Ch 8: MTEL Middle School Humanities: American Literature

About This Chapter

Brush up on your knowledge of American literature from its earliest beginnings to present-day writers. The lessons in this chapter will assist you in answering the questions you may encounter on the MTEL Middle School Humanities exam.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: American Literature - Chapter Summary

American literature comes to life in all of its forms in these video lessons. The lessons cover the following material:

  • American literary movements and periods
  • Early, colonial and Native American literary and oral traditions
  • Romanticism, transcendentalism and realism in American literature
  • Modernist and imagist literature
  • Contemporary literature and the Harlem Renaissance
  • Analyzing American poetry, short stories and plays

The many features of our study guide combine to form a versatile, comprehensive refresher course that offers you the freedom to customize your study time to your own needs. The timeline feature lets you pinpoint your review to specific parts of a lesson, thus avoiding repetition and wasted time. Links between the quizzes and the videos make referring back and forth easy, making your study time more productive.

MTEL Middle School Humanities: American Literature Chapter Objectives

The MTEL Middle School Humanities exam measures content-area knowledge in teacher candidates as part of the requirement for an endorsement to teach humanities. The lessons in our American Literature chapter address the objectives in Subarea I: Literature and Language. There are between 30 and 32 questions in this subarea, and it comprises 25% of the exam.

The MTEL Middle Humanities exam is computer-based. It contains 100 multiple-choice questions and two open-response items for which you must compose a written answer addressing the topic or question given. The length requirement for the open-response assignments is from 150 to 300 words, and both assignments must be completed.

15 Lessons in Chapter 8: MTEL Middle School Humanities: American Literature
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

1. Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

When it comes to studying literature, there's about 1500 years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language! Fortunately, you can check out our crash course of key literary movements to see how the art form has developed over time.

Native American and Colonial Literature

2. Native American and Colonial Literature

What types of writing were popular during the early days of the United States? In this lesson, we'll look at three major categories of 17th and 18th century American writing in more detail: Native American oral stories, Puritan writing, and early American political writing.

Native American Oral Tradition: Heritage and Literary Influence

3. Native American Oral Tradition: Heritage and Literary Influence

Native American nations have a rich oral tradition of storytelling. In this lesson, we'll explore the heritage and themes of American Indian stories and look at how they influenced later American literature.

The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art

4. The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art

This video introduces American Romanticism, a movement where literature focused on intuition, imagination and individualism. Authors such as Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow contributed to what became known as the American identity, as the new country did its best to distance itself from European tradition.

The Dark Romantics in American Literature

5. The Dark Romantics in American Literature

This video introduces the characteristics of Dark Romanticism, a movement at the end of the Romantic period where literature embodied creepy symbols, horrific themes, and explored the psychological effects of guilt and sin. Authors, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote short stories, poems, and novels that encouraged Americans to see evil in everything.

Transcendentalism: Impact on American Literature

6. Transcendentalism: Impact on American Literature

This video defines Transcendentalism, a literary movement of the mid-19th century. Authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman used their literary platforms to encourage Americans to transcend society's presumptions and create a personal, progressive relationship with spirituality and nature.

The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism

7. The Literary Realism Movement: A Response to Romanticism

In this lesson, we will learn about Realism in American literature, how this new literary movement grew out of Romanticism and what circumstances in our changing nation made that literary shift possible.

Modernism in American Literature

8. Modernism in American Literature

In this lesson, we will discuss the concept of literary modernism in the United States. We will explore its historical backdrop along with the very unique characteristics and authors that define American modernism which lasted from 1914-1945.

The Imagist Movement: Poems, Examples & Key Poets

9. The Imagist Movement: Poems, Examples & Key Poets

The Imagist movement in modern poetry focused on describing objects as opposed to the long philosophical discussions of traditional poetry. Read on to find out more about Imagism and read poems by two of its founders, H.D. and Amy Lowell.

The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age

10. The Harlem Renaissance: Novels and Poetry from the Jazz Age

The Harlem Renaissance was a movement in the 1920s and 1930s during which there was an explosion of African-American art and literature. This lesson looks at the themes, causes, and important figures of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Contemporary Period in American Literature

11. The Contemporary Period in American Literature

Learn about how Contemporary literature developed and understand its fundamental characteristics. Find out how American history and cultural norms really defined and developed the Contemporary period in American literature.

Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples

12. Analyzing American Poetry: Terms and Examples

It can sometimes be tough to figure out what a poem means. This lesson provides some tools to help you analyze poetry and develop your interpretations.

Role of the Narrator in American Novels: Types and Examples

13. Role of the Narrator in American Novels: Types and Examples

Thinking about who is telling the story in a novel, and what he or she might be leaving out, is crucial to understanding that novel. Learn about the various types of points of view in American novels, as well as a few specific, noteworthy narrators, in this lesson.

Analyzing the American Short Story: Techniques and Examples

14. Analyzing the American Short Story: Techniques and Examples

Identifying the tone, setting, and mood in a short story can help you analyze that story. In this lesson, we'll think about those literary features in the context of a few well-known American short stories.

Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

15. Analyzing American Drama: Techniques and Plays

Plays are often developed with the use of a number of literary techniques. This lesson explores the use of symbolism, motifs, flashbacks, and monologues in American drama.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the MTEL Middle School Humanities (50): Practice & Study Guide course

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