Section

  • American Literature


    American Literature

    American Literature is a literature-based course which is generally engaged in the third year of the secondary school. The content of American Literature encompasses a historical examination in chronological order of American literature.  This includes the study of journals, personal narratives, documents, speeches, short stories, plays, poetry, and novels.

                    Students will be studying the changes and progression of the literature genre throughout the historical context of the USA. In order to prepare students adequately for college-level writing and speaking skills, many specific writing and speaking outcomes (mainly in a formal tone) in various genres will be developed and assessed.

    Teacher Contact Information

    Sarah Koegler-Clarke

    Room: 215

    Email: Sarah-KoeglerClarke@shenzhen.qsi.org

    Office Hours: Monday 4:10-4:30 or by appointment (see Making Appointments in the course syllabus for details)


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  • 1

    Emergency Lessons/Unit
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    Lessons and/or units that can be used in the event of a teacher emergency. 

    THIS IS NOT FOR RED RAIN DAYS or SUBSTITUTES! On the event of Red Days or Substitutes, please continue to refer to the Daily Lesson Plans in the current unit. For Red Rain Days, the daily lesson will also be posted in the Course Announcements; please be sure that your email has been linked to Moodle and that you check it regularly.

    • 2

      E07/E08 -Contemporary Literature In-depth Study Project
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      E07 - In Depth Study: American Author or Work

      Unit Statement: In this unit, the student will conduct a formal research process and produce an essay that focuses on one widely recognized American author/poet/playwright, one American literary work or collection of work. “American” can be considered as works from North American writers that are written in or translated into English.  The final research product should aim to produce a detailed literary analysis that is based on both the student’s own literary analysis and calls on outside sources (i.e. other published literary criticism, historical sources, and biographical sources).  As a research project, the student will demonstrate accurate research, citation, and presentation skills.

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1. The Student Will independently determine the focus of his/her own literary analysis in a work of recognized literary merit (or a substantial collection of poetry or short stories) See the suggested assessments below for suggestions on how to focus this outcome and the related research-based analysis.
      2. TSW create a thesis that is arguable and is supported by relevant research and literary analysis that is strengthened with outside sources.
      3. TSW integrate formal citation of sources into his/her research paper (in-text citations and Works Cited), judge reliable sources, and correctly use MLA format in citations and page formatting.
      4. TSW present findings that show an adequate breadth and depth of focused literary analysis research in a form of an essay, applying the 6+1 writing traits and the writing process.
      5. TSW present a formal informational speech of the research findings and conclusions of the research process to an audience.

      E08 - Contemporary Literature: Modern American Drama, Responces to War, Civil Rights Literature

      Unit Statement: What is an American Dream? When is silence louder than words? How do you affirm life? How does the past affect the present? In this unit, students will have the opportunity to [explore the views and beliefs of contemporary writers] of American literature as they read and analyze literature written in the period following WWII and continuing to today.   

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1. The Student Will explain the development of values and beliefs in Contemporary fiction/drama/poetry with references to the text and/or the historical context of the text.
      2. TSW discuss the emerging voices of American immigrants, women writers, and other growing subsets of American culture.
      3. TSW critique the personal voice of Contemporary writers and how it contributes to defining the concept of the “American Dream”.
      4. TSW analyze the borrowings of Contemporary writers from other literary periods (forms, themes, allusion, characters, etc.).
      5.  TSW explain the influence of culture, language, and/or the immigrant experience in Contemporary literature.
      • Not completed: Choice of Literature
      •  Reading Journal #1 - 1/5 of the Literature Assignment
        Not completed: Reading Journal #1 - 1/5 of the Literature
        Not available unless: The activity Choice of Literature is complete and passed
      •  Reading Journal #2 - 2/5th of Literature Assignment
        Not completed: Reading Journal #2 - 2/5th of Literature
        Not available unless: The activity Reading Journal #1 - 1/5 of the Literature is complete and passed
      •  Reading Journal #3 - 3/5ths of Literature Assignment
        Not completed: Reading Journal #3 - 3/5ths of Literature
        Not available unless: The activity Reading Journal #2 - 2/5th of Literature is complete and passed
      •  Reading Journal #4 - 4/5ths of Literature Assignment
        Not completed: Reading Journal #4 - 4/5ths of Literature
        Not available unless: The activity Reading Journal #3 - 3/5ths of Literature is complete and passed
      •  Reading Journals #5 - 5/5ths of Literature Assignment
        Not completed: Reading Journals #5 - 5/5ths of Literature
        Not available unless: The activity Reading Journal #4 - 4/5ths of Literature is complete and passed
      •  Research & Thesis Assignment
        Not completed: Research & Thesis
        Not available unless: The activity Reading Journals #5 - 5/5ths of Literature is complete and passed
      • Not completed: Literary Research Essay Final
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      E01 - Early American Writing
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      Unit Statement: Who owns the land? Who has the right to rule? In this unit, the student will analyze literature of the period from various cultural, religious, and historical backgrounds.  The student will read selections and examine cultural and oral traditions from Native American oral tradition, translations of journals from Spanish Explorers, literature of early settlers in North America, and Puritan texts. 

       

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

       1.      The Student Will infer cultural values in Native American origin myths based on the content, plot structure, and/or themes of the myths.

       2.      TSW examine cultural perspectives and the biases and motivations of the early explorers or settlers through journals, narratives, and/or historical documents.

       3.      TSW explain elements of the Puritan plain style, the Puritan belief system and its influence on Puritan society.

       4.      TSW compare and contrast origin myths, using his or her own culture as one point for comparison and contrast.

       5.      TSW analyze the purpose and cultural and historical value of journal writing.

       6.      TSW critique the effectiveness of persuasive elements used in Puritan sermons and/or the relationship between these elements and Puritan beliefs.


      • Not completed: Literary Assessment: Puritan Writing
      •  Mastery UPGRADE - Puritan Writing Open Book Test Assignment
        Not available unless: The activity Literary Assessment: Puritan Writing is complete and failed
      •  BEYOND MASTERY UPGRADE - Puritan Writing Open Book Test Assignment
        Not completed: BEYOND MASTERY UPGRADE - Puritan Writing Open Book Test
        Not available unless: The activity Literary Assessment: Puritan Writing is complete and passed
      • Not completed: World Creation Myths Assignment
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      E02 - The Age of Reason
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      Unit StatementWhen is it time to take action? When is rebellion justified? In this unit, the student will analyze literature of the period from a historical perspective, examining the reasons for the ensuing crisis of the American Revolutionary War, and tracing the use of rhetorical devices in politics of the time. The student will read selections from various types of literary nonfiction, such as biographies, letters, speeches and documents.

       

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1.  The Student Will describe the beliefs and values of the Age of Reason/the Enlightenment, making comparisons to the values of the Puritans.
      2. TSW determine the connection between the author’s perspective/bias/beliefs and the beliefs and values of the Age of Reason/the Enlightenment.
      3. TSW examine persuasive techniques and rhetorical devices, such as the use of parallelism, connotation, and appeals to logic/reason used in oratory.
      4. TSW develop a personal position in a formal essay on one of the issues raised in the readings applying the 6+1 writing traits.
      5. TSW present a persuasive argument as a formal speech, demonstrating effective speaking skills as well as the effective use of rhetorical strategies.
      6. TSW assess the meaning and use of historical and modern-day aphorisms in their cultural and social context.
      7. TSW compare present-day aphorisms or aphorisms/proverbs from other cultures and assess their role in society.
      • Completed: Persuasive Rhetoric Terms
      • Completed: Speech in the Virginia Convention - "Give me Liberty or Give Me Death" - Patrick Henry
      • Completed: Thomas Paine - "The Crisis"
      • Not completed: E02 - Literature Circles
      • Not completed: Revolutionary Literature Circle Reflection
      • Not completed: Independance Shape Poem Assignment
      • Not completed: Shape Poetry - Personal Response
      • Not completed: Persuasive Creation
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      E03 - American Romanticism
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      Unit Statement: Where do people look for truth? When is it time to move on? What can nature teach us? What is your motto? What gives life a purpose? In this unit, the student will analyze literature of the period from a historical and ideological perspective, analyzing the shift in values and beliefs away from the Age of Reason and towards Romanticism. The student will read short stories and poetry of Romanticism and essays of Transcendentalism.

       Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1.  The Student Will make comparisons of Transcendentalist values to the values of the Romantics.
      2.  TSW analyze the major arguments of transcendentalist essays.
      3.  TSW compare the treatment and presentation of Romantic ideals in different texts in a form of an essay applying the 6+1 traits.
      4.  TSW analyze the use of literary devices in Romantic fiction (i.e. metaphor, imagery, characterization, plot, situational irony, personification, simile, paradox).
      5.  TSW identify the author’s purpose in three or more works.
      6.  TSW apply the universality of the aphorisms in transcendental works to the present day or to other periods of literature/history.
      7.  TSW identify the structural devices of romantic poetry (i.e. verse, rhyme scheme, rhythm, meter, poetic form type, stanza) 
      • Not completed: E03 - Romanticism Lit Circles
      • Not completed: E03 - Transantentalism
    • 6

      E04 - Gothic Literature - The Dark Side of Individualism
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      Unit Statement: How do people handle loss? Does everyone have a “dark side”? Where does terror begin? In this unit, the student will analyze American Gothic literature of the period from a historical and ideological perspective, analyzing the genre as a reaction against the American Transcendental movement and as part of the larger Romantic period. 

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1.  The Student Will compare and contrast the values and beliefs of Gothic writers to the values of the Romantics and the Transcendentalists.
      2. TSW discuss the themes presented in Gothic literature through the use of literary devices (i.e. allegory, repetition, mood, imagery, foreshadowing, characterization, flashback, situational irony, dramatic irony).
      3. TSW analyze literary devices (i.e. plot structure, characterization, situational and/or dramatic irony, foreshadowing, flashback, allegory, repetition, mood, imagery) employed in Gothic works of short fiction.
      4. TSW compare and contrast the elements of Gothic ideology in Poe’s short stories and poems, making reference to specific literary devices used.
      5. TSW examine how the poet’s choice of poetic form conveys meaning or theme by identifying the structural devices of Gothic poetry (i.e. verse, rhyme scheme, rhythm, meter, poetic form type, and stanza).
      6. TSW interpret the double meanings given to the allegory’s characters, objects, and events to help determine a moral lesson or theme.
      •  MASTERY UPGRADE - Gothic Poetry Assignment
        Not completed: MASTERY UPGRADE - Gothic Poetry
        Not available unless: The activity In-Class Assessment - The Raven is complete and failed
      •  BEYOND MASTERY UPGRADE - Gothic Poetry Assignment
        Not completed: BEYOND MASTERY UPGRADE - Gothic Poetry
        Not available unless: The activity In-Class Assessment - The Raven is complete and passed
      • Not completed: Elements of the Gothic Movement
    • 7

      E05 - Age of Transition - Realism
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      Unit Statement: What divides a nation? Is anything worth dying for? Why do people break rules? How important is it to face reality? Does the universe care? How are women’s roles changing? In this unit, the student will analyze literature of the period from a historical and ideological perspective, seeing the impact of the Civil War through various literary pieces.  Alongside these, the student will encounter the introduction of Realism, with the two subsets of Naturalism and Regionalism, to American short stories, memoirs, and folk tales. 

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1. The Student Will identify the major causes of the Civil War and the outcome of the war, applying this understanding to the themes and language used in Realistic and Naturalistic literature.
      2. TSW describe the beliefs and values of the Realist writers and the subsequent Naturalistic writers by identifying and analyzing textual evidence.
      3. TSW interpret the use of literary devices in each of the 3 major movements: Realism, Naturalism, and Regionalism (point of view, order of events, characterization, setting, detail, imagery, etc.).
      4. TSW produce a formal personal narrative applying the 6+1 writing traits and the writing process.
      5. TSW examine author’s bias (objectivity vs. subjectivity) in one or more genres
      6. TSW analyze the treatment of the theme of natural and social forces in Naturalist fiction.
      • Not completed: E05 - Literature Circles
      • Not completed: Literature of the Civil War assignment
    • 8

      S02 - Southern Literature
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      Unit Statement: What defines Southern Literature? What role does society play in shaping who we are? What defines the self? How are people transformed through their relationships with others? In this unit, the student will analyze fiction from a Southern author, poet, and/or playwright and base their analysis on the social, historical, and geographical (regional) context of the American South, examining the social mores of the South and the distinct literary style used and themes explored by Southern writers.

       

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1.  The Student Will analyze the text’s various themes and the way in which they are portrayed.
      2.  TSW evaluate the various literary/rhetorical devices and the way in which they are used to portray themes.
      3. TSW examine the text (via thematic analysis, character analysis, analysis of the use of literary devices, etc.) in terms of the literary period and/or the historical/social/regional context.
      4.  TSW explain how the plot structure of a novel or play contributes to the portrayal of the themes and/or characterization.
      5.  TSW assess how the themes and characters of the Southern text apply universally to larger American society.
      • Not completed: Initial Observations
      • Not completed: Research/Analysis Notes Check
      • Not completed: Presentation - Visual
      • Not completed: Presentations
    • 9

      E06 - Changing Awareness
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      Unit Statement: Can ideals survive catastrophe? How can people honor their heritage? What drives human behavior? In this unit, the student will analyze literature of the American Modern period in various genres (fiction, poetry, and/or drama), noting the shift in values as a result of the various historical events of the first half of the 20th century, the resulting challenge to traditional forms and subjects, and the new voices that appeared in literature.

       

      Essential Outcomes:  (all must be assessed for mastery)

      1.  The Student Will examine the development of values and beliefs in Modern fiction/drama/poetry with references to the text and/or the historical context of the text.
      2.  TSW analyze experimental forms and subject matter in Modern fiction, poetry, and/or drama.
      3.  TSW trace the development of the Harlem Renaissance as both a literary and cultural movement, and its influence on the larger American Modern literary movement.
      4.  TSW respond to a piece of literature (literary analysis) in form of an essay applying the 6+1 writing traits.
      5.  TSW analyze the common themes, subject matter, and styles used by Harlem Renaissance writers, poets, and/or playwrights.
      6.  TSW assess the treatment of typical themes in Modern fiction or drama (weakening of social values, movement away from traditional religions, effect of industrialization and commercialization, etc.).

      • Not completed: War Speech Comparison Assignment
      • Not completed: The Harlem Renaissance Poets
    • 10

      S05 - Focus on American Non-Fiction
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      Unit Statement: How can nonfiction help us understand the world? How does nonfiction help us understand reality? This unit is designed to be an expanded opportunity for a student to continue to develop the skills previously mastered in the essential units and to gain an even broader and/or detailed exposure to American nonfiction. The unit can be designed to focus on a survey of pieces throughout many different literary periods, can be limited to pieces within a chosen period, or can be limited to the work of a chosen writer.

      Essential Outcomes: (all assessed for mastery)

      1. The Student Will analyze various themes, purpose, or message and the way in which they are conveyed.

      2. TSW perform an in-depth analysis on at least one piece of nonfiction, calling on specific textual evidence as support.

      3. TSW examine nonfiction (via thematic analysis, analysis of the use of literary devices, etc.) in terms of the literary period, the historical/social context, and/or the biographical context.

      4. TSW compare and contrast two or more works that convey similar themes, purposes, or messages.

      5. TSW trace a specific writer’s individual development and the influence of biographical background on the writer’s work.

      • Not completed: S05 - Topic/Author Choice
      •  S05 - Reading Journal #1 Assignment
        Not completed: S05 - Reading Journal #1
        Not available unless: The activity S05 - Topic/Author Choice is marked complete
      •  S05 - Reading Journal #2 Assignment
        Not completed: S05 - Reading Journal #2
        Not available unless: The activity S05 - Reading Journal #1 is marked complete
      • Not completed: S05 - Reading Journal #3 - OPTIONAL
      •  S05 - Compare and Contrast Final Product Assignment
        Not completed: S05 - Compare and Contrast Final Product
        Not available unless:
        • The activity S05 - Reading Journal #1 is complete and passed
        • The activity S05 - Reading Journal #2 is complete and passed