Michel de Montaigne

Several years ago I developed this reading on Michel de Montaigne and its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to use with a unit I was working on to support students in their various essay-writing endeavors around the school and across the common branch curriculum.

What I discovered in the course of this project was that students really didn’t understand what an essay is (then, as often happens, I discovered as well that my own grasp of the essay form wasn’t what it should be for someone in my position). Hence these documents: Montaigne, as you may know, is really the father of the essay form–particularly the kind of discursive composition which is often characteristic of essay writing.

In any case, I’m not sure I ever used this in the form you have it here–i.e. in its entirety. Depending on the needs and abilities of the students I served, I’ve chopped the reading up in pieces, but also edited the material I considered most salient in it into one paragraph. I’ve used parts of the worksheet and none of it at all. It’s a solid conspectus of Montaigne’s life and work, therefore a good introduction to him for high school students

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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