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Unit 1: A Gathering of Voices (Literature of Early America Beginnings to 1800)



Essays – “America Begins with a Promise and a Paradox” by William L. Andrews, “Museum Indians” by Susan Power, from The American Crisis by Thomas Paine, “Benjamin Franklin: America’s Everyman” by William L. Andrews

Myth – “The Earth on the Turtle’s Back” by Onondaga, “When Grizzlies Walked Upright” by Modoc, from The Navajo Origin Legend by Navajo

Narrative – from A Journey Through Texas by Alvar Nunex Cabeza de Vaca, “Boulders Taller Than the Great Tower of Seville” by Garcia Lopez de Cardenas

Sermon – from “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards

Speech – “Speech in the Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry, “Speech in the Convention” by Benjamin Franklin

Political Document – “The Declaration of Independence” by Thomas Jefferson

Autobiography – from The Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin

Letter – “Letter from the President’s House” by John Adams, “Letter to Her Daughter from the New White House” by Abigail Adams

Blueprint – Floor Plan of the President’s House by Benjamin Henry Latrobe

Writing –Autobiographical Narrative, Constructed Response

Language Study – Using Dictionary and Thesaurus


Unit 2: A Growing Nation (Literature of the American Renaissance 1800-1870)


Short Story – “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving, “The Ministers Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe

Field Report – “Crossing the Great Divide” by Meriwether Lewis,

Poetry – “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant, “Old Ironsides” by Oliver Wendell Holmes,  “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, Selection of Poetry by Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson

Literary CriticismAmerica’s Epic by James E. Miller, Jr., Reckless Genius by Galway Kinnell

Essays –  Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau

Expository Text – “South Florida Environmental Report”

Writing – Reflective Essay, Persuasive Speech

Speaking – Presentation of Persuasive Speech

Language Study – Etymology: Political Science/History Terms


Unit 3: Division, Reconciliation, and Expansion (Literature of the Civil War and the Frontier 1850 -1914)


Diary – from Mary Chesnut’s Civil War by Mary Chesnut, A Confederate Account of the Battle of Gettysburg by Randolph McKim

JournalRecollections of a Private by Warren Lee Goss

Letter – “Letter to His Son” by Robert E. Lee


Editorial  - “Backing the Attack” by Editors of the New York Times

Short Story – “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Conner, “The First Seven Years” by Bernard Malamud, “The Rock Pile” by James Baldwin

Poetry – Selections from Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Theodore Roethke

Eulogy – “Life in His Language” Toni Morrison

Speech – JFK’s Inaugural Address

Letter – from Letter From a Birmingham Jail by MLK, Jr.

DramaThe Crucible by Arthur Miller

Argumentative TextHysteria Resides at Heart of Frantic “Crucible” by Kenneth Turan

Writing – Argumentative Essay

Speaking – Analyze and Evaluate Entertainment Media

Language Study – Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions



Unit 6: New Voice, New Frontiers (Literature of the Contemporary Period 1970 to Present)


Essay – “American Slang” from The American Language by H.L.Mencken,  “Onomatopoeia” by William Safire, “One Day, Now Broken in Two” by Anna Quindlen, “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan, “For the Books” by Rita Dove

Short Story – “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, “Everything Stuck to Him” by Raymond Carver

Poetry – Selections from William Stafford, Denise Levertov, Li-Young Lee, Martin Espada, Yusef Komunyakaa, Naomi Shihab Nye, Stanley Kunitz, Judith Ortiz Cofer,

Memoir – from The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, from The Names by N. Scott Momaday

Expository Text – Demographic Aspects of Surnames and The Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation

Writing – Short Story

Speaking – Compare Print News Coverage

Language Study – Cognates