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Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote Analysis, Team Activity, CCSS

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
17-page PDF (uneditable)
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Make the words of Transcendental philosopher and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson come alive for your students with breath-taking photography in this two-day class group activity with optional independent writing supplement.

This packet includes visually stunning images from nature coupled with quotations from Nature and Self-Reliance, two of Emerson's most-noted works. This 17-page PDF also includes a detailed suggested lesson procedure along with 10 half-sheet student handouts for teams to use as they work through the activity.

The class discussion, in which you'll have students work together in 10 small teams, works well as both an "into" or "after" activity for studying any of Emerson's works or Transcendentalism in general. Students do not need to have studied Nature or Self-Reliance for this stand-alone activity to work smoothly.

If you use all of the components, this group activity will take two 50-minute class periods to complete, though you could shorten the full-class discussion in order to fit this lesson into one class period.

Click the "Preview" button above to take a closer look.

Want more materials designed to help students connect our modern world/pop culture to the Transcendental teachings of authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau? Check out this Modern Transcendentalism project: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Transcendentalism-Project-to-Link-Thoreau-Emerson-to-Modern-Pop-Culture-CCSS-477939

Want an author biography activity to help students research Ralph Waldo Emerson's life? Click here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ralph-Waldo-Emerson-Author-Study-Worksheet-Easy-Biography-Activity-CCSS-3328995

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Cover image credit: Pexels.com, Public domain

Total Pages
17-page PDF (uneditable)
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, Garner’s Modern American Usage) as needed.


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