Putting it All Together – Analyzing Primary Sources from the Expansionist Period

In class this week we have been looking at documents from the Expansionist period – each examining a major event or key concept from the period. Below you will find your classmates’ presentations over the use of rhetoric in each of their primary source documents, as well as an annotated copy of the text. Finally, you’ll see my copy of the notes I took during their presentation on our foldable. NOTE: KEEP UP WITH THIS FOLDABLE. YOU WILL BE ABLE TO USE IT ON THE NINE WEEKS EXAM.




Expansionism Foldable

Your job is to read the two remaining documents and add annotations and analysis to your own copies. Then, with all of these resources I would like to answer the following questions for each document on the back of the foldable:

  1.  In the article about Lowell Mills, why does the author reference Patrick Henry when she says “ In the language of one of old, we ask when shall we be stronger?Will it be the next week,or the next year? Will it be when we are reduced to the servile condition of the poor operatives of England?”. Why is this allusions to a Revolutionary founding father effective?
  2. In “The Profession of a Woman”, why does Catherine Beecher use rhetorical questions so often? What effective does this have on the reader?
  3. Why is there a lack of logos, but many appeals to pathos and ethos, in President Andrew Jackson’s Second State of the Union Address?

Finally, let’s discuss the BIG QUESTION for these documents – What defined America during the Expansionist period? What changes from the Revolutionary period and Puritan period can we see in the primary source documents we have examined? Why are these changes so important in shaping the America we live in today?

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019 Uncategorized

Analyzing Expansionist Documents

As we transition out of the Revolutionary Period it is incredibly important that you understand that literary periods are fluid…that means that there isn’t a line in the sand drawn between Revolutionary Literature and Romanticism right after 1776. The time after America’s Independence and the start of the Transcendental movement is an incredibly important few decades in which our economy, our borders, and our perception of what it means to be ‘American’ rapidly grew and changed. The literature from this time period reflects these changing viewpoints and the conflict that arises when social, political and economic upheaval happen all at once. Without this period of expansionism, we wouldn’t have the Transcendental movement.

During this period issues of economic changes, the role of women in the new country of America, and the displacement of Native Americans were reflected in the documents and literature of the time period. We will be examining documents from a report at Lowell Mill, Catherine Beecher and Andrew Jackson on each of these topics.

In groups you will examine one document from the period, identifying the speaker and the intended audience. You will annotate the text for examples of ethos, pathos and logos. Finally, you’ll determine how the speaker/write of the document effectively appealed to their audience using ethos/pathos/logos.

Next, you will work to create a presentation of your analysis for the class. Each group member will be responsible for one portion of the presentation, but ALL group members will need to have annotated and analyzed the text. Click here for the assignment instructions Rhetorical Analysis and here for the group work checklist.

You will present your analysis of the documents to your peers on September 30th, 2019.

Please click here see an example of a previous group of students’ powerpoint presentation to give you an idea of what this project could look like.


11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Revolutionary Women: Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley


Throughout our study of the literature of the American Revolution we have been primarily reading the texts of the founding fathers and other men of the period. However, women played an important role in the founding of our country and contributed greatly to its literature and political texts. One woman that made significant contributions to the arts was Phillis Wheatley.


Brought from Africa on the slave trade, Phillis Wheatley was given a formal education by her masters, and went on to write some of the most beautiful poetry of early America. Hidden in her poems were a celebration of her faith and a criticism of the institution of slavery in America.

In class today we began analyzing her poem ‘On Being Brought from Africa to America’. Please watch the video below of this analysis if you need to review!

Click here to access the poem.


We will be exploring the following questions about Wheatley’s poem in class – remember, our ‘how’ and ‘why‘ questions are the important ones to consider!

  • What is her overall tone in the poem?
  • How does she establish that tone?
  • What symbols and/or metaphors did she use throughout the poem?
  • How did she use symbols and/or metaphors effectively to give her poem multiple meanings or ‘layers’?
  • How would you describe the theme of the poem?

This is the fourth poem we have analyzed and annotated together or in small group – you will have to work with a poem on your own for this unit test. Please make sure you are practicing and becoming comfortable with close reading and analysis!

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

The Declaration of Independence

We are examining our founding document – an amazing piece of text that brought us to where we are today, and inspired other nations to declare those own free and independent states.

The original Declaration of Independence, ink on parchment. It has been damaged by light and improper storage, and the text has almost faded completely over the past 241 years.

A facsimile copy of The Declaration of Independence, struck in the 19th century. Copies, posters and prints of the document are made from this copy, not the original.


Click here to view the real Declaration of Independence at the National Archive.

As we read, analyze and discuss this document please remember that we are looking at not only its importance historically but also its use of effective syntax, and its rhetorical appeals.

Please see the videos below over the history of the document and a performance of the Declaration.







Today we also learned how to take DoodleNotes, using The Declaration as an example. Please click here to access the notes.

As we analyze the text, remember to look for the appeals to rhetoric and be able to explain how the syntax of the document make its more effective.

The text of the Declaration can be divided into four sections–the introduction, the preamble, the list of grievances, and the conclusion.  Please see the resources below to help you as we analyze this document in small groups, including the declaration itself, vocabulary from the document that may give you trouble, and your instructions for analysis with your group. 

Please see the breakdown you complete of the DOI as a class in the images below – you can click on them to open the full size image:

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Structuring a Successful Argument

Imagine you are having an argument with your siblings – who should get the car Friday night? You each want to convince your parents that you are the most deserving child – but how? If you just yell at your sibling the whole time, you won’t look very mature or credible. You’ve helped around the house all week and you have good grades, shouldn’t you bring that up? Plus, its your friend’s birthday party and their dad is going to be relocated to a different base soon – you won’t be together for their next birthday. How do you present all of this information so that you win the argument and get the car?

Know how to structure argument is useful for many reasons – for real life arguments and debates over issues big and small, in writing your own arguments and in reading and analyzing the arguments of others.

The first thing you want to consider is what is your point – what is your claim? This will be the stance or position you take on the given topic or situation.

Next, what evidence do you have to support your claim? What do you have to ‘back up’ what you’re saying?

Also, is that evidence reliable, unbiased, and balanced (ethos/pathos/logos)? If its not trustworthy, why should we listen to it? If you don’t use all three rhetorical appeals, how can we know/trust/feel for you?

Finally, do you acknowledge your opponent? Remember, you are having an argument – if you don’t talk about your opponent’s point, you’re not really arguing, you’re just informing me on your own ideas and position.

Let’s review the elements of an argument and how to organize your argument-


Remember, your arguments will be assessed using the rubric – please click here to view it and please be sure to review the rubric before submitting your final essays!

Your 1st essay topic will use the resources from Patrick Henry and Joseph Galloway’s speech – your prompt is “Whose side would you support – the Loyalist or the Colonist, Joseph Galloway or Patrick Henry – in the Revolution? 


11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

“Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” by Patrick Henry and Joseph Galloway’s “Address to the Continental Congress”

The faces that these guys are pulling are PRICELESS.

The faces that these guys are pulling on Henry are PRICELESS.

As we read two of the most important and powerful texts in the Revolutionary Period – Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention” and Joseph Galloway’s “Address to the Contintential Congress” you will be practicing analyzing rhetoric through the SOAPSTone PLUS method.  As we read through the texts together in class and discuss the use of rhetorical questions and extended metaphor, but sure to add our discussion to your analysis worksheet. You will also need these notes for the argumentative essay later this week.

Be sure to review the videos below from class today on Patrick Henry’s background, and the performance of his speech, if you were unable to get all of the notes:

Additionally, click here to access Henry’s speech if you have misplaced your copy, and click here to access the in-depth analysis packet you will be creating with your groups.

For my ESOL students, click here for a copy of the speech with explanations in the margins. 

Please see the video below for the notes over Galloway

And click here to access his speech if you misplaced you copy.

Finally, we analyzed and compared Henry and Galloway’s roles as Patriots and Loyalist in class, as well as completing a SOAPSTone over them – see the image below for our comparison notes.


Finally, you each summarized the main idea of each of the paragraphs in Galloway’s speech – see the images below for your summaries.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019

Revolutionary Literature

As we transition from literature of the Puritan period to literature of the American Revolution, it is important for you to understand that history and its accompanying literature transition SLOWLY – the colonist did not simply wake up one day and realize ‘Hey, we’re in a new literary time period! Let’s change our writing style and beliefs overnight!’. We began to see the slow shift from theocratic colonies governed by religion to a more secular, democratic society with civil courts. Below you will find our notes from class outlining what exactly happened to transition the ideas of the Puritan period to the ideas of the Revolutionary period. Additionally, you will also find a complete list of ideas, concepts, beliefs and characteristics of the Revolutionary period that you may refer to throughout this unit.


Common Beliefs

  1. Faith in natural goodness – a human is born without taint or sin
  2. Perfectibility of a human being – it is possible to improve situations of birth, economy, society, and religion
  3. The power of reason 
  4. The attitude of helping everyone
  5. Outdated social institutions cause unsociable behavior – religious, social, economic, and political institutions, which have not modernized, force individuals into unacceptable behavior (in response to the Great Awakening and the Salem Witch trials)

Functions of the Writers of this Period

  1. A searching inquiry in all aspects of the world around
  2. Interest in the classics as well as in the Bible
  3. Interest in nature
  4. Interest in science and scientific experiments
  5. Optimism – experiments in Utopian communities
  6. Sense of a person’s duty to succeed
  7. Constant search of the self – emphasis on individualism


(*note: the end of the above video covers Revolutionary literature)

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2019