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Flowers for Algernon

Image result for Flowers for Algernon The first story of second quarter is “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes. There are several skills that the students will be mastering in this story and we will also be touching on some of the skills that they have already mastered in previous units. Through this unit students will explore the idea of knowledge and its impact on their lives, identify and analyze character traits and develop skills to read a longer story. 

New skills to master:

  • Character traits- these are a character’s distinct personalities, appearences and likes and dislikes. They must often be infered from a character’s words and actions. 
  • Point of view
  • Sound devices
  • Allusion
  • Direct/indirect objects
  • Verbal phrases
  • Pronoun cases


How to read a longer story:

  • Look for ways to break it up in to smaller parts
  • Pause at the end of sections and ask yourself questions
  • Think about how the later sections relate to the earlier ones. 

Review of the following mastered skills:

  • Review of irony-the contrast between what is and what should be
    a. Dramatic Irony: the audience knows or understands something that
    the character or characters do not.
    b. Situational Irony: the result of an action is the reverse of what is
    expected. The reader is just as surprised as the characters.
    c. Verbal Irony: the contrast is between the literal meaning of what is
    said and what is meant. Also known as sarcasm.
  • Review plot diagram-the main events of the story
    a. Exposition: contains the characters and setting
    b. Rising Action: the part of the story that builds interest
    c. Climax: the turning point
    d. Falling Action: the part of the story that brings it to a close
    e. Resolution: the end of the story
  • Review mood-the feeling of a piece of literature
  • Review foreshadowing-the use of clues by the author to prepare readers and build suspense by providing hints of what is to come.
  • Review imagery-the picture that forms in the reader’s mind as they read.
  • Review flashback-a scene in a movie, novel, etc., set in a time earlier than the main story.
  • Review allusion-a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance

Below you will find helpful handouts for this story. Feel free to print them out and use as needed. 

Below you will find some things to help enhance your understanding of Flowers for Algernon. 

Below you will find some videos and handouts that may help you if you are struggling with this story.