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?