High School
English Language Arts

The Stranger, existential thought and absurdity

Teaching a text that portrays a philosophical idea can be very difficult without the necessary background information and the ability to modify it for students' learning needs and styles. There are a number of resources to help you with the basic plot and themes of the novel; however, this list also includes activities and projects that will stimulate learners' critical thinking.
A Collection By Melissa Mirabello
  • 7 Collection Items
  • Q&A
  • 7 Collection Items
  • Discussion
The Stranger, existential thought and absurdity
  • The Stranger

    Website
    web.jerichoschools.org
    web.jerichoschools.org
    Melissa Mirabello says:
    Every year, my students engage in a mock trial of Meursault. The students love it! This resource includes questions/study guide material, and an organizational chart for implementing a mock trial in your classroom. The students will learn about law and also the concept of justice as it applies to the text and life.
  • wsu.edu
    wsu.edu

    Camus, The Stranger

    7 minute read
    Melissa Mirabello says:
    What are the enduring, essential questions that you want to address in your instruction, students' activities/experiences, and assessments for the novel? This site offers such questions: Who is the stranger? What is more important, society or the self? Why? What does it mean to be moral? Is morality necessary to live? What is the difference between fate and free will? Students enjoy talking about these questions before, during and after the reading.
  • Melissa Mirabello says:
    It is wise to slowly lead students into reading The Stranger by first exposing them to absurdism, existentialism and Camus's life and times. Then, reading his Myth of Sisyphus will pose many significant philosophical questions which the students will ponder and apply to the novel. In this source, the myth is examined in a very intellectual manner; however, the teacher may select lines from different parts of it to draw the students into philosophical discussion.
  • Melissa Mirabello says:
    I have used segments from each of the videos on this site for supplemental information about Camus. I like showing brief pieces of each video and then have students write reflections about what they hear. We then discuss their ideas and relate them back to the text and modern life.
  • philosophytalk.org
    philosophytalk.org

    Camus and Absurdity

    6 minute read
    Melissa Mirabello says:
    Many students have a difficult time understanding absurdity and existentialism. This is a good discussion of Camus's absurdity. I use it as an example of how students can "talk" about the main points of the philosophy. It also demonstrates how students can respond to each other's ideas in a blog format. There is also a one-minute audio blurb on absurdity that is interesting.
  • Melissa Mirabello says:
    I showed this movie after my students read the text. Famous director Luchino Visconti did a great job of portraying the absurdity of Meursault's thoughts and actions. There are many quiet scenes in the movie similar to Camus's upbringing and Meursault's thought process. Students were able to see this silence on the screen.
  • Melissa Mirabello says:
    This is a very user-friendly resource for teaching the novel especially for a class of heterogeneous students. It has great introductory material and guided questions for each chapter.
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