Flowers for Algernon Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan uses an activity, extension, quiz, and discussion questions to help students learn about 'Flowers for Algernon' as well as the deeper meaning behind its characters and plot.

Learning Objectives

Once your class has gone through this lesson plan's material, they should be able to:

  • summarize Flowers for Algernon
  • describe the main characters and their development
  • understand the deeper meaning behind Flowers for Algernon


30-60 minutes without the activity


Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Warm Up

  • Ask the following thought provoking questions to get your students ready for the lesson:
    • Would you rather be really smart or really happy? Justify your answer.
    • What simple things in life bring you pleasure? Why/how?


  • Give each student a handout of the following lesson's text:
  • Read it together as a class.
  • Pause after you've finished reading it to ask your students if they have any questions.
  • Once all questions have been answered, ask the following to test their knowledge:
    • Who is Charlie Gordon?
    • Who is Algernon?
    • How was their intelligence increased?
    • Why did Algernon's procedure reverse?
    • What was Charlie's last message before he went away to a home for the mentally disabled?
    • How would you summarize the main concept or meaning behind Flowers for Algernon?
  • Mini-activity: assuming your class hasn't read Flowers for Algernon, pass out some meaningful excerpts of this tale to the class and read and discuss their meaning aloud as a class.


  • Have your students take the lesson quiz after you've finished the lesson.
  • Review all the questions and all the answers with the class

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