The Five People You Meet in Heaven Free Lesson Plan | Paragraph Writing + Exemplars

The Five People You Meet in Heaven Free Lesson Plan | Paragraph Writing + Exemplars

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The Five People You Meet in Heaven unit resource:

Included with this free download:

  • one sample daily lesson plan for day #8 in my 10 week novel unit based on Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven (designed for 50 minute class period)
  • section summary paragraph prompts

  • two exemplar/sample paragraphs based on Eddie’s first visitor and the lessons he learned

  • sample DOL paragraph (grammar and mechanics exercise) + teacher key
  • link to free writing warm-ups for the year

Interested in teaching Albom's novel to your students?

Unlock the Magic of Storytelling with Mitch Albom’s Beloved Novel,

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Ideal for high school students, grades 9-12, this novel will captivate even the most reluctant readers. The universal themes within this story resonate deeply with teenagers from every demographic, and for that reason, it’s my first go-to when I am teaching a novel unit. Trust me when I say, your students will LOVE this novel! There’s even a film that pairs nicely with the story (available to rent on Amazon Prime) if you want to intermittently have students read and then watch the film. I usually show the first 15 minutes of the film to get students “hooked,” and that does the trick. From there, students must read each of the five sections of the story before watching the corresponding sections of the film. Going back and forth between the text and the film as we read also helps to keep students engaged.

Every English teacher has students who claim they “hate reading,” and this novel will be a game-changer, allowing students to realize they CAN develop a love for reading (or at the very least enjoy reading). In all sincerity, every student who has ever read this novel in my class–regardless of his/her background or aversion to reading–has LOVED this story!


The novel’s themes are not bound by cultural, social, or geographical barriers, making them accessible and relatable to a wide range of students with varying backgrounds and experiences. Some of the major themes explored in this inspiring and unforgettable novel are as follows:

The Interconnectedness of Lives: The novel delves into the idea that all lives are interconnected, even in ways that are not immediately apparent. It suggests that every action, no matter how small, can significantly impact others' lives.

Teenagers are learning to navigate complex social networks and relationships. The theme of interconnectedness in the novel mirrors their experiences and reinforces the importance of their actions and decisions in a broader social context. It helps them see the impact they have on others and the world

around them.

The Purpose and Value of Life: Through its narrative, the book explores the concept that every life has purpose and meaning, even if that purpose is not always clear to the individual. It challenges the notion of a life being “wasted” and suggests that everyone has a role to play in the larger tapestry of life.

High school students are at a pivotal stage in their lives where they are beginning to contemplate their futures and question the purpose and direction of their lives. The novel's exploration of life's meaning and purpose resonates with these existential inquiries, offering perspectives that are both comforting and thought-provoking.

Redemption and Forgiveness: The story deals with themes of redemption and the importance of forgiveness, both of others and oneself. It shows how understanding and compassion can lead to personal redemption.

As students struggle with the pressures of adolescence, themes of forgiveness and redemption are particularly relevant. The novel's portrayal of these themes provides a framework for understanding their experiences and mistakes, emphasizing the possibility of growth and self-improvement.

Sacrifice and Love: The novel illustrates how acts of sacrifice and love are fundamental to human existence. It portrays these acts as often being unnoticed or unappreciated but nonetheless vital.

The theme of sacrifice and the complexity of love are relatable to teenagers who are forming deeper relationships and beginning to understand the complexities of love in various forms, including familial, platonic, and romantic.

Death and the Afterlife: The book presents a unique perspective on what happens after death, prompting readers to contemplate their beliefs about the afterlife and how it reflects on their current lives.

Teenagers, being at a crossroads of childhood and adulthood, often start contemplating deeper existential topics like death and the afterlife. The novel's exploration of these themes provides a safe and imaginative space for them to explore these often challenging and sensitive topics.

Learning from Life's Experiences: The protagonist's journey after death involves learning important lessons from his life experiences, suggesting that understanding and wisdom can be gained from reflecting on one's life.

High school students are at a stage where they are rapidly gaining new experiences and learning from them. The novel's emphasis on reflecting upon and learning from life's experiences speaks directly to their journey of personal growth and self-discovery.

These themes align closely with the developmental, social, and existential questions that high school students face. The novel offers a reflective mirror for their experiences and feelings, making it a powerful and engaging read for teenagers.

Interested in teaching resources for the novel?



  • Forty daily lesson plans for 45 minute class periods with ELA CCS grades 9-12 on each lesson plan
  • Anticipation guide (5 group discussion prompts)
  • Five reading comprehension assessments (one for each section of the book/for each person Eddie meets in heaven)
  • Comprehensive final exam
  • Three creative project choices
  • Five "section summary" paragraph writing prompts
  • Sample section summary paragraphs
  • Essay rubric
  • Summary rubric
  • Literary term guide
  • Three essay prompts with three essay structure guides with sentences stems and sample introductions and conclusions
  • 30 DOL (grammar and punctuation exercises) paragraphs + Teacher Key
  • Reading comprehension strategies handout


*Part two of this unit is a two week argumentative essay unit based on the docu-drama style film The Secret (available on Netflix). This unit complements the novel unit nicely because Eddie, the protagonist in The Five People You Meet in Heaven, spends most of his life consumed by negativity and focusing on what he lost. Because of this, he spent decades of his life feeling purposeless, miserable, and hopeless. The film The Secret essentially teaches that a negative mindset creates a negative life, so you can refer back to the story of Eddie when discussing the film’s main ideas.


  • Ten detailed daily lesson plans for 90 minute class periods
  • Film summary
  • Film comprehension questions
  • Argumentative essay structure guide
  • Exemplar argumentative essay
  • Argumentative essay rubric
  • Daily DOL Grammar and Mechanics Exercises

Thanks for stopping by my shop. Please reach out if you have other questions, and be sure to download the other free resources related to this novel.



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