Transcendentalism Review and Dead Poets

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SWBAT cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text by completing a scrapbook on Transcendental philosophies.

Big Idea

How is Transcendentalism active in our daily lives?


I have split this class into two parts.  First, I want students to review the essential ideas of Transcendentalism.  That's the reason behind the scrapbook.  Secondly, I have students watch the movie The Dead Poet's Society so that they can see Transcendentalism in action and understand how it is active in our daily lives.

Transcendental Scrapbook

45 minutes

In this section, I want to review all the works in the unit by assigning students a scrapbook that collects all the important concepts and themes in each work.  It is Common Core aligned because it asks students to identify text from each work and match the text to Transcendental ideas.  We will visit the computer lab and the library to allow students the necessary opportunity to gather all information listed in the assignment outline.  The essay related to The Dead Poet's Society asks students to identify Transcendental ideas in a different medium and in a more contemporary context.

I allot 45 minutes to the completion of this assignment.  Some students work faster than others.  For those who do not finish, I have them complete the assignment for homework.

The Dead Poets Society

40 minutes

In this part of the lesson, I break up the movie The Dead Poet's Society into two to three class periods.  I like assigning this movie because students have an opportunity to apply the ideas and philosophies of Transcendentalism to another work.  Students will watch the movie and complete a movie sheet that allows them an opportunity to gather information that they will need to write an assigned essay once the film is complete.

Ultimately, this assignment will be Common Core aligned because students will take exact terms and ideas from the Transcendentalists and explain how they are applied in the movie. These ideas are also apparent in their scrapbooks.  More importantly, I want students to see how Transcendentalism is active in our daily lives as evidenced in the movie.