American Literature (Grades 9-12) Self Paced

American Literature (Grades 9-12) Self Paced

Instructor: Dahlen

Length: 18 Weeks

Grades: 9-12


American Literature 


Brandy Dahlen, MPhil University of Cambridge 2001

I have a master's degree in history from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and I love teaching history, literature, research, and writing!  I have been teaching history, writing, research, and literature courses, as well as ACT prep, for elementary, middle, high school, and university students for 17 years, with the last 7 years online.

Course Overview:

This full year course will explore American Literature.  We will begin with early, colonial pieces, and trace the development of this literature into the 20th century.  This course will explore the historical context for each piece within the US, as well as the literary features of the writings.  We will read a variety of genres of writing from the most significant American writers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  Our focus each week will be a particular author or piece as representative of each greater literary movement.  Students will be expected to read outside of class and come to class prepared to discuss their reading.  There will be writing assignments each week that students can submit for additional feedback and assessment.  This class is perfect for literary lovers, history lovers, or anyone just curious about American history and literary culture.


1.        Reading responses-Each week you will be responsible for reading all assigned material.  You will be expected to write a reading response for each of your readings.  These reading responses should be 1-2 pages on the background material for each time period in history and the important elements of the work.  You should be building a timeline of major pieces of literature across geographical boundaries.


2.        Presentations-You will be assigned brief presentations for each semester.  These presentations will involve researching the biographical information for significant authors and key information for major pieces we will study in class. 


3.       Papers-you will be expected to write short and longer papers,literary analyses of the pieces you are reading for class.  


4.       In class videos, we will spend much time discussing our reading, putting themes in their historical context and asking questions about the author’s and our own worldviews. 


5.       If at any point in this course you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  I am ready and available if you need my assistance at any point.

Course topics:

Week 1-Literary analysis terms–setting, theme, characterization

Week 2-Continue of review and context for American literature

Week 3-Colonial Era--Rowlandson and Wheatley

Week 4- Early American literature--Irving and Franklin

Week 5- American Gothic--Poe

Week 6- Romanticism-Hawthorne

Week 7- Melville

Week 8- Poetry--Whitman and Dickinson

Week 9-  Transcendentalism--Emerson and Thoreau

Week 10-  Realism--Twain

Week 11-Naturalism--London

Week 12-Modernism--Pound, Williams, Eliot

Week 13- Golden Age--Fitzgerald

Week 14- Harlem Renaissance--Hughes, Hurston

Week 15-Depression--Steinbeck, Faulkner

Week 16-War and Post War-Hemmingway

Week 17- Cold War--Miller

Week 18- Civil Rights--Ellison

reward points