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In this lesson on “Flowers For Algernon” students learn to Identify with a Character – Charlie
6, 7, 8
Title – Flowers for Algernon: You be Charlie
By – Megan Olson
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects –
Grade Level – Junior High (6-8)
Set: Have students close their eyes. Ask them to identify some characteristics of Charlie they could act out for the remainder of the class period.
Objective: Students will be able to discuss Charlie’s feelings after he had completed his tests.
Students will show compassion toward Charlie for the rest of the book.
Materials: Ink blot test (just use paint on paper and fold in half.)
Pictures the students could make a story from.
Activity: Remind the students that they are to be Charlie for the remainder of the class period. Have them take out a piece of paper and pen. Hold up one ink blot at a time and ask them to write down what the inkblot reminds them of (5-7 inkblots). Only a couple students will catch on and say they remind them of inkblots. Ignore them for now, but call on them every time they raise their hand.
Next, have the students race the clock (Algernon) with a maze. I allowed my students three minutes on an almost impossible maze. Have the students discuss how they felt when the “mouse” beat them. There will be a couple who will have finished before the “mouse.” Have the class identify them as a Charlie who has already had the operation.
The final test is the story. Charlie told the doctors that he couldn’t lie about people he didn’t know. Only about one or two students will reply like this. Ask them for their story every time a new picture is being discussed. Make sure to ask the other students also. I use three pictures.
After all the tests are completed, ask the students to identify the true Charlie in the class. Have the students talk about how they felt with the tests and how Charlie must have also felt.
Have students write a journal entry like Charlie. Have them describe how they felt during the tests. Remember that Charlie can’t spell. If you allow your students to write like Charlie, make sure they let you know.
I have other students grade this paper.
Have students identify how they acted like Charlie. Ask them how they feel about his character now.
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