LCT The Oldest Boy

Objectives:  Students will articulate the mother’s reasons why she let her son be taken away to an Indian Monastery to be a Tibetan reincarnated Lama by creating an scene between the mother and her daughter 10 years after the event.

Aim: Why does the Mother let her son be taken to India and become a Tibetan spiritual leader at the age of three?

Do Now:  Reflect back on the play, The Oldest Boy. Which specific scene, dialogue or idea stands out to you, whether because you strongly agree, disagree or still have doubts?


  1. Share our reflections on the play. We may disagree with each other’s views. Jot down the views that you disagree.
  2. Let’s take a moment to think logically: why do I disagree with my classmates? What are my reasons? Jot them down. We will respond to each other’s views.
  3. Wrap our discussions about your reactions to the play.
  4. Now, we will focus on the Mother in the play. She is the centrifugal character. Some of you may still wonder why she has given up her son to the Tibetan Monastery in India to be a Buddhist spiritual leader at the age of three. Let’s make a list of her reasons based on your understanding of the play. The reasons can be explicitly stated or implied. You may state the reasons by describing her thoughts, speeches, dreams or internal conflicts, etc.
  5. We will share the reasons you have concluded. Jot down the reasons you hear from your classmates if you agree and add them to your list. Some reasons may not be so explicitly stated, which means that you may need to analyze the speech, thought or dream to help articulate her reasons for giving her son up to the Monastery.
  6. Now, Let’s  imagine:  10 years have passed since her son was taken away to the Monastery. Her son is 13 and daughter 10. She feels compelled to tell her daughter why , 10 years ago ,she made the decision.  Also imagine: many things could have happened in 10 years. She may have gotten a divorce, or been visiting her son every year or not visited him since the day she had left India. Create a scene in which the mother will retell the story to her daughter and explain to her why she had let her son go and how she feels about the decision today.
  7. In groups of 4, discuss the possible scenario in which the mother will look back at her decision and try to explain to her daughter why she did it.

Your Task:

Create a dramatic scene in which the mother explains to her 10-year-old daughter why she gave her Tenzin away to a Monastery 10 years ago. Include stage directions, setting, dialogues between the Mother and Daughter and a Monologue by the mother. The scene takes place 10 years later. The setting can be the same as the one in the play or perhaps in Ohio or even India depending on what you believe will happen. The dialogue should only be between the Mother and Daughter and there should be at least one long monologue ( by the mother) that reveals deeply the her  thoughts and feelings about the decision she made 10 years ago. Be mindful that your imaginary scene should be a logical extension of the play. 

Attach  a written explanation of the scene. For example, why you believe she is divorced or moved to India or remain where she was or why she feels remorseful or proud, etc.

Homework: The scene is due on Monday 12/22. Please type the scene and email it to me by the end of the school day on 12/22.

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