This lesson prepares the instructor--even at the college level--to teach Emerson. It provides important context, explanations, and glosses of Emerson's dense but famous essay. Emerson's work is challenging for students, even at the college level, because his writing does not appear to be transparent or follow the form of a logical, traditional argument. This lesson provides openings and important instruction into how to approach AND understand Emerson. It is designed in such a way that students (and professors/teachers) have the tools they need to engage with his philosophical ideas, as well as with his style and rhetoric. Indeed, this lesson makes Emerson relevant by requiring students to consider and then respond to the basic tenets of "Self-Reliance." The nod to Twitter in the activity is creative and fun. My only suggestion would be to consider in what ways Emerson and his ideas and work have come to occupy a hallowed space in American culture and the American literary imagination.
We are not victims, we are creators. Maybe some great teacher will come along who will reveal to us our own power. The teacher would tell us we must detach ourselves from our reliance on the values and opinions of our culture. We must become independent. We must become self-reliant. If we would trust ourselves, we would find our powers multiplied. We have come to put the world right, and should be embarrassed by the sympathy of others. The moment you take genuine self-sourced and original action, nobody will pity you. They will admire and emulate you, now and in generations to come.