Welcome to African American Literature. This course will take its students on an, enriching, harrowing, and historical journey starting with the African people first kidnapped from their native land, and moving all the way to the complex and poignant modern African American dilemma. The varied situations, personalities, and beliefs of the authors which students will encounter provide a profoundly rich experience of African American culture which will lead students to cultivate empathy, appreciate diversity, honor the past, and wonder at human nature. This is a course that will reach into the mind, travel down to the heart, and touch the very souls of its conscientious students.
African American Literature will move students chronologically through 9 units of study, each of which focuses on an era representing a step in African American history. Each unit presents several canonical authors based on shared chronology–for example our studies begin with Olaudah Equiano and Phillis Wheatley, and end with Maya Angelou and Alice Walker. In each of these units, primary texts in multiple genres are presented, analyzed, exposited, and discussed. The linguistic and ideological development suggested by the momentum of this approach ultimately draws rich and powerful lines for consideration, providing the earnest student with a compelling understanding of the language, images, and themes of the paradoxical body of African American Literature.
This is a 1 semester course consisting of 9 units. Upon successful completion students will receive 0.5 credit towards high school graduation.
Purpose of the Course
This course is designed to continue to develop students’ skills in composition, style, grammar, argumentation, oratory, and philosophy. Standard African American canonized texts will lead the students chronologically through the plotline of the African American experience and its most eloquent respondents and shapers. The nexus between language and culture is inevitable and students will find themselves immersed in sociological and ideological study while working closely with text. Students will refine their skills in stylistic analysis and argumentation through written and oral evaluations of several varieties. The course involves close reading of two larger pieces as well as dozens of smaller readings in many genres. It culminates in a substantial synthesis research paper.
Required Course Materials
Please access the list of course materials from the OC Online book ordering system and order your materials as soon as possible. Oftentimes, course materials are on back order and you may experience a delay in receiving them, causing students to fall behind in their online coursework. When ordering used or rented materials, be careful that online access codes are also current.
Methods of Instruction
Instruction in this course will occur in predominantly 5 ways:
Methods of Evaluation
The course uses 9 methods of evaluation. Below is an overview chart.
Number of Tasks
Students will rewrite a primary source sentence using differing rhetorical strategies to achieve syntactic effects.
Rhetorical Terms Quiz
Students will identify rhetorical strategies in primary source texts
Students will write an academic paragraph which argues a claim, provides textual evidence, and furnishes expository analysis.
Students will share their own ideas in response to a primary text and respond to others’ ideas with the forum
Students will learn words from primary sources and then place those words, conjugating them according to syntax and grammar, within sentences.
Students will read primary source text, giving careful attention to the “interpretation” of their reading in its control of rate, pitch, emphasis, enunciation, and volume.
These assignments call students to synthesize ideas within and between pieces and authors, showing connections and differences.
These assessments will be given by the instruction 1:1 and will afford the student the chance to verbally respond to a question.
These longer papers will combine the smaller CEW paragraphs into a larger, coherent whole.
Students will demonstrate mastery through the following formative and summative assessments:
This course will use 4 rubrics: