Discussion of The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

To discuss the wisdom of giving and receiving gifts. What makes a gift or giver wise or foolish? How should you decide what you should give?

Print30 minute discussion + reading time

Students will:

  • Challenge each other about what the best gifts are to give or receive
  • Prompt each other about the appropriateness of specific gifts
  • Assess the worth of gifts
  • Decide whether an ordinarily good gift is a good gift from this particular giver or for this particular recipient

Class copies of Kass, Amy A. (Ed.). (2002). The Perfect Gift: The Philanthropic Imagination in Poetry and Prose. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. Chapter: “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry.

  1. Students read O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” for homework or in class.

  2. Class discussion about the story and perspectives on giving and receiving.


Student reflections on the story