American Literature

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Teacher: Katherine Rumbaugh
Date/Time: Wednesday - 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Recommended Grades: 10th, 11th, 12th
Department: Language Arts
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th)
Maximum Enrollment: 20

The study of American Literature hinges on the historical framework of the United States. Thus, we will study works in their historical and philosophical context; in addition, contemporary works will be paired with some older pieces to increase the accessibility of literature written early in our history.  We will explore them using a variety of tools to enhance close reading skills.

The literature we will read includes authors from each major literary period including, but not limited to, Jonathan Edwards, Anne Bradstreet, William Bradford, Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Langston Hughes, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Flannery O’Connor, Kurt Vonnegut, and Joyce Carol Oates.

Students will demonstrate their interpretations through class discussions and critical analyses. The mechanics of putting together a thoughtful and well-written paper will be broken into clear steps to demythologize the writing process. Also, students will complete creative writing assignments.  Last but not least, students will give presentations on various poems and short stories.

The textbook used is Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience (1989). The students may borrow a textbook for the year from the teacher on a first-come, first-serve basis; there will be a refundable deposit of $25. In addition, we will read seminal works such as "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave," "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Great Gatsby," and "A Separate Peace."  (These works are subject to change.)  Students are responsible for obtaining copies of these works. Finally, there will be several works that will need to be printed out, read, and brought to class for discussion.

Tuition: The fee is $80/month for nine months (September-May).   There is also a one-time materials fee of $35: These fees cover not only tuition but also a portion of materials we will use in class and a monthly administrative fees paid to MAS. The one-time materials fee is due the first day of class.  Tuition is due the first Wednesday of the month so that the other fees may be paid on time.  All checks should be made out to "Schooling by Design."