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Literature Suggestions - I, Robot

Selected Literature

I Robot by Isaac Asimov
A summary of the short stories in the collection can be found by following this LINK.

Reading Asimov’s Short Story Collection
Lexile Level – 820  (typical lexile range for students in grade 9-12 is 855- 1210 so this book should be at the independent reading level for most of your students.)

Procedure

  • Decide how long you want to give students to read the collection of short stories and create a reading schedule.
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  • As the students read, ask them to use sticky notes to make connections, react to the text, ask questions, and note unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Have students meet daily in a small literature circles (4-5 students) to discuss the reading and share their sticky notes.
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  • Assess comprehension through periodic quizzes and journal entries.
  • You might also consider setting up a classroom literature discussion blog.

After students have read the collection of short stories have them do any of the following activites:

  • Break the class into eight groups of 3-4 (based on class size).
  • Assign each group one of the first 8 stories in I,Robot ( Do not use “The Evitable Conflict”).  Below are some suggested group activities.


Have students….

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  • take the roles of the characters in the story and act out a scene from the story.
  • stage a news show and interview either the robot or the robot and main characters.
  • discuss in their groups how Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics influenced the conflict and the resolution in their story.
  • design a book jacket for the story. Mold a large sheet of white construction paper around a book the size you want to make the book jacket pattern. (This may also be an individual project.)
    • Design the front cover.  The cover should reflect the main theme of the story and include the story title, author, and cover illustrated by ____.
    • Write a short summary on the back that encourages others to read the story.
    • Write reviewer (group) comments on one side flap.
    • Write a short biography of the author on the other side flap.
    • Write the title and author on the spine.


Ask students to reread the last story in I, Robot.

  • Using the Think-Pair-Share strategy discuss why Asimov wrote this story.  Why was it the last story in the collection?  What message or final thoughts was Asimov intending to leave with the reader?
  • Susan Calvin believes we’re in good hands with robots in control since they are programmed not to do anything to harm humanity. Do you agree with Susan Calvin?   Write a response to this question and explain your position in detail.
Have students analyze the effectiveness of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics in fiction and in real life. What problems would the original Three Laws present in today’s robotics industry? Do our technology industries follow the Three Laws? Give examples. Have the students rewrite the Three Laws of Robotics for today’s robotics and technology industries.Resources

Assessment Opportunities:

Class participation
Group interactions
Scoring rubric for book jacket (TR)
Written answers to discussion questions may also be used.
See THIS LINK for discussion question suggestions.

Additional Resources

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Robot Image Rotator

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Contact Info

  • Kathleen Letsky, Curriculum Specialist
  • Nathan Patia, STEM Specialist
  • Salvador Cabusi, Technology Specialist
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  • Krause Family Foundation
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Tel: 808.778.1265

The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha

  • ‘Alana Ke Aloha places relationship at the heart of all learning.  We create and support projects that engage participants’ imagination, collaboration, and problem solving toward a healthy planet.
  • The Krause Family Foundation: ‘Alana Ke Aloha is a private, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (EIN: 27-1531421) registered (01/21/2010) in the State of Hawai‘i.