Reflection: Rigor Three -ISM's and HDT - Section 5: Excerpt from Walden - Close Reading


While I was looking for some video for my lesson, I came across this great interview wherein the professor (at the end of the clip) argues why we should teach Walden.

His reasoning really resonates with me, because I feel like school should present alternatives to kids.  In other words, we should expose our students to a lot of different ways of seeing the world, and Thoreau's process of questioning the values of his time offers a good model.  It's not that everyone needs to go live in the woods to have a meaningful life.  However, the options for life are much wider and more varied than most 13 year olds realize.

Another reason I like to just give the students a tiny taste of Thoreau is that it's deep and it's difficult.  Even my very advanced students have to go slowly and thoughtfully through the text and really question the work and make meaning.  I believe that -- while we can't do work like this every day, students would become bored and less amenable to struggling with text -- there is really no classroom endeavor that is more worthy.

  Where's Walden?
  Rigor: Where's Walden?
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Three -ISM's and HDT

Unit 4: Nature, Naturalism, and The Call of the Wild
Lesson 1 of 14

Objective: SWBAT begin to construct an understanding of the philosophical and social influences in nature writing.

Big Idea: Walden kicks off the conversation about man's relationship with nature.

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