I use this after my transcendentalism unit, but it can be used as a stand alone lesson. Students are given two articles to read about a group of people in California who have pledged to buy no new items in an effort to live a simpler life. Links to articles are provided, as well as to a blog post and a poem on the topic of materialism. There are sixteen total questions, which consist of multiple selection and short answer, dealing with the subject, occasion, tones, purpose, and vocabulary of the articles and the connections among all four pieces. ELA Common Core Standard RI.11-12.7 relates to this lesson.