Teaching “Into The Wild” by Jon Krakauer

Pre-study activities:

  1. Students should buy the book, see link here:
  2. Into The Wild novelist Jon Krakauer tells how he was inspired to write the story in this Youtube clip.
  3. Here is an Interview with the Emil Hirsch who plays Chris in the movie
  4.  Book summery here.

After reading book

  1. Write a double entry journal see instructions how to here:
    Choose one paragraph for each of these themes: relationships, conflicts, adventure, self realization and over all theme. (5 altogether).  See example
  2. Write an entry in your blog about the book. Use Discussion Questions for Into the Wild from this weblog .  Publish and include 2 paragraphs from double entry journal.
  3. Listen to this interview from Australia here and take notes while listening. Afterwards write a summary from the interview.

Topics for Discussion

  1. Why did McCandless reject his parents’ lifestyle?
  2. What do you think of McCandless‘s decision to discard his identity and past life without a backward look?
  3. Why did Christopher McCandless trade a bright future–a college education, material comfort, uncommon ability and charm–for death by starvation in an abandoned bus in the woods of Alaska? This is the question that Jon Krakauer tries to answer.
  4. Would you do the same thing if you were in his place, or do you think it would be important to discuss your decision with your family first, even if you were certain that they would try to dissuade you.
  5. Discuss the concepts romanticism and transcendentalism.


Use group discussion rubric  to assess students’ participation in group discussion.


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