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"Something Wicked This Way Comes": A Carousel of Dreams and Nightmares

written by: Sarah Degnan Moje • edited by: Carly Stockwell • updated: 8/21/2013

Have your students construct their very own carousel as a fun, hands-on project to go along with the novel "Something Wicked This Way Comes". This article includes instructions and a downloadable handout.

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    Carousel of Dreams and Nightmares from As you and your students complete Part Two of Something Wicked This Way Comes, you will have uncovered the sinister secrets of Cooger and Dark’s Carousel Ride. Only Bradbury could take a merry-go-round, that childhood favorite ride, and turn it into something evil and horrifying. Students may not see the symbolism of the carousel transforming from a representation of childhood innocence to the darker stages of adult live, with its troubles and temptations, but once again, this is an opportune time for educators to create a visual aid to ensure student understanding.

    Put your students in groups of four or five and give them the Carousel handout that you can download here. The directions on the handout are as follows:

    In groups of 4 or 5, construct a moving carousel much like the one you read about in the novel. Remember, in the novel, the carousel represents different things to different people. To some, it symbolizes their deepest desires. To others, it represents their greatest fears. Your job is to design two horses for your group carousel. One horse must represent something you greatly fear. One horse must represent something you greatly desire. The horses must be decorated in such a way that your fears and desires are clearly represented. Your carousel does not have to move on its own, but should have 2 horses for each member of the group, meaning 8-10 horses total.


    Give them a week to create a carousel for their group, with each member creating two horses, one good and one evil, as per the download instructions. Then, have the groups present their carousels to the class and display them in the classroom for the duration of Bradbury’s novel. It will be a constant visual reminder to your students about the duality of the characters in the novel and how they transition during the course of three days in October.

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