Algernon’s Exercise Regimen

Molly McCarthy, Language Arts, Piedmont IB Middle School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


Flowers for Algernon is a well-loved, classic middle school story that contains many topics that are still current for today’s adolescents. One of the pervasive topics covered in this story is enhancing human intelligence. In this unit students will improve their knowledge of fictional elements, while increasing the amount of time they move in the classroom. The students will learn new material, complete assessments and create projects by moving around the room, or in a contained outside area, where the content will be taught. The lesson and activities in this unit contain pre-assessments, interactive quizzes, and review material for the fiction curriculum. Included in this unit are active teaching strategies and lessons for the kinesthetic classroom, along with movement-driven lessons for the short story version of Flowers for Algernon that can be adapted to any novel study. Finally, the culminating task at the end of this unit includes research project ideas that allow students to analyze real word issues that connect to the themes in the novel. Therefore, teachers can leverage this unit to teach fiction in a kinesthetic classroom or simply utilize the project sheets in the appendices for the short story version of Flowers for Algernon or any other story.