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MRHMS Reads "Flowers for Algernon" During a Short Story Unit
As part of their short story unit, scholars in Mrs. Strubhar’s class recently completed Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. This story, told through a series of progress reports, examines the life of Charlie Gordon, an intellectually disabled man who undergoes surgery to increase his intelligence. In addition to reading the short story, students also examined multiple other sources in order to explore the concept of intelligence. These scholarly articles and videos addressed a variety of factors including multiple intelligences, growth mindset, and whether or not intelligence can be accurately measured.
As a culminating activity, students used all of these resources to prepare to debate the question “Is it ethical to use science and technology to alter the human brain?” In order to get ready for the debate, students completed a graphic organizer which required them to form a claim, and then locate five pieces of evidence to support their claim. During the debate, students discussed such issues as the implications of erasing memories, using drugs to alter personality, the moral treatment of individuals with disabilities, the possible side effects of altering the human brain, and whether or not individuals are supposed to follow a predetermined path in life. The debate format also allowed students to practice the skills of polite disagreement, active listening, taking turns, and inviting others into a conversation.
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.