Course: American Literature

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Course Description

Units in this course were taught to 11th graders who were preparing for the AP.

Units and Lessons

Perspectives on Pocahontas Resources: 12

UNIT OVERVIEW: In this unit, students analyze the differences between three perspectives on the interactions between Native Americans and Jamestown settlers, specifically John Smith and Pocahontas. UNIT TEXTS: (1) “General History of Virginia” by John Smith, 1607 (2) Pocahontas, Disney, 1995 (3) “A Statement by the Powhatan Renape Nation” by Chief Roy Crazy Horse, response to Disney’s movie UNIT OBJECTIVES: * use strategies to comprehend difficult texts (reading “A General History of Virginia”) * close read implicit visual messages & craft paragraphs that balance analysis with necessary descriptions (visually racist and sexist message in Pocahontas) * analyze how author’s establish credibility/ethos (Smith’s use of 3rd person, Chief Roy Crazy Horse’s appeal to historical accuracy) * analyze how word choice and sentence structure create tone (Chief Roy Crazy Horse) * analyze how perspective shape a story’s details, purpose, form/genre, point of view, and tone (Smith’s details & point of view chosen for self-glorification & degradation of Native Americans, Disney’s details and animated form chosen to best entertain and gross profit as well as to glorify forefathers and provide “moral education” to children, Chief Roy Crazy Horse’s historical reasoning & critical tone)

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