The Lost Generation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, we encourage our students to read, discuss, and discern key characteristics of Lost Generation writers through collaborative discussion and group presentation.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the characteristics of the Lost Generation of writers
  • Recognize a few of the more famous writers of the Lost Generation


50 minutes


  • 3 passages (4-6 pages each from works by Stein, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald).

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • Lost Generation
  • Gertrude Stein
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald

Curriculum Standards


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.


  • Before class, identify 4-6 pages that are exemplary of each of the three featured writers. Some works where you can find these include:
    • Gertrude Stein: Q.E.D., Tender Buttons, The Making of Americans
    • Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, The Old Man and the Sea
    • F. Scott Fitzgerald: This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, Tender is the Night
  • Make enough copies for each to cover a third of your class size.
  • Have students watch the video lesson The Lost Generation: Expatriate Writers of the 20th century
  • Stop the lesson at 2:33.
  • Hold a short discussion on the characteristics of the Lost Generation to ensure all students understand the basic concept. Some example discussion questions include:
    • What caused many of these writers to change the way they wrote?
    • What did these writers feel had changed about society? Why did so many choose to live in Europe?
    • What major 20th-century event affected these writers' view of society? How did it affect it?
  • Finish the rest of the video.
  • Have students take the quiz

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