American Literature Teacher Resources

Find American Literature lesson plans and worksheets
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Magical Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
How does Gabriel Garcia Marquez make the magical elements in his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude seem real? That is the essential question for readers of his acclaimed novel to tackle in a three-lesson unit module. Scholars begin by...
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37 Items in Topic
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Student Copy of Gatsby and the Jazz Age: American Dream or Nightmare:

For Teachers 11th - 12th Standards
F. Scott Fitzgerald's intent in The Great Gatsby, was "to state the American dream as dramatically, as passionately, as possible – and at the same time, to hold it up to moral judgment, to see what lies and terrors lay beneath its...
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6 Items in Unit
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American Literary Humor: Mark Twain, George Harris, and Nathaniel Hawthorne

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
A three-lesson curriculum unit examines the history and conventions in the American literary humor of Mark Twain, George Washington Harris, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In Lesson One, scholars read “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras...
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51 Items in Topic
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Crash Course Theater and Drama

For Students 9th - 12th Standards
Forsooth! Here’s a collection that has everything you ever wanted to know about the theater and drama—everyone from Aristotle to Chikamatsu, from Moliere to Shakespeare to Williams. From Banraku to Zaju, every type from comedy to...
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8 Items in Unit
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Words That Heal: Using Children's Literature to Address Bullying

For Teachers Pre-K - 12th Standards
Books can create empathy. Books can build self-esteem. Books can offer insight and coping strategies. Books can encourage anti-bullying. Books can heal. The five discussion guides in the "Words That Heal: Using Children's Literature to...
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31 Items in Topic
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Ken Burns in the Classroom: Hemingway

For Teachers 11th - Higher Ed Standards
Hemingway: BH, AH. Before Hemingway and after Hemingway. A collection of PBS lessons, authored by Julia E. Torres, uses clips from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary to EXPLORE the influence events in Hemingway’s life had on his...
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19 Items in Unit
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Kindred

For Teachers 11th - 12th Standards
Four resources comprise a unit module designed for Octavia E. Butler's Kindred instructors to use in their classes. The first resource in the series, a packet designed for instructors, includes an overview of the unit, a day-to-day...
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9 Items in Unit
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Faulkner's As I Lay Dying: Form of a Funeral

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner's Southern Gothic novel, As I Lay Dying, is the anchor text in a six-lesson unit module that examines Faulkner's place in American literary history. Learners research one aspect of Faulkner's...
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The Letters and Poems of Emily Dickinson

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The three lessons in the “Letters and Poems of Emily Dickinson” unit module offer high schoolers an opportunity to meet the woman behind the poems. Scholars read letters she wrote to the Atlantic Monthly editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson...
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14 Items in Unit
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Melville’s Moby Dick: Shifts in Narrative Voice and Literary Genres

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
A three-lesson unit module has readers of Moby Dick examine the narrative voice and dramatic perspective Herman Melville uses to contrast Ishmael and Captain Ahab. In addition, scholars analyze how the author incorporates various...
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Creative Writing Unit: Analyzing, Interpreting, Discussing and Writing Various Genres of African-American Literature

For Teachers 10th - 12th
A six-week unit takes high schoolers through various works of African-American literature, including poems, plays, and short stories. The lesson plan format includes a week-by-week description of activities, goals, materials, and...
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Native American Literature

For Students 4th - 6th Standards
Celebrate and honor Native American culture with this set of graphic organizers that showcases literature like The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses and A Boy Called Slow as well as three other Native American literature books. Learners compare...
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Integrative Lesson on Genres of American Literature (Senior, Literature)

For Teachers 11th
To begin this lesson, the instructor will present a PowerPoint detailing the genres of Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism. Learners will follow along with an instructional sheet that will aid in the identification of setting, tone,...
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American Literature Poetry Project

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Introduce your class to American poets with this 8-day research project. After reading sample poems, learners choose a poet to research. In the computer lab, scholars complete guided online research that they put together into a final...
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Annotated Timeline of The American Literary Movement

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Study the transformation of American literature starting from Colonial times up until the present. Each of the nine periods (Romanticism, Realism, Postmodernism, etc.) is introduced and important literary agents from that period are...
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Importance of American Flag in American Literature

For Teachers 11th - 12th
Betsy Ross - fact and myth. As an introduction to American Literature, class members become detectives and search web sites to find information about the flag, prominent places it has been displayed (on the moon, at ground zero, in...
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Colonials & Revolutionaries: Background Historical & Cultural Information

For Teachers 11th - Higher Ed
The four major trends of the 18th century (The Enlightenment, the Great Awakening, British global ambitions, and economic disagreements) are the focus of a PowerPoint that places in context such influences as deism, mercantilism,...
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African American Literature in Art

For Teachers 9th - 10th
Pupils compare art and literature by examining a contemporary painting by Glenn Ligon and the essay by James Baldwin that inspired it. They write an essay about a personal experience that relates to the theme of being an "outsider."
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Early American English Lit Writing Assignment (Senior, Literature)

For Teachers 10th - 12th
To better understand early American literature, which was usually written by Puritans coming to the new world, learners pretend they have just landed on Mars. They compose a letter home describing their experiences, the new landscape,...
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Carl Sandburg's "Chicago": Bringing a Great City Alive

For Teachers 10th - Higher Ed
Carl Sandburg composed poetry that conveyed a time and place in American Literature and history. Learners identify the literary techniques he uses to describe the historical and cultural context of living in Chicago. They define the...
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Native American Literature: A Paradigm Shift

For Teachers 8th - 12th
Students explore Native American literature. In this cultural diversity instructional activity, students read selected Native American books and analyze the themes of the books and familiarize themselves with the vocabulary used in the...
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In Emily Dickinson's Own Words: Letters and Poems

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Analyze the depth and beauty of American Literature by reading Emily Dickinson's letters and poems. The class analyzes Dickinson's poetic style and discusses Thomas Wentworth Higginson's editorial relationship with Dickinson. They pay...
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American Literature Authors and Their Works

For Teachers 9th - 11th
Students match American Literature authors with their short stories, poems, and books. In this American Literature instructional activity, students are given an overview of the authors and their main works. Then students independently...
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A Literature of Democracy

For Teachers 12th
Read excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson's speech "American Scholar" to address and analyze passages from American literary works. Seniors will discuss three quotations from the text and read excerpts from the address. They then work in...

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