Ch 12: Prominent American Novelists Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Prominent American Novelists chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the works of important U.S. writers in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Prominent American Novelists chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Herman Melville
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Longfellow's work and a look at free verse and blank verse
Dark romanticism in Melville's novels and short stories
Hawthorne's themes and styles
Emerson's transcendental poem 'Self-Reliance'
Tuesday Henry David Thoreau
Walt Whitman
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Mark Twain
Transcendental ideas in Thoreau's Walden
Whitman's free verse and realist poems'
The influence of Uncle Tom's Cabin in pre-Civil War America
Twain's work and regional writing
WednesdayMy Antonia by Willa Cather
Kate Chopin
Henry James's Daisy Miller
Edith Wharton
Cather's work as a regionalist and in dealing with the Midwest and immigrants
Chopin and regionalism and realism
A look at Daisy Miller and themes in James's work
Wharton's novels and stories
Thursday F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ernest Hemingway
William Faulkner
John Steinbeck
Fitzgerald and modernism
Hemingway's work
Faulkner as a regionalist and modernist
Steinbeck and the The Grapes of Wrath
FridayRalph Ellison and Invisible Man
Black Boy by Richard Wright
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Analysis of Ellison's Invisible Man
Wright's work and those of other African-America writers of the 1950s-70s
Analysis of themes in Catcher in the Rye

21 Lessons in Chapter 12: Prominent American Novelists Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
A Rose for Emily Lesson Plan

1. A Rose for Emily Lesson Plan

Help students better understand the Southern Gothic writings of William Faulkner in A Rose for Emily through this Study.com video and accompanying lesson plan. Use the activity to further your students' knowledge.

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner: Summary, Theme & Analysis

2. A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner: Summary, Theme & Analysis

In William Faulkner's strange and startling short story 'A Rose for Emily,' the reader is introduced to one of literature's most talked-about female characters: Emily Grierson. Learn about how her eccentric life highlighted tensions surrounding change in the South and how death and other Gothic elements tie this story together.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poem Analysis

3. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poem Analysis

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was known as a fireside poet because his poems were read by the fire as a means of entertainment. Learn about how he created American history through the use of musical elements, like rhythm and rhyme scheme.

Herman Melville: Biography, Works & Style

4. Herman Melville: Biography, Works & Style

Like many great people, Herman Melville was misunderstood during his time. Watch this video to find out why the author of the famous novel 'Moby Dick' died almost as a complete unknown.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style

5. Nathaniel Hawthorne: Biography, Works, and Style

Who was Nathaniel Hawthorne? Well, besides being a brooding guy with a bit of a dark past, he was one of the most famous writers from early America. Learn more about him and his view of the Puritan belief system in this video.

Self-Reliance: Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendental Essay

6. Self-Reliance: Ralph Waldo Emerson's Transcendental Essay

This video analyzes Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay 'Self-Reliance' for characteristics of transcendental ideas, including individualism, nonconformity, and intuition.

Henry David Thoreau's Walden: Summary and Analysis

7. Henry David Thoreau's Walden: Summary and Analysis

Henry David Thoreau was one of the most influential transcendental American writers and Walden was one of the movement's most important works. Let's explore why.

Walt Whitman: Transcendental and Realist Poet

8. Walt Whitman: Transcendental and Realist Poet

Walt Whitman is now considered one of the greatest American poets of all time, but his work was not so well-loved when it first debuted. Find out what made the man and his poems so controversial.

Uncle Tom's Cabin and the American Civil War

9. Uncle Tom's Cabin and the American Civil War

In this lesson, we will explore the context, characters and plot of one of the country's most influential novels, Harriet Beecher Stowe's 'Uncle Tom's Cabin.' Then, find out how it inched America closer to the Civil War.

Mark Twain: Biography, Works, and Style as a Regionalist Writer

10. Mark Twain: Biography, Works, and Style as a Regionalist Writer

In this lesson, we will learn about Mark Twain's life, his most acclaimed writings and his place as a realist and regionalist writer in this country's literary history.

Willa Cather's My Antonia: Summary and Analysis

11. Willa Cather's My Antonia: Summary and Analysis

In this lesson, we will examine Willa Cather's most recognizable literary work, 'My Antonia'. We will take a look at the plot of this story while considering the ways in which this modernist novel uses language and setting to reflect character relationships and emotion.

Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

12. Kate Chopin: Biography, Works, and Style

In this lesson, we will learn about Kate Chopin, a Southern regionalist writer. First, we will consider how her life created a framework for stories that reflect early feminist values in a very traditional world, then we will look at her two most famous works, 'The Story of an Hour' and 'The Awakening.'

The American in Europe: Henry James' Daisy Miller

13. The American in Europe: Henry James' Daisy Miller

In this lesson, we will examine the literary theme of the American abroad in the work of expatriate writer Henry James. Specifically, we will examine James's depiction of character relationships, behavior and social context within his novella Daisy Miller.

Edith Wharton: Biography and Major Novels

14. Edith Wharton: Biography and Major Novels

Who was Edith Wharton? Only the author of over 40 books and the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. In this lesson, we'll explore her life and major novels.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Biography and Works

15. F. Scott Fitzgerald: Biography and Works

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote one of the defining American novels: 'The Great Gatsby.' Yet, his personal life was tumultuous and filled with struggles. In this lesson, we'll explore his major works and his life story.

Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

16. Ernest Hemingway: Biography, Works, and Style

American author Ernest Hemingway used the experiences from his rich and colorful life to inform his novels and short stories. Learn about how life and major works.

William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

17. William Faulkner: Biography, Books, and Style

William Faulkner towers above American literature, particularly American literature of the South. In this lesson, we'll explore his life and review his major works and style.

John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath and Other Works

18. John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath and Other Works

John Steinbeck is one of the 20th century's most celebrated authors. In this lesson, we'll look at Steinbeck's most famous work, 'The Grapes of Wrath.' We'll also discuss his style and consider his other major works.

Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man Summary and Analysis

19. Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man Summary and Analysis

If people only see you as a part of a race, and not as an individual, are you still a person? In this lesson, we'll analyze Ralph Ellison's important and critically acclaimed novel, 'Invisible Man.'

Richard Wright's Black Boy: Summary and Analysis

20. Richard Wright's Black Boy: Summary and Analysis

After his fiction masterpiece 'Native Son,' Richard Wright wrote a deeply personal and moving autobiography, covering his childhood in the South and his life as an adult in Chicago. In this lesson, we'll explore 'Black Boy.'

J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye: Summary and Analysis

21. J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye: Summary and Analysis

J.D. Salinger's novel tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a literary figure you'll either love or hate. Watch this video to find out which camp you fall into!

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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