American Literature (Excellence in Literature, English 3) cultivates competent readers and writers in a self-directed, classics-focused, one year, college-prep literature and composition course for co-op, classroom, or homeschool use.
The award-winning Excellence in Literature curriculum, suitable for grades 8-12, presents a feast of great ideas by immersing students in great literature. Classics that have stood the test of time-rollicking adventures, compelling plays, engaging poetry-encourage students to enjoy literature study, rather than just endure it. Students will study and write about the following books:
- Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
- Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving and selected works by Longfellow
- The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
- The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
How it works
A four-week lesson plan guides the study of each unabridged classic, providing writing assignments and context resources - information on the author, relevant historical events, related art and music resources, etc.. To help students stay engaged, a variety of sources, voices, and formats have been carefully chosen as context resources, with links provided to those that are online.
There are 9 4-week modules in each study guide for one school year of study. An optional Honors track adds additional reading and writing, including a research paper and an optional CLEP exam. The text is written directly to the student, and can be used independently or in a classroom. There is no separate teacher manual; all writing assignments, context resource links, and student/teacher helps are included in the Introduction to Literature study guide.
- Week-by-week assignment schedule
- Instructions and a student-written model for each type of paper assigned
- A chapter on how to read and understand challenging literature
- Overview of how to write an essay, from conception to revision
- A curriculum website with supporting resources, including author biographies, art, music, related poetry, and writing helps.
- Built-in time for both a rough and a final draft of each month's essay
- Instructions for setting up a study area, English notebook, and study habits
- A model essay that teaches and demonstrates MLA formatting
- Glossary of literary terms
- Week-by-week pacing chart with overview of reading and writing for the entire school year
- Grading instructions and reproducible rubric
- Suggestions for using in a co-op or classroom
- A year-end Student Evaluation Summary to keep with student records
Each student and teacher will need a copy of the study guide, plus a copy of each classic that is studied (short stories are linked online). There are specific book editions recommended, but students who already own a different edition may use that. It is also helpful to have access to a dictionary, thesaurus, and the Handbook for Writers (from Excellence in Literature).