American Lit: Into the Wild, Day 2


  • ELAGSE11-12RI2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • ELAGSE11-12RI3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

Learning Targets:

  • I can analyze the life and death of Chris McCandless, considering why he felt called to live alone in the wilderness and why his story resonates with so many people.
  • I can analyze how Jon Krakauer tells the story of Chris McCandless, from a journalist’s and outdoorsman’s point of view, and consider areas of the text where the author seems particularly biased or objective.

Opening (do as soon as independent reading ends): 10 minutes

  • Transcendentalism – Your textbook defines transcendentalism as “A literary and philosophical movement [that] asserts the existence of an ideal spiritual reality that transcends the empirical world and is knowable through intuition” (Springboard 307). Consider that definition, and then rewrite it in your own words.

Work Session Part 1: Reading (20 minutes)

  • Find pages 25-46 of Into the Wild.
  • Choose your next Literary Circle Job.
  • Once everyone has their chosen job, read today’s chapters with your group.
  • When you are done reading, move on to part 2.

Work Session Part 2: Working (10 minutes)

  • Find the page with your Literary Circle Job on it. Write the chapters you’re working on at the top of the page.
  • Do your Literary Circle Job on your own. You can use classroom resources (such as a dictionary) to help you, but you do not need to talk with your classmates.
  • If you finish before the rest of your group, help your other group members with their jobs. When everyone is done, move on to part 3.

Work Session Part 3: Sharing (10 minutes)

  • Go around your group and share what you wrote down. Discuss what you think it means and why it is important.
  • Find a small box on the page for each of your group members’ roles. Take notes over what your group member is saying in the small box.
  • Make sure you understand what your group members are saying, because I might call on you to share!

Closing Session: 10 minutes

The Oxbow OPTIC (Springboard 319) Look at the painting The Oxbow by Thomas Cole. Fill in the OPTIC chart below for the painting.

O – Overview (Take a look at the artwork and brainstorm some questions about it)  
P – Parts (Look closely at the artwork, making note of important detail.)  
T – Title (What does the title of the artwork mean?)  
I – Interrelationships (What are the connections between the title, the details, and the overview of the artwork?)  
C – Conclusion (Form a conclusion about the meaning of the artwork. How does this painting express Transcendentalism?)  

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