This is an essay/speech project that I used while my students studied transcendentalism. This project includes the handout and the rubric. It asks students to analyze a contemporary song using transcendental themes. The essay requires them to quote either Emerson or Thoreau during their analysis.
I have done this project three times and it has been incredibly successful. Almost all of my students for three years in a row tell me that it was their favorite project not just because they got to use their music, but because it taught them so much.