Bridge to Terabithia – Happiness

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Peterson offers one of the most poignant stories of friendship available in children’s literature. Two friends, Jess and Leslie, find each other and become friends during a time when they both need companionship. Though their lives are filled with hardships, they find happiness in their friendship, and this joy becomes a mindset that Jess is able to hang on to after Leslie’s tragic death. I would introduce the Sydney Harris conversation about happiness after reading Chapter 4, in which their friendship begins to blossom. I would revisit this discussion throughout the novel, ultimately asking students to answer the essential question, “How does friendship make people happy?”

Level: Elementary English/Language Arts

Subject Area: American literature

Author:  Tiffany Heitman

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