Day 6: Forgetting

Many people often assume that forgetting is an inherently bad thing. This class aims to complicate that assumption, posing specific scenarios and ideas to students that will hopefully push them to develop more complex understandings of forgetting.

Goals: for everyone to understand why forgetting things is necessary and also important.

Important note: before teaching this lesson, I would strongly suggest reading “Funes the Memorious” by Jorge Luis Borges.


  • The debate is the most complicated part of this lesson in terms of preparation and explanation. From my own experience, I would recommend only conducting a debate-style activity for 10th graders and older, being sure to thoroughly explain what debates are, what this one will look like, and how students should prepare in their groups for the debate (prepping their own arguments as well as counter-arguments against the opposing group). For younger classes, I would recommend potentially transforming the scenarios into slightly longer stories that students could read and discuss in small groups or with the whole class.
  • If you have extra time at the end of the class, consider showing the movie trailer for “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” linked in the lesson guide. There is one moment in the commercial where a character curses, so be prepared to mute the trailer during that moment.

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