Summative Assessment: Transcendentalism

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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.

Big Idea

A Romantic idea in a real world.


This lesson involves the summative assessment on Transcendentalism.  Students will take the test, which you will notice is short and does not have an essay.  The essay portion will involve a synthesis writing assignment in which students watch the movie The Dead Poet's Society and identify and match up theories of transcendentalism to plot events in the movie.

Summative Assessment: Transcendentalism

30 minutes

In this section, I will give students a summative assessment on what we learned about Transcendentalism.  The test consists of multiple choice and short answer.  I did not include an essay because the essay portion will be connected to the movie The Dead Poet's Society.  Once the movie is completed, I will assign the essay.

The Dead Poet's Society: Transcendentalism in Motion

40 minutes



In order to demonstrate the type of information that I will be looking for in an essay, we watch a clip from the movie and discuss which Transcendentalist idea is being modeled. Of course, students will not be able to use this example in their essay, but I find that students have difficulty with this unit because of the abstract concepts, and it is helpful to show them how to answer the essay.

Students will finish watching the movie and complete the movie sheet.  I have them complete this sheet because I want them to know the difference between a realist and a Romantic.  I explain both on the movie sheet, but I want them to be able to identify a Romantic when her or she sees one.  This activity is in the same light as being able to identify a Transcendental idea.

Dead Poets Essay: Measuring Transcendentalism

10 minutes

Once the movie is finished, I take a few moments to explain the writing assignment.  I have attached the outline.  Essentially, I want students to identify two examples of Transcendentalism as they are portrayed in the movie.  I have aligned this assignment to the Common Core because students must link the plot event in the movie to a specific line in a work by a Transcendentalist and explain the meaning.