American Literature A

Why This Class

Nothing shapes your student’s character like a great story. America has produced some of the world’s best storytellers—and you want your student to absorb the messages they shared. This course helps by exposing your student to the most influential works of early American literature.

With the guidance of a mentor, students in this course uncover the lessons and themes of the Colonial, Revolutionary, Romantic, Transcendental, and Realism genres of American writing. In the process, they get inside the hearts and minds of both authors and characters and debate the same issues they faced in dynamic class discussions. Students also hone their writing and reasoning skills as they develop thesis statements and identify elements such as setting and author-intent in literary analyses and persuasive essays.

By completing this course, students gain awareness of the power of story to shape both human lives and America itself. They feel inspired to follow the role models they discover in their readings and become more confident in their writing and storytelling skills.

Overarching Questions

Why should I study American literature?

Who were the prominent authors in early American literature?

What can I learn from American literature about America, humanity, and myself?

How does an author’s life influence their writings?

Reading List

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

Course Details

Recommended Grade: 10th (Sophomore)

Prerequisites: None

Estimated Weekly Hours: 5 (Classic), 7 (Honors)

Format: Live, self-paced

Credits: 0.5

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Please note that program and course descriptions, as well as reading and materials lists, are subject to change as we continuously improve our curriculum throughout the year. Book and materials lists for the upcoming school year are published in SIS mid to late June. Some courses require subscriptions e.g., Adobe software or online magazines that may not be covered by partner schools.