Henry David Thoreau is a staple in American Literature curriculum. Taught during the transcendentalism time period, students analyze his writing and write about him. Other times they interpret what his writings mean in their lives. I’m always hunting for nonfiction resources to enhance American literature.
Finding a new approach for teaching Thoreau, perhaps engaging different learners and meeting some nonfiction standards is always important. Anytime a teacher consistently teaches an author or subject matter, she runs the risk of becoming boring or stale.
I found some old papers and ran across a newspaper article (the old kind, with ink) about Thoreau. I found the article online, too.
In Maine Trail Pays Tribute to Thoreau, Clarke Canfield writes about an effort to retrace Thoreau’s footsteps. A few ideas:
* Have students read the nonfiction article before reading Thoreau. Ask them to write what they think a major theme in his work will be.
* Have students read the nonfiction article after reading Thoreau. Help them draw connections between the writing and the “tribute.”