The Call of the Wild:Naturalism in Literature Prepared By Keith Chrisman ENG 440 Fall 2009 Dr. Chambers
Description of Students: Overview Unit Objectives: At the end of this unit, students will The following unit has been designed for be able to: 11th grade students in the advanced Identify thematic characteristics of a literary placement tract. “The Call of the Wild” is the work from the Naturalist movement central novel in this unit (not considered a Name several key contributors to the difficult read) but the unit calls for abstract Naturalism philosophy and literary thinking and poses challenging connections classification between various mediums including Differentiate between the rules, laws, and historical research, music, film, children’s values of society and those of nature in a books, and short stories- making the unit formal essay appropriate for AP 11th grade students. Elaborate on the notion of a calling withRationale: philosophical insight on the origin of Naturalism is a literary movement with intuition philosophical depth making it worthy of Apply “The Call of the Wild” phenomenon to student scholarship. Students are challenged both Buck and Chris McCandless to absorb a different perspective of their world to be successful in this course. The Have a better perception of their intuitive integration of an alternative perspective is ambitions for the future one of the most rewarding accomplishments of education. Students are challenged to detach from their societal existence and make differentiations between to interpretations of reality; cultural success does not necessarily coincide with survival in the natural world. A unit filled with such realizations has the possibility of making profound impacts on student priorities.
Overview (2)General Description of Activities: Re-introducing Chris McCandless as an echoBeginning Activities: to Buck with a more pronounced application of Naturalism’s relevance to humanity Introduce Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) from Into the Wild, as a likeable, relateable Assimilation of a portfolio marking the character with an affinity for nature and a ideological developments contributing to a passion for naturalist literature polished essay Allow his character’s tendency to quote Methods of Assessment Throughout the Unit: famous authors as a gateway activity into Students will be evaluated formatively by the naturalist ideology instructor through journal entries From quotations to short stories, build a constructively encouraging students to foundation for naturalist literature by continue their development of ideas expounding on the idea of “the wild” A WebQuest assignment will allow grade-Developmental activities: conscious students a chance to remove themselves from abstraction and earn points Building a definition of “the wild” from a through a historical contextualization Transcendentalist perspective of Nature exercise on Jack London’s “The Call of the Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” unifying God, Wild” Nature, and the indifference of both to Students will establish criteria for a human struggle successful essay before peer editing and that Free-writes springing from abstractions and student established criteria will be used in the forced connections evaluation of their formal essay Exposure to the Man Vs. Nature conflict Materials, Technologies, and Professional Resources Small group discussions to short stories are available in the final pages of the unit before large group discussions assignmentClosing Activities:
Born to be WildObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Students free-write on their quotation. Onable to: the board, several questions are asked to Connect the terms “Nature” and “Wild” as encourage a full five minutes of writing. “Do synonyms you agree?” “How does the quotation fit in Recognize names like Emerson, Thoreau, and with your idea of Into the Wild?” “Is nature London as writers dealing with nature addressed in your quotation, could it be applied to your quotation?” Identify with Chris McCandless, the main character of Into the Wild, as they too will be Students are invited to participate in a class entering the wild throughout the unit discussion by reading their quotation and sharing their thoughts.Concepts to be learned: Teacher will ask students why they think Nature operates with different laws, Chris McCandless chooses to enter the “wild” consequences, and rewards than society What is different about the wild as opposed to Existence in nature encourages self-reliance society? and enables freedom Evaluation and Follow-Up:Procedures: Students are asked to read a scanned copy of Class will begin with the trailer of Into the “Where the Wild Things Are” (a short Wild followed by a scene where the narrator children’s story) and are asked how the wild explains Chris McCandless’ affinity for things are different from normal people in naturalist literature. their way of living. Their responses are to be Notecards with Chris McCandless’ literary turned in tomorrow. quotations pulled from the movie are passed Introducing In retrospect: out to students. Quotations included in Nature as “Supplementary Materials” in the back of the “Wild” this Unit Plan.
Man Vs. WildObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be “The singer suggests that the listenerable to: might not want to hear certain Identify different types of conflict in things, what do you think these literature responses are?” Begin to identify integral themes of Class discussion begins by asking students Naturalist literature to share their thoughts on the song and theirConcepts to be learned: free-writes. Then, students are asked to name Emerson and Thoreau spelt nature with a types of conflict in literature. After several capital “N”- Nature as God in naturalism types of conflicts appear, students are asked to focus on the Man Vs. Nature conflict as the Man Vs. Nature conflict teacher explains that their next reading is an Naturalism insists that nature is indifferent example of the Naturalist literary movement to human struggle Evaluation and Follow-Up:Procedures: Students are assigned to read Stephen Collect homework Crane’s short story “The Open Boat” and, Class begins with a brief lecture on Emerson because they have been told this story and Thoreau’s thoughts on Nature as a represents Naturalist literature, write representation of God observations and generalizations they have Class is handed the lyrics to “Oh Well” by made about Naturalism. A formative grade is Fleetwood Mac and listens to the song (Lyrics issued with feedback to push the student in the supplementary materials) towards a greater understanding of Student’s are asked to free-write on their Naturalism. Introducing reaction to the song with the following the Wild as In retrospect: questions to encourage a full five minutes of Naturalism writing. “Using Emerson and Thoreau’s idea of God, does this song suggest anything about the wild?”
Wild & Free to ReadObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Students are asked to create a thirty secondable to: television announcement to promote a made- See consistencies of theme in different pieces for-TV adaptation of their short story. (James of naturalist literature Thurber’s idea for short story activities, Reformat a short story into a television found in “Teaching English”) announcement in an attempt to advertise an Evaluation and Follow-Up: adaptation of the work Students present their advertisement and theConcepts to be learned: content of their advertisement will reflect the Exposure to another Naturalist short story depth of their understanding of the themes will increase a student’s awareness of the and encourages creativity. canon In retrospect: Condensing and reformatting a literary work Passion for survival in Naturalist literatureProcedures: Homework is collected Students have a choice between Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” and “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce Students are given class time to complete their reading Further Exposure to After reading the story, students are divided the Elements into groups of five with other students who chose their story.
Wild VoicesObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be The dog pictures and paragraphs will beable to: stapled to a board in the classroom titled “Can Define anthropomorphism they answer the call?” As the students read Apply anthropomorphism to their own further into “The Call of the Wild” pictures writing will be removed of the dogs without the character to survive in Buck’s situationConcepts to be learned: In retrospect: Jack London’s literary technique of giving Buck voice in “The Call of the Wild” Animal instincts Writing from a new perspectiveProcedures: If a group was unable to perform their advertisement, they are asked to present A short lecture detailing anthropomorphism and Jack London’s use of the literary technique in “The Call of the Wild” Students are invited to grab from a bunch of magazines at the front of the classroom and find a picture of a dog to cut out Students are asked to write a paragraph Giving using the anthropomorphism technique for the Wild three pictures a Voice Students are asked to share their writings and choose one to turn inEvaluation and Follow-Up:
World Wild WebObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Instead of a week, students are givenable to: in-class time to collaboratively Have something invested in the story by complete the research portion of the creating a character in a WebQuest WebQuest on Friday and are Contextualize the gold rush taking place in responsible for creating their “The Call of the Wild” individual presentation (scrapbook, Power Point, web site, etc.) over the Work collaboratively with peers weekend for Monday’s presentationConcepts to be learned: day Use/find information on the internet to Evaluation and Follow-Up: explain a situation The WebQuest offers grading criteria but I Circumstances of the Yukon gold rush would adjust the worth of evaluation by Writing from a new perspective making the entire WebQuest worth 50 pointsProcedures: instead of 200 Students are divided into groups of three and In retrospect: taken to a computer lab to participate in the WebQuest designed by Mr. Coward in San Luis Obispo, CA (http://www.mrcoward.com/ slcusd/quest/callquestintro.html). Although Mr. Coward is a middle school teacher, the WebQuest is fit for Contextualizing 11th graders by adjusting the time “The Call of the allotted for completion. Wild” using Technology
World Wild Web (2)Objectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be The WebQuest includes a rubric for studentable to: evaluation (http://www.mrcoward.com/ Write biographies, autobiographies, short slcusd/quest/callquesteval.html)but I would stories, or narratives: adjust the scale to make the assignment Relate a clear, coherent incident, event, or worth less. situation by using well-chosen details. In retrospect: Reveal the significance of, or the writers attitude about, the subject. Employ narrative and descriptive strategies (e.g., relevant dialogue, specific action, physical description, background description, comparison or contrast of characters). (Objectives taken from Mr. Coward’s WebQuest)Concepts to be learned: Public speaking experience Presentation of lively, first person accounts based on historical factsProcedures: Students present one of their five 150 word journal entries in its entirety or explain their Presenting/ Publishing character and offer a synopsis of his/her Student experiences in the Yukon Territory gold rush Achievement toEvaluation and Follow-Up: peers
The CallObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be able The unit essay will draw upon these journalto: entries and force students to recall examples Understand what is expected of them during and from the stories read in the introductory portion after reading “The Call of the Wild” of the unit to formulate support in theirConcepts to be learned: arguments relating to “The Call of the Wild” and elaborate on the notion of a calling and an Interconnectivity of everything conducted in exposition of their personal callings, or as they this unit will come to understand it- intuition What is a calling? Evaluation and Follow-Up:Procedures: Student predictions on “The Call of the Wild” Class begins with a free-write on the topic of a will force them to recall the earlier addressed “calling” ideas of Naturalism and nature To encourage a full five minutes of writing, Students are assigned the first chapter of the students are offered questions like “What is a book and are required to make a journal entry calling?”, “Do you know anyone who has capturing their reactionary thoughts claimed to have a calling and followed through In retrospect: with it?”, “Do you know what your calling is and how would you go about answering it?” Students are invited to share their responses and plans for the future Discussion will progress to the title of the book and how it connects to the idea of nature we have developed through Naturalist literature Students receive their copy of “The Call of the Directing Students Wild” Towards the Teacher will assign journal entries to follow each Ultimate Goal chapter. The journal entries are to pertain to the development of the idea of nature vs. society and to track the differences and similarities of how Buck, or any individual operates in each
Into the PrimitiveObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Student’s are asked to think about his livingable to: situation as a representation of civilized life Spot the immediate contrast between civilized and look for symbols representing aspects of life and Buck’s new situation life not present in the wild.Concepts to be learned: Students will divide up in groups of four and Birthright and Aristocracy mean nothing in complete the other side of the chart on the Natural law board by naming adjectives to describe Buck’s new environmentProcedures: Evaluation and Follow-Up: Class begins by playing “Future Primitive” by Papercuts (lyrics included in Students will each pick five adjectives from Supplementary Materials) both sides of the chart and find examples from the text to prove why the term is fits To encourage a full five minutes of writing, students are offered questions like “How can Students are assigned chapter two of “The you connect the lyrics to this song to Buck’s Call of the Wild” situation”, “What does the singer mean by In retrospect: ‘when we go back we won’t be looking in the mirror?” Class discussion will begin with students sharing their reactions to the song and moving towards the immediate differences of Buck’s situation. Contrasting A list will be created asking student’s to find Civility and adjectives to describe Buck’s living situation Nature with the judge.
The Law of Club and FangObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Students are asked if the dog they appliedable to: anthropomorphism to would be able to make it Trace London’s philosophy as a Naturalist to this far in Buck’s journey. Some students the work of several great philosophers and are called out to defend their dog if the teacher writers doesn’t think it seems to have a strong Understand social repercussions of enough character to survive Naturalism Journal entries are collected to receive helpfulConcepts to be learned: feedback provoking their progress on the differences between the wild and civilization Naturalism does not exist entirely separated in connection to the literature they have been from Society, it can be applied to social order exposed toProcedures: Evaluation and Follow-Up: Class begins with an open forum for students Student’s will be formatively evaluated on to informally share what they know about their journal entries and posed questions to Charles Darwin encourage further development on their thesis Clarice Stasz has written a short essay Students are assigned chapters three and dividing twelve contributive sources in a four of “The Call of the Wild” discussion of London’s philosophy. Students are separated into twelve groups and given a In retrospect: segment of the essay to summarize and share The Repercussions with the class. of Blending Naturalism and Students are asked to pick a segment of Society London’s inspiration to create a journal entry discussing the relevance of London’s philosophy to “The Call of the Wild”
The Dominant BeastObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Evaluation and Follow-Up:able to: Students have created two more journal Observe other perspectives of “a calling” entries paying attention to a calling and Contemplate Buck’s compulsion to answer the discussion should allow students to connect calling the calling to an intuitionConcepts to be learned: Students who have not made this connection What is a calling? (2) will be prodded to connect the calling, intuition, and nature through feedback in Intuition as an internal aspect of nature the next journal collectionProcedures: Students are assigned chapter 5 of “The Call Class begins by listening to “I’m Not” by of the Wild” Panda Bear In Retrospect: Free-write follows with “what do you think the singer is unable to prepare himself for?” “What has no name but can be named after it passes?” “How do you think the song connects to Buck’s calling?” Students are invited to share their responses and discussion is encouraged Students are given “Sometimes” by Hermann Hesse and asked to make another free-write connecting the author’s feelings Intuition as a with Buck’s calling. Product of Nature With the remaining class time, students and I will discuss their dogs and the likelihood that they would be able to live up to Buck’s demeanor
The Toil of Trace and TrailObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be The last five minutes of class are spent in aable to: free write on the day’s discussion in See symbolism in London’s portrayal of the application to the student’s developing thesis three characters that drown as representations on natural law vs. civilization of civilization’s pitfalls Evaluation and Follow-Up:Concepts to be learned: Journal entries are becoming more closely Vanity, foolishness, stubbornness, and self- related to the topic of the final paper. The next absorption are common in civilization but collection will give the instructor a good idea deadly in nature on what discussions need to take place toProcedures: better prepare students for the final paper Class begins with an informal discussion of Students are assigned chapters 6 and 7, the fifth chapter and students are invited to finishing “The Call of the Wild” share their post-reading journal entries In retrospect: Discussion is focused on the death of Hal, Charles, and Mercedes Character Maps are drawn to encourage students to find adjectives with textual references to chart the qualities of these travelers. An Inability to Students are encouraged to look for Adapt from symbolism in the troubles of the travelers or Civilization to qualities that make them inadequate for Nature as a Cause survival in the wild of Death Darwin’s theory on adaptation is recalled and student’s are asked if the statement has any relevance to Hal, Charles, and Mercedes in their transition from civility to the wild
The Call is AnsweredObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Graphic organizers from pages 17 and 21 ofable to: the Glencoe McGraw Hill packet (http:// Speak on “The Call of the Wild” as a whole www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/ Connect a calling with intuition or as pdf/call_of_the_wild.pdf) are passed out to London describes it, “blood-longing” students to be completed in groups of three Reflect on Buck’s masters and his Class discussion begins with an observation progression towards the call of the wild while of Buck’s relationship with Thornton and how noting his progression from civilization to it relates to the primitive man-dog vision wilderness Buck has Use graphic organizers to chart Buck’s Why is Thornton the only man Buck feels progression genuine love for? Didn’t he receive more from the Judge’s house?Concepts to be learned: The last five minutes of class are spent free- Buck’s progression from civilization to the writing on whether or not Buck could be wild highlights important differentiations captured and house trained at the end of the between society and the wild novelProcedures: Evaluation and Follow-Up: Class begins with an informal discussion of Journals are collected and rough draft is the book and students are encouraged to share assigned Buck’s Progression their reactions to the text and are asked if the as a Revelation of completion of the novel has helped them on In retrospect: Differences between their quest for a thesis on the definition of a Natural Law and calling and differentiating natural law and Societal Law societal law
Into the Wild (film)Objectives: by the end of this lesson, students will beable to: Observe a human perspective on the call of the Wild View a human’s escape from societal conventions and enter the wildConcepts to be learned: “The Call of the Wild” has human applicationProcedures: “Into the Wild” (148 minutes) is shown in class The teacher hands back journal entries marking student’s progress towards a thesis Before the movie begins, the teacher writes questions for students to consider in application to their papers What are Chris McCandless’ issues with society? Are these issues present in the wild? Applying Buck’sEvaluation and Follow-Up: Call of the Wild to Chris McCandless’ Students will be writing a journal entry to Alaskan Adventure hand in at the end of the filmIn retrospect:
Into the Wild (film)Objectives: by the end of this lesson, students will beable to: Observe a human perspective on the call of the Wild View a human’s escape from societal conventions and enter the wildConcepts to be learned: “The Call of the Wild” has human applicationProcedures: “Into the Wild” (98 minutes remaining) is shown in class Before the movie begins, the teacher writes questions for students to consider in application to their papers How do Chris McCandless’ interactions mirror the progression of Buck’s masters? Are his lessons applications to the wild or society? What is Chris’ calling? Applying Buck’sEvaluation and Follow-Up: Call of the Wild to Students will be writing a journal entry to Chris McCandless’ Alaskan Adventure hand in at the end of the filmIn retrospect:
Into the Wild (film)Objectives: by the end of this lesson, students will beable to: Observe a human perspective on the call of the Wild View a human’s escape from societal conventions and enter the wildConcepts to be learned: “The Call of the Wild” has human applicationProcedures: “Into the Wild” (48 minutes remaining) is shown in class Before the movie begins, the teacher writes questions for students to consider in application to their papers How does Chris’ inability to function in society differ from his inability to survive in the wild?Evaluation and Follow-Up: Applying Buck’s Students hand in their journal responses to Call of the Wild to the film. Rough drafts of the unit essay are Chris McCandless’ Alaskan Adventure due tomorrowIn retrospect:
Writer’s WorkshopObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Teacher passes back the movie journals backable to: to the students with comments on their Be aware of a class-wide editing problem observations observed in journal entries Evaluation and Follow-Up: Exchange papers without insecurities about Students are told to make revisions and being judged by their peers bring another draft tomorrow Improve their papers In retrospect:Concepts to be learned: No work is ever complete, only abandonedProcedures: The instructor reveals a problem he/she has observed in a large portion of the journal entries that have been submitted and “The more a teacher addresses correct grammar practices in a takes over, the more mini-lesson students write to Students submit a draft of their paper please the teacher without a name but a number of their own rather than themselves, and creation to receive peer editing their writing loses Students are asked what it takes for this vitality and paper to be successful and a list is created on originality” the board for students to focus on and -Teaching English (199) respond to in their peer reviews Students exchange papers as many times as possible in the fifty minute class period
Writer’s Workshop (2)Objectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be Teacher passes back the movie journals backable to: to the students with comments on their Be aware of a class-wide editing problem observations observed in journal entries Evaluation and Follow-Up: Exchange papers without insecurities about Students are told to make revisions and being judged by their peers bring another draft tomorrow Improve their papers In retrospect:Concepts to be learned: No work is ever complete, only abandonedProcedures: The instructor reveals another problem he/she has observed in a large portion of the journal entries that have been submitted and “The more a teacher addresses correct grammar practices in a takes over, the more mini-lesson students write to Students submit a draft of their paper please the teacher without a name but a number of their own rather than themselves, and creation to receive peer editing Applying Buck’s their writing loses Students are asked what it takes for this vitality the Call ofand Wild to paper to be successful and a list is created on Chris McCandless’ originality” the board for students to focus on and Alaskan Adventure -Teaching English (199) respond to in their peer reviews Students exchange papers as many times as possible in the fifty minute class period
Seeing the ForestObjectives: by the end of this lesson, students will be The essay is evaluated at level three and basedable to: on the criteria established by the class as to Appreciate the writing process and what it takes for the paper to be successful development of ideas as they submit In retrospect: formative journal writings with a polished essayConcepts to be learned: Writing as a processProcedures: The instructor gives a congratulatory speech on the progress made throughout the unit and the development of ideas shown in the advancement of journal entries Students spend the class period enjoying the opportunity to share their favorite free-writes and read portions of their final essay to the class Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” is played as The Writing Process students pass in their portfolios as a CreativeEvaluation and Follow-Up: Exposition of Developing Ideas Journal evaluation is based on completion, effort, and exposition of ideas connected to the themes established in classroom discussions (level one)
Supplementary MaterialsInto the Wild trailer and film Now, when I talked to God I knew hed understand/ He said, "Stick by me and Ill be your guidingChris McCandless Literary References: hand/But dont ask me what I think of you/I might I also know how important it is in life not not give the answer that you want me to/Oh well” necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat” yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but Random magazines your own hands and your own head...” -Bear Meat by Primo Levi Internet access to complete the WebQuest at: "Rather than Love, than Money, than Fame, give me http://www.mrcoward.com/slcusd/quest/callquestintro.html Truth." -Thoreau “Sometimes” by Hermann Hesse "There is pleasure in the pathless woods, Sometimes, when a bird cries out, There is rapture on the lonely shore, Or the wind sweeps through a tree, There is society where none intrudes, Or a dog howls in a far off farm, I hold still and listen a long time. By the deep sea and the music in its roar; My soul turns and goes back to the place I love not man the less, but Nature more.” -Lord Where, a thousand forgotten years ago, Byron The bird and the blowing wind Were like me, and were my brothers. "The core of mans spirit comes from new experiences."“Where The Wild Things Are” - Maurice Sendak My soul turns into a tree, Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well” And an animal, and a cloud bank. Then changed and odd it comes home “I cant help about the shape Im in/I cant sing, I And asks me questions. What should I reply? aint pretty and my legs are thin/But dont ask me what I think of you/I might not give the answer that you want me to/Oh well
Supplementary Materials (2)“Future Primitive” by PapercutsIm a soldier in the world/But well leave it all someday/What’sthe use in trying to hide/Where we came from anyway?/Weare born to this world/All unknown to the beyond/When itstime to return/You wont be looking in the mirror/Futureprimitive/The ones you left behind/Are still with you my dear/The life of our dirt/We are here and were gone/Its our workthat marches on/Well we cross the river once/And well do itonce again/The valley it will open/And the mountains fall totheir knees/Take the girl from the parents/And leave the restbehind/What you wanted was your life/Well youll getsomething more/Future primitive/The ones you left behind/Are still with you my dear/The life of our dirt/We are here andwere gone/Its our work that marches onAn essay by Clarice Stasz, Professor of History at SonomaState University on Jack London’s philosophical inspiration(http://london.sonoma.edu/Essays/philosophy.html)Panda Bear, “I’m Not” LyricsI’m not ready/for it/but then can anybody be?/I’m not/Noname for her/But as it comes/We’ll name each after its way/I’m not/As with all else/any piece/has its place/and form tofill/I’m nothttp://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/pdf/call_of_the_wild.pdfSteppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild”
Supplementary Materials (3)Unit essay assignment sheet Hermann Hesse’s “Sometimes” Over the course of this unit, we have Into the Wild discovered Naturalism and have observed Submission of this essay will also include artistic consistencies in themes of several all free-writes and journal entries to showcase stories from within this branch of literature. your progression of ideas and development of Using “The Call of the Wild” as the an appropriately polished paper foundational work for your thesis, craft an essay addressing the difference between natural law, the law of the wild, and societal law, the standard mode of human life. The secondary issue addressed in this essay is the notion of a calling. Elaborate on the origin of a calling (is it from within?, is it caused by external factors?) and expound on any personal callings you can identify (what are your plans for the future?, what contributes to your answer?) Your essay should include two works from this unit in addition to “The Call of the Wild.” You may choose: Where The Wild Things Are To Build a Fire An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge