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Literature Suggestions - Do Androids..

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

  • The Lexile Level on this book is unknown but it can be estimated at between 1200-1300.  Because of the higher Lexile Level and the complexity of the themes in this book, it is recommended for 11th-12th grade students and stronger 10th grade students.
  • Suggestions made for reading I, Robot can be used with this book.  However, because of the deeper themes in the book, you may want to consider having groups read and discuss some of the chapters together.  Good discussion questions can be found at this link.
  • Clary Carleton has developed a very comprehensive unit for this book for the Yale National Institute.  Check out this link for some suggestions that are sure to challenge students’ higher level thinking skills on a variety of themes.

After students have read the book, select from any of the following activities:

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  • Compare the robot-human relationship in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? with those in I,Robot. This can be done with a simple VENN diagram or comparison chart or it could be done as a written essay.
  • The importance of the human quality of empathy is a reoccurring theme in this book.  Discuss the meaning of empathy. Write a good definition of empathy. Find examples in the novel that illustrate the absence of empathy in androids.  Then find examples that illustrate the presence of empathy in man.  Write about three experiences in your life when you’ve been empathetic.
  • The terms robot, humanoid, and android are often used interchangeably.  Define each word. What is the meaning of the term “android” as used in this novel?   How are robots, humanoid robots, and androids the same?  Different?
  • Write an essay on what it means to be human. What makes us human? How are we different from other animals? Is empathy the distinguishing quality that makes us human? What does it mean to be inhumane?  Are all humans empathetic?
  • Have a four corner “debate” on the statement, “Man should develop robots that are programmed to be empathetic.”  
  • The activities presented above relate to the robot theme of the “Robot Invasion” unit.  For activities that explore other themes in this novel, go to the links listed in “Additional Resources” below.


Assessment Opportunities:

  • Group activities (VENN comparisons, definition of empathy)
  • Essay (use district writing rubric)
  • Observation - small group participation, preparation for reading assignment
  • Book Quiz - links to quizzes
  • (This is a very simple quiz - explicit questions that all students should be able to answer if they read the book. Can be taken online.)  (Combination of multiple choice and essay questions)


Additional Resources

  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  • High School unit plan using Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and the movie, Blade Runner.
  • Another link with discussion questions.
  • Highlights of the main themes and events in each chapter in a bulleted list. This is a good link to refresh your memory of what happened in each chapter.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick.  Go to this link for a summary.


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Contact Info

  • Kathleen Letsky, Curriculum Specialist
  • Nathan Patia, STEM Specialist
  • Salvador Cabusi, Technology Specialist
  • Robot Invasion
  • 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.