Here is the Brave New World reading schedule that I use in teaching the novel:
Reading 1: Chapters 1 through 3
Reading 2: Chapters 4 through 6
Reading 3: Chapters 7 through 10
Reading 4: Chapters 11 through 14
Reading 5: Chapters 15 through 18
Pre-reading notes page:
This Brave New World reading schedule is included in my pre-reading notes page. I start the lessons with a slideshow that introduces the novel and previews the unit. The page below accompanies the presentation.
Click here for the introductory slideshow.
If you are following this schedule, consider using the Brave New World Quizzes (5 reading checks). Get more ideas for starting your novel unit by checking out Brave New World Pre-Reading Activities.
Why follow this schedule to teach the novel?
Plenty of time
The readings for this schedule may seem quite short. This is by design. When teaching diverse learners, assigning out-of-class reading can be problematic. I want to give the students plenty of time to complete fairly short reading assignments. This sets the students up for success.
- Students with busy or irregular schedules can complete the readings in a way that works for them.
- Students with special needs can receive additional support.
- Students can form a book club to prepare for the reading quizzes and lessons.
Breaking up the novel for analysis
Some students could blitz through Brave New World in one or two sittings. I want to discourage this. Brave New World is not a romance novel starring vampires. It is literature that deserves careful consideration. Forcing students to read the novel in five parts ensures that there is time to unpack important aspects like symbolism, historical context, interconnected themes, point of view, and source materials.
Appropriate plot points and reading checks
This Brave New World reading schedule for high school results in logical breaks. Some texts make it difficult for teachers to assign approximately equal readings, but this is not so with Brave New World.
Reading 1: Chapters 1 through 3 – Touring the Baby Factory
The first reading takes students through the tour of the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre. We learn about the society by eavesdropping on the lectures of Mr. Foster, the DHC, and Mustapha Mond. The import of the visit to the Hatchery and Conditioning Centre goes beyond establishing the setting and characters. The students will need time to consider the symbolic/allegorical importance of the factory, the genre of speculative fiction, and the narrator’s point of view and tone.
“And that,” put in the Director sententiously, “that is the secret of happiness and virtue–liking what you’ve got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.”
- Where Do Babies Come From?
- Speculative Fiction: “The Perfect Match”
- Fragmented Narration
- Brave New World Discussion Set #1
Reading 2: Chapters 4 through 6 – Hypnopedia Britannica
This reading characterizes Bernard and Lenina as they date and plan their visit to the “Savage” Reservation. Readers gain insight into the internal conflict of Bernard as the novel’s initial protagonist. Students will need time to discuss the implications of government-sponsored mind control. This is a good point to reflect on the historical context of the novel and the developments that inspired Huxley’s dystopia.
“I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”
- Hypnopedia Britannica
- Bernard the Misfit (characterization)
- Huxley’s Real World – 1931 (historical context)
- Brave New World Discussion Set #2
Reading 3: Chapters 7 through 10 – Reservations Required
In this reading we visit the reservation, learn about John and Linda, and follow Bernard’s scheme to sabotage his supervisor. Following reading three, students can study classical conditioning, analyze Huxley’s style, and start identifying symbolic elements.
The other nodded. “But I mustn’t tell you what.” He was silent for a little; then, in a low voice, “Once,” he went on, “I did something that none of the others did: I stood against a rock in the middle of the day, in summer, with my arms out, like Jesus on the Cross.”
- Classical Conditioning, Lenina, and You
- Writing with Imagery (word choice)
- Symbolism Practice (short story)
- Brave New World Discussion Set #3
Reading 4: Chapters 11 through 14 – What’s Shakespeare Got to Do with It?
John experiences the society of Brave New World for himself. His presence makes a profound impact on Bernard and Helmholtz. The reading takes you through John’s visit to the Hospital for the Dying. He has objections to the “civilized” society, but he is not quite ready for outright rebellion. This is the point for students to analyze Huxley’s allusions to Shakespeare.
Helmholtz only laughed. “I feel,” he said, after a silence, “as though I were just beginning to have something to write about. As though I were beginning to be able to use that power I feel I’ve got inside me–that extra, latent power. Something seems to be coming to me.” In spite of all his troubles, he seemed, Bernard thought, profoundly happy.
- What’s Shakespeare Got to Do with It? (allusions)
- A Poem for Helmholtz
- Are You Being Controlled?
- Brave New World Discussion Set #4
Reading 5: Chapters 15 through 18 – Brave New Rebellions
Chapter 15 represents John’s breaking point. The ignoble death of his mother and the disgusting sight of Bokonovsky groups clamoring for soma put him over the edge. He starts his doomed rebellion. In the end, Huxley leaves the reader to guess the outcome of Helmholtz’s heroic quest for an authentic life.
Following the final reading, students analyze Huxley’s symbols, characterization, themes, and use of source materials in depth.
Twins, twins. … Like maggots they had swarmed defilingly over the mystery of Linda’s death. Maggots again, but larger, full grown, they now crawled across his grief and his repentance. He halted and, with bewildered and horrified eyes, stared round him at the khaki mob, in the midst of which, overtopping it by a full head, he stood. “How many goodly creatures are there here!” The singing words mocked him derisively. “How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world…”
- Symbol Hunt
- The Two Johns / Biblical Allusions
- Huxley’s Themes
- Brave New World Discussion Set #5
- John v. Mond Debate
- Foiled Again! (characterization)
Thanks for checking out Brave New World Reading Schedule.
I hope that you will find it useful in teaching Huxley’s prescient masterpiece. This Brave New World reading schedule for high school structures the readings in a way that enables me to meet my instructional goals. Learn more about the lesson plans and activities in Brave New World Unit Plan.