ELO - Transcendentalism

Mrs. Wolff - S2017 - Due Sunday, 4.30.17, before Midnight

Important Note: You must keep all your technology OFF during this activity.

*This includes phones, laptops, tablets, desktops, etc.

ELO Earned Credit Points

You may earn up to 10 earned credit points on your Transcendentalism Unit Test for completing this assignment according to the project guidelines are rubric.


The Transcendentalism Unit Test was challenging, so this is a great opportunity to relearn and master the concepts of Transcendentalism, while earning credit toward your unit test.


Good luck, and do your best work!


-Mrs. Wolff

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ELO - Transcendentalism Challenge Rubric

Journal Section = 12 pts. total:

You will only be choosing and completing (3) activities for this assignment, so ignore "Act.4" and "Act.5" on the Rubric, below. There are (2) sections of the Journal on which you will be graded: 1) Summary; and 2) Freewrite / Journal Entry.


Conclusion Section = 40 pts. total:

Each of the Rubric items listed under the Conclusion, below, will be worth (10) points, for a total of 40 points earned credit in the Conclusion section.


Total Points Possible: 52 points

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ELO - Transcendentalism Challenge

“I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life.”

-Henry David Thoreau


As the Transcendentalists did, you will attempt to live “deliberately” through the disciplined acts of reading, thinking, and writing. You will create a “journal” of your writings (not your in-class journal). Your writings should be creative in nature. They should be modeled after the Transcendentalist writings that we have read—philosophical, personal, and stylistic (use imagery, questions, figurative language, allusions-- historical, literary, personal, etc.—and perfect word choice). Your goal is to make your writing and thinking worthy of reading.


I. Choose THREE of the activities listed below (REQUIRED) and complete a two-paragraph WRITE-UP (see Rubric, below).


In order to receive full credit, you must include two paragraphs for each activity:


(1) a short summary (5-8 sentence paragraph) documenting what you were doing, when (specific date/time), and where AND


(2) your creative, philosophical freewrite/journal entry that you write after completion of the activity (At least 17 lines).


Your response must be in MLA Format - 1" margins all around, double-spaced, Times-New Roman font, 12-point type.


Again, choose (3) of the following to experience, analyze, and reflect:


  1. Do something alone—go to a movie, a restaurant, a museum, etc. Write about the experience.

  2. Sit alone in silence, doing nothing, for a half hour. Reflect in writing afterwards.

  3. Take a walk in nature by yourself or with a friend in silence for an hour. Observe your surroundings and senses deliberately. Write about it.

  4. Experience the morning as Thoreau did. Go watch a sunrise. Reflect.

  5. Experience the night and the stars as Emerson did. Reflect.

  6. Make a list of your luxuries (wants) vs. necessities in your life. Reflect on the simplicity (or the lack of) in your life.

  7. Sit outside for a half hour in order to deliberately observe your five senses at work. Notice every detail of beauty that your five senses detect. Reflect.

  8. Look up another Transcendentalist writer. Print out a piece of his/her work (include bibliographic information). Read, highlight, think, ponder, and write about it.

  9. Read an additional work by one of the authors we have already read (include bibliographic information). Include your reflection.

  10. Reflect and write about your own personal “Walden,” that special place in your life. Capture the details and feelings of that place for your reader.
  11. Find a handful of inspirational quotes and reflect on them.
  12. Write a piece of poetry in response to a piece of Transcendentalist writing that you have read.
  13. Read something, not because it is required, but because you want to better yourself. Reflect on what you learned.
  14. Live as simply as possible for a full day (8hrs). Use no modern technology—TV, radios, CDs, IPods, cars, Starbucks, microwaves, computers, fast food etc. Reflect.


II. Write a (2)-page CONCLUSION


Write a reflection on the overall Transcendental experience. Include what you have learned about yourself as well as what you found to be the most meaningful reading and/or activity that you did. Explain why. Again, use MLA format: Times-New Roman font, 12-point type, double-spacing, 1” margins all around.