Mrs. HASH                         AVID*American Literature*English Language Arts 















Honors American Literature ‘07-‘08 



Teachers: Mrs. Noyes/Mrs. Hash         

Tutoring/Conference Hours: Monday 2:45-4:00

 SAT Preparation: Tuesday 2:45-4:00  

Room:  A2                    

 Contact Information: (619) 283-1297 ext. 22       

 Textbooks*:  The Language of Literature

 Required Reading:

American Literature- McDougal-Littel

  F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

Ernesto Quinones Bodega Dreams

   Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston/J. Houston  

 Farewell to Manzar

*Various other readings and films



Course Objective:  We will focus on a variety of genres to develop skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and interpretation through in-depth study of American literature and through researching informational materials while asking the following essential questions: 


Ø      How does America’s history contribute to its literature? (Political, historical, cultural, economic, ethical, & religious.)

Ø      How do the stylistic techniques/organizational structure used by the author convey the meaning of the work of literature?

Ø      How is the American character developed?


You will obtain a deeper appreciation of language and literature, a broader understanding of the humanities, and an expanded cultural literacy.


Attendance:  Attendance is vital to the learning process; therefore, please be here and be present.  According to school policy, any student with more than 5 absences will receive a failing grade for that grading period.  I will adhere to this policy.  Excused and/or unexcused absences must be made up no later than 1 week after the absence.


Give Your Best:  I will work hard to make this course interesting and rewarding; however, I can not do it alone.  I expect you to submit your best work and present your best self.  Make the commitment to turn in neatly prepared and edited assignments on time.  If you are having difficulty in class, please see me during the above tutoring/conferencing times after school.  Your success in this class depends largely on your effort.






Vocabulary Development:  Words of the week quizzes will be given regularly. 


Reading and Analyzing Text:  We will read and analyze various non-fiction and fiction text and text structures by American authors.  Poetry, periodicals, plays, photo images, film, novels, and short stories will be explored.  We will discuss the historical, social, economic and political perspectives.  We will study the following literary movements:


Ø      Native American Literature

Ø      Historical Narratives

Ø      The Puritan Tradition

Ø      The Revolutionary Period (Political Theory)

Ø      Transcendentalism

Ø      Romanticism

Ø      Individualism

Ø      Realism

Ø      Industrialism

Ø      Modernism

Ø      Contemporary (Global, Civil, Personal Unrest Redefining America)

Ø      Current Perspectives



Journal Assignments (50 Points): You will keep a dialectical journal on 5 novels over the course of the year.  A dialectical journal is similar to a diary.  Only you will explore your feelings about and reactions to the self-selected novels from the book list provided.  You will make 10 journal entries. (See attached).  In addition to the 10 journal entries, your journal must include the following:


Title page:  Setting Map; Author’s Name, Genre; Literary Movement with Explanation; Character List; Theme; Brief Plot Summary; and Table of Contents; Theme-Centered Illustrations; 2 Current Events that relate to the theme; an analytical discussion of the rhetorical devices used to express the theme.


Response Papers (25 Points Each):  Each Monday, you will submit a 1-2 page typed response paper addressing the week’s reading.  The response paper is a creation of your own:  it can represent your view of the reading in summary. You will be discussing the reading on three levels. 


This is not a summary of the reading.  This is your reaction to the author and what you have read.  I want to hear your voice.  What you have brought to this piece, or what this piece has brought out of you.  If you miss one response paper, your grade in this area, will be reduced by one whole letter (A to B, etc.)  Late response papers will not be accepted.


Rhetorical Précis: You will become familiar with the term and write accordingly.





Discussions and classroom participation: Participation in discussions and mini-presentations, and formal presentations are vital to making the literature relevant and understandable.  In order to make class discussions richer, you must keep up with the reading assignments and avoid being absent the day of discussions/presentations.  Every Friday we will discuss the literature from the week. 



Theme Study:  Part of this class will focus on particular themes shared by texts. Complete your own investigation into a selected theme using texts you have chosen. You may also incorporate texts studied in class. Overall you will read eight texts, including at least four written texts (2 novels, 2 other), two visual texts, and two oral texts. You will complete log entries on each text, write a report on your findings making connections between texts and evaluating your theme investigation. You will complete reading and log entries in class and at home. This report will be completed outside of class.

Choose, from the attached list, an author to read independently.  Choose an author from the time period or literary movements above.  Study must include historical perspective, social perspective, economic component, and political component. 



Reflective Response to Expository Literature

Literary Analysis/Response to Literature

Historical Investigation Report

Timed Writing

Oral Response to Literature (Speech)

Oral Report: Historical Investigation

Historical Debate



NOTE:  All writing activities, reading assignments, class discussions, and lectures will assist in your understanding and completion of the competencies.  The more assignments you complete, the more competent you become. Plagiarism of any assignment will be detrimental to your college aspirations.


Term 1


Points Earned

Semester 1- (Description/Narration/C&C)



Paper 1: Comparison/Contrast Timed Writing Essay

100 points


Power Point Presentation (Immigration) 

100 points


Literary Movements Test

 50 points


Syllabus Exam

50 points


Response papers: 4 papers, 25 points each

100 points


Journal assignment*

50 points


Quarter total:

450 points


Semester 2- (Definition/Classification/Example)



Paper 2: Literary analysis on a theme

100 points


Literary Devices Project

50 points


Persuasive Speech (Eyewitness Report)

100 points


Response papers: 4 papers, 25 points each

100 points


Journal assignment*

50 points


Quarter total:

400 points


Semester Final Exam:

150 points


Term 1 total:

1,000 points































Honors American Literature Grading Table

Term 2


Points Earned

Semester 3- (Cause and Effect)



Historical Investigation Report

100 points


Oral Speech on oral traditions

100 points


Rhetorical Structures Test 

50 points


Response papers: 4 papers, 25 points each

100 points


Journal assignment*

 50 points


Quarter total:

 400 points


Semester 4- (Assertion/Justification)



Two authors treatment of theme Pers. Timed Writing

 100 points


Debate/Socratic Seminar 

50 points


Poetry Project

 100 points


Response papers: 4 papers, 25 points each

100 points


Journal assignment*

 50 points


Quarter total:

 400 points


Semester Final Exam:

200 points


Term 2 total:

 1,000 points



*Self directed theme study. See attached book list for recommendations




Ain’t I a Woman?

Sojourner Truth

Killers of the Dream

Lillian Smith

Strange Fruit

Lillian Smith

The Bean Trees

Barbara Kingsolver

The Lovely Bones

Alice Seabold

The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

A Lesson Before Dying

Ernest Gaines

How to Read a Book

Charles Van Doren

And Still We Rise:  The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-City High School /Students

Miles Corwin

A Walk to Remember

Nicholas Sparks

The Last Angry Man

Gerald Green

The Blackboard Jungle

Evan Hunter

The Jungle

Upton Sinclair

The Chosen

Chaim Potok

The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath

Burry My Heart At Wounded Knee

Dee Brown

Into Thin Air

John Krakauer

Into the Wild

John Krakauer

Nine Stories

J.D. Salinger

Franny and Zooey

J.D. Salinger

Invisible Man

Ralph Ellison

The Gangster We Are All Looking For

Le Thi Diem Thuy

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents

Julia Alvarez

The Salt Eaters

Toni Cade Bambara

Catch 22

Joseph Heller

Song of Myself (Complete)

Walt Whitman

A Walk in the Woods

Bill Bryson

In Cuba I was a German Shepherd

Ana Menendez

Go Tell It on the Mountain

James Baldwin

Gorillas in the Mist

Dian Fossey


E. L. Doctorow

She’s Come Undone


Ashes of Roses

Mary Jane Auch

An American Tragedy

Theodore Dreiser

Silent Spring

Rachel Carson

Holler if You Hear Me:  Search for Tupac Shakur

Michael Eric Dyson

The Perfect Storm

Sebastian Junger

Profiles in Courage

John F. Kennedy

Stoner & Spaz

Ron Koertge

Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell

God Don’t Like Ugly

Mary Monroe

Bad Boy

Walter Dean Myers

Cuba 15

Violet Paz

Nothing is Impossible:  Reflection on a New Life

Christopher Reeve

Almost a Woman

Esmeralda Santiago


Alice Sebold

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Betty Smith

Johnny Got His Gun

Dalton Trumbo

Black Elk Speaks

Black Elk

Cannery Row

John Steinbeck

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ernest Hemingway

The Waste Land

T. S. Eliot


Henry David Thoreau

Nature (selections)

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I Lay Dying

William Faulkner

 Moby Dick; Billy Budd

Herman Melville

Poor Richard’s Almanack

Benjamin Franklin

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Edgar Allan Poe

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe

On the Road

Jack Keroac

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave, Written by Himself 

Frederick Douglas

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Malcolm X


Sandra Cisneros

The Joy Luck Club

Amy Tan

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Mark Haddon

Novio Boy:  A Play

Gary Soto

A Place to Stand

Jimmy Santiago Baca

Last Days of Summer

Steve Kugler

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston

Breakfast of Champions

Kurt Vonnegut


August Wilson

Selected Poetry

Nikki Giovanni

How to be a Chicana Role Model

Michele Serros


Danzy Senna

Monkey King

Patricia Chao  (Dark side of society

When I Was Puerto Rican

Esmeralda Santiago

The Woman Warrior

Maxine Hong Kingston


Ha Jin

In My Father’s House

Ernest Gaines

The Scarlett Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Rule of the Bone

Russell Banks

My Antonia

Willa Cather