American Romanticism

Here is a link to the page students viewed during the unit – it’s more detailed.

Romantics and Transcendentalism

Emily Dickinson

OK, I started off with this “Because I could not stop for Death” Handout as homework.  (The basic source for this handout is cited in the footer of the page.)

We discussed the poem and how to look at it in class.  In retrospect, I should have spent more time going over poetic devices and how to spot them at this time.  Then, I passed out our Emily Dickinson Project Handout.  They worked in the lab for the rest of the class period.  Now, they will have one more class period to work in groups (in the library, so they have computer access and big tables) before we present.

For the presentation of the Emily Dickinson “foldable” described above, I will be asking students to present their own project, then move to the next group.  At this transition, one of the people who heard the presentation (who was NOT one of the students who actually created the project) will have to stay behind to present to the next group.  This will continue and all students should have a chance to present a project that they did not create, thus requiring students to pay much closer attention to their peers.  I did this in a workshop once, I thought they called it a “gallery walk” but I could be wrong.  We’ll see how smoothly it goes, I do have some reservations, mostly about the complexity of merely explaining the process.

[Emily Dickinson – still thinking of doing a computer lab webquest… to choose 3 favorite poems, analyze them in small groups, present some of them to the class…. questions for reading Dickinson short bio with links to 20ish poems on the right 100 poems]
Transcendentalism- emphasis on pop culture, individualism

The Web of Transcendentalism

UPDATE:  Ok, I’m still working on it.  Here’s what I’ve got so far… after reading snippets from Walden and Self Reliance, students will do the following project.  (stolen project title).  Any tips would be helpful.  I feel like something is missing, but I’m not yet sure what it might be…

This Is Your Brain on Transcendentalism

For this project, you will be connecting transcendental philosophy (after reading Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson) to POP CULTURE.

*Your “Transcendentalist Journal” will have TWO entries regarding two separate themes.
(Possible themes: individuality/nonconformity, self-reliance, nature/intuition.)

*First, you will provide the example in the form of song lyrics, quotations, and/or cartoon strips that you feel relate to one of the basic themes of transcendental thought.

*In response to the song lyrics, quotation, or cartoon, you will be writing a well planned and carefully crafted paragraph.  The paragraph will include a topic sentence and will be well polished and free from grammatical errors.  In your best “essay voice” you will explain why you chose it, what it means, and reveal how it relates to the works we are reading in class.  Using quotes or ideas from our reading assignments is required.

From here, we link to the Harlem Renaissance (in the natural way, Whitman to  Hughes) and from there to Gatsby.  We will delve deep into the 1920’s by creating a newspaper, “A Decade in Review.”

Emerson and Thoreau curriculum handout from Peter Doherty, Tahanto Regional Middle/High School

Actual Plan from 2008-09

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost (The Road Not Taken)

REFLECTIVE ESSAY- After your Socratic Seminar has taken place, you need to write a brief (1-2 page) paper explaining which ideas you found interesting.  You may wish to elaborate on an issue that you feel was not adequately addressed during class, or point out some of the interesting ideas/points that your peers pointed out during the seminar.  You may use quotes from the text (it would be beneficial) but is not required.  Remember to cite them if you decide to do this, “basfaklgfkldghjlsdfhgkdsh” (Thoreau 345).

SOCRATIC SEMINAR will take place in class B: Mon 1/26 and B: Tues 1/27.  An explanation of the assignment (after reading Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience”) was handed out in class *Socratic Seminar Explanation*. BE PREPARED! (50 points)

You will be typing up a 1-2 page reflection after the seminar which will be due Wed/Thu (1/28 and 29). Please note that this is the same day that the “This is Your Brain on Transcendentalism” responses are due (you will have had these for well over a week at this time).  USE YOUR TIMELY WISELY.

We are working on our Transcendentalist Unit.  Here is our tentative schedule for the next week.  During the time that you are reading this literature, you should be thinking of ways to connect it to pop culture.  Your journal assignment handout is here:   “This is Your Brain on Transcendentalism”.  (Title from another teacher!)

B Day: Thursday  1/15                     A Day: Friday  1/16

Your homework is to read the excerpt from Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson on page 364.

Answer the “Thematic Focus” question, and Critical Thinking Questions 3-5.

B Day: Tuesday  1/20                      A Day: Wednesday  1/21

In class read poems from Emerson and Thoreau.  4 poems  on p. 408+, 415, 368, and 369.

Journal responses to two of these poems.  Be thorough and use details from text to explore themes and ideas presented.  Look for examples of “transcendentalist philosophy” in text, and include this in your responses.  (You do not have to like/agree with the ideas.)

h/w: Read excerpt from Self-Reliance (p. 366+)

Be prepared to discuss the three “Literature and Your Life” questions and questions 1-5 under Critical Thinking (p. 367) *If you are absent, this must be submitted in writing upon your return.

B Day: Thursday  1/22                     A Day: Friday  1/23

Bring  rough draft/materials for Transcendental Journal to class.  Read excerpt from Walden (p. 374) in class and respond to his ideas in your journal.

h/w: Read excerpt from Civil Disobedience (p. 380) and “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (p. 157) and bring in questions for a Socratic seminar (I’ll explain in class).

Due Fri/Mon (B: 1/9 and A:1/12) “Because I could not stop for Death” Handout

In class, we will be working on our Emily Dickinson Project Emily Dickinson Project.  You will be creating a “foldable” (like a fancy, interactive poster) in a small group.  It will be due (and presented) on Thurs/Fri (Jan 15/16).


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