American History through Literature

American History through Literature

Teacher: Kathy Abelanet

Grade Level(s): Advanced 10th-12th

Class Cost and Length in Weeks:
$24/week for 32 Weeks*
$25 material fee

Class Size: Min 5 / Max 12


2 Credits: Literature & History

Our American History through Literature class aims to encourage the cross-curricular study of key themes in American history by examining both historical documents and literary texts as a response to the events of the day. We will concentrate on one book for each historical section and bring in supplemental poems, documents, short stories, and speeches. This is a great class to earn both a history and a literature course requirement. The homework will consist of reading, writing a 2-3 page paper each week, and short in-class quizzes over the required material.
First Semester:
History: The Colonizing of the New World
Read: “The Story of the Sea Venture”
Read: Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Read: Pocahontas Biography
Read: The Mayflower Accord
Read: Excerpts about the Salem Witch Trials
History: The American Revolution
Read: “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine,
Read: The Declaration of Independence
Read: April Morning or The Red Badge of Courage
Read: George Washington’s Farewell Address
History: America and Its Relation to Native Americans
Read: Excerpts from A Son of the Forest by William Apess
Read: Wynema by S. Alice Callahan
Read: Excerpts about The Trail of Tears
History: The Civil War
Read: Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt or Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Read: “The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln
Watch: Lincoln directed by Spielberg, 2012 version
Read: “O Captain! My Captain! By Walt Whitman
Read: Excerpts from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglas
Read: Phyllis Wheatley selected poems
Read: Excerpts from Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Second Semester:
World War I
Through Poetry and Songs:
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae
Over There by George M. Cohan
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen
Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen
To My Brother by Vera Brittain
The Sisters Buried at Lemnos by Vera Brittain
Not To Keep by Robert Frost
Then and Now by Thomas Hardy
World War II
Read: The Diary of Anne Frank or The Zookeeper’s Wife
Watch: The Monuments Men
Read: Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Cold War:
Read: The Crucible by Miller as a response to the McCarthy era and Hollywood’s blacklist.
Watch High Noon as a response to the McCarthy era and Hollywood’s blacklist.
Read: Animal Farm in response to the cold war
Civil Rights Era:
Read: Compare Walt Whitman “America” to Langston Hughes “America
Read: To Kill a Mockingbird
Read: MLK’s “I have a Dream Speech,” and “Letters from a Birmingham Jail”
Watch: Selma
Post Cold War:
Listen to: Reagan’s “Bring Down the Wall” speech.
Read: Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury or The Hunger Games

Curriculum/Required Text(s):
1) Uncle Tom’s Cabin – 978-1-59308-121-8 Need by August 15, 2018
2) The Tempest – 978-0-7434-8283-7 Need by August 15, 2018
3) The Red Badge of Courage – 9781986764087 need by September 5, 2018
4) Wynema – 0-8032-6378-3 need by October 3,2018
5) The Zookeeper’s Wife- 9780393354256 need by December 5, 2018
6) Summer of My German Soldier – 978-0-14-130636-0 need by February 6, 2019
7) The Crucible – 978-0-14-2437-33-9 need by March 6, 2018
8) Animal Farm – 978-0-451-5263-42 need by March 6, 2019
9) Fahrenheit 451 – 978-1-4516-7331-9 need by April 17,2019

*Please see our Payment Details page for more information.