Juniors: Developing a Definition of Transcendentalism

Last week, students were introduced to the nineteenth century American philosophy of Transcendentalism through readings and a word association activity. This week, we will continue to build on our understanding of this worldview as we read the play The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail aloud. Students will be introduced to the historical context of the play, assigned parts in the play to read aloud, and analyze how the play relates to our keywords from last week (individualism, over-soul, nature, social reform, civil disobedience, intuition, idealism, and self-reliance).

The juniors will continue to work on their reading comprehension and analysis through an article of the week and readers workshop. They will be asked to annotate an article and write a personal response about the high cost of prescription drugs in the United States, and they will conference with me about their choice books.

Parents, how can you help?

  • If your child is struggling with the idea of Transcendentalism, encourage them to research on their own. The internet is full of videos, presentations, and summaries of the beliefs of Transcendentalists.
  • Ensure your child is off to a good start. The article of the week grade from week 1 will be posted by Tuesday, and the readers workshop grade from week 1 will be posted Monday. If your child received anything less than full credit for either of these assignments, ask them why! Both grades are completion points, so each student should earn full credit.