“Thank you Ma’am” – Forgiveness

“Thank You Ma’am” by Langston Hughes often leaves students perplexed because the main character instantly forgives a young boy who tries to rob her. Before reading the story, I would introduce the theme of forgiveness with the conversation about Mahatma Gandhi and his belief that forgiveness is a sign of good character. After reading the story, we could look for evidence about why Mrs. Luella Bates Washington Jones forgave the boy and what made her a strong woman.

Level: Elementary English/Language Arts

Subject Area: American literature

Author: Tiffany Heitman

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