Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Long Is Forever?

Deloris Morris
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students use graphic organizers to predict events that may take place in the novel, [Tuck Everlasting] and make inferences about what is read.


The student extends and applies previously learned prereading knowledge and skills of the sixth grade with increasingly complex reading selections and assignments and tasks.

The student makes inferences and generalizations about what is read.

The student uses graphic organizers and note-making to clarify meaning and to illustrate organizational pattern of texts.

The student knows the reasons for a character's actions.


-Babbitt, Natalie. [Tuck Everlasting]. McDougal Littell, Evanston, Il. 1997.
-Optional, one copy of “Characterization Acrostic” for each student
-Transparency of chart “Character Reactions”
-Transparency of the "Scoring Rubric"


1. Make transparency of “Character Reactions.-
2. Make copies and/or transparencies of “Characterization Acrostic- and “Scoring Rubric”.
3. Familiarize yourself with the novel and the themes associated with the novel.
4. Familiarize yourself with the scoring rubric.
5. Determine whether the attached forms are applicable to your classroom.


1. Prior to reading the novel, [Tuck Everlasting] discuss the meaning of the literary term “fantasy.” Use the definition that is in your textbook. Also, discuss the author’s purpose for using a real-life type character for the main character, Winnie, (to help students to relate to the character and the story).

2. Read Prologue through chapter 18. Discuss the positives and negatives of the idea of living forever and predict some events that may occur in the novel. List on the board or overhead.

3. Discuss the different attitudes and reactions of the four members of the Tuck family after drinking from the spring, which cause them to live forever. Each family member views their situation differently.

4. Discuss the character of Winnie and have students relate their own experiences with those of Winnie.

5. Have students individually complete a “Characterization Acrostic” (traits) for each character in the novel (write each character’s name vertically and write an adjective that describes each character by letters in their name). This could be completed by the teacher as a handout for students or completed on the board or overhead as a class activity.

6. Divide students into four cooperative learning groups. Assign or have groups select a recorder, writer, and reporter. Show a transparency of “Character Reactions” and have them individually complete similar charts and share results with the class.

7. Teacher collects and evaluates “Character Reactions” to determine if students are on target with an understanding of both the concept of immortality and each character’s reaction to immortality.

8. Show a sample of the “Scoring Rubric” on the overhead and discuss with students the procedures and the criteria for scoring their endings.

9. Have groups write an ending for the story in which they relate what they think Winnie will chose to do at the end of the novel, drink the water and live forever or live a normal life and die, and why she makes that particular choice.

10. Have each group exchange and score each other’s story endings based on the rubric; then, revise their particular ending based on suggestions from the group.

11. Teacher scores the final draft of each group’s endings using the rubric.


Endings will be scored on the following rubric:
3. Full Accomplishment: Students successfully reflect in their story endings a thorough understanding of the concept of immortality and Winnie’s conflict of having to decide to drink the water.
2. Substantial Accomplishment: Students' story endings include more recall information than inferences about Winnie’s internal conflict.
1.Little or Partial Accomplishment: Students' story endings have minimal information about Winnie’s conflict.


This lesson should be modified for different learning styles and learning levels in group work. Group stronger critical thinkers with weaker critical thinkers.

Web Links

Web supplement for How Long Is Forever?
Internet Public Library

Web supplement for How Long Is Forever?
Internet Public Library

Attached Files

Character reaction worksheet     File Extension: pdf

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