Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Alternate Activity 2: A Sound of Thunder

Part of Virtue Ethics

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • An audio recording of the Ray Bradbury short story, "A Sound of Thunder"
  • A computer with Internet connection, and an audio player

Preparation for Activity

  • Obtain an audio recording of the story "A Sound of Thunder," included in R is for Rocket by Ray Bradbury. You can access an audio version on YouTube, in three parts, with a total run-time of about 25 minutes. Your local library might have another version, such as Something Wicked This Way Comes and A Sound of Thunder [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition] by Ray Bradbury, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki (Blackstone Audiobooks, 2006). This story was the basis of a 2004 movie, but the movie is not recommended.
  • Test audio equipment and queue the story. If using the YouTube version, open three screens and queue all three segments before you begin.

Description of Activity

Participants reflect on interconnectedness by hearing a story.

Tell the group they will hear a story whose author, Ray Bradbury, is a well-known science fiction writer and a Unitarian Universalist.

Play the audio. Discuss the story afterward. Ask:

  • What does this story have to do with responsibility?
  • Ray Bradbury writes mostly science fiction, but sometimes his stories are dark fantasy, more horrific. Does the premise of this story-that the death of a single butterfly could change human history-frighten you? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think Bradbury wrote this story? What seems Unitarian Universalist about it? Does it connect with any of our Principles? How?