American Lit 8/30 – Letters from an American Farmer

Hi American Lit,

Here’s where  you’ll be posting your homework:  For tonight, on the blog, explain why your letter might be similar and/or different than a Frenchman who was seeing America for the first time in 1782. What’s changed about our country? What’s remained the same? Is it important that Crevecoeur was himself an immigrant?

APSEM 8/30

Tonight, make sure you do some outside research on Godzilla. Watch some clips, do some reading about its background and time period, and come to class tomorrow knowing a little more about Godzilla than you do today.

APSEM – Finding evidence in monster stories

Here are the four thesis statements your groups came up with in class today:

  1. Monsters invoke fear due to their inability to conform to societal norms.
  2. The making of a monster follows a set of stages starting from the introduction of the strange causing others to misunderstand them, which causes a reaction of fear leading to a destructive end.
  3. Monsters are classified as monsters because their actions and thoughts show aggression and cause fear.
  4. “Monster” is a subjective label used to refer to someone or something that induces fear by doing something wrong, immoral or scary.

As you read “Frankenstein,” “Dracula” or “Picture of Dorian Grey,” look for evidence of your monster “proving” a claim made in these thesis statements.

American Lit 8/29 – photo galleries for classwork


Look through the photos on the websites below (stick to ones shot in the USA). Identify themes, current events, or whatever else strikes you about these images. Jot down your ideas and share them with your partner.

Then on your own write a 3/4 to full page letter to a person – anyone – about contemporary America,
Some ideas to address in your letter:
–What does America stand for today?
–What does America represent?
–Has it always stood for or represented these things?
–Through what images do we see what America represents?

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

The New York Times


Superheroes, 8/28 Homework

Hi everyone,

I hope the rest of your first day went well! For tonight, answer the two questions at the bottom of the archetype checklist from class today:

  1. Think about the popularity and longevity (or “staying power”) of the hero you and your partner chose. Which archetypes checked off from the list do you think most contribute to your hero’s longevity and why?
  2. What parts of this hero tap into a type of “cultural mythology,” as Grant Morrison put it. In other words, why do we as Americans, or specifically you as a teenager in America, identify with this hero?