Tuesdays with Morrie is a heartwarming memoir that students and teachers alike will follow with rapt attention. Chronicling fourteen Tuesdays spent between a dying professor, Morrie Schwartz, and his former student, Mitch Albom, the book approaches the idea of death with a philosophical acceptance and understanding that is somewhat akin to existentialism. Albom writes of his friend and mentor's confidence and grace in facing the end of life in a way that is easy to grasp and not melodramatic. A background lesson on existentialism will facilitate class discussions on the value of accepting the inevitability of death.

Since Tuesdays with Morrie deals with sensitive subject matter, it is important for students to maintain an open and respectful dialogue while discussing topics ranging from cultural attitudes toward death and dying to the abstractness of the soul and possible reincarnation.

Throughout the memoir, Albom intersperses flashbacks of his interactions with Schwartz in college. Students can analyze how these scenes affect readers' perceptions of Mitch and Morrie and their relationship. Students can also examine Mitch's relationship with and attitude toward the media.

Summary of Tuesdays with Morrie

Key Facts

  • Publication Date: 1997
  • Length: 192 pages
  • Lexile Measure: 830
  • Recommended Grade Band: 9-10

In this memoir, Mitch Albom recounts the Tuesdays he spent visiting with his former sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, who was dying of ALS. Mitch had lost touch with his instructor since graduating college sixteen years earlier but was inspired to renew contact after seeing Schwartz discuss his impending death on the TV program called Nightline. Though Mitch intends to visit Morrie only once, he is so affected by their meeting that he returns for a total of fourteen visits. During their time together, Mitch and Morrie discuss different topics about life and come to terms with the certainty of death.

What Your Students Will Love About Tuesdays with Morrie

  • The reunion of Morrie and Mitch—it will be comforting to see the relationship reformed and strengthened through Morrie's struggle.

Potential Student Struggles With Tuesdays with Morrie

  • The existential theory—some students won't want to discuss such deep matters.
  • Morrie's concepts of death may contradict students' more traditional ideas.

Learning Objectives for Tuesdays with Morrie

  • Explain how Morrie Schwartz feels about death and dying and what he thinks society's approach is to those who are dying.
  • Discuss the characterization of Mitch as a man who is defined by society's idea of a successful person.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of people's different experiences with death and ways of coping with it.
  • Compare and contrast Mitch and Morrie and their beliefs about life.
  • Explain the use of reincarnation as a theme in Mitch's and Morrie's lives.
  • Understand how popular culture influences people's attitudes toward aging and dying.

Literary Elements in Tuesdays with Morrie

  • Aphorism
  • Figurative Language
  • Flashback
  • Imagery
  • Metaphor
  • Symbolism
  • And more!

Major Themes in Tuesdays with Morrie

Death — The book focuses on the last weeks of Morrie's life, but more apparent are Mitch's issues on the subject and his lack of acceptance of death. Instead of Mitch comforting Morrie regarding his terminal illness, Morrie reassures Mitch about the importance of death and the significance of coming to terms with reality.

Related Works:

Rebirth and Renewal — Although death is an ever-present theme in the book, the rebirth of Mitch's passion and excitement for life due to Morrie's wisdom is even more important.

Related Works:

Relationships — The memoir shows that, although a relationship may be tested through time spent apart, it is never completely diminished.

Related Works:

Other Resources for Tuesdays with Morrie

Order Tuesdays with Morrie Resources from Prestwick House

Resource Format
Tuesdays with Morrie Paperback Student Edition
Tuesdays with Morrie Teaching Unit Reproducible Downloadable 30-Book Set
Tuesdays with Morrie Activity Pack Reproducible Downloadable 30-Book Set
Tuesdays with Morrie Response Journal Reproducible Downloadable 30-Book Set
Tuesdays with Morrie Complete Teacher's Kit Reproducible Downloadable 30-Book Set

This free guide was originally posted in May 2017. It has been updated as of March 2020.