and the warm, sunny days from her early childhood. On Venus, she and her other nine-year-old classmates are anxiously waiting for the two hour window of sunlight that will be its first appearance for the homesteaders of Venus in seven years. Margot’s classmates don’t consciously remember the sun. They are cruelly envious that Margot does.

In their classroom, the children excitedly ask their teacher about the coming event. She says that the scientists have promised the two hour reprieve from the horrid conditions in which they live. In preparation for it, the students sing songs, write poems, and put paintings of sunny days on the walls.

Margot, who appears visibly washed out and drained from the absence of sunlight, isn’t the only one excited about it, but she is the most affected. Since arriving on Venus, she’s never been able to enjoy her life underground and without the sun. She is desperate to return to Earth, or at least see the sun for a bit.

The Venusian children hate Margot. They think she is strange. She is so tormented by the stormy weather that she has gone half mad and half catatonic at times. She refuses to shower, because it is too much like the sound of the rain, and can’t participate in games because she’s gone numb. The children tease her, saying the sun is not coming.

In the moments before the sun is due to show, the children shove Margot down the tunnels and into a closet, locking the door. They see the sun and forget all about Margot. Everyone goes out and plays, enjoying the two hours until the rain begins to fall again.

As the children return to their underground home, one of the girls remembers Margot and is struck with feelings of guilt. She reminds the other children what they have all done. With a palpable sense of guilt, they all go to the closet and release their captive.


Essential Questions for "All Summer in a Day"

  1. Can our environment change how we approach living?
  2. How do our actions affect others?
  3. How do authors do effectively present setting?

All Summer in a Day Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

"All Summer in a Day" Vocabulary Lesson Plan


Copy Assignment



A great way to engage your students is with storyboards that use vocabulary from "All Summer in a Day". Below are a few vocabulary words commonly taught with the short story, and an example of a visual vocabulary board.


"All Summer in a Day" Vocabulary

  • concussion
  • repercussions
  • frail
  • vital
  • consequence
  • surged
  • slackened
  • apparatus
  • tumultuously
  • resilient
  • savored
  • tremor
All Summer in a Day - Semantic Vocabulary Mapping
Create your own at Storyboard That Image Attributions: WHITE WATER by Peter Laws (https://www.flickr.com/photos/9732968@N08/714923792/) - pedrol - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Pouring tea (https://www.flickr.com/photos/kaichanvong/2935199606/) - KaiChanVong - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Waves (https://www.flickr.com/photos/23323418@N03/3354426878/) - Linus Henning - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) START: Athlone Flatline Half Marathon 2014 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterm7/15038720468/) - Peter Mooney - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) WORDS WITH RELATED MEANINGS EXAMPLE DESCRIPTION flooded, rushed, gushed, poured The power strip surged with energy due to the lightning storm, causing the television to catch fire. moved in a wave /sərj/ verb (past tense) Surged

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in All Summer in a Day by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



Vocabulary Template Blank
Create your own at Storyboard That VOCABULARY

Example

(Use this rubric or create your own on Quick Rubric.)





Copy Assignment

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Compare Earth and Venus | "All Summer in a Day"

In this exercise, students will use a T-Chart with description boxes to compare what they know of Earth to Ray Bradbury’s depiction of Venus in "All Summer in a Day".


On the left side of the chart, students should list attributes of Earth:

  • what it might look like on any given day in the students’ home town
  • what the view from the face of the Earth looking out into space might be
  • where things are located on Earth (terrestrial vs. subterranean)

On the right side of the chart, students should list attributes of the fictional portrayal of Venus:

  • what it might look like on any normal day (not including the two hour break in hurricanes)
  • the view from the face of Venus, and
  • where things are located on the colonized Venus.

Students should use quotes from the story to substantiate their answers.

All Summer in a Day - Comparison
Create your own at Storyboard That In the story, Margot knows Earth as we know it today. Unlike the actual Venus, which is devoid of any life, Bradbury's Venus is a planet covered with vegetation that is muted in color. On Earth, the view of the sky can be bright and sunny. On Venus, the view of the sky is always rainy, with the exception of two hours every seven years. Most life and civilization are located on the surface of the planet. In this futuristic setting, everything in the society is located underground and connected by tunnels. EARTH VENUS "the great jungle that covered Venus, that grew and never stopped growing tumultuously... was a nest of octopuses... the color of rubber and ash... the color of the moon." "thousands upon thousands of days compounded and filled from one end to the other with rain...and the concussion of storms so heavy there were tidal waves over the islands."

Example

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"All Summer in a Day" Setting Map

Settings help to bring the reader into the story and they really come alive when you use a storyboard to illustrate them. In this activity, students will identify the setting of "All Summer in a Day", and support their choices with details from the text.


Sights and Sounds

  • The story is set on the planet Venus, but it is a fictional version of it, as it does not have the environment which we know it to have.
  • There is constant rain and near hurricane forces at all times.
  • Most of the story shows the characters in their concrete, drab, underground schoolroom with some mention of the tunnels and other underground living areas.
All Summer in a Day - Setting
Create your own at Storyboard That Image Attributions: Venus (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonynetone/8131217051/) - tonynetone - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/) Nice rain outfit (Linden?) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/knowuh/6287940616/) - the paessels - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)