American Literature

English III

Course syllabus '99/'00

(all dates and titles are tentative and subject to change without notice or apologies)

Unit 1: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness - The American Dream
    Novel:Follow the River by James Alexander Thom (pre revolution - during the time of the French & Indian War
    Declaration of Independence (as eloquent writing / the importance of style
        Choral reading -- Great American Speeches: Chief Joseph, Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
                Martin Luther King Jr.
    Artists:Albert BierstadtGeorge Caleb Bingham
    Music: Aaron Copland
    Writing focus: Responding to ideas--vivid vocabulary, strong sentences and the effective paragraph

Unit 2: Individualism in American Society Choices! Whose life is this anyway?
    Readings: Emerson "Self-Reliance" and Thoreau "Walden"
    Music: Different Drum by Linda Ronstadt, Who You Are by Pearl Jam
    Poetry: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
    Writing focus: The Multiparagraph Essay

Unit 3: The Native American and Genocide (Remembering who was here first)
    Film: Dances with Wolves
    Novel: Black Elk Speaks (selected chapters)
    Writing focus: Point of View, journals, effective paragraphs
    Artists: George Catlin and Karl Bodmer
    Music: Theme music from the film

Unit 4: Realism and the Frontier through the short story and poetry
    Twain's World: The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain
    Companion author: Bret Harte: Luck of Roaring Camp and Outcasts of Poker Flat
    Jack London: Short stories:To Build a Fire, One Thousand Dozen
    Women of the West: the journal as historical documentation
     Opal: Journal of an Understanding Heart adapted by Jane Boulton

    Subunit: Immigration and the American Dream: geting here and making it work
        Short Story: Willa Cather: Wagner Matine
        Film: O Pioneers! from the story by Willa Cather
        Poetry: Edgar Lee Masters:Spoon River Anthology
        Writing focus: The Epitaph (capturing the essence of a person's life.)
        Music: Sons of the Pioneers and excerpts from Wagner
        Writing focus: poetry as essence

Unit 5: The Junior Project: (getting ready for the big one) Decade Projects
    Research - Locating Information (exploring for answers to questions vs. reporting facts)
    Conducting the interview
    Writing responsibly/The research paper format
    Time management
    The oral presentation
    Presentation technology: Power Point

Second Semester English III

Unit 6: The Jazz Age America during the Roaring Twenties
    Novel: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Harlem Renaissance: Poetry of Langston Hughes
    Music: Jazz in America and the history of the Blues
    Art: modernists, Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keefe
    Writing focus: characterization

Unit7: The Importance of Place
    Novel: Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
    Short Stories of California by Gerald Haslam
    New England poetry of Robert Frost
    Country and folk Music /The Lonesome Road;
            songs of the"rugged"individual, Woody Guthrie
    Artists: the regionalists: Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry
    Writing focus: writing about a place

 Unit 8: The Power of People - (the Great Depression, the Labor Movement, and Civil Rights)
Ordinary people doing the right thing.
    Film: Matewan(The Labor Movement)
    Drama: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
    Films (excerpts): Separate but Equal,
            Mississippi Burning,
            A Time to Kill
    Artists: William H. Johnson and Horace Pippin
    Music: Protest songs of the 30's, 40's 60's, 70's;
            Guthrie, Ledbetter, Seeger
    Writing focus: The Controversial Issue
    Novel: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

Unit 9: America in War
Poetry of War and Peace
    Small reading groups. Student choices of the following
            Civil War: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
            WWI: A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemmingway
            WWII: Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
            Viet Nam: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
                            Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
                            If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box me up and Ship me home. by Tim O'Brien
    Artists: Civil War: Winslow Homer,
            WWII: Norman Rockwell ,
            Vietnam: Maya Ying Lin
    Writing focus: Letters home, letters at the Wall
    Music: Canteen songs of the 40'sto DMZ Rock and Roll

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