A Teacher's Tools

Gloria Houghton (Orlando Sentinel)Teacher Gloria Houghton, 87, invented fun and challenging learning devices to teach her students about literature, drama and art.

In the obituary published in the Orlando Sentinel on Sept.18, reporter Jeff Kunerth wrote: “When she was teaching Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, she had her students take a long walk, as the characters in the book did, and stop along the way to recite the stories told by Chaucer’s characters.”

For John Donne’s poem, “Death Be Not Proud” – a conversation with Death – Houghton told her students to “go home and write what you would say to Death.”

When she was teaching art, she had students lay on their backs and draw on paper taped to the bottoms of tables and chairs to understand how Michelangelo felt as he painted the Sistine Chapel.

She left instructions for her funeral, including a request that an actor recite “Death Be Not Proud.” She also wrote advice to her family on an envelope: “Look to your memories for comfort, your friends for understanding, and to your faith for hope and peace.”

Share condolences and read tributes in Gloria Houghton’s Guest Book.

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.