Dark They Were, and
By Ray Bradbury
Before reading: Connect to
Your Life
Label the next page in your LNb “Dark They Were,
and Golden-Eyed.”
Then answer the following questions:
Have you ever been in a situation where you had to
adapt to a very different environment from what you
were used to?
How did you react?
What things about yourself did you have to change?
Be ready to share your thoughts with the class.
Before Reading: Understand
Synonyms are words that share similar meanings.
Using synonyms can add variety and clarity to writing.
It is important to choose the accurate synonym for the
context of the original word.
Use a thesaurus and a dictionary and consider the context
when making synonym choices.
On the following slide, your Words to Know are in
sentences. Replace each underlined word with an
appropriate synonym.
Before Reading: Understand
Example: The man felt that something was amiss when he stepped off the
He felt his hope dwindle when he heard the news.
Lessen, diminish
The flimsy structure toppled in the wind.
Fragile, weak
Each day that passed made the thought of the rocket recede from his mind.
Withdraw, diminish, go away
The forlorn town soon deteriorated.
Deserted, abandoned
Reading 1: Visualizing
Visualizing is forming a mental picture of characters,
events, and settings based on a written description.
Involves all senses, not just sight.
Is aided by the author’s use of vivid descriptions
When you read, try to “see” the settings and characters
described, but also try to hear, feel, smell, and taste
what the writer describes.
Group Discussion Questions
Why does Harry Bittering want to return to Earth as soon as
he gets out of the rocket?
Why does Cora Bittering want to stay on Mars?
How does Harry try to resist the changes that are happening
to others? Is he successful?
How does Harry’s attitude toward his rocket change over the
course of the summer?
What do the Bitterings leave behind when they go to the
mountains for the summer?
Reading 2: Events That
Advance the Plot
An event in a story is an action, rather than a thought
or an idea.
What is the first event that occurs in the story?
Pg. 479, paragraph 1: A rocket lands on Mars and a
family emerges, along with other passengers.
How does it move the story forward?
This event puts the family in the setting in which the
story will take place.
Reading 2: Events That
Advance the Plot
Events not only advance the story, but also explain
characters’ current actions and foreshadow future actions.
On pg. 483, Mr. Bittering notices that his vegetables have
What event that occurs on page 485 does this help explain?
If the fruits and vegetables are becoming Martian, so might
the people.
The event helps explain why Mr. Bittering said, “lorrt.” He is
being influenced by living on Mars.
What does this event tell you about what might happen later
in the story?
Perhaps other Earthlings will transform as well.
Reading 2: Events That
Advance the Plot
Events explain present action and foreshadow future
On pg. 487, Dan wants to change his name.
How does this event fit in with what has occurred
previously, or how does it foreshadow upcoming events?
Many things have changed for the Bitterings since they
landed on Mars. This wish by Dan to change his name is
just one more example. It may foreshadow that there will
be other changes.
Reading 3: Circular Plot
Plot development is often explained in terms of a
triangle, in which the rising action is one side of the
triangle, the climax is at the apex, and falling action is
the other side.
Some plots can be explained in terms of a circle
because important details and events are repeated at
the beginning and end the story.
Reading 3: Circular Plot
In the paragraph on page 490 that begins, “Five years
later,…” what event occurs?
People from Earth land on Mars in rocket ships.
Did a similar event occur earlier?
This event occurred previously at the beginning of the
story when the Bitterings landed on Mars.

Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed