Lesson Plan

Henry David Thoreau: Author, Philosopher, and Abolitionist

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What would Henry David Thoreau think of life in 21st-Century America? Pupils investigate the abolitionist using primary and secondary materials. They analyze what Thoreau would think of the changes to American lifestyles since the time of slavery. Then, an interview with the famous philosopher serves as the finale to the lesson.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Create stations around the room to compare/contrast Thoreau to other leaders such as William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Read aloud part of Life in the Woods for audio learners to better understand Thoreau
  • Place a large photo of Thoreau's house on Walden Pond in the front of the room prior to the lesson
Classroom Considerations
  • Takes 40 minutes to implement the lesson
  • Graphic organizer helps students keep information straight
  • Video clip assists audio and visual learners
  • None
Common Core