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American Literature


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This course is designed to increase students’ understanding of literary analysis and the writing process. Students begin by reading a selection of poetry by renowned authors such as Carl Sandburg, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, Langston Hughes, and Emily Dickinson. Lessons in this unit focus on the elements of poetry, including imagery, figurative language, rhyme, rhythm, and sound devices, in order to teach students to evaluate and analyze poetry. This study culminates in an essay assignment in which students analyze a poem of their choice.
In the latter half of this course, students read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby and practice evaluating literary elements such as plot, character, setting, and conflict. Throughout the course, students employ vocabulary strategies to improve their reading comprehension, study elements of grammar, and study and practice characteristics of good writing.
In Part 2 of this course, students study various forms of literature, including the short story, drama, and the novel. The wide selection of reading includes works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Henrik Ibsen, and Mary Shelley. Throughout the course, students read, evaluate, and respond to these works of literature.
A second focus of this course is to teach students about the elements and etiquette of a group discussion. Students begin by learning how to prepare and participate in a group discussion, and then learn how to consider and respond to diverse perspectives. Through this process, students learn how to work collaboratively and thoughtfully with other people.
Finally, students practice the writing process as they write a descriptive essay. Students choose a subject, create an outline, write a draft, and revise and edit their work to create a polished final draft for submission. By learning and practicing these steps of the writing process, students continue to build the necessary skills to write polished texts.

Additional information





Two parts