Flowers for Algernon Unit

Purpose:  Read to discover what happens when a simple person becomes a genius.

Unit Objectives:

bulletto read and analyze a short story about a scientific experiment involving human intelligence
bulletto examine the functions of irony and foreshadowing in a story
bulletto examine an author's purpose and write an essay about an author's style.

Author:  Meet Daniel Keyes

Focus Activity:  List three or four advantages of becoming smarter and more talented.  What disadvantages do you see?

Setting:  1965 in New York City

Background:  There are several kinds of scientists who study the brain and mind.

bulleta neurosurgeon studies and operates on the brain
bulleta psychiatrist studies the workings of the mind
bulleta psychologist studies behavior, including thoughts, feelings, and learning abilities

There are many tests to measure human intelligence.  The Intelligence Quotient, or I.Q., is one such measure.  In recent years, scientists have come to think that people have "multiple intelligences" -- special abilities for language, music, physical coordination, and other areas.

Vocabulary:       

o       From the story:

§         Opportunist

§         Tangible

§         Intellectual

§         Invariably

§         Cower

§         Obscure

§         Impaired

§         Stimulus

§         Motivation

§         Regression

§         Illiteracy

§         Naiveté

§         Ethical

 

WORD-STUDY BOXES (Frayer Model)

 

o       Intelligence tests:

§         Rorschach Test

§         Thematic Apperception Test

§         IQ – Intelligence Quotient Test

o       Literary terms:

§         Irony

§         Author’s purpose

§         Foreshadowing

§         Flashback

§         Allusion

§         Characterization

Vocabulary Worksheet

Lesson Plan:

Date Day #

Lesson

1/20/10 1
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Pre-Reading:  Vocabulary

1/21/10 2
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Pre-Reading:  Introduction of story

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Literature Launcher video

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Page 112 – Focus Quick Write, Background, Author

1/22/10 3
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Read pages 113 – 114; progress report 1 and 2

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Discuss appropriate word choice (mentally challenged vs. “retarded”)

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Journal 1:  Have students evaluate Charlie based on his first entry.

1/22/10 4
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Take the Rorschach Test and go over results

1/25/10 5
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Read pages 114-115; progress report 3

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Journal 2:  Does Charlie understand what “temporary” means and why is this important?  Or  How would you feel being pitted against a mouse?

1/26/10** 7
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Take the IQ test

1/27/10 6
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Read pages 115; progress report 4

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Discuss irony and explain how “they’re going to use me” is ironic

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Journal 3:  Define irony and explain how the conversation the doctors have is ironic (page 116).

1/28/10 8
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Read page 117: progress report 5, 6, and 7

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Discuss the irony if Charlie gets his wish of a larger IQ.

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Journal 4:  What changes in Charlie’s personality become apparent immediately after his surgery?

1/29/10   FunTAKStic Friday (only in Language Arts)
2/1/10 9
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Prior to reading, discuss Author’s Purpose and why the author has taken the approach to not give the details of Dr. Nemur’s discovery.

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Read pages 117-119; progress report 8, Mar 25, Mar 28, and Mar 29

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Discuss the specific differences students are noticing about Charlie.  Discuss the “little television”

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Journal 5:  What is the difference between the way Charlie sees his friends and what the reader sees?  Is this irony?  Explain.

2/2/10 10
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Read pages 119-120; progress report 9, April 3

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Discuss the irony of Charlie’s version of the night out and what the reader understands.

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Journal 6:  Why do we need the information about Charlie’s friends?  Is it important to the story?  Can the story take out the “friends” and still be powerful/meaningful?

2/3/10 11
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Read pages 120-121; April 6, April 9, April 10 and April 14

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Discuss foreshadowing and what implications there are to Algernon being the first of the animals to stay smart for so long.

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Journal 7:  How does Charlie’s reading Robinson Crusoe help to explain the changes he’s undergoing?

2/4/10 12
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Read pages 122; April 15, 16, and 17.

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Discuss what Miss Kinnian means when she said that “for a person who God gave so little to you done more than a lot of people with brains they never even used.”

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Journal 8:  What is the irony in the situation when Miss Kinnian runs into the ladies room?

2/5/10   FunTAKStic Friday (school-wide)!
2/8/10 13
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Read pages 122-123; April 18 and April 20

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Discuss why Charlie is self-conscious about his writing.  Explain allusion and the reference to Adam and Eve.

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Journal 9:  How does Charlie’s revelation about punctuation parallel his revelation about his friends?

2/9/10 14
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Complete the questions on page 124, #1-5.

2/10/10 15
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Quiz over Part 1.

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Introduce PROJECT

2/11/10 16
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Read pages 125-126; progress report 11

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Discuss Mrs. Flynn’s reaction to Charlie; Dr. Strauss’s reaction to Charlie reading psychology texts; and will Charlie have more friends when his IQ climbs above 200.

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Journal 10:  Is it good that Charlie now understands why people laugh at him?  Is he better off?

2/12/10   FunTAKStic Friday
dates changed 17
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Read pages 126-127; April 22 and April 25

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Discuss how Charlie is much quicker to anger; whether students have ever suddenly understood something and felt difference from the person they used to be.

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Journal 11:  Why is this ironic, “People don’t talk to me much any more or kid around the way they used to.  It makes the job kind of lonely.”

dates changed 18
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Read pages 127-128; April 27 and April 28

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Discuss the foreshadowing of the exchange between the doctors (page 127) and the reference to Charlie possibly losing all the intelligence he has gained.

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Journal 12:  What do you think of Miss Kinnian’s definition of intelligence (intelligence is not only facts and figures, but experience and the ability to make connections)?

dates changed   Practice TAKS Math 6-8 Grades
dates changed 19
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Read pages 128-129; Progress report 12, April 30

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Discuss the irony that Charlie is more alone than ever before.

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Journal 13:  What is the importance of Fanny’s comments?  What is she comparing Charlie to and why is that important?

2/12/10   FunTAKStic Friday!
dates changed 20
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Listen to pages 129-131; May 15, May 18

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Discuss Charlie’s criticism of the doctors and how it shows the change in Charlie.

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Journal 14:  What aspects of the “old” Charlie are still evident, even though he is a different person?

2/16/10*** 21
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Listen to pages 131-132; May 20

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Discuss the importance of the scene with the dishwasher boy.

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Journal 15:  What do you think of Charlie’s decision to work to increase human intelligence?  Is it the right choice?  Or should he teach scientists to leave well enough alone?

2/22/10 22
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Listen to pages 133-134; Progress Report 13, May 23, 24, 25, 29, 31, and June 4.

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Discuss Algernon’s change.

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Journal 16:  Find an example of foreshadowing and explain it.

2/23/10 23
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Listen to pages 134-135; June 5, June 10, and June 15.

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Discuss the tone of Charlie’s entries and importance of the journal.

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Journal 17:  Have you changed your thinking about what is worse – never having had intelligence or losing it?  Have you heard the saying, “ignorance is bliss?”  Agree/disagree

2/24/10   Practice Science TAKS
2/25/10 24
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Read pages 135-137; June 19, June 21, June 22, June 23, and June 30

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Discuss Is the author suggesting that Charlie would have been better off without interference (author’s purpose); note the changes in Charlie between these journal entries.

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Journal 18:  Why is it important to Charlie that someone know what is happening to him?

2/26/10   FunTAKStic Friday!
3/1/10 25
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Read pages 137-138; July 10, July 14, July 22, July 24, and July 25

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Discuss the irony that Charlie can no longer tolerate treatment from others that he used to accept as friendly.

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Journal 19:  What is the difference between Charlie’s July 10 and July 14 entries?

3/2/10 26
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Read pages 138-140; July 27, July 28

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Discuss Joe and Frank.  Evaluate Charlie’s conclusion about his coworkers and his notion that he’s better off now than before the experiment.

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Journal 20:  What do you believe is the significance of the title, “Flowers for Algernon?”

3/3/10 27
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Page 141 – Complete questions #1-9 & Quiz over part 2

3/3/10 Practice TAKS Testing (Real 7th Grade TAKS Writing Test)
3/4/10 28
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Test

 

3/5/10

   

FunTAKStic Friday!

 

3/8/10 29 Movie - Compare and Contrast
3/9/10 30 Movie - Compare & Contrast
3/10/10   FFA Project

Introduce PROJECT

3/11/10   Project
3/12/10  

Project

3/15/10 to 3/19/10   Spring Break

Journal:

Entry # Journal Topic
1 Evaluate Charlie.  What kind of person is he?  How do you know?
2 Does Charlie understand what “temporary” means and why is this important?  Or  How would you feel being pitted against a mouse?
3 Define irony and explain how the conversation the doctors have is ironic (page 116).
4 What changes in Charlie’s personality become apparent immediately after his surgery?
5 What is the difference between the way Charlie sees his friends and what the reader sees?  Is this irony?  Explain.
6 Why do we need the information about Charlie’s friends?  Is it important to the story?  Can the story take out the “friends” and still be powerful/meaningful?
7 How does Charlie’s reading Robinson Crusoe help to explain the changes he’s undergoing?
8

What is the irony in the situation when Miss Kinnian runs into the ladies room?

9 How does Charlie’s revelation about punctuation parallel his revelation bout his friends?
10 Is it good that Charlie now understands why people laugh at him?  Is he better off?
11 Why is this ironic, “People don’t talk to me much any more or kid around the way they used to.  It makes the job kind of lonely.”
12 What do you think of Miss Kinnian’s definition of intelligence (intelligence is not only facts and figures, but experience and the ability to make connections)?
13 What is the importance of Fanny’s comments?  What is she comparing Charlie to and why is that important?
14 What aspects of the “old” Charlie are still evident, even though he is a different person?
15 What do you think of Charlie’s decision to work to increase human intelligence?  Is it the right choice?  Or should he teach scientists to leave well enough alone?
16 Find an example of foreshadowing and explain it.
17 Have you changed your thinking about what is worse – never having had intelligence or losing it?  Have you heard the saying, “ignorance is bliss?”  Agree/disagree
18 Why is it important to Charlie that someone know what is happening to him?
19 What is the difference between Charlie’s July 10 and July 14 entries?
20 What do you believe is the significance of the title, “Flowers for Algernon?”

Project Information:

Project Worksheet

 

Choose one of the following “Flowers for Algernon” projects to create that is best suited to your talents:

 

Writing Option:  “Flowers for Algernon” ends quite abruptly.  Through journal entries, continue Charlie’s journey.  Remember to use the same style and format as the author.  You must have six more entries and each entry must be at least half a page in length.

You will also need to write an editorial about the story.  Explain what you liked and disliked about the story.  Be specific and give reasons for your opinion.  Would you recommend this story to others?  Your editorial needs to be at least one page in length.  Use details from the story and explain your opinion in detail!

 

Newspaper:     Design a front-page of a newspaper that is devoted entirely to “Flowers for Algernon”.  It needs to have the following elements:  a title, 3 articles with pictures, and headlines for each article.  The articles should explain the major events from the book using details and quotes from the book.  The newspaper project should be the size and shape of a real newspaper.

 

Mural: Create a “Flowers for Algernon” mural on poster board that contains the following:  an illustration and description of the four main characters; an example of the three types of conflict with an illustration for each; plot chart of the story; and a summary of the story (minimum half a page in length).

 

Story Board:   A storyboard records the significant events with pictures.  The storyboard should contain a minimum of ten boxes.  Each box needs to contain a picture or symbol for the main event, color, and a paragraph explanation under the box.

 

Grades are based on the following criteria:

Content (25)   - Facts, details, quotes are correct.

Quality (25)     - Project is neatly done and effort is shown.  Spelling and grammar are correct.

Creativity (25) - Color and imagination is evident.

Directions (25) - All components of the project are complete.

 

FFA Project Examples

 

Quiz - Part 1:

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    Page 1

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    Page 2

 

Quiz - Part 2

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    Page 1

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    Page 2

 

Quiz - Literary Elements

 

Review for Test

 

Double Bubble Project

 

Book vs. Film Project

 

Be Careful What You Wish For - Essay