• Welcome to American Literature!  I am so excited to have you in my class this year!  

    Throughout the year we will be investigating American Literature from Colonial times through the present. We will be reading a variety of plays, novels, poetry, short stories and essays reflecting on the American experience.Throughout the course we will be asking ourselves, “What does it mean to be American?” and “What is the American Dream?”  and “How has the American Dream changed over time?”. We will also analyze how American literature helps to inform and shape our ideas about identity and society. 

    As we study the literature, you will continue to read literature from a variety of different lenses.  Some of these lenses include focusing on the theme, looking for the symbolic meaning in the literature, and understanding the perspective, motivation and conflict of the different characters. 


    Tentative course texts include:

    The Crucible, Miller

    The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne

    The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger

    Short Stories of Hawthorne and Poe

    The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald

    A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry

    The Glass Menagerie, Williams

    The House on Mango Street, Cisneros 

    Into the Wild, Krakauer

    Selections from Emerson and Thoreau

    Excerpts from The Woman Warrior, Kingston

    Readings from The Writers Presence

    Assorted short fiction,essays, and poetry


    In addition to reading these great pieces of literature, you will also continue to work on refining you writing, editing, and critical thinking skills.  We will be writing a variety of different essays in order to continue to hone these skills.  We will also have discussions and possibly even debate ideas about the literature that we read. 




    Rules, Regulations, Grades:


    In order to ensure each student has a successful, meaningful year, there are some ground rules to which all students must adhere:


    1.Be in class on time. 

    2.Be respectful. There will be no name-calling, put-downs, or unkind language.

    3.Be prepared. Without materials you will not be able to adequately understand information

    4.Cell phones must be put away unless you have permission to use them for an assignment.


    Your class grade is based on the total amount of points you earn during the semester.  Assessments include essays, tests, quizzes, projects, homework, class activities and class participation.


    Essays: Remember that we are building on your ability to write. Great writing is not easy and excellent writing is an art form. You must be patient with yourself as you develop your writing skills. One of the most important ways to improve your essay writing is to constantly proofread and revise, revise, revise. Unless we are writing an in-class essay, your essays must always be typed, double-spaced, in a 12-point font such as Times or Arial. As we begin essay writing, I will go more in-depth as to what I expect from you.


    Turnitin.com: Academic integrity is extremely important to your learning and your mastery of skills. Please make sure that your ideas are your own. Do not plagiarize any work and claim it as your own.  In order to ensure academic honesty, your completed essays must be submitted to Turnitin.com on the day they are due.  


    Tests: Your understanding of material will be evaluated in a variety of ways. Usually, tests offer many opportunities to demonstrate your understanding of the material. Tests often include multiple choice, matching, short answer and long answer. Tests almost always will have a writing section counting for a majority of the grade.


    Quizzes: Usually quizzes will include True or False, multiple choice, matching, and/or fill-in-the-blank. Quizzes will also often include a writing section.


    Projects: There are a variety of different assignments I will be giving you for projects. These can include Slideshow presentations, Internet research, skits, poetry writing, creating a newspaper, creating a movie, writing a song, etc. All projects will include a writing component.


    Homework and in-class Activities: You are expected to complete all homework assignments and to participate in all class activities.


    Class Participation: Credit for class participation is not simply given, it must be earned. Class participation does not only mean raising your hand to answer questions. Class participation also means that you are in class on time, respectfully listening to your peers, and thinking analytically about the work. It also means that you consistently have your materials and are focused and attentive. Infractions of these rules will result in a reduction of points in your class participation grade.