Teaching Materials

The teaching guides, syllabi, group discussions, paper assignments, and presentation assignments below have been generously donated to the Society by a rich collection of educators. We would like to thank them for their contributions, as well as passing the works of Wilder on to their students.

If you would like to assist the Society and other educators by sharing your own teaching materials, please contact the Thornton Wilder society.

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Teaching and Reading Guides

Penelope Niven’s Guide to Our Town
Wilder biographer Penelope Niven provides exploratory questions and background information for both budding academics and college-level professors. View Penelope Niven’s Guide to Our Town.

The Big Read’s Guides to The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town
The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
Visit The Big Read’s website to explore their teacher’s guide and reader’s guide for The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Our Town


Syllabi
(arranged by course type)

Seminars on Wilder
Seminar in Theory and Research: Thornton Wilder (The College of New Jersey)
works covered: Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Matchmaker, The Alcestiad, One-act Plays, Shadow of a Doubt (screenplay), The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Woman of Andros, Heaven’s My Destination

Seminar in Thornton Wilder’s Novels and Plays (The College of New Jersey)
works covered: The Cabala, The Woman of Andros, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Heaven’s My Destination, The Ides of March, The Eighth Day, Theophilus North, Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth, The Matchmaker, Shadow of a Doubt, One-act Plays

American Drama
American Drama 1 (George Washington University)
works covered: Our Town

History of American Theater and Drama (Emory University)
works covered: Our Town

Intro to Drama
Script Analysis (Arcadia University)
works covered: Our Town

Intro to Literature
Literary Experience: Genre Approach (Augustana College)
works covered: Our Town

Wilder and Classical Studies
Classics: Classical Connections (University of Maryland)
works covered: The Ides of March, The Woman of Andros

Honors: Ancient Rome in Historical Fiction (University of Maryland)
works covered: The Ides of March

Latin: Catullus and Horace (University of Maryland)
works covered: The Ides of March

Latin: History and Development of the Latin Language (University of Maryland)
works covered: The Ides of March, The Woman of Andros

Special Topics
New Hampshire Values (River University)
works covered: Our Town


Group Discussions

Our Town

The Alcestiad as Tragedy

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The Long Christmas Dinner, Pullman Car Hiawatha, and The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden

The Skin of Our Teeth

Three Minute Plays from The Angel That Troubled the Waters and other Plays


Paper Assignments

Multiple Essay Topics

Performance Critique

Short Essay Topic

Research Paper


Presentation Assignments

Wilder Scholarship

 

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