10-11 American Literature and Composition

10-11 American Literature and Composition  2019-2020

Mondays, 10:30-12:30

Instructor: Ingrid Stassi        ingridstassiatcpc@yahoo.com  or   281-240-9389

Tuition: $600 per year or 10 equal installments of $60

Supply Fee: $55 per year, due at registration

*NOTE: There is a minimum of 5 students required for this class to progress; maximum is 18.

Course Description: American Literature and Composition presents a survey in American literature, beginning with the mythology and oral tradition of Native American tribes to the present. The class explores the evolution of American literature as the native tribes encounter new world explorers when early American writings emerge. Students examine the cultural and social contexts of literature during the different literary periods while reflecting on the changing ideas through postmodernism.

Literary genres include the short story, novel, poetry, drama and non-fiction, including works by authors, such as Poe, Hawthorne, Paine, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Twain, Hemingway and many others, while recognizing their continuing significance. Students make connections between literature and the American history they have learned by studying various literary elements and techniques to promote the vital skill of critical thinking through a variety of written and spoken activities. Other concepts that students learn are:

  • Practicing research strategies to analyze and interpret literature.
  • Identifying an author’s arguments presented in fiction and non-fiction selections.
  • Identifying key ideas through the use of note-taking strategies.
  • Learning techniques for close reading, annotating and study reading.
  • Expanding vocabulary

Students also focus on the writing process as the primary tool to help them become independent writers. Students learn a step-by-step approach of building sentences into paragraphs and paragraphs into essays and research papers. Although grammar is not a focus of this class, some grammar concepts, pertaining to writing, are discussed, such as different sentence types, and how they are punctuated to add variety and interest to writing. Students apply their knowledge of sentences and paragraphs by using writing concepts in response to literature essays and research papers. Students add to their writing repertoire by writing cause and effect, process analysis and literary analysis papers. The class gains experience meeting deadlines and following instructions as they move through the literature assignments. Towards the end of the year, students practice timed essays to prepare for the SAT or other standardized testing.

Students receive one English/Language Arts credit and one writing credit for this class. Students should plan to spend 5-6 days a week on assignments.

Required Materials: 
Essentials in Writing Level 11 (workbook only options)  $32.00
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One novel selected by each student from a list provided by instructor (needed during second semester)

3-ring binder

American Literature Handbook (provided by instructor on first day of class)
Several flash drives (at least 3; this item is not optional)
A box of envelopes or plastic bags
Pens and pencils
A stapler
Word Processing program to use on home computer, such as Microsoft Word, Mac Pages, Google Docs, OpenOffice (not optional)
Adobe Acrobat (only required if using Mac Pages or Google Docs)