Language Arts 11 - American Literature

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On this page you will find daily information about what went on in class, and if you were absent you can copy down any new assignements and due dates.

Throughout the school year, students will study American Literature thematically. I feel that this approach, versus the traditional chronological approach, will allow students to better connect literature from the different time periods and literary movements with a common theme. Students will be expected to respond to the readings with different forms of writing assignments, in class activities, and several methods of assessment including (but not limited to) quizzes, choice papers, skits, and collages. Skills that will be focused on include the writing process and effective reading strategies.

Some units that we may cover include:

"Patriotism" - This unit will kick off the school year. This unit will take six weeks. This unit will encourage them to define for themselves what an "American" is, and will fost an appreciation for different viewpoints. Students will be exposed to workds that praise America and it's inhabitants, and some that question it. Students will be asked to analyze and form opinions about writings that present ideas of what it is to "be an American."

"Mysteriousness" - This unit will explore the unexplainably strange topics and focuses of American authors. Students will gain an understanding of the motivations of the authors, and the techniques and elements authors use to heighten the suspense and strangeness in their writings. Students will be asked to analyze and form opinions about writings that present mysterious ideas and circumstances.

"Freedom and Oppression" - During this unit, students will be exposed to works that present ideas on different types of oppressions (self/mental, social, racial, etc), and works that expound on the ideals of freedom, question the definition of freedom, or celebrate being free. Students will be asked to analyze and form opinons about writings that challenge the idea that America is truly "home of the free."

 "The American Dream" - This unit will explore the concept of the American Dream. Students will be exposed to works that celebrate the American Dream, and works that dispell the dream as nothing more than a deceptive illusion.  Students will be asked to decide for themselves whether the American Dream exists, or if it really is just a hollow fantasy.

"The Journey" - During this unit, students will discover journeys that American authors have made, physically and mentally. Students will become familiar with different literary techniques designed to motivate readers, add tension to situations, and ways to create suspense in a writing. Students will be asked to analyze and form opinions about different types of journeys.

"Society Vs. The Individual" - This unit will highlight how societal pressures affect individuals, and how individuals deal with their "assigned place" in society. The works will also explore the positives and negatives in American society. By the end of this unit, students will understand their roles in the bigger picture and will be able to make informed decision about their actions as an individual and as part of a society. 

"Love and Loss" - Students will be exposed to different situations of love, loss, or both. Students will also discover their own definitions of love, and whether it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Students will also decide for themselves what constitutes "true love."