Rules for my Undead (no…) Unborn Son


You may not think it could be very fun to talk about rules in advisory…that was probably part of a long-forgotten episode of norming that most days you are grateful mostly stuck.  But, there is so much fun in rule-making.  If you’ve seen Zombieland, you’ve seen the rules to stay alive in a land overrun with zombies (Rule #1 Cardio, Rule # 4 Double Tap) slink, clank, fall, and crash onto the screen to elucidate what is happening.  What could be more fun than verbal reminders of how to escape diseased flesh-eating sub-humans?  Well not much, but Superintendent Chalmers (add link) might not like that activity, so, in a slightly similar vein, there is a new book that went on sale today called 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son.


It is a fun read (you can see samples on the website) – and it does make me think about the explicit and implicit rules that my father passed on to me to help me (in his eyes) become a better human being, man, and citizen.

Here are Some Examples from the website:

164. If you’re going to quote something, get it right.
170. Know the proper time to chew gum.  It’s less often than you think.
171. Know the proper time to wear a tuxedo.  It’s more often than you think.
188. If you get arrested, call me.  You get one Free Pass.
238. Read before bed every night
264. Have a pen pal.
270. Stand up to Bullies. You only have to do it once.

Ask students to do a quick write about these two questions in their  journal (or on two sides of an index card)

  • Ask students to think about the rules they were taught directly and indirectly? Which of those (choose one or two) would they find most important to pass on to a son or daughter.
  • What rules would add to the list that might have been left off? Why?

Group students in small groups to discuss their rules – Where did they come from? Why would they be important?

Share out as a full class – write all rules on the board.

(You may want to note where there are similarities and differences and help students categorize the types of rules that are coming up (Fitting in, standing out, staying true to yourself…)


  • Make an advisory book of these rules – add to them
  • Take one of these rules and using markers or calligraphy pens, make a sign artistically representing the rule in a way that seems to support its meaning.
  • Have students go to the website of 1001 Rules of My Unborn Son and submit a rule (

Extended Discussion:
This book is about rules for a son – what percent of rules do you think should be separate for a son than a daughter? Why?  Give some examples?  (Probe the areas of equality, double standards, differences in biology and cultural expectations).

Resources: (You knew this was coming)
Rules to Escape a Zombies



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