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The Beat Tour of Denver
The Beat Tour of Denver is scheduled sporadically & (sometimes) spontaneously; please contact me if interested in the tour. Please download the following documents prior to leaving campus:
Also, please bring your copy of On The Road.
Welcome to the Beat Generation
This week-long, introductory class is taught during the year at various times in conjunction with College Week, Special Studies Units and as part of a professional development series for teachers called "Teachers As Writers."
This unit includes The Beat Tour of Denver, a half or full day of experiential learning around Denver. The UbD-formated syllabus can be found here.
Course Texts:
Ann Charters (ed.), The Portable Beat Reader                                     
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems & Kaddish                               
Gary Snyder, Riprap & Cold Mountain Poems
Course Description:
This class is an introduction to the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction of the writers from the Beat Generation.  This course will involve writing and reading on a daily basis.  An example of “best writing” and a PowerPoint presentation are requirements for this course.
  • To understand the political, social, and artistic climate during the time of the Beat Generation.
  • To appreciate the continued interest in the Beat phenomenon forty years after the style became famous.
  • To engage in and influence the ongoing critical debate about Beat ideas, Bohemianism, popular culture, and writing by being active creators of corroborating or competing texts.
Course Requirements:
  • Daily attendance                                                          
  • Complete reading assignments/pony cards
  • PowerPoint presentation or Broadside creation
  • Example of “best writing”
  • “Best writing”= typed copy of the golden nuggets captured during the free write sessions.  Minimum one-page, typed & double-spaced.
  • Visual representation= 10 - 12 minutes, exploring one of the following topics: the Beat Generation, Atomic Bomb (& aftermath), an individual representative of the Beat Generation or the lasting influence of the Beats.
Tentative Schedule:
  • Introduction: “What is the Beat Generation?”
  • Review syllabus
  • Kerouac’s rules of writing
  • Timed writing
  • Homework: visit minutes journal
  • Check-out Kerouac's rules about writing: Writing Modern Prose
  • Share first free writing
  • On The Road: movie trailer
  • King Crimson's Beat
  • Timed Writing
  • Homework: visit minutes journal
  • Watch video (length 2:44): The Influence of the Beat Generation
  • Journal Independently: answer question, "How has reading and listening to the writing of the Beat Generation influenced the writing you've done in class?"
  • Share out: all-group (answer to question)
  • Watch video with a partner (length 11:15): The Source (Beat Documentary, part 1). As you watch, take notes with partner, answer question: "What did you learn from this documentary clip that is new/What confirms what we've already learned in class?"
  • Timed Writing: 10 minute free write (add to previous writing, or start new)
  • By 8:00 am Friday, please email your best writing to Mr. Ernewein (; minimum length, one page typed/double-spaced
  • Feel free to reach out to Mr. Ernewein directly with questions through email.
  • Post “Best Writing”
  • Share examples of “Best Writing”
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