We all think we like the Transcendentalists, but we don't know that much about them or concern ourselves with the same ideas. And we're probably not teaching much of their writing anymore. In fact, I bet we're not even naming any new schools after them.
If you've been tasked with teaching a unit or a day on Transcendentalism, give this download a try. 25 short-answer questions, on Google Docs and ready to go. Some are opinions and some are vaguely from a book I used with the class, but typing the key phrases into Google will find the answers, too. The last nine questions tie the philosophy of the 19th century to two of our mid-20th century philosophers: Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Hey,, it might have been a bit of a stretch, but it's better than the kids thinking "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls" is the end-all Transcendentalist poem and philosophy and that it all vaguely has to do with the environment or something.
Help your students to avoid forever living lives of quiet desperation without any understanding of others who had tried to avoid doing the same. Have them work together or think about it all alone.
Pssst, Social Studies teachers: literature and philosophy are as big a part of American history as presidents and wars. Sometimes, it's the guys who protested the wars or social inequities using civil disobedience.