English 3 gives students the opportunity to explore the American identity by reading American texts that span the period from the late eighteenth century through the late twentieth century. During this journey through American literature, students will examine a variety of texts, including documents, speeches, poems, short stories, and novels. As they read these texts, students learn about the themes, characteristics, and concepts that delineate the American identity and examine how literature both reflects and defines these ideas. This work culminates in a project in which students research the American literary canon throughout history and then choose a modern text that they believe should be part of the literary canon. By the end of the course, students should be able to describe the defining characteristics of American literature and explain how those characteristics have evolved over time.
Common Sense by Thomas Paine
The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson
The Preamble to the Constitution
The Bill of Rights
“To His Excellency, General Washington” by Phillis Wheatley
“A Political Litany” by Philip Freneau
“Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant
“We Grow Accustomed to the Dark” by Emily Dickinson
“The Cross of Snow” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau
“The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass
“The Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln
Second Inaugural Address by Abraham Lincoln
“The Great Problem to Be Solved” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Read and analyze foundational documents and texts from the Revolutionary War period.
Examine defining characteristics of nineteenth-century American literary movements, including Romanticism, transcendentalism, and Gothic literature.
Write a persuasive essay that convinces the audience to take action to fix a problem in the community.
Write an original short story that incorporates components of Gothic literature.
Explain how American literature both reflects and defines characteristics of the American identity. Read and analyze nonfiction from the late nineteenth century.
Define satire and explain how artists use it to promote change.
Lead a discussion on the controversy surrounding Mark Twain’s novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Examine defining characteristics of Realism and explain how it can be seen in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Write a literary analysis that analyzes a structural component of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.