Modern American Literature and Writing Composition - 2nd Semester

This course is part two of a year-long program. During the second semester, learners will focus their attention on the basics of literary analysis and writing using American Literature classics as the spine.
Melissa L. - Registered IEW Instructor
279 total reviews for this teacher
1 review for this class
Completed by 7 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.

50 minutes

per class

Once per week

over 16 weeks


year olds


learners per class

per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
During the second 16 weeks (2nd semester), learners will read, analyze, and write about modern America. Texts span from the early 1900s to the 1990s.
As a lifelong learner, I too am always striving for growth. After years of using the IEW curriculum, I decided I wanted to share what I had learned with others and became a registered instructor with IEW. (Link for verification: https://iew.com/events-classes/instructors/find-accredited-instructor/330449) I have also been a tutor (teacher) for a local classical co-op, studied through literature seminars, and attended practicums to enhance my own reading and writing knowledge. 

I am also a certified TESOL/TEFL/EYL teacher, professional writer, beta reader, proofreader, editor, and homeschool mom. I have a love for the English language (I have a BA in English to prove it), the smell of new books, and transferring ideas from mind to paper. My goal is to promote a love of learning while offering a safe and fun environment. I truly have a passion for reading and writing and would love to share my knowledge and experience with your children.  
* Literature homework includes, but is not limited to reading text weekly as assigned by the teacher. Occasionally, there will be additional literature assignments to deepen the understanding of a text. Google forms will be used throughout the semester for reading comprehension between classes as part of the homework.
* This semester, we are approaching writing based on the stories presented in class. These include, but are not limited to creating our own short stories, modern poetry writing, two formal essays, and literary analysis. Writing will be assigned weekly.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Handouts will be provided for the short stories. These are also accessible digitally in the Public Domain.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
* Literature comprehension is assessed during class meetings and between classes as homework.

* Writing comprehension is assessed via essays and additional writing assig

Please note that there are no "formal" exams given, however, learners will be quizzed through interactive games and online as needed.
50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
Below is a list of the books we will be reading during the 2nd semester. Before each book, we will have a discussion that will take place in class about the author and explain the context in which each book was written. Because American Literature has a messy past, it is of the utmost importance that the history of the text is clarified before reading. The same is true for recognizing multiple perspectives as a part of understanding the role American Literature plays in our past. As a melting pot of cultures, religions, backgrounds, and ideas this course seeks to identify and celebrate the uniqueness that all individuals contribute to the United States.

A note to parents and guardians: At this age, your learner may come to you with questions regarding the injustices and/or mature content that occur within these writings. Please note that during class, should a sensitive topic be brought up unrelated to the text, I will kindly redirect the learner to ask you outside of the classroom to respect each family's decision on how best to approach these matters.

Below are Parental Guides for the stories being read in class.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald - https://lernerbooks.com/shop/show/17707 " In this detour into fantasy, a man is born with the body and mind of an old man and ages backwards over the course of his life. Taken from the 1922 copyright edition, this unabridged collection features the striking prose and poignant themes that exemplify Fitzgerald’s career."

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - "Parents need to know that Harper Lee's 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird addresses the terrible impact of racism in America through a little girl's point of view. The story takes place in Depression-era Alabama, in the fictional town of Maycomb, which Lee patterned after her own hometown of Monroeville. The narrator, 6-year-old Scout Finch, and her brother Jem and their friend Dill play children's games, but they also have a clear view of the adults in their world. Their youth and innocence contrasts with the prejudice, cruelty, and poverty they often observe." For additional information, please visit https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/to-kill-a-mockingbird

Please note that the short stories do not have PGs attached to them, however, they have all been vetted and cross-checked with multiple high school state standards for appropriate age-level comprehension and content.

Regarding independent work at home: 

I encourage parental guidance when students are working at home, however, by high school learners are able to transition to working independently when possible. Some students may struggle at the beginning with balancing the concepts of class and doing the work on their own. Please know that it is perfectly fine if your child asks for help and guidance. The goal at this age is to understand the concepts. Mastery comes with continuous practice and patience as each learner moves at his/her own pace. If at any point during the class you feel that your child is falling behind or needs additional help, please feel free to reach out to me directly so we can work out a plan.

Reading should be done regularly so that your child does not feel overwhelmed with having to read large amounts during one or two sittings. If your child struggles reading on his/her own or needs extra encouragement when reading, I suggest reading the books together or listening to an audiobook while following along. 

This class uses Kahoot and Gimkit for gameplay as well as Google Suite tools such as Docs, Forms, and Slides. For gameplay, an account is not needed as learners will be given a code to play directly with the educator. Google Suite tools may require an email address, however, this information is not collected by the educator and meets Outschool's COPPA compliance requirements.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald - 
"The Night the Bed Fell" by James Thurber 
The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson
"The Eyes Have It" by Phillip K. Dick 
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
"I Have a Dream" Speech by Martin Luther King Jr. 


Melissa L. - Registered IEW Instructor
Lives in the United States
Enthusiastic Bibliophile, Teacher, and Lifelong Learner
279 total reviews
103 completed classes

About Me


My name is Melissa. I am a certified TESOL/TEFL/EYL teacher, an IEW Registered Instructor, professional writer, beta reader, proofreader, editor, and homeschool mom. I have a love for the English language (I have a BA in English to prove... 
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