Thoreau and Civil Disobedience

 Today you will be reading Henry David Thoreau’s “On Civil Disobedience.” Before you begin reading, you may want to brush up on transcendentalism. But, mostly, your job is to read Thoreau’s essay. To do this, pair up with one other person. Then, access the hypertexted e-text at this site. As you read through the piece, click on each hyperlink. Many simply give background information that is helpful to understand the piece. However, some also pose questions. For each link that poses a question, pause your reading and briefly discuss the question with your partner. This will deepen your understanding of the piece.

In addition, you and your partner should prepare for a seminar on this piece on Monday, Nov. 26. For this seminar, I would like each pair to prepare a list of at least 10 questions. SOME of these can be ones posed in the hypertext that either you and your partner could not figure out or could not agree upon. But, in addition, you should have SEVERAL of your own questions that are more text, close reading based. Use the “3rd draft reading” handout to guide you in this.

You will have two class days working with your partner to complete this. Anything that you do not complete by the end of the second day must be done as homework before the seminar. (And make sure you read the hypertext as well as the actual text! If you show you don’t know something during the seminar that was covered in the hypertext, we’ll all know!)


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