Saturday, February 8, 2014

Creating a Transcendentalist Society

Well, only one snow day last week, and hopefully none this week. We are up to 7 so far, and our last school day (to date) is June 4. We normally are out before Memorial Day, so this is late for us :(

It has been hard getting into a routine with my students, and I hate that my lessons seem disjointed because we have not been in school regularly. I kicked off January with my juniors studying Transcendentalism and we studied works from Thoreau and Emerson. We would get two days here, three days there. So I decided in lieu of a big test, I wanted a culminating project that still allowed students to show they understood the main tenets of that field of thought.

I found the idea of having them create a Transcendental society in my searches online. I wish I could point to the original source, but I found this project on multiple sites, so I don't know who originated it. I will link to one source here.

Again, I found this exact project elsewhere, so who knows who originally started it.

I decided to not have my students do task 7, designing a brochure, since I only wanted this to be a two- to three-day project. I let students work with partners or alone, and they had to design a Power Point or Prezi showcasing their society. All their decisions--name, monetary system, legal system, etc.--had to tie in to Transcendental beliefs, and they had to explain why they chose everything based on Transcendentalism.

We started presenting these Friday, and I am really pleased with the outcome so far. Instead of just memorizing facts about this movement, it required them to understand it well enough to apply it to a society of their own. I would definitely do this project again.

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