Lesson Plan : Death of a Salesman Confrontation

Teacher Name:
 M. I. Friedman
 Grade 11-12
 Literature Activities

 Biff, the Golden Boy
 In this second lesson that examines the pitfalls of the American drive to be number one, we examine the final confrontation between Willy and Biff. The purpose of this lesson is to look at how Biff has changed, and how questioning the unethical behavior he has been taught has brought about that change.
 Aim: How can we understand the effects of unethical behavior, by a close look at Biff's character? Outcomes: Student will take a close look at Biff's character, particularly his questioning of the values that Willy has taught him and Happy, in order to understand the deleterious effects of those values on his life. Through this, students should be trying to consider how similar values have effected their lives.
 Students will be able to understand how the "win at all costs" mentality, which was discussed in Lesson #16, is actually a dangerous mentality.
 Death of a Salesman "I'm Number 1!" handout
 Turn and Talk: Have students discuss, with their groups, ways in which parents can be responsible for the success or failure of their children. Classroom Discussion: 1. Ask the students to share the results of their "Turn and Talk." While this part of the discussion is going on, record their responses on the board. 2. Ask the students to consider ways in which Biff has been seen to be a failure. Ask them to suggest how Willy has been responsible for that failure. 3. Consider, with the class, ways in which we can actually see Biff as a success. Then ask them if there is anyway in which Willy can be seen as responsible for that success.
 1. Ask the students to share their list of specific things Willy did, or said, to the young Biff, that may have led to his later failure in life. Ask them if Willy is completely responsible for causing Biff's failure. 2. Have the students share their ideas as to how Biff changes in the play. Have them identify the event, in his life, that brings about this change.
 Students will demonstrate an understanding of: 1. how our success or failure in life can be the result of how we are brought up; 2. how we must take responsibility for our own success or failure; 3. how these concepts are brought out through an examination of the change that takes place in Biff throughout the play.

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