"I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov

 

Lessons by E.S. Belasic

http://www.middleschoolscience.com

 

Chapter One - Robbie

 

Characters:

 

Susan Calvin - She is being interviewed after working for US Robot and Mechanical Men for 50 years

Robbie - a non vocal nursemaid robot that was made in 1996.  His job was to take care of Gloria

Gloria - an eight year old girl

Mrs. Weston - Gloria's mother and wife of George

George Weston - father of Gloria and husband of Mrs. Weston.

The Talking Robot - First Talking Robot is on display in New York City

Mr. Struthers - General Manager of US Robot and Mechanical Men - gives tour of the factory

 

All entries are posted in your Robot Journal

 

Part 1 - Vocabulary: (Required - 25 points)

 

Write a complete definition for each word.  Be sure to provide the parts of speech and to use the word in a complete sentence.

 

 

Part 2 - Art Work (40 points)

 

Using selected quotes from the text, draw a full color rendition of what you think Robbie looks like.  Here are a few to get you  started:

 

(pg 3)     "Robbie nodded his head - a small parallelepiped with rounded edges and corners ..."

                "...the glowing red of Robbie's eyes..."

 

(pg 4)       "Carefully he raised the little girl and placed her on his broad, flat shoulders."

             

 

(pg 27)     "Robbie's chrome-steel arms ..."

 

Part 3 - Science Time Line (15 - 50 points)

 

The story "Robbie" was written in 1940.  The story takes place in the year 1998.  We are reading it in the 21st century.  Using the text and a little research, make a timeline comparison with the following requirements.  

 

Be sure to use complete sentences and references from the story.

 

 

Part 4 - Robbie (25 points)

 

Answer the following statements and cite 1-2 quotes for each to support your statements. 

  1. Describe Robbie's personality.

  2. Describe his relationship with Gloria.

  3. Does Robbie have feelings?

  4. If Robbie were a person, how old would he be mentally and physically?

  5. Does Robbie obey the First Law?  What is the First Law?

 

Part 5 - Mrs. Weston (40 points)

  1. Mrs. Weston has very strong negative  feelings about Robbie.  Why doesn't she like him?  Why does she call Robbie "it" while Gloria and her father refer to Robbie using the terms "he, him or his"?  Cite 3-5 quotes that really convey her feelings.

  2. How do you feel about Robbie?  Do you agree  or disagree with Mrs. Weston? 5-8 sentences.

  3. How does Mrs. Weston feel at the end of the story?

 

 

Part 6 - Short Essay: Choose one and write 2-3 paragraphs. (45 points)

  1. When Gloria is looking for Robbie, she talks to the "Talking Robot" and with a simple question, the robot overloads and malfunctions.  What happened and why?

  2. Mr. Struthers mentions that there is a small amount of robot labor at the factory, where robots make more robots.  How can robot labor affect the need for  human labor?  Don't we want robots to do work for us?  Why would a labor union object to this idea?  Is this true today?

  3. If you had a personal robot, do you think you would feel the type of attachment that Gloria had with Robbie?  Is owning a robot that much different than owning a pet?  Are attachments that you form at a younger age stronger than those formed as you get older?

 

Grading Scale:  Click here for the Grading Rubric (pdf)

 

125 points  = A

100 points  = B+

75 points = B

50 points = C+

25 points = C

Less than 25 points = D

 

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Permission granted for educational use in the classroom.

 

Science Fiction Page | Introduction | Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five |