American Literature Students Study Early-American Nonfiction

September 17, 2012

Students in Mrs. Garrelts' English III class have been hard at work reading early-American non-fiction text.  They have been reading about early settlers, slavery, the feminist movement, and European immigration in order to answer the question, "What is an American?"  Using note taking techniques, inferring bias from the authors, analyzing Aristotle's persuasive proofs, and examining reasoning have been key points to help students through the unit.  Students also wrote summaries and compared and contrasted multiple viewpoints of similar accounts.

The students have enjoyed reading autobiographies, letters, pamphlets, and laws about the time period they know from history class.  Some preferred Olaudah Equiano's slave narrative, a first hand account of what happened to him while living two months on a slave trade ship bound from Africa to the West Indies.  Other students appreciated Abigail Adams' letter to her husband, and former president John Adams, about women's rights and American independence.  There was certainly something for everyone!