The American Puritan Tradition and Dilemma, Part III

To conclude a three-part unit that examines how different writers express their views on the American Puritan tradition, class members compare the views of Ralph Waldo Emerson as expressed in his essay on "Self-Reliance" with those presented in Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." To prepare for the concluding comparative essay, learners engage in a series of activities including explaining the transcendental concepts in several Emerson aphorisms, completing graphic organizer that contrasts transcendental and puritan beliefs, and researching the rhetorical devices the two writers employ.

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CCSS: Designed
Pros

  • The final lesson builds on skill-building exercises in previous sessions
  • All required materials are provided
Cons

  • Additional scaffolding may be needed for class members to successfully complete the worksheets contrasting transcendental and puritan beliefs
  • The connections among the various activities are not always apparent
  • The activities do not support all of the learning objectives