14 May 2018

American Literature and Composition

This year we used Janice Campbell's American Literature (published by IEW) for our American Literature spine.  It was perfect!  We included:

Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

There are nine modules in the book, and we opted to do six very well rather than doing all nine poorly.  Roughly, we spent 4 - 5 weeks on each book, with the exception of Moby Dick where we added a couple weeks.  For each book, we completed an author profile, at least one enrichment assignment, and an essay.  Some of the assignments were suggested by the Guide and others I assigned because I thought they'd be fun.  ;)

Author Profiles, brief biographies of the authors, included best-known works as well as how personal experiences, current events, public figures, and American places influenced their writing.  Our enrichment assignments varied from writing our own list of 13 Virtues (Franklin) to a social media page for Ichabod Crane (Sleepy Hollow) to a map of the Pequod's voyage (Moby Dick) to a slave narrative (Huck Finn) and more!  Intentionally, I included much Geography and History in our enrichment assignments.  For composition, we wrote a variety of essays that included an autobiographical excerpt, several short stories, a persuasive essay, and a comparative essay.

Recap: Huck Finn was the best, Mohicans was the worst, Moby Dick was the most challenging, and the Irving stories were the easiest (and best read-alouds!)

In my earlier blogging days, I would have had separate posts for all our different assignments to showcase all the learning and fun.  Today, however, I'm counting this a success for at least summarizing our Literature plan for the year!


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