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American Realism

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

American Realism


Much of the Civil War period literature can be considered Realism, but I separate stories and poetry I feel is especially related to the Civil War into a separate unit, especially since Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism can be a very large unit. Much of the Civil War unit involves persuasive speeches; my class reads speeches by Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Abraham Lincoln, Chief Joseph, and Satana. It felt natural to me to ask them to write and deliver a persuasive speech (rubric). I also have them read several works set during the Civil War. Because of time constraints, I haven't yet been able to fit in a novel, like Cold Mountain similar, but that is an approach one could take if time allowed.


Following the Civil War, students begin studying Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism as a movement, beginning with an introductory Power Point presentation. I teach The Awakening to my Honors students, as they are on an AP track, and this work is considered valuable for AP students to read. My Honors students read Huck Finn for summer reading; therefore, I do not cover it during this unit. My other students do read Huck Finn. I found some great unit plans for both novels: The Awakening and Huck Finn. My students also watch Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" (PDF) is not often included in high school literature texts, but I found students really responded to it. Scribbling Women has a great radio play of "The Yellow Wallpaper" that my students enjoyed.


All of these handouts (along with many others) are gathered at my handouts page.

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