Spotlight

Students in Mrs. Gerber’s American Literature class were given a list of twenty words that represented different aspects in their life that they might find important.  They were asked to prioritize them from most to least important in their lives.  Then students were broken up into groups and they had to trade their least important priorities for their most important ones.  Students had to discuss with their fellow classmates what they valued and didn’t in their lives.  For example, students had to decide if they were willing to trade money for friends or a college degree for a sense of humor.  After changing groups numerous times, students had a chance to sit down and reflect on the trades they had made with their peers and decide if they had made good or bad trades. This activity was designed to lead the class into the story of “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving. This story explores the explosion of materialism in the 1800’s in American by telling a tale of Tom Walker and his decision to trade his soul for money and prestige.