Introduction to The Romantics, Cont'd

2 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT define the Romantic literary movement

Big Idea

What ideas about Romanticism endure in culture today?


5 minutes

When the students get settled down I go over note-taking with them. Some of the students are focusing too much on biographical information and aren't paying attention to the key ideas of Romanticism. 

We also briefly review the ideas from the day before. 


Watching "Nature" & "Eternity"

45 minutes

The next video we watch excerpts from focuses on the Romantic's relationship with Nature. I write Nature with a capital "N" because that's what I also emphasize with the students.  The Romantics more than any other literary movement promoted the idea of nature not as an ecology that humans could be a part of, but as a separate life force that humans could never full grasp nor be a part of. 

We discuss the impact the Romantic ideas have had on our own state, Montana.  Two national parks, 54 state parks, and millions of acres of public land that are set aside based on the very concepts that Romantics developed about Nature two hundred years ago. 

When Peter Ackroyd discusses the "sublime" the irrational feeling people get when immersed in Nature my students all have stories  they can tell about experiencing the sublime. 

The students have a little difficulty grasping the idea that the appreciation of a sunset is a learned behavior. We discuss the concept of "ecophobia" and the idea that people who have little or now experience in nature would not have the same experience with nature as some one who spends time in nature. 

This segment of the series really resonates with my students as many of them spend hundreds of hours out in nature be it horseback riding, snowmobiling, hunting or hiking.  They're beginning to understand how Romanticism has had an impact on their own lives. 


5 minutes

We briefly review how the Industrial Revolution took people out of nature and how the Romantics put people back into nature, albet a transformative return to Nature. 

Finally we discuss how the Romantics also feared nature, particularly the realization that man could do little to control nature, as in the volcanic eruption that changed world temperatures in 1816.