Walden Active reading

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Walden
by Henry David
Thoreau
AP Language and Composition
Pre-Reading Activity (Bell Work)
What
do you want to experience in
your life?
 List
the experiences you’re looking forward
to (beyond high school).
 From this list, pick the top 3 and explain in
your small groups WHY you want to have
each experience.
 Be prepared to share with the class.
Active Reading Log
 As
we read excerpts from Walden, please keep
a reading log of aphorisms (brief statements
that express general principles or truths
about life) used by Thoreau to convey his
observations.
 Split
your paper in half (hot-dog style)
 On the left (your left), write the aphorism
(don’t forget quote marks and page numbers!)
 On the right, you will write if you
agree/disagree with the statements AND why.
Post-Reading Questions
1.
2.
3.
Thoreau refers to the place where the first
shots of the American Revolution were
fired. In what ways does the setting of
Walden, so close to the symbolic beginning
of the American Revolution, seem
appropriate?
What are Thoreau’s reasons for moving to
the woods?
Why does Thoreau ask the rhetorical
question on line 65? What is its purpose?
Post-Reading Questions
4.
5.
6.
Based on what you have read from
“Solitude”, evaluate Thoreau’s thoughts on
loneliness.
From “Spring”, note the pairs of opposites
Thoreau contrasts in order to heighten the
drama of the coming of spring.
From “Conclusion”, is Thoreau’s depiction
of poverty realistic? Are the poor really
more independent than the rich?
Active Reading Log: Post Activity
 Look
over your list of aphorisms and your
agree/disagree statements. Which one comes
the closest to expressing one of your own
views about life? Which one is most opposed
to your views? Explain your answers, in
detail, citing textual evidence as appropriate.
Comparing Texts
 What
connections do you see between the
ideas expressed in Walden, and those
expressed in Emerson’s “Nature” and “SelfReliance”?
 What connections have you been able to find
between Thoreau’s and Emerson’s excerpts
and what you have read (so far) in Into the
Wild?
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