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To Accomplish the Most Good: Booker T. Washington’s Education

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • How did Washington’s beliefs about himself influence his diligent pursuit of an education? How did both lead him to contribute to his community?
  • How is struggle related to confidence? How did Booker T. Washington’s struggle and his race relate to his identity and his purpose?
  • How did Washington’s identity affect his actions?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Identify and discuss the circumstances that made it difficult for Washington to achieve his goals
  • Analyze and discuss the character traits that enabled Washington to overcome the obstacles that he encountered
  • Create a map that demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between Washington’s diligence, his accomplishment of his goals, and his contribution toward his own freedom and that of others
  • Students will compare themselves and their individual circumstances to Washington and his circumstances
  • Students will evaluate their own degree of diligence and the ways that they can apply this character trait more deliberately in their own lives

Student Handouts