73 pages 2 hours read

Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1988

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Use this activity to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity.

“Melchizedek, Joseph, and Narcissus Walk into the Desert…”

Students will think about the messages of their own heroes and what they learn from those figures in a modified version of Santiago’s journey.

On a slip of paper, write down the name of one of your heroes. Then imagine that Santiago encounters this person during his journey. What lesson might he learn from them? Briefly identify the hero with a description or a summary of accomplishments. When you are finished, add your own name, fold up your paper, and place it in the box in the front of the room.

  • Your teacher will sort the class into groups by pulling the papers in sets of three. Then all the papers will be returned to the box and shuffled.
  • Draw a hero’s name from the box and get together with the other students in your group. As a team, formulate aloud a retelling of Santiago’s journey. The start and the end of the journey will be the same: He begins with a dream and ends by returning to the ruined church.