Nonfiction Lesson Plan Materials for Into the Wild Published by will be the First in a Series

Share Article announces the publication of a series of curriculum materials for lesson plans for high school students based on book/movie combinations. The first is a Learning Guide for Into the Wild, based on the life and death of a young college graduate named Chris McCandless. In 1992, after a series of solo adventures in remote areas of the American West, McCandless starved to death on the edge of the Alaskan Wilderness. Presents Nonfiction Learning Guide to Into the Wild provides Lesson Plans & Learning Guides to over 350 popular films.

One focus of TWM Learning Guides to nonfiction book/movie combinations is to encourage students to read all or a portion of the books by using the movie as an introduction or a reward. announces the publication of its Learning Guide for Into the Wild which provides curriculum materials on both Sean Penn’s movie and the book by John Krakauer. Into the Wild tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a troubled young man who tried to find himself through adventures in the remaining wilderness areas of the American West. His journeys ended when he starved to death in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan forest. When McCandless died, just several miles and one raging river separated him from civilization and the help he needed to survive.

The 2010 Common Core Curriculum Standards call for an increased focus on teaching students to read nonfiction texts. is responding to that call by developing a set of Learning Guides for films based on nonfiction books that will interest today’s students. The curriculum materials for lesson plans for Into the Wild is the first TWM effort in this regard. More curriculum materials for nonfiction movie/book combinations will be announced soon, including Learning Guides for Mao’s Last Dancer and 127 Days.

“Into the Wild engages students. In the experience of Chris McCandless kids will find parallels to their own struggles growing up. This empathy will energize class discussions. It will also lead students to do their best on assignments that require the writing skills that are at the core of the ELA curriculum. One goal of the lesson is to interest students in reading the book.” James Frieden, co-founder of

The Learning Guide to Into the Wild helps teachers develop a nonfiction lesson plan for high school students that provides context for McCandless’ story. It alludes to an iconic passage from "Child Roland's Pilgrimage" by Lord Byron. In addition, students will be required to read Jack London’s short story, “To Build a Fire,” a tale about another tragic journey in the Alaskan wilderness. The class will be asked to compare the two stories. The Guide also suggests introducing students to the mysterious death of Everett Ruess, an event examined in Krakauer’s book. Ruess was a young man who traveled extensively in the desert Southwest in the early 1930s. He usually traveled alone and then, in 1934, Ruess disappeared in the wilds of Southern Utah.

The Learning Guide also contains discussion questions, activities and writing assignments that will lead students to explore the ideas presented in the book and the film.

One focus of the TWM Learning Guides to nonfiction book/movie combinations is to encourage students to read all or a portion of the books by using the movie as an introduction. As an alternative, teachers can use the Learning Guides to create lesson plans focusing exclusively on the book. TWM Learning Guides provide background information, discussion questions, activities, assignments, and several types of generic movie worksheets. is the premier site on the Internet showing teachers how to use feature films and other video resources to enhance the classroom experience. The site offers thousands of pages of lesson plans and curriculum materials on more than 350 feature films. The price for access to all TWM curriculum materials is $11.99 per year per teacher. Discounts are available for bulk purchases.

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James Frieden
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