Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” is an American classic that is widely taught in many classrooms. However, in 2011, Benjamin Anastas criticized “Self-Reliance” in a New York Times Magazine essay. A link to the article is provided.
Students will view supporting video clips on the argument and listen to an interview with Benjamin Anastas on the essay. The lesson contains links to a TED TALK about self-reliance.
A link to a passage from “Self-Reliance” is provided as well as 9 AP style multiple choice question with answer key and explanations. There is also an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. An original prompt on analyzing the rhetoric in Benjamin Anastas’ essay on Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” is featured. Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, British Literature, World Literature or AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.
There are sources for teaching the concept of a jig-saw learning strategy. A jig-saw activity on the Benjamin Anastas’ essay acts as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, transcendentalism