Reflection: Student Grouping A Walk in the Woods: Understanding Transcendentalism - Section 4: Small-Group Discussion: Questions On Emerson


I allowed students to self-select their groups for this activity. As we discussed belief, and some other ideas of a more personal nature, I wanted to make sure they had group members they could trust, and with whom they felt comfortable. In ensuring familiarity, I was able to ensure the comfort seen in their interactions with each other. But, this comfort also has the drawback of allowing students ease in drifting off topic. I found that, as I circulated the classroom, I needed to engage them in conversation regularly in order to keep them on task. Deciding between self-selected and teacher-selected groups can be challenging, and I needed to weigh the objectives of this activity. Since part of my goals was to ensure response to differing views, justifying their own views, and making new connections on Emerson's writing and belief, I chose the self-selected "comfortable" (for the students) groups.

  Emerson, Nature, and Non-Conformity: Thoughts on Small-Group Discussion
  Student Grouping: Emerson, Nature, and Non-Conformity: Thoughts on Small-Group Discussion
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A Walk in the Woods: Understanding Transcendentalism

Unit 9: Literacy: Transcendent Impressions in Essays (American Romanticism III)
Lesson 1 of 2

Objective: SWBAT determine and analyze how Ralph Waldo Emerson's point of view develops Transcendentalism over the course of selections from "Nature" and "Self-Reliance" through collaborative discussion.

Big Idea: "All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." -Emerson

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