Survey of AMERICAN Literature(Senior English) Mr. Lawrence Benz & You
Course SYLLABUS a.k.a. The CURRICULUM
The CURRICULUM What we will be studying and doing. AREAS of GROWTH. Growth takes PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
CURRICULUM • READING • WRITING • VOCABULARY • ORAL LANGUAGE SKILLS • MULTI-MEDIA PROJECTS/ CREATIVE PRESENTATIONS • VARIOUS ACADEMIC SKILLS for college
READING . . . . . . a roughly chronological survey of American Literature from the 17th century through the 20th century. Active, engaged, and critical! Key Words: focused, underlining, annotating, thinking, questioning, journaling, reflecting, emoting (feeling).
READING ASSIGNMENTS will demand: General Comprehension Meta-Cognition (Self-Administered Comprehension Checks): “Do I understand what I just read?” Analytical Thought and Reasoning Critical Thinking Personal Response Vocabulary Growth Note-taking
WRITING. . . . . . at least some little something every day. Each semester students will write in a tightly-organized journal with committed sections for observations, analyses, questions, summaries, key words and concepts, and reflections (as directed for each reading assignment). ALSO, one long essay and one or more creative writing experiments per quarter. Key Words: organization, supporting details, writing process, editing, revision, research, publishable, responsible, original (honest)!
WRITING ASSIGNMENTS will demand: Reading Memory Thinking, both analytical and critical Organization Audience Awareness Generation of Original Ideas & Opinions Cultural Knowledge Cultural Criticism Exploration of Beliefs, Values, and Lifestyles Personal Growth (Making Sense of Self, Others and World) Publish-ability: Professional Standards of Correctness
VOCABULARY I will provide you with a select list of vocabulary words from each text we read. I will expect you to master the words.
ORAL LANGUAGE SKILLS There will be routine conversation/discussion in class according to strict procedures. Perhaps the clinching element of class for many will come with the clarification, multiple perspectives, questions, answers and insights which we can share with each other in the verbal arena. During the year, each student will deliver one presentation related to course content but shaped by student interest. Oral language skills will be practiced all year through controlled, focused classroom discussion of reading texts. During these discussions, each student’s JOURNAL should be open and actively used as a resource for personal reference and a site of note-taking additions and refinements. Key Words: procedures, protocol, preparation, composure, rehearsal, audience awareness, visual aids, articulation, eye contact!
& OTHER IMPORTANT AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT • MULTI-MEDIA CREATIVITY • MULTI-MEDIA LEARNING AIDS (including movies!) • 21st – Century MEMORY STRATEGIES • Development of STUDY and ORGANIZA- TIONAL SKILLS
And NOTE-TAKING STRATEGIES The CORNELL NOTE-TAKING SYSTEM developed by Walter Pauk (an education professor at Cornell in the 1950’s)
Identification of your STRONG-est INTELLIGENCES According to MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCE THEORY, we all have 8.5 different kinds of intelligence, but only three of them are well-developed in any average person. Every person has different strengths and weaknesses. What are your strongest intelligences?, and which do you need to develop through practice, practice, practice?!
8 ½ Multiple Intelligence Categories according to Howard Gardner Verbal-Linguistic Logical-Mathematical Bodily-Kinesthetic Musical-Rhythmic Interpersonal Intrapersonal Visual-Spatial Naturalistic Spiritualistic (1/2)
We will all take a MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES INVENTORY You will take a Multiple Intelligences Inventory to find out what your three or four strongest Intelligences are, and which are your weakest and most in need of practice! Tap into your many intelligences and become more well-rounded and complete as a learner, creator, and professional doer.
And NOW Here’s the stuff that we will be READING about, TALKING about, LISTENING to, WATCHING, as a way of thinking about LIFE OURSELVES OUR VALUES and of developing skills as Learners.
A Quick Glance at the History of American Literature READING MANLY STUFF! HERE WE GO!
Before the White European came to North America… a variety of beautiful Native American tribes and cultures . . . many of them nomadic, some of them peaceful and quiet, some of them fierce warrior cultures. . . all of them with traditions, stories, and values which were eventually overwhelmed and eclipsed by European civilization.
The Iroquois Creation Story& Pima Stories of the Creation of the World “The Story of the Creation” “The Story of the Flood”
After the White Europeancame to North America . . . “Broken spears lie in the road; we have torn our hair in our grief. The houses are roofless now, and their walls are red with blood.” --written by the Aztecs after the fall of their capital to Cortes and the vicious helmeted Spaniards
American Literature up to 1700:The RELIGIOUS Self Otherwordliness & The Beatific Vision of the Puritan Settlers
Europeans come to North America The invasion of People of the BOOK People of the WORD People of the BIBLE People who believe in God’s PROVIDENCE People who believe that SPIRIT must conquer FLESH. People who believe that the civilized man should civilize or destroy the barbaric, pagan man. People on a divine MISSION to make the world CHRISTIAN. . . and, of course, to conquer and prosper, in God’s name.
CaptainJohn Smith from The General History of Virginia
John Winthrop excerpts from The Journal of John Winthrop
William Bradford from Of Plymouth Plantation
Anne Bradstreet, Puritan poet-ess. “The Author to Her Book” “To My Dear and Loving Husband” “In Memory of My Dear Grandchild Elizabeth Bradstreet” “Upon the Burning of Our House” “The Flesh and the Spirit”*
Edward Taylor,Puritan poet. “Huswifery” “Upon a Wasp Chilled with Cold” from Preparatory Meditations, “Prologue” Meditations: #’s 8, 22, and 42
Jonathan Edwardsand the Great Awakening(waking up to God’s word and presence) “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” “The Beauty of the World”
In Jonathan Edward’s extreme Calvinist view, people were becoming too much focused on… Political Freedom and comfort in the HERE and NOW. He tried to remind them very forcefully and passionately, and with very clear reasoning, that what is most important is the destiny of the ETERNAL SOUL.
We will read Karl Shapiro’s poem “The Puritan”. . . and discuss whether his portrait— judging by their writings which we will have just read— is fair to Puritans.
American Literature from 1700-1820The PRAGMATIC Self A shift away from religious otherwordliness to worldy concerns: Empirical and Applied Sciences for the Improvement of Quality of Life Good Citizenship Self-improvement (e.g., education) & Self-Discipline Physical and Mental Health “Pulling Yourself Up by Your Own Bootstraps” Individual Rights & Freedoms “Success” “Progress” Reputation Money
Benjamin Franklin,a Puritan in his Self-Discipline,but focused on THIS WORLDin his thought, science,politics, and business. excerpts from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and various “Poor Richard’s Proverbs” (e.g., “A stitch in time saves nine.”)
American Literature from 1820-1865 The beginning of American Writers trying to find a distinctly American voice… and trying to prove to the English that Americans can write great poetry and novels, too.
EarlyROMANTICISM Focus on the inward, moral life of the individual: Guilt Fear Dark Motives A Deal with the Devil Greed Violence Nightmares Ghosts, Ghouls, Witches, and Headless Horsemen Supernatural Events that Mirror the Soul
Washington Irving(pen names: Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.& DiedrichKnickerbocker) author of “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” But we’ll read: “The Devil and Tom Walker”*
The AmericanHERO The rugged individual, precursor to the COWBOY
James Fenimore Cooper Author of The Leatherstocking Tales featuring the clever, purehearted tracker and fighter Natty Bumppo
Natty Bumppo, early American hero The Leatherstocking Tales novels were in the 19th century the main reading material in grammar schools. These novels were the textbooks!
The ROMANTIC & TRANSCENDENTAL Self Communion with Nature Nature as Teacher for those who open their Senses and Minds to Her The Natural and Spiritual are Unified (different aspects of the same ?) In Nature we can read Universal Principles that jive with true morality All People Can Understand these Principles through Intuition All People Can Reform Their Lives According to These Idealistic, Humanitarian Principles This kind of education must be the foundation of a true democracy of self-reliant individual selves with a healthy VISION of what human life should be, each with the courage to live “to the beat of his own drummer”. Orthodox Religion is OK, but should not be followed blindly.
William Cullen Bryant, poet “To a Waterfowl” “Thanatopsis”
NEW ENGLAND Transcendentalism THE Transcendentalists who came to be inspired by “Oriental” philosophies and religion, such as Buddhism Unity, Simplicity, Light, Order, Conviction, Rationality, the Transcendent Power of Spirit
Ralph Waldo Emerson,[minister],philosopher,essayist, poet “Nature” “Self-Reliance” “The American Scholar” “The Rhodora”* “The Snow-Storm”* “Fable” (“The Mountain and the Squirrel”)
Henry David Thoreau,friend of Emerson,poet,political thinker,experimenter with living excerpts from Walden and very brief quotes from other writings
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,poet “A Psalm of Life”
James Russell Lowell,poet “Auspex”* “The First Snowfall”*