Higher Order Thinking Skills/High School HOTS #1 Nietzsche (Non-fiction)

Higher Order Thinking Skills/High School HOTS #1 Nietzsche (Non-fiction)
Common Core Standards
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2 MB|26 pages
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Higher Order Thinking Skills for High School students
Textual Analysis
The Great Books
Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra (small extract only)
Critical Reading and Writing


This is a self-contained unit on higher order thinking skills/textual analysis. Everything you need is here.


You don’t need to teach entire works, just short excerpts of the Great Books, to engage students in complex, higher-order thinking and other skills deemed essential in the new CCSS guidelines.

ANALYZING THE GREAT BOOKS: Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra (small extract only)

Thus Spake Zarathustra is a fantastic text to engage your students in philosophical questions.

They will immediately recognize some of Nietzsche’s concepts: the superman or Ubermensch; God is dead; contempt for the herd.

Take part in the “Big Ideas” spoken about in the new CCSS guidelines; this unit will help guide your students through this difficult, yet accessible, text.

While all of my units on TpT engage students in complex, higher-order thinking, my philosophy units especially do so.

This unit also allows for differentiated learning as some students may be comfortable with the questions focused on the lower levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (remembering/comprehension and simple applications/understanding), whereas some of the questions focus on higher levels (analysis and evaluation).


➢ A brief introduction


➢ Information on how I use the text

➢ CCSS related information on text complexity

➢ A multiple choice test (based upon the included reading) with answers (in the main file and as a separate PDF)

➢ Critical Lens Quotation Practice (in the main file and as a separate PDF)

➢ Some information on Nietzsche in popular culture

➢ Chapters 1 to 4 of the Prologue from Thus Spake Zarathustra (in the main file and as a separate PDF)

➢ Essay Questions (10 main with another 10+ sub-questions) (in the main file and as a separate PDF).

These are aligned with ELA-Literacy CCSS 9-12 (see below). The answers to these questions are provided.

If you are interested in Higher Order Thinking you may be interested in my other High School HOTS unit:

Higher Order Thinking Skills/High School HOTS - the Republic

CCSS standards:

Thus Spake Zarathustra is sometimes called a philosophical novel; however, it is hard to define categorically. It is undoubtedly one of the most interesting philosophical texts ever written; it is rich in allegory, imagery, symbolism, and many other literary elements. It is rife with ambiguity; it is perplexing, oracular, and equivocal; hence, a wonderful work to explore – especially in a classroom.

The ELA Common Core State Standards require students to learn how to read texts carefully:

“As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the Standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally. They actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews. They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.” English Language Arts Standards | Home | English Language Arts

You may also be interested in the following:

What is Textual Analysis?

Copyright © 2013, jellycat-in-the-snow productions
All rights reserved by author
Permission to copy for single classroom use only
Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only

Keywords: HOTS; High School; Non-fiction; Textual Analysis; The Great Books; Nietzsche; Critical Reading; Higher Order Thinking; philosophy; political philosophy; History; social studies; ELA; Literature; logic; essay questions; CCSS; study guide

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Copyright © 2013, jellycat-in-the-snow productions
All rights reserved by author
Permission to copy for single classroom use only
Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only
Photocopying of this copyrighted product is permissible only for one teacher and his/her classroom use. Reproduction of this product, in whole or in part, for more than one teacher is strictly prohibited. This document may not be electronically distributed or posted to a web site.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Total Pages
26 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Lifelong tool
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