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Teachers Guides from Beacon Can Help You Get Back to School

With a new school year just around the corner, students are stocking up on supplies and teachers are polishing their curriculum plans. To help the latter, Beacon offers guides to help in teaching many of our most popular titles. Find these and other teachers guides at our Scribd page and at

Psst: if you're not a teacher, these guides can still be great tools for reading and comprehending some great books!

4461 (1)Geoffrey Canada 
Teachers' Guide: Fist Stick Knife Gun

Teacher Patricia Rigley shares ideas for lesson plans, discussion questions, and sample assignments. 

Long before the avalanche of praise for his work—from Oprah Winfrey, from President Bill Clinton, from President Barack Obama—long before he became known for his talk show appearances, Members Project spots, and documentaries like Waiting for "Superman", Geoffrey Canada was a small boy growing up scared on the mean streets of the South Bronx. His childhood world was one where "sidewalk boys" learned the codes of the block and were ranked through the rituals of fist, stick, and knife. Then the streets changed, and the stakes got even higher. In his candid and riveting memoir, Canada relives a childhood in which violence stalked every street corner.


A Teachers' Guide for Geoffrey Canada's Fist Stick Knife Gun by Beacon Press


1429Viktor E. Frankl
Teachers' Guide: Man's Search for Meaning

High school teacher Aimee Young provides ideas for teaching Frankl's classic work in different contexts; resources for teaching about the Holocaust; classroom discussion questions, and more. 

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory-known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")-holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey for the Library of Congress that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America. 

A teachers' guide for Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning by Beacon Press


0112Martin Luther King, Jr.
Teachers' Guide: Why We Can't Wait

Kimberly N. Parker, Ph.D., provides discussion questions, critical thinking activities, and resources for teaching this vital document of American Civil Rights History. 

Often applauded as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most incisive and eloquent book, Why We Can’t Wait recounts the Birmingham campaign in vivid detail, while underscoring why 1963 was such a crucial year for the civil rights movement. During this time, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States, but the campaign launched by Fred Shuttlesworth, King, and others demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. King examines the history of the civil rights struggle and the tasks that future generations must accomplish to bring about full equality. The book also includes the extraordinary “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” which King wrote in April of 1963.

A Teachers' Guide for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Why We Can't Wait by Beacon Press