37 pages 1 hour read

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

Fiction | Short Story | Adult | Published in 1973

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Paired Texts Resource

How to use

Teaching materials for this text pairing include pre- and post-reading prompts, short answer questions, activities, and essay topics that can be used before or after students’ independent or group reading of the texts. The materials are designed to heighten engagement with each text while deepening understanding of common themes. Use the writing options in lessons to create opportunities for finding evidence and support in the texts, employing critical thinking skills, and practicing test-taking skills. 

These materials can be utilized as a basis for lesson planning and unit design, class discussion, Entrance and Exit “tickets,” small group seminars, and writing activity ideas. Fulfill requirements for IEP/GIEP learners, early finishers, independent study, varied learning styles, and more.

Texts to read, in recommended order:

1. “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin (short story)

2. "Utilitarianism” by John Stuart Mill (essay)

Thought & Response Prompts

These prompts can be used for in-class discussion, exploratory free-writing, or reflection homework before or after reading the paired texts.

Pre-reading Prompts

1. Sir Thomas More coined the word “utopia” to describe the idealized society he depicts in his 1516 work of the same name. The roots of the word are Greek, and its literal translation is “no place”; however, as More discusses, the word sounds identical to the hypothetical term “eutopia,” or “good place.

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