American Experience: Course Overview

Course Description

This course is a tech-integrated Junior English course. In this course, we will continue to develop our reading comprehension skills as we encounter works from each of the following periods and movements in American literature: Colonialism, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, Harlem Renaissance, and Contemporary. Our skills in writing will continue to be developed through the writing of a variety of expositional and creative papers with a special focus on the research process and the thesis-based research paper. Critical analysis of film, student presentations, and academic discourse activities will provide us with opportunities to further develop literacy in a variety of media beyond print. Individual needs and interests will receive special attention.ating competency.  Use this syllabus, the calendar below and the conference trackers to manage your time successfully.

Competency-Based Education Pilot Program

To learn more about this pilot program and competencies, click here. The competencies for the Jr. English Competency-Based Education Pilot Program are as follows:

Competency #1Reading

Competency #2: Writing

Competency #3: Research

Competency #4: Listening/Speaking/Viewing

Competency #5: Technology

Course Specific Criteria: American Experience

In the fall semester, reading must include teacher selected works from the following periods/movements in American literature: Colonial, Neoclassical, Romantic, Realist, and Contemporary. It must also include a minimum of  TWO independently selected literary works of American literature. 

In the spring semester, reading must include teacher selected works from the following periods/movements in American literature: Romantic, Naturalist, Modernist, Harlem Renaissance, and Contemporary. It must also include a minimum of TWO independently selected literary works of American literature.

Semester Summative Assessments 

Each semester, learners must complete a minimum of two  summative assessments   and a semester portfolio in addition to the common exam for Junior English. Over the course of an academic year, learners must complete one summative assessment from each category.  

• CATEGORY #1:  thesis-based research paper
• CATEGORY #2: reflection paper,  essay test response,  multi-genre research paper
• CATEGORY #3:  kiosk presentation,  digital story poetry performance,  podcast
• semester digital portfolio

Semester Formative Assessments: Fall & Spring

Each semester, learner’s will complete formative assessments  which will reflect a readiness to demonstrate competency by:

• continually engaging in reading a wide variety of course specific literary works
• maintaining a Reader’s and Writer’s Digital Notebook
• engaging in reading workshop
• engaging in writing workshop
• participating in academic discourse

If/When Absent

If/when absent from class, the student should:

        • refer to the LHS student handbook for the make-up work policy

         • see Mrs. Juster outside of class as soon as possible to develop a plan to get back on track 


This is a tech-rich course. All student work will be completed digitally with the exception of reading. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the school’s computer resources in the library-media center during study hall, lunch or after school. Students with limited access to computers outside of class are reminded to use class time wisely.