2081/Harrison Bergeron CCSS Texts

Harrison Bergeron: CCSS Texts and Tasks

In this post, we provide a variety of multimedia texts that you can use to investigate Harrison Bergeron through an economic lens. For English education, this may be a challenge, due to the fact that many models of literary criticism have emerged through a Marxist-inspired lens:

“Ever since the Romantics, commerce and culture have been viewed as antithetical, and many authors and critics have hoped to shield literature from the sup- posedly harmful effects of a competitive marketplace. Marxist lit- erary theory has only deepened what was originally an aristocratic contempt for and distrust of market principles and practices. And in the field of literature and economics, Marxism and its offshoots, such as cultural materialism and the new historicism, have achieved a virtual monopoly in the contemporary academy” (Cantor & Cox, 2009).

At the Stavros Center, we do not wish to promote a specific lens; we wish to offer choices and new ideas for educators to pursue in the classroom.

These choices also include mulitmedia texts to investigate (see our CCSS aligned research-based strategy for investigating multimedia texts) as well as reporting/writing tasks that view the texts through an economic lens:

“TEXTS” to Investigate

Harrison Bergeron, the full text by Kurt Vonnegut, available:

  1. Text alone.
  2. Student text in a chapter that includes text-dependent questions for teachers.
  3. Unit that also uses Brave New World and compares the effects of advertising.


  1. Receive free annual video of 2081at Izzit.org or view 2081 Movie clip on YouTube
  2. 2081 review/info on IMDb
  3. Harrison Bergeron (1995) movie information at IMDb

Other Texts:

  1. Artist image of Harrison Bergeron “book” cover
  2. Production Design for 2081; includes great still images
  3. Forbes article about the Harrison Bergeron “effect” 
  4. Analysis article about the Harrison Bergeron “state”
  5. Interesting paper: Alternative Theories: Science, Tech, and Equality (pg. 15 summary)
  6. ENotes about the text: themes, interpretations, and connections
  7. Sample essay 1
  8. Sample essay 2: letter to the editor
  9. Blog post on Teen Ink
  10. Still images from the original movie

TASKS: Reporting/Writing Through an Economic Lens

Use the PACED Economic Decision-Making Model to analyze the text:


Students analyze the text/s using the PACED model. This graphic representation is considered a report, especially when it is accompanied by a summary. In addition, students can use the information they create through rational decision making by:

  • Creating a “process paper” where they describe their decision making processes.
  • Creating a letter, comic, poster, PSA, blog post, or other multimedia report.
  • Creating an argument: use to create an essay, speech or other multimedia
  • image of argument text

    Argument structure from Florida DOE CCSS Training


Fostering Entrepreneurial Thinking in the Classroom

Last evening we presented a workshop on entrepreneurial thinking, in conjunction with the Pinellas Education Foundation and Pinellas County School District. The workshop was generously sponsored by Wells Fargo.

During the first part of the workshop, Kyle & Danny Mastronardo presented discussed their experience as entrepreneurs and owners of Nardo’s Natural and shared their interesting journey as participants on Shark Tank. 

Kyle Mastronardo, President, Nardo's Natural Organic Skincare

Kyle Mastronardo, President, Nardo’s Natural Organic Skincare

Photo of Kyle and Danny Mastronardo

Thank-you Kyle and Danny for such an engaging presentation!


Following the presentation, Dr. Deborah Kozdras of the USF Stavros Center offered ideas on how to incorporate Common Core State Standards with entrepreneurship ideas. For example, she shared the free Hands On Banking Entrepreneurship course produced by Wells Fargo to illustrate the website reading strategies necessary to succeed in the global economy.

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.d. presenting

Deborah Kozdras, Ph.d. presenting