Welcome to Honors American Literature!

Over the course of this semester we will explore the America’s literary history through fiction, poetry, speeches, legal documents and other primary source manuscripts from various periods, locations and times. You will also be engaging in high level writing and research assignments geared to preparing you for Advance Composition next semester.

I look forward to our journey through American Literature together!

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2020

Lincoln’s Oration

As we continue to examine primary source documents from the Realist period of American Literary history, we turn to one of the country’s most amazing Presidential writers, Abraham Lincoln.

We have discussed how a speaker’s audience, purpose and persona impact their writing and oration, as well as the way they employ rhetorical devices.

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Analyzing Rhetoric – Early Women’s Reform

After analyzing how a speaker’s adopted ‘persona’ impacts their use of rhetoric through an examination of a series of letters by Thomas Jefferson, you will now look at how different speakers with the same persona use a variety of different rhetorical devices based on differing audiences.

During the Expansionist period of American Literary History, we see an up-tick in writings by women, as they took to the factories to work or began to desire the opportunities for advanced education and more equal protection under the law. These were only the very early beginnings of what would later be the reform movement of ‘Women’s Suffrage’ – while women of this period did desire change for their circumstances, they still largely delivered in the idea of ‘Republican Womanhood’ and ‘The Cult of Domesticity’. Please remember this context as you analyze the documents – their ideals are not exactly the same as women of the suffrage movement, progressive era movements or 20th century feminism that you might already be familiar with. To conduct an accurate analysis you need to make sure you understand the historical context for these documents!

 

If you need the background notes from the 1st half of the video we viewed in class, please see it below:

In your groups you have been assigned an excerpt from a piece of journalism, “A real picture of factory life” by an anonymous female factory worker. Conduct a SOAPSTone analysis of the document, and answer the constructed response questions over it.  The powerpoints below may help with your analysis.

Lowell Mill Girls Protest Powerpoint 1

Lowell Mill Girls Protest Powerpoint 2

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

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, its appeals to rhetoric, and even the flaws of 18th century bias that it includes. Many of the ideals exposed in our founding document are held dear to us, but know the irony in that these ideals as we see them today were not extended to all people living in the new United States.

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. Be sure to read The National Archive’s analysis of The Declaration of Independence to inform your own analysis and understanding of the text:

“The text of the Declaration can be divided into five sections–the introduction, the preamble, the indictment of George III, the denunciation of the British people, and the conclusion. Because space does not permit us to explicate each section in full detail, we shall select features from each that illustrate the stylistic artistry of the Declaration as a whole.3

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Setting SMART Goals for Success

 

Each unit this semester I will be asking you to reflect on your progress and create two goals for yourself – I will be setting two goals for all of you, but I’d like you to brainstorm the rest.

These goals should be relevant to your experience in this class – please don’t set goals for Math (I won’t be able to guide and help you achieve those)…these goals should focus on your use of language, communication, writing, analysis skills, or even general academic goals such as improving your time management, finding a more effective way to study, avoiding procrastination, ect.

You’ll be keeping track of these goals, setting a plan of action, and revisiting to reflect on your progress in each unit.

Please click here to access your goal setting sheet if you lost yours, and review the notes below about how to set SMART goals! 

 

 

 

Specific: – A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions:

*Who:  *What:  *Where:  *When:  *Which:  *Why

Specific means reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “I want to lose some weight.” A specific goal would be, “I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months and I will eat properly and exercise at least 3 days a week to accomplish my goal.”

 

Measurable: – Establish criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.

Describes how each goal will be measured (numeric or descriptive).

When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued the effort required to reach your goal.

Ask yourself:

  • How will I know when the result has been achieved?
  • How will I verify the achievement/performance of this goal?

 

Attainable: – When you identify a goal, write it out and make a plan, you are making an attainable goal. You will see opportunities arise that will help you in accomplishing this goal. You will develop a positive attitude working towards an attainable goal and you will develop traits that will give you the strength to see it through.

 

Realistic: – To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress.

In my book there are no Dreams or Goals too grand, but you do have to be realistic. Make sure the goal you have set is something you are willing and capable of doing. When you set a lofty goal and challenge yourself you will find the reward that much better

 

Timely: – Creates a sense of urgency. Knowing you have to accomplish a task at a certain time makes you accountable. Know what those time lines are. What needs to be done by when. How much needs to be saved by when and take the steps necessary to meet those timelines.

Source

11th Grade American Literature Mrs Pierce Recommends Spring 2018

What skills will I need to demonstrate on Unit Test 1?

Remember, as you prepare for our first Unit Test, you will have to demonstrate the skills we have been practicing in class, not just the information you have learned. You will need to be familiar with the content of:

  • Native American Literature and The Oral Tradition as well as Creation Stories
  • Anne Bradstreet’s ‘T o My Dear and Loving Husband’
  • Johnathan Edward’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

But you will also need to show me you can use the skills you’ve practiced with these texts:

  • Identifying archetypes
  • Identifying theme
  • Identifying tone, and pointing to words or phrases the set tone.
  • Understanding how a writer appeals to their audience with ethos, pathos and logos.
  • Summarizing the plot or purpose of these historical texts.
  • Analyzing a text for literary devices
  • Explaining how those devices make a text more effective.
  • Citing textual evidence.
  • Writing constructed responses.
  • Vocabulary from the texts in unit 1.

Be sure to review your notes, go back and watch the videos and posts on this site, and feel free to contact me via Remind 101 if you have questions while you review and study.

 

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Welcome to American Literature!

Over the course of this semester we will explore the America’s literary history through fiction, poetry, speeches, legal documents and other primary source manuscripts from various periods, locations and times.

I look forward to our journey through American Literature together!

Please click here to access your class syllabus.

You also need to make sure to sign up for our Remind 101, as well as our Google Classroom! 🙂

 

11th Grade American Literature Spring 2018

Writing An Argumentative, or Persuasive, Essay

For our Georgia Milestone End of Course Assessment you will have to either write an informational or an argumentative essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Many of you have written argumentative essays before in 9th grade, and even in middle school, but a little bit of review can always help! 🙂

According to Owl Purdue:

“The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that requires the student to investigate a topic; collect, generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a position on the topic in a concise manner.

Please note: Some confusion may occur between the argumentative essay and the expository essay. These two genres are similar, but the argumentative essay differs from the expository essay in the amount of pre-writing (invention) and research involved. The argumentative essay is commonly assigned as a capstone or final project in first year writing or advanced composition courses and involves lengthy, detailed research. Expository essays involve less research and are shorter in length. Expository essays are often used for in-class writing exercises or tests, such as the SAT or ACT.

Argumentative essay assignments generally call for extensive research of literature or previously published material. Argumentative assignments may also require empirical research where the student collects data through interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments. Detailed research allows the student to learn about the topic and to understand different points of view regarding the topic so that she/he may choose a position and support it with the evidence collected during research. Regardless of the amount or type of research involved, argumentative essays must establish a clear thesis and follow sound reasoning.

The structure of the argumentative essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

In the first paragraph of an argument essay, students should set the context by reviewing the topic in a general way. Next the author should explain why the topic is important (exigence) or why readers should care about the issue. Lastly, students should present the thesis statement. It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse. Transitions should wrap up the idea from the previous section and introduce the idea that is to follow in the next section.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the discussion of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. In addition, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. Some paragraphs will directly support the thesis statement with evidence collected during research. It is also important to explain how and why the evidence supports the thesis (warrant).

However, argumentative essays should also consider and explain differing points of view regarding the topic. Depending on the length of the assignment, students should dedicate one or two paragraphs of an argumentative essay to discussing conflicting opinions on the topic. Rather than explaining how these differing opinions are wrong outright, students should note how opinions that do not align with their thesis might not be well informed or how they might be out of date.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

The argumentative essay requires well-researched, accurate, detailed, and current information to support the thesis statement and consider other points of view. Some factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal evidence should support the thesis. However, students must consider multiple points of view when collecting evidence. As noted in the paragraph above, a successful and well-rounded argumentative essay will also discuss opinions not aligning with the thesis. It is unethical to exclude evidence that may not support the thesis. It is not the student’s job to point out how other positions are wrong outright, but rather to explain how other positions may not be well informed or up to date on the topic.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students may begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize the information presented in the body of the essay. Restate why the topic is important, review the main points, and review your thesis. You may also want to include a short discussion of more research that should be completed in light of your work.

A complete argument

Perhaps it is helpful to think of an essay in terms of a conversation or debate with a classmate. If I were to discuss the cause of World War II and its current effect on those who lived through the tumultuous time, there would be a beginning, middle, and end to the conversation. In fact, if I were to end the argument in the middle of my second point, questions would arise concerning the current effects on those who lived through the conflict. Therefore, the argumentative essay must be complete, and logically so, leaving no doubt as to its intent or argument.

The five-paragraph essay

A common method for writing an argumentative essay is the five-paragraph approach. This is, however, by no means the only formula for writing such essays. If it sounds straightforward, that is because it is; in fact, the method consists of (a) an introductory paragraph (b) three evidentiary body paragraphs that may include discussion of opposing views and (c) a conclusion.”

Your essay will be scored on a 7 point rubric, with four of those points focusing on organization, focus and style and the remaining 3 focusing on mechanics and grammar. I will be grading you with the same rubric the GA DOE will use on the EOC assessment – please familiarize yourself with the rubric below:

Before we being writing our own essay, lets look at some examples.

Click the document below to access a sample informational essay. You will find the prompt for the essay on page 76, and the student sample essay with feedback and notations on pages 107-114.

Click here to access the sample essays.

 

For this essay you will be reading two articles about the Supreme Court, and taking a position based on the information you gather in these articles.

Click here to access your first source over the Supreme Court.

Click here to access your second source over the Supreme Court.

Now that you have read the article, think about ideas, facts, definitions, details, and other information and examples you want to use. A helpful worksheet on breaking down the claims in the first source is available here, should you need it.

Think about how you will introduce your topic and what the main topic will be for each paragraph. Develop your ideas clearly and use your own words, except when quoting directly from the source texts. Be sure to identify the sources by title or number when using details or facts directly from the
sources.

Write an argumentative essay in your own words taking a position on the question: “Should Supreme Court Justices be appointed to lifetime positions?” 

Be sure to:

  • Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
  •  Introduce you claim clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
    sense.
  • Develop your claim with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
    examples related to the topic.
  • Address and engage with your opponent’s claim in an unbiased manner, citing evidence to refute their position.
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
  • Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
  • Use clear language and vocabulary.
  • Provide a conclusion that follows the position presented.
  • Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.
11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Writing an Informational, or Expository, Essay

For our Georgia Milestone End of Course Assessment you will have to either write an informational or an argumentative essays over a series of selected passages that you are provided. Many of you have written informational essay before in 9th grade, and even in middle school, but a little bit of review can always help! 🙂

According to Owl Purdue:

“The expository essay is a genre of essay that requires the student to investigate an idea, evaluate evidence, expound on the idea, and set forth an argument concerning that idea in a clear and concise manner. This can be accomplished through comparison and contrast, definition, example, the analysis of cause and effect, etc.

Please note: This genre is commonly assigned as a tool for classroom evaluation and is often found in various exam formats.

The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.

  • A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the essay.

It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay.

  • Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.

Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essay’s argument, and the structure will collapse.

  • Body paragraphs that include evidential support.

Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for one’s audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph.

  • Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).

Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation; therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence.

  • A bit of creativity!

Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.

  • A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the evidence provided.

It is at this point of the essay that students will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.”

 

Your essay will be scored on a 7 point rubric, with four of those points focusing on organization, focus and style and the remaining 3 focusing on mechanics and grammar. I will be grading you with the same rubric the GA DOE will use on the EOC assessment – please familairize yourself with the rubric below:

 

Before we being writing our own essay, lets look at some examples.

Click the document below to access a sample informational essay. You will find the prompt for the essay on page 101, and the student sample essay with feedback and notations on pages 120-124.

Click here to access the sample essay.

 

For this essay you will be reading an article over the current cultural divide in America on whether we should remove Confederate Statues and Monuments. Click on the image below to read the article – note, the password for access to UpFront Magazine has been sent to you in a Remind 101 message.

Now that you have read the article, think about ideas, facts, definitions, details, and other information and examples you want to use.

Think about how you will introduce your topic and what the main topic will be for each paragraph.
Develop your ideas clearly and use your own words, except when quoting directly from the source
texts. Be sure to identify the sources by title or number when using details or facts directly from the
sources.

Write an informational essay in your own words explaining the reasons that each side of the cultural divide over the removal of Confederate Monuments gives to support their cause. 

Be sure to:
• Use information from the two texts so that your essay includes important details.
• Introduce the topic clearly, provide a focus, and organize information in a way that makes
sense.
• Develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, quotations, or other information and
examples related to the topic.
• Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion.
• Clarify the relationship among ideas and concepts.
• Use clear language and vocabulary to inform about the topic.
• Provide a conclusion that follows the information presented.
• Check your work for correct grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, and punctuation.

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017

Lincoln’s Oration Throughout the Years

As we continue to examine primary source documents from the Realist period of American Literary history, we turn to one of the country’s most amazing Presidential writers, Abraham Lincoln.

We have discussed how a speaker’s audience, purpose and persona impact their writing and oration, as well as the way they employ rhetorical devices. In this lesson we are going to continue that examination, but also consider how these elements chance over the course of a speaker’s life. When an individual acquires new experiences, adapts their perspective to encompass more and new viewpoints, and when their persona changes – how does this affect their writing and public speaking?

Before we read Lincoln’s speeches, we’ll be looking at an article from The Smithsonian by former Presidential adviser Ted Sorensen in which he discusses Lincoln’s skill as a speech-writer and orator. 

For this assignment you will be looking at three of Lincoln’s speeches:

  • “The 2nd Inaugural Address” (given by an older Lincoln as President, in the middle of the Civil War…this speech is in your textbook).

As you read and analyze these speeches, consider the following questions:

 

11th Grade American Literature Fall 2017