Category Archives: American Literature

Review: Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Geoffrey Canada

Canada, Geoffrey, Illus. Jamar Nicholas. Fist Stick Knife Gun. Boston: Beacon Press, 2010. Continuing a personal quest through contemporary graphic novels exploring anti-heroic themes, I picked up this graphic memoir about social activist Geoffrey Canada’s growing up in the streets of … Continue reading

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Teaching: Modernism and Harlem Renaissance Unit (American Literature)

Introduction/Background: Dr. Paul P. Reuben’s (CSU Stanislaus) Early Twentieth Century – American Modernism Introduction Valuable introduction to American Modernism, including their common characteristics, attitudes, tensions, literary achievements and themes. Touches modern sense of self and complex relationship between Modernism and “New Negro … Continue reading

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Review: The Quitter by Harvey Pekar and Dean Haspiel

Writer Harvey Pekar, of American Splendor fame, narrates a gloomy but realistic memoir, depicting scenes of his coming-of-age, the son of Polish Jew grocers, in the racially-charged, post-World War II climate of Cleveland, Ohio. Dean Haspiel provides expert illustrations to the scenes of alienation and drudgery which … Continue reading

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Teaching: Age of Reason Unit (American Literature)

Introduction/Background: The Enlightenment Brief historical background of Enlightenment, including lesson plans using excerpts from English thinkers (Hobbes’ The Leviathan and Locke’s Of Civil Government) and French Philosophes (Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws & Rousseau’s The Social Contract). Comparing Hobbes and Locke … Continue reading

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Review: My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf

You Only Think You Know This Story.  Thus reads the book jacket’s dramatic intro, a single sentence in ominous red type. Here graphic novelist Derf Backderf, a highschool acquaintance of Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, … Continue reading

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For those teaching American Literature, British Literature, and more . . .

I’ve updated (11/03/2012) to remove broken links to old QCC-based lesson plans and direct educators to the current CCGPS-based units in American literature. There are four thematic units in all, but you will also find unit, assignment, and assessment ideas for … Continue reading

Posted in American Literature, British Literature, Common Core, Education, English Education, English Teachers, Lesson Ideas, Lesson Plans, Multicultural Literature, Public Education, Secondary Education | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments