Lesson 1 (from Chapter 1 | Chapter 2)
The optimism Jurgis is inspiring and yet seems to be a part of his downfall. Today's objective is to discuss the role of optimism in Jurgis, as well as how this relates to our own experiences.
1. Have each student write down whether they are an optimist or not. Why have they chosen to think they way they do?
2. in smaller groups, have students discuss whether or not they feel optimism is something which is inherent or whether it is something that can be taught and cultivated. Why or why not?
3. As a class, have students talk about the benefits of optimism. What can optimism provide for a person? What are the disadvantages to being optimistic? Is optimism unrealistic? Are there certain things in the world that are less likely to compel optimism?
4. Homework: Have students write a short essay about a day in which they...
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