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Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting (1975) is a children’s fantasy novel that explores immortality as well as the possibilities why it is undesirable trait to have. Winnie Foster, a 13-year-old girl, wants to run away from her life with her family. One day, she interacts with Jesse, a boy in the woods. Jesse has a secret and refuses to share his spring water with her. Jesse’s family, the Tucks, kidnap Winnie and she then realizes the huge secret that the Tucks are immortal because of the spring water. This secret expels through the constable, he learns about their secret and uses this to blackmail the Tucks to gain a sip of immortal life. However, tables are turned and Mae, Jesse’s mother, kills the constable. To save Mae and the secret of immortal life, the Tucks and Winnie devise a plan to switch places with each other, saving Mae and the Tucks. Before Jesse leaves, he asks Winnie to drink the spring water to ensure she remains immortal and the Tucks flee. In the end, the Tucks come back and reveal that Winnie passed away not too long ago and they learned that she lived a normal human life as a mother.


Our goals for this unit are for students to critically examine the text in relation to the theme of immortality and responsibility to self and others, as well as write vignettes that will ultimately comprise the Final written product, a Narrative poem: Ex., “I am Poem,” song or rap.

Unit Roadmap

  • Unit’s big idea or theme = Responsibility Requires Action
  • Definition: Responsibility is the active side of morality: doing what I should do, doing what I said I would do, doing what is best for everybody; especially doing the one thing I should be doing right now. Ideally this would be posted in your classroom.

 (If we were frozen at the same age forever, we would miss the opportunity to reflect on our past and learn from it).

Option: Teachers: Go to and create your own rubric for assessment given the nature of the assignment and your students’ abilities. This allows them to see what they will be assessed on and what “mastering” the task looks like.