by Henry David Thoreau
Lesson plans and activities
Bill Watterson: A Cartoonist's Advice
A great pre- or post-reading text to pair with the "different drummer" passage from the conclusion of Walden .
How to be a Nonconformist
This tongue-in-cheek guide was written and illustrated by a high school student in 1968. What might students write after studying Thoreau? (Nonfiction; informational text.)
Introduction to the Nature Journal
"Students exercise the observation skills that are essential to writing, visual art, and science." This lesson from the Smithsonian Institute is designed for all grade levels.
Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight
Looking for a way to connect Transcendentalism with our lives? Try this TED talk, in which Dr. Taylor describes her understanding of the brain and perception. The parallels with Transcendentalism are striking. The talk runs 18:42.
Packing for Walden
"Technology is about empowerment, and in fact I think that Thoreaus modern analogue would find many useful tools to bring with him on his sojourn in nature." What digital tools might a modern Thoreau be willing to accept, and at what cost? A thought-provoking article, good companion piece.
Links to 4 short selected readings from Walden and a collection of quotations, all with questions for discussion or writing.
Suggestions for Pairing Contemporary Music and Canonical Literature
A list of songs that were inspired by reading literature. Organized by the last name of the author (e.g. Chinua Achebe, William Butler Yeats), the list includes song title, performer, year of release, and more. The list includes 7 titles inspired by Walden .
Susan Cain: The power of introverts
In this TED talk, Susan Cain explores historical factors behind society's attitudes toward intorverts. Length: 19:04. Possible writing prompt: Susan Cain and Henry David Thoreau discuss living alone. Write the script of their conversation. Where possible, include quotations.
from the Thoreau Reader
E-text (the only annotated version on the Web), Thoreau's own survey map of Walden, student questions, and a valuable resource in "Walden Express."
Downloadable text of Walden in multiple formats, including EPUB, Kindle, and plain text.
Free audio files of the text. A great resource to support readers who will be challenged by Thoreau's writing.
Vocabulary, focus questions, links, and classroom activities.
The Walden Express
Can't get your students to read the whole book? Try this sampling instead.
World Wide Waldens
A web-based service learning project offering young people an opportunity to apply their knowledge, creativity and energy in putting Henry David Thoreau's words into action. Sponsored by the Walden Woods Project.