This course is for both aspiring writers AND those who would consider themselves non-writers. Whatever the student’s level of inspiration or ability, this course will push all students to grow in skill and creativity. During this 15 week course, students will explore the world of blogging, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and playwriting. Pupils begin the study by delving into the exciting blogosphere, an emerging and relevant form of modern writing. Students will create their own themed blog within the class’ private LMS. For the remainder of the course, students will study classic and modern examples of short story, poetry, and non-fiction. The semester concludes with a quick study of playwriting.
This is, however, NOT a dry class! Students have fun in this challenging and fast-paced course because the works are relevant and interesting! Students will begin with the works of several Puritan authors including Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards, recognizing the Puritan roots of this country. Students will then follow American history through the Enlightenment and colonial periods in Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. He is an exceedingly interesting and compelling individual. Romantic (and not the kiss-kiss-hug-hug type of romance) writers Nathaniel Hawthorne’s and Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories mark the beginning of a truly unique national literature, and students will come to recognize the dark romance as a distinct genre. The poetry of Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow rounds out the Romantic era. The fall semester ends with the hilarious short stories of Mark Twain. Over the break students will read Twelve Years a Slave, a moving and gripping account of a man held prisoner as a slave, but no other homework will be assigned. In the spring semester, students begin with the haunting Civil War tale The Red Badge of Courage, a masterpiece of naturalist fiction by Stephen Crane before move rapidly into the 20th century. The poetry of Robert Frost introduces students into the modern era and is followed by writers of the Lost Generation. Students will learn to discern elements of post-modern fiction from a variety of perspectives. The Great Gatsby displays the fruitlessness and hopelessness of the flappers yet provides some moral lessons; Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea offers a lesson in perseverance. John Steinbeck’s novella The Pearl causes pupils to question the American dream, corruption, greed, and love of family. The short stories of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, O. Henry, and Eudora Welty are always favorites of the pupils. Students finish the semester with the hilarious American play Arsenic and Old Lace.
Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. Foreword by Shawn Rosenheim. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
A convenient introduction, featuring a brief biography, an analysis of his works in various genres, and handy orienting tools—a Poe dictionary and a listing of people and places in Poe’s works.
High school literature adventures begin in this genre-driven course that immerses students in the study of elements of the short story, poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction. With extensive study of literary devices, students will gain confidence in academic discourse and analysis utilizing responsible writing practices that will prepare students for successful high school English mastery. Through rich literary discussion, students will discover a treasury of truth in the words of well-known and well-loved literature. The course includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, and composition.
When Martha first began teaching American literature, she found so much conflicting information about Edgar Allan Poe that she became confused about what to teach her students.