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"The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" and LOST

By Sarah Degnan Moje

How do you deal with fear? What tactics can you use to control fear? Explore this theme using the first episode of LOST as well as sections from "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon".

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon Although LOST has been off the air for several years now, many educators will recall the hype that surrounded this show. Well written and well-acted, it did at times try the patience of faithful viewers with its overreaching story arcs at times. It was difficult to follow if you randomly tuned it, but for legions of supportive fans, it obtained an almost cult like following. At first, one might not see how this intensely popular show could be used to teach a novel, but there is an excellent way to use the first episode of L O S T as a visual tool for explaining how Trisha manages to cope with fear.

Have students, after reading the novel, watch the pilot episode of the TV show. Use the downloadable content questions for them to answer while they are viewing. Then, use the downloadable power point to explain the different ways children and adults react in fearful situations. Compare and contrast the character of Jack with the character of Trisha. Once you have reviewed the power point with the students, have them re-watch the pilot and create a power point of their own, comparing Trisha with one other major character.

Then, as a culminating assignment, ask students to compose an essay, discussing how Jack, Trisha and the character from L O S T of their choice handled fear in an unknown situation. Use this writing assignment as a final assessment tool for your Stephen King unit. Oh, and be prepared for students who are unfamiliar with the show to ask you how they can continue watching; it is difficult to watch the pilot and not get hooked! You’ll want to keep watching-if just to find out where the polar bear came from! Happy viewing!