Excellence in Literature: American Literature

Reading and Writing through the Classics
Janice Campbell
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Number of pages: 
146 pages
Grade / Age level: 

I am very impressed with this new publication by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. It is a user-friendly, comprehensive and resourceful American Literature Course, recommended for 11th grade English. I'd say it is a real possibility I will be using that in our homeschool co-op next year, and it could definitely be doubled as English and Lit. Visit to their website for info and sample pages.

The text consists of nine units, all centered around one main work of American Literature. Each unit is separated into four weekly writing assignments: an author's profile paper, a historical approach paper and two weeks of guided work on a paper about the work of literature itself. Among others, texts students will work on include The Last of the Mohicans, Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , The Great Gatsby and The Old Man and the Sea. There is plenty of extra work offered for an Honors track student.

A section entitled Literary Context offers an introduction to the work of literature and some thoughs on it. Under Context Resources one will find a myriad of interesting online resources which will bring the material to life: text sites, literary context and related authors' materials, and sites with information on the author. A Poetry section offers sites with samples of poetry contemporary with the work in question. Other online resources offered include audio, video, music and historical context websites all related to each unit's work of literature.

The forms and formats appendices are extremely useful: models are very well demonstrated and student sample work is shown. Also in the appendices one will find rubrics and evaluation forms. There is a glossary as well.

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