This year-long sequence surveys the central themes of American literature. Semester A begins with Native American stories and the colonial period, and concludes with a close look at impact of slavery on American intellectual thought. Semester B covers the Civil War years to the present. Students read a wide variety of stories, plays, essays, poems, journals and historical accounts from a variety of authors with diverse perspectives. To explore these writings, students engage in all-class discussions, conduct guided as well as research-oriented web quests, and answer questions about the readings. During first semester, students read one novel chosen from a recommended reading list, and develop a critical essay. Several times during each semester, students pull back and write a reflective essay on the themes covered. Creative writing opportunities ask students to write free verse poetry and to imagine a fictional character's journal.
Course materials: Various online websites and resources; guided web-quests; novel (TBD)
Standards met: All strands of the Minnesota Language Arts standards are addressed.
Credit: 1.0 (Semester A = 0.5 credit, Semester B = 0.5 credit.)
Honors Opportunity: Yes
Prerequisites: 10th grade Language Arts course