Do the ends justify the means?

In different words, this question has been raised lately, multiple times.

This week we read that Mae Tuck killed a man to save a child, her family, and possibly the fate of humankind in our class novel, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.   But did she have to kill him?  Was that the right thing to do?  Was that her only option?  What might she have done instead?

Students were riveted by the story of the Burning of the Gaspee.  As we prepare for the tea tax debate, we are looking closely at the many catalysts for the American Revolution.  While some colonists wrote letters to express their feelings of discontent, many others reacted with violence.

In fifth grade, we will continue to wrestle with this question.  Is it ok to do something wrong if it is for the right reason?  Do the ends justify the means?  For the sake of a more generative discussion, I’d like to encourage parents and fifth graders to post any thoughts they have on this big question directly onto our blog.  Thank you!!!

Fifth graders synthesized their knowledge by retelling the event, sharing the big ideas, and making predictions.  Completed work included: slideshows, a news article, two cartoons, and a poster board display. Below are links to the student slideshows about the Burning of the Gaspee.  You might need to copy and paste the link into your address bar.





Jordan's Cartoon
Jordan’s Cartoon
Our new class read-aloud
Our new class read-aloud