This resource features a transcendental letter from Chris McCandless to his friend Ron Franz from a key point in Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book, Into the Wild. It is a strong letter that argues for living a true and honest life. Whether your class is reading this book or studying Henry David Thoreau or Ralph Waldo Emerson, these lessons work with a study of the book or within a study of the Transcendental movement.
Students will view supporting video and audio clips on understanding transcendentalism and Chris McCandless’ struggling to find meaning in his life. There is a link to a Ted Talk by Carine McCandless, his sister. There is a Jon Krakauer interview with Charlie Rose as well as an examination of Eddie Vedder’s music from the film, Into the Wild.
The lessons feature an original prompt on defending, refuting, or qualifying an argument based on Chris McCandless’ argument to Ron Frantz. Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical precis and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These lessons prepare students for AP exams; Common Core extended response assessments; American Literature Course exams; the SAT and ACT essay; and critical thinking activities. An addendum describes how to adapt the lessons for ELL students. A Flipped Classroom explanation is included.