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English 3B

Course Description

American literature from 1900 to the present. Lessons begin with the pre-World War I period and continue through the contemporary period. Each assignment contains a substantial writing component, such as practice in standard modes of writing, a formal essay of literary analysis, and a short research project. Development of grammatical skills is encouraged through writing. Assignments incorporate exercises for vocabulary development. Readings include nonfiction, short fiction, poetry, and full-length play.

Required Course Materials

  • The Language of Literature: American Literature. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2000., ISBN 0-395-93181-9
  • A copy of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. There are several versions available, such as the 1999 edition by Penguin (ISBN 0-140-77197-2). Any standard version of this text is acceptable.
  • A copy of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. There are several versions available, such as the reissued edition by New American Library (ISBN 0-451-16778-3).
  • At least one production of A Streetcar Named Desire. You can find videotapes of the 1951 film by Elia Kazan, which stars Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. If possible, you might wish to see a live production of the play. Or you can find audio recordings of the play at your local library.

Course Lesson Organization

Objectives. The objectives for each lesson will help you focus your efforts. They indicate the concepts and skills you must understand or master when you complete the lesson.
Reading Assignments. Each lesson specifies the selections that must be read.
Introduction. The Introduction section of each lesson provides key terms and concepts that give you background for the lesson.
Self-Assessment Activities. These activities help to build your knowledge and skills and to identify your specific strengths and weaknesses. Some activities direct you to Internet sites with supplemental material for the lesson. All activities prepare you for the graded assignments and for mastering course materials.
Graded Assignments. Each assignment provides information about how your work will be assessed and how credit will be given for your responses. Most assignments will be submitted online and graded by your instructor. Some assignments will be computer-graded. The average of your assignments counts as 75 percent of your course grade. The Final Examination counts as the other 25 percent. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all of the lessons. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better.
Format: Multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions testing literary terms, characterization, fact and opinion, cause and effect, knowledge of grammar, and vocabulary.
Time Allowed: 3 hours
Materials Allowed: #2 pencil

Course Outline

Total Number of Lessons: 10
Total Number of Activities: 67
Total Number of Graded Assignments: 15
Instructor Graded (Online submission): 15
Computer Graded: 0

Lesson 1: Women’s Voices in the Nineteenth Century
  Activity 1: "Women’s Voices, Women’s Lives"
  Activity 2: The Life of Emily Dickinson
  Activity 3: Dickinson’s Poetry
  Activity 4: "The Yellow Wallpaper"
  Activity 5: "The Story of an Hour"
  Activity 6: "Adolescence—III"
Graded Assignment 1: Lesson 1 Review

Lesson 2: The American Dream
  Activity 1: "The American Dream: Illusion or Reality?"
  Activity 2: "Lucinda Matlock"
  Activity 3: "We Wear the Mask" and "Sympathy"
  Activity 4: "Words to Know" from "Winter Dreams"
  Activity 5: Comprehension Questions: "Winter Dreams"
  Activity 6: An Author’s Voice
  Activity 7: Voice in "America and I"
  Activity 8: Static and Dynamic Characters
Graded Assignment 2: Lesson 2 Review
Graded Assignment 3: Analytical Essay

Lesson 3: The Great Gatsby
  Activity 1: Exploring the Jazz Age
  Activity 2: Reading Questions: Chapters 1-3
  Activity 3: Reading Questions: Chapters 4-6
  Activity 4: Symbolism in The Great Gatsby
  Activity 5: Reading Questions: Chapters 7-9
  Activity 6: Nick’s Functions in the Novel
Graded Assignment 4: Computer Graded Assignment

Lesson 4: The Research Report
  Activity 1: Passive and Active Voice; Modifiers
  Activity 2: Constructing Sentences
  Activity 3: Avoiding Common Errors
  Activity 4: "Writing a Research Report"
  Activity 5: Choosing and Narrowing a Topic
  Activity 6: "Research Report Writing"
Graded Assignment 5: Research Report

Lesson 5: The Harlem Renaissance
  Activity 1: Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance
  Activity 2: Mood
  Activity 3: The Poems of Langston Hughes
  Activity 4: "When the Negro Was in Vogue"
  Activity 5: An Author’s Style: Langston Hughes
  Activity 6: An Author’s Purpose: "How It Feels to Be Colored Me"
  Activity 7: "Zora Neale Hurston: A Cautionary tale and a Partisan View"
  Activity 8: The Poems of Gwendolyn Brooks
Graded Assignment 6: Lesson 5 Review

Lesson 6: Modernism
  Activity 1: Background: Robert Frost
  Activity 2: "Mending Wall" and "Out, Out—"
  Activity 3: "The Death of the Hired Man"
  Activity 4: Modernism
  Activity 5: "The End of Something"
  Activity 6: Preparing to Read: "Mirror"
  Activity 7: Analyzing "Mirror"
Graded Assignment 7: Lesson 6 Review
Graded Assignment 8: Dramatic Analysis

Lesson 7: World War II and Vietnam
  Activity 1: Comprehension Check: ‘Why Soldiers Won’t Talk"
  Activity 2: Analyzing "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" and "Why Soldiers Won’t Talk"
  Activity 3: Mood in "Letter from Paradise, 21° 19’ N., 157°, 52’ W."
  Activity 4: Relocation Centers
  Activity 5: "Point/Counterpoint: The Japanese-American Internment"
  Activity 6: "Ambush"
Graded Assignment 9: Lesson 7 Review
Graded Assignment 10: War Themes

Lesson 8: Changing American Cultures
  Activity 1: "Integration and Disintegration: Postwar Society"
  Activity 2: "Words to Know" in "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
  Activity 3: Comprehension Questions: "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
  Activity 4: Tone
  Activity 5: Wandering
  Activity 6: Conflict in "The Writer in the Family"
  Activity 7: Protagonists and Antagonists: "Teenage Wasteland"
  Activity 8 : Comprehension Questions: "Separating"
  Activity 9: Tone in "Mexicans Begin Jogging" and "Legal Alien"
Graded Assignment 11: Lesson 8 Review
Graded Assignment 12: Responses

Lesson 9: Contemporary Voices
  Activity 1: "Words to Know" from "Hostage"
  Activity 2: Prefixes, Suffixes, and Word Roots
  Activity 3: Comprehension Questions: "Hostage"
  Activity 4: Main Idea and Supporting Details in The Personal Essay
  Activity 5: Main Idea and Supporting Details in "Mother Tongue"
  Activity 6: Voice in "Straw into Gold"
Graded Assignment 13: Lesson 9 Review

Lesson 10: A Streetcar Named Desire
  Activity 1: Reading A Streetcar Named Desire
  Activity 2: Character Chart
  Activity 3: Theme
  Activity 4: Comprehension Questions
  Activity 5: Staging A Streetcar Name Desire
Graded Assignment 14: Lesson 10 Review
Graded Assignment 15: Critical Review of a Play

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