Lesson 1 (from Come Back Safe, My Friends and The White Spider)
At the beginning of THE WHITE SPIDER, Harrer talks about his reason for writing the book, answering criticism that the book may be either sensationalistic or unnecessary. The objective of this lesson is to examine Harrer's reasons for writing the book and his desire to explain them.
1) As a class, read the opening of "Come Back Safe, My Friends" through when Harrer tells Maix about his book. Why is the unnamed mountaineer critical of Harrer's book idea? What is Harrer's response to this? Does the mountaineer's criticism have merit? Is Harrer's response adequate?
2) Break students up into groups. Ask each group to consider why Harrer chooses to open his book this way. Have each group form a list of reasons why the author includes this anecdote and begins his book by discussing why he has written it, citing references in the text in support of...
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