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American Literature: Sailors, Poets, Farmers Part 1

American Literature: Sailors, Poets, Farmers Part 1
This class is currently archived, but if you're interested in it being taught again, you can express your interest here!
08/22/2022 - 12/16/2022
Fall Semester
0.5 credits in Humanities & Electives
Grades 10-12

Taught by:

About the course

Note: This is Part 1 of a year-long course. You can register for Part 2 here.

Coursework will involve close reading and discussion of chronological selections from American works, including novels, poems, and short stories. Students will be assigned a weekly pre-recorded lecture or video, required reading, and relevant reading questions for class discussion. Class discussion will also include a brief grammar review. One essay is assigned per quarter. Grades are given for first and final drafts and require one teacher conference per essay.

By the time the student completes this course, they will be able to analyze literary devices and techniques and communicate how they contribute to the overall meaning of the work. The goals of the course are to develop increasingly independent readers with apt strategies for reading various texts and to develop competent, persuasive writers.

Course Objectives:

  1. Consider each work’s structure, style, theme, and purpose.
  2. Recognize the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.
  3. Move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry, drafting, revising, editing, and review.
  4. Learn the revision process using peer review and teacher conferences.
  5. Implement clear organization and development, as well as clear and varied sentence structure, in both informal and formal writing.
  6. Demonstrate ability to cite primary sources using MLA documentation standards.


  • Poems by Phillis Wheatley
  • Typee excerpt and Billy Budd, Herman Melville
  • Short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Poems by Longfellow, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth
  • Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

Course Files

About the teacher

Ryan Griffiths Ryan Griffiths lives in Taylorville, Illinois and has a Master's degree in English from the University of Illinois. He has taught composition and critical reading to college freshmen, and enjoys English literature, creative writing, and film.