American Literature A - English 11-12

Enrollment Message:

Required texts the student must provide: A Raisin in the Sun--Lorraine Hansberry Their Eyes Were Watching God—Zora Neale Hurston The Crucible—Arthur Miller Various other shorter works

This is the first course in a two-course sequence. Two major themes for this course are “Leadership at Home” and “Leadership in Society.” Students will address several essential questions related to these themes while reading a variety of works by American authors. In addition to major works, students will read short stories and informational texts, engage in poetry analysis, view informational videos, and write for various purposes. Larger writing assignments include an informative essay and a major research project. Students partake in grammar challenges where they learn about grammar concepts and develop a mastery of their use. In addition to building their writing skills, students learn several reading strategies such as how to use graphic organizers to extract important information, take Cornell notes for an informational text or during a lecture, and summarize to monitor comprehension. Furthermore, students will explore several rhetorical devices and strategies like symbolism, dialect, author’s purpose, foreshadowing, persuasive devices, setting and more. Prerequisites: 10th or 11th Grade English

Course Objectives: Students will be able to:

  • Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text
  • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas
  • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text
  • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence
  • Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take
  • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others
  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation
  • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research

Course Outline: Course Units and Major Topics:

Unit 1: Leadership and Parents

Unit 2: Leadership and Spirituality

Unit 3: Leadership and Family Part 1

Unit 4: Leadership and Family Part 2

Unit 5: Informative Essay

Unit 6: Introduction to Research

Unit 7: What Qualities Define a Good World Leader?

Unit 8: What Can I Do to Avoid Repeating the Mistakes Made in History?

Unit 9: Who is in a Position to Help Me Affect Change?

Unit 10: Writing the Research Essay

Resources Included:  Online lesson instruction and activities, opportunities to engage with a certified, online instructor and classmates, when appropriate, and online assessments to measure student performance of course objectives and readiness for subsequent academic pursuits.

Students will be responsible for locating a print or online version of the following books:

"A Raisin in the Sun" — Lorraine Hansberry

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" — Zora Neale Hurston

"The Crucible" —Arthur Miller

In addition, students may need to locate some short stories, essays, and poems. There are links to electronic versions of all of the following works in the course.

“The Veldt” — Ray Bradbury

“Girl” – Jamaica Kincaid

“Upon the Burning of Our House” — Anne Bradstreet

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” — Jonathan Edwards

“Ain’t I A Woman?” — Sojourner Truth

“Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address” — Abraham Lincoln

There are additional links to various informational texts within this course.

Additional Costs: Required texts the student must provide: 

"A Raisin in the Sun" — Lorraine Hansberry 

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" — Zora Neale Hurston 

"The Crucible" — Arthur Miller 

Various other shorter works

Scoring System: Michigan Virtual does not assign letter grades, grant credit for courses, nor issue transcripts or diplomas. A final score reported as a percentage of total points earned will be sent to students upon completion of a course. Your school mentor is also able to access this score within the Student Learning Portal. Schools may use this score for conversion to their own letter grading system.

Time Commitment: Semester sessions are 18-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1 or more hours per day in the course to be successful. Summer sessions are 10 weeks long: Students must be able to spend a minimum of 2 or more hours per day, or about 90 hours during the summer, for the student to be successful in any course. Trimester sessions are 12-weeks long: Students must be able to spend 1.5 or more hours per day in the course to be successful.

Technology Requirements: Students will require a computer device with headphones, a microphone, webcam, up-to-date Chrome Web Browser, and access to YouTube.

Please review the Michigan Virtual Technology Requirements: 

Instructor Support System: For technical issues within your course, contact the Customer Care Center by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Instructor Contact Expectations: Students can use email or the private message system within the Student Learning Portal to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance. Students will also receive feedback on their work inside the learning management system. The Instructor Info area of their course may describe additional communication options.

Academic Support Available: In addition to access to a highly qualified, Michigan certified teacher, students have access to academic videos and outside resources verified by Michigan Virtual. For technical issues within the course, students can contact the Michigan Virtual Customer Care by email at [email protected] or by phone at (888) 889-2840.

Required Assessment: Online assessments consist of formative and summative assessments represented by computer-graded multiple choice, instructor-graded writing assignments including hands-on projects, model building and other forms of authentic assessments.

Technical Skills Needed: Basic technology skills necessary to locate and share information and files as well as interact with others in a Learning Management System (LMS), include the ability to:

  • Download, edit, save, convert, and upload files
  • Download and install software
  • Use a messaging service similar to email
  • Communicate with others in online discussion or message boards, following basic rules of netiquette
  • Open attachments shared in messages
  • Create, save, and submit files in commonly used word processing program formats and as a PDF
  • Edit file share settings in cloud-based applications, such as Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Save a file as a .pdf
  • Copy and paste and format text using your mouse, keyboard, or an html editor’s toolbar menu
  • Insert images or links into a file or html editor
  • Search for information within a document using Ctrl+F or Command+F keyboard shortcuts
  • Work in multiple browser windows and tabs simultaneously
  • Activate a microphone or webcam on your device, and record and upload or link audio and/or video files
  • Use presentation and graphics programs
  • Follow an online pacing guide or calendar of due dates
  • Use spell-check, citation editors, and tools commonly provided in word processing tool menus
  • Create and maintain usernames and passwords

Additional Information: Required texts the student must provide: A Raisin in the Sun--Lorraine Hansberry Their Eyes Were Watching God—Zora Neale Hurston The Crucible—Arthur Miller Various other shorter works


School Level: High School
Standards: Common Core State Standards-ELA
NCAA Approved: Yes
Alignment Document: Document
Course Location: Michigan Virtual (Brightspace)
NCES Code: 01054
MDE Endorsement Code: BA - English
MMC Minimum Requirements: ELA

When Offered: _Internal Use Only

Content Provider: Michigan Virtual
Instructor Provider: Michigan Virtual

Course Type: Plus