Thursday, November 13, 2014

Reading Period 12: November 12-18: Henry David Thoreau

Long Read:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, chapters 9-16
Check out the Project Gutenberg version online to see some of the original illustrations.

Short Read:

"From Walden" in your textbook, excerpts from the book by Henry David Thoreau. You should also read the biographical note about Thoreau.


You can find these poems on this page.
"The Inward Morning"
"The Summer Rain"
"My Life Has Been the Poem"
"What's the Railroad to Me?"
"Within the Circle of This Plodding Life"

Creative Assignment:

In "Walden," Thoreau describes sitting in his doorstep for hours just thinking, or sitting in his boat in the pond for hours playing the flute. Your assignment is to sit quietly in a natural setting (outside, preferably with trees and around you) for fifteen minutes, doing nothing but think. Don't draw, read, or talk to anyone -- stay alone in your own head. Afterward, write at least 250 words describing the experience.


Do the same, but write a poem about it.

Note Taking:

Sometimes when writing about a person (as you all are in your paper), it's useful to boil down their philosophy or position on a topic to a few lines or a good, representative quote. Read Henry David Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience." Please note there are three pages. Pretend you are writing a paper about Thoreau and that your thesis statement is that Thoreau is a good example of an American because he feels it's his responsibility to criticize the government. Take notes on this essay, as if you are going to use it as evidence of Thoreau's attitude toward the government and a citizen's duty to question it and demand improvements. Pull out three quotes that would make good evidence in a paper, if Thoreau were your topic.

Google Fu:

If you were to retreat from society to be alone and contemplate philosophy for a year, where would you go? Tropical island? Cabin in the woods like Thoreau? Arctic outpost? Sailboat? Show us a picture of your Walden.

Twitter Scholar:

Thoreau's ideas inspire the environmentalists of today, and he was one of the first Americans to write passionately about nature preservation and conservancy. Find three Twitter feeds that you think Thoreau would have followed, if he were alive and on Twitter. Tweet about it, tagging these feeds. For instance, you might Tweet: "The following feeds have been approved by the ghostly spirit of Thoreau: @natureisgreat @lovenature @savetheplanet" or whatever.


Using your shiny revised outline as a guide, write a first draft! The first draft will be due November 25. I previously said it would be due November 18, but I'm going to give you another week. Please use it!

Now is the time for us to talk about how to cite your sources. If you read this page from the good old Purdue writing lab, you'll know everything there is to know, but let me summarize what I want you to do.

When you use information that you found in a book or article, or when you make a statement that you are going to back up with evidence from one of your sources, you need to provide a citation so that readers know where you got that information, or can check your evidence to verify your claim. Citing sources gives your paper validity, puts you legitimately in a community of scholars and thinkers, and banishes the specter of plagiarism, which means taking credit for someone else's work or ideas.

You'll let your readers know what sources you used in two ways: first in parenthetical citations and then on a Works Cited page. When you use information from or a quote from a source, you'll include a parenthetical notation giving the author and the page number, right in that same paragraph -- either after the quote or at the end of the paragraph if the whole paragraph is relevant to your source. A parenthetical citation usually includes the author's name and a page number, like this: (Melville 38). You can find out how to handle parenthetical citations for all different kinds of sources on this page.

Every author you use in a parenthetical citation will correspond to an entry on your Works Cited page. The Works Cited page comes at the end of your paper, and lists all the resources you used, as referenced in your parenthetical citations. You can find out all about that back at the Purdue Writing Lab, including how to format entries for books, web sites, articles, etc.

Your rough draft should be 2000 words long. It must be typed, either submitted in a Google document or in an email to me. We will be doing peer review, so your classmates will be reading your work to help you. I will also be giving input and suggestions for revision. Your paper doesn't have to be perfect at this point, but try to get all your ideas out so we can talk about how to polish it. Do not write a rough draft without citing any sources! It is much harder to go back and figure out where you got everything than it is to just note it and cite it as you go along. Good luck!


The quiz will relate to Huckleberry Finn, one question per chapter.

1. How does Tom signal to Huck through the window in the dark?
2. What does Jim keep around his neck to remember his experience with the witches?
3. Why do Huck and the boys get tired of Tom Sawyer's gang of robbers?
4. What evidence makes Huck think his father has returned?
5. What does Huck's father want from him?
6. What does this mean: "pap got too handy with his hick'ry"?
7. What does Huck do with the wild pig he kills?
8. What does Jim think, when he first sees Huck on the island?
9. What is strange about the man Jim and Huck see in the floating house?
10. What remedy does Jim use for his snake bite?
11. How does Huck disguise himself to get information from the woman in the shanty?
12. Who does Huck find on the wrecked steamboat?
13. Why does Huck want the ferryman to go out to the wreck?
14. According to Huck, what does a king do?
15. Why does Huck lie to Jim about having been gone in the canoe, and how does he feel about that lie afterwards?
16. What are the consequences of the raft having floated past Cairo accidentally?

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