When teaching a text, I make sure that I have an anchor skill that I want my students to practice while reading. I find evaluating text structure to be one of the more difficult standards to teach, but I also find There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury to be not only an engaging story with lots of opportunity to review personification, but also a model text for students to analyze how the structure of a piece of writing can be as deliberate as the description.
During the reading, I encourage my students to identify examples of personification, and also to analyze how the individual uses of personification culminate to create an extended metaphor. How does the personification at the beginning of the story compare that at the end? What commentary is Bradbury trying to make about machines and humankind, and why is personification the most appropriate literary device to make this point?
I have a quick game of dictionary races at the beginning of the PowerPoint to pre-teach some of the vocabulary. 25 words is a bit much; however, I have a lot of ELL students who need quite of a bit of background built with regards to vocabulary, and since they’re racing, it doesn’t really take too long to go through them all.
If you’re looking for a non-fiction text to pair with the reading, there is a short article from 2015 in The London Sun about the silhouettes left around the city after the atomic blast.