Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes Lit Link Grades 7-10
Flowers for Algernon has been widely taught throughout North America for more than a quarter of a century, and for good reason. Students need to know some basic terms from psychology, but these can easily be explained by the teacher as the novel is being read. Secondly, the novel becomes more profound as the reader digs more deeply into it. It is a very complex novel, which can be understood on a variety of simpler levels. This makes it challenging even for the more gifted students, while weaker students can enjoy it at a simpler level.
Charly Gordon undergoes an operation that miraculously transforms him from a mentally-challenged person to a highly intelligent man. At first Charly marvels at how much the world opens up to him and even experiences his first love. Charly discovers the significance of the term 'ignorance is bliss' when he realizes that all his life, people had rejected and mistreated him. In a tragic ending, Charly's new lease on life is simply a short-term arrangement as his brain regresses to its original state.
This unit provides teaching notes which analyze the elements of the novel, quizzes, fun activities, and suggestions for writing and discussion. A story summary, author biography, vocabulary and post reading activities, complete with answer key. 64 pages