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Lesson Plan

Examining Transcendentalism through Popular Culture

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Examining Transcendentalism through Popular Culture

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Eight 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Sharon Webster

Narragansett, Rhode Island


National Council of Teachers of English


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  • Published Comments

Eileen Garza

December 07, 2016

My students researched the song lyric example handout. Exactly how is the Lady Gaga song related to Transcendentalism? Are you making a connection to "non-conformity?" It is a racy and highly sexual song, so my students and I are wondering what the connection is. Thank you.


Lisa Fink, RWT Staff

March 05, 2012

The link to the Theory to Practice does take you to the NCTE site. However, the article is linked for free in the preparation section of the plan: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson320/EJ0922Multigenre.pdf. Best of luck to you - lisa


L Sullivan

February 15, 2012

The article, "Multigenre, Multiple Intelligences, and Transcendentalism" by Colleen A. Ruggieri, is said here to have been made available, but the link prevents one from opening the full article without purchasing a subscription to the NCTE Journal.



April 03, 2011

I am a first time teacher un-credentialed and struggling. This web site and this particular lesson has helped me tremendously!


Ashley RIchardson

January 13, 2011

I love this approach to teaching American transcendentalism! I used Fight Club, Into the Wild, and some music sources to teach transcendentalism in popular culture, and the students (especially my boys) really connected to it. Thanks for the great resources! :)


Lisa Fink, RWT Staff

December 17, 2010

Thanks for your suggestion! We did some work to the lesson plan and added additional resources. Let us know what you think!


Jeff Finn

November 23, 2010

This would be much better if you actually provided songs, comics, etc.



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