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Difference between revisions of "American Literature (Course) Unit 1"

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====Lesson Plans====
*[ An Exploration of ''The Crucible'' through Seventeenth-Century Portraits]
*[ Analyzing Famous Speeches as Arguments] (can be adapted for sermons and early speeches)
*[ Revolutionary Period Lessons] from Dana Huff
*[ High School (9-12) American Literature] from
===Academic Language===
===Academic Language===

Revision as of 13:56, 14 November 2013

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This page is part of the American Literature high school curriculum page. To see the entire curriculum, click here.


This page is a draft.

The information on this page may be outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete. Use this page with caution.

Unit 1: Encounters and Adventures (1607-1765)

The Colonial Period to the Stamp Act

The colonial period begins in 1607 with the founding of the Jamestown colony in Virginia and ends with the passage of the Stamp Act by the British Parliament.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Standards and I Can Statements

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

  • I can define and identify various forms of figurative language. (K)
  • I can distinguish between literal language and figurative language. (K)
  • I can recognize the difference between denotative and connotative meanings. (K)
  • I can analyze how an author's choice of specific words evokes a particular meaning or tone in a text and how using language in a new way creates an engaging overall effect. (R)
  • I can analyze how specific word choices build on one another to create a cumulative (collective) impact on the overall meaning and tone of a text. (R)

Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

  • I can identify various foundational works of American literature from different time periods. (K)
  • I can identify two or more texts from the same time period that contain similar themes or topics. (K)
  • I can analyze how authors of two or more texts from the same time period treat similar themes or topics. (R)
  • I can analyze how the point of view of an author impacts his or her approach to a theme or topic found in a particular time period. (R)

Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.

  • I can define point of view as how the author feels about the situation/topic of a text. (K)
  • I can determine an author's point of view and explain his or her purpose for writing the text. (R)
  • I can define rhetoric—a technique an author uses to persuade a reader to consider a topic from a different perspective. (K)
  • I can identify when an author uses rhetoric and analyze how the rhetoric strengthens his or her point of view or purpose. (R)
  • I can analyze how the author's style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text. (R)

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

  • I can choose a topic and identify and select the most significant and relevant information to develop and share with my audience. (S)
  • I can define common organizational/formatting structions and determine the structure or structures that will allow me to organize my complex ideas so that each new element builds on what precedes it. (R)
  • I can analyze the information; identify domain-specific vocabulary for my topic; incorporate techniques such as metaphor, simile; and organize information into broader categories using my chosen structure or structure(s). (R)
  • I can present my information maintaining an objective tone and formal style that includes an introduction that previews what is to follow, supporting details, varied transitions and syntax (to clarify and create cohesion when I move from one idea to another), and a concluding statement/section that supports the information presented. (P)

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  • I can review and/or research material(s) to be discussed and determine key points and/or central ideas. (S)
  • I can create questions and locate key textual evidence to contribute to a discussion on the given topic, text, or issue. (P)
  • I can work with peers to define the rules and roles necessary to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making. (S)
  • I come prepared with key points and textual evidence to contribute to a discussion and stimulate a thoughtful well-reasoned exchange of ideas. (S)
  • I can participate in a discussion by posing questions that connect the ideas of several speakers, responding to questions, and elaborating on my own ideas and/or the ideas of others to ensure a full range of positions on a topic or issue. (S)
  • I can propel conversations by clarifying, verifying, or challenging ideas and conclusions to promote divergent and creative perspectives. (S)
  • I can respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine when additional information or research is required. (S)

Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

  • I can identify how language functions in different contexts. (K)
  • I can analyze the context of various texts and determine how language choice affects meaning, style, and comprehension. (R)
  • I can explain that syntax refers to how words are arranged to form sentences. (K)
  • I can identify regular/normal syntax. (K)
  • I can identify irregular/varied syntax. (K)
  • I can write using varied syntax and consult references for guidance as needed. (S)
  • I can recognize that writers creatively use irregular/varied syntax to convey imagery, to create rhyme scheme, to emphasize ideas, etc. (R)

Lesson Sequence





Literary Resources

Bradstreet, Anne (1617-1672)
Selections from The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (1650)

  • "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House"
  • "A Love Letter to Her Husband"
  • "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House"
  • "To my Dear and Loving Husband"

A list of her poems, along with links to their texts, can be found here.

Rowlandson, Mary (c. 1636 - c. 1711)

  • Selections from A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings, and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682)

Edwards, Jonathan (1703-1758)

  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Bradford, William (1590-1657)

  • Selections from Of Plymouth Plantation (1620)

Taylor, Edward (1642?-1729)

  • "Huswifery"

Byrd, William (1674-1744)

  • Selections from The History of the Dividing Line (c. 1728)


  • Selections from The Iroquois Constitution

Teaching Resources

Background Reading

Especially useful chapters include chapter 2 ("White Servitude"), chapter 4 ("Black Slavery"), and chapter 7 ("The Awakeners").



Lesson Plans

Academic Language

Tier 2

  • allusion
  • analogy
  • analyze
  • anecdote
  • arguments
  • audience
  • characterization
  • chronological order
  • claim
  • collaboration
  • compare/contrast
  • connotation
  • denotation
  • description/express
  • dialogue
  • emotional appeals
  • evaluate
  • evidence
  • historical context
  • imagery
  • inference
  • interpretations
  • logical appeals
  • metaphor
  • narrative
  • pacing
  • purpose
  • reflection
  • rhetorical question
  • satire
  • summarize
  • synonyms
  • theme

Tier 3

  • alliteration
  • archetype
  • Deism
  • conceit
  • extended metaphor
  • parallelism
  • personification
  • plot line
  • Rationalism
  • syntax
  • The Great Awakening
  • tone