Philosophy in the Classroom: Nietzsche and Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

Grade Levels
9th - 10th
Formats Included
  • Google Drive™ folder (9 pages)
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This resource is optimized for distance learning. Product is Google Apps compatible. Modify this resource for use on Google Classroom and other classroom management sites*

What is the meaning of life? You and your students are sure to come up with many answers to this question. Get your students engaged in philosophical inquiry by presenting them with Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of "eternal recurrence," paired with clips from the movie Groundhog Day (1993) starring Billy Murray and Andie McDowell.

This resource includes the following features:

Essential Question: What is the meaning of Life?

Supporting Questions: How does Friedrich Nietzsche provide a possible answer to this question. / How can I apply abstract ideas to everyday life?

This resource includes the following features:

The text of the story is included in this resource.

  • Teacher's notes on using this resource
    • Learn how I use all the components of this lesson, from explaining Nietzsche's concept of eternal recurrence to the use of the Groundhog Day trope in literature.
  • 7 reading comprehension questions
    • Use these reading comprehension questions as a quick way to gauge your student's understanding of the text. It can be assigned as a homework before a class discussion or as a more formal assessment.
  • 1 Entrance Ticket
    • Get your students thinking about the lesson the moment they walk into the door. The first two or three minutes of a classroom lesson is critical and using this entrance ticket will get your students focused on the task at hand.
  • 1 Movie View Guide
    • When watching clips from the movie with this graphic organizer, ensure your students are making connections between the film, the text, and classroom discussion.
  • 1 Writing Prompt
    • Using this writing prompt is a robust way to measure your student's grasp of the learning goals present in this close reading assignment.
  • 3 Editable Google Slides handouts
    • Having resources that you can adapt to your own classroom is essential, so the student-facing materials in this lesson are available as editable Google Slides files. You can copy them for use in a form, or create a digital worksheet on Google Classroom!
  • Further Reading List (To go deeper into the topic with your students)
    • The further reading list is designed for both teacher and student to go just a bit further in their exploration of the existential themes presented in this lesson. Learn about allusions to the myth and other resources that will extend your understanding.

Suggested Uses:

  1. Ninth or Tenth Grade High School English Curriculum
  2. World History Course on the History of Ideas
  3. Introduction to Philosophy Course
  4. Literature Course
  5. Ethics Course
  6. Introduction to Philosophy Course
  7. Student Advisory Course
  8. A Lesson on the "Meaning of Life"

Head over to my website: Stones of Erasmus where I dedicate a blog post on how to use this resource effectively in a high school English classroom. © 2020

Total Pages
9 pages
Answer Key
Not Included
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.


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