Eastside Academic Studies


American Literature and Composition

Teacher: Christine Oswald
Date/Time: Thursday - 10:45 AM to 12:15 PM
Room: FH1
Department: Language Arts - High School
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th)
Maximum Enrollment: 12


Corresponds with DOE course code 23.05100; 1 core credit;  Class minimum: 6 students

“That is part of the beauty of all literature.  You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

American literature invites us to “see” how we have formed and been formed by the development and worldview of our nation.  Through interaction with short stories, speeches, novels, plays, poetry, and nonfiction, we will discover how the evolving American experience has been portrayed by a diverse group of authors over the last 500+ years.  We will study works ranging from Native American legend to the Roaring 20’s & Harlem Renaissance and into contemporary fiction.  Major themes of American literature will be used to give a “lens” through which we can analyze what we are reading and interacting with. 

This course aims to meet each student where s/he is at as a writer. Empowering each student to more confidently develop his/her "voice" as a written communicator is a goal in this class.  Composition, grammar and vocabulary skills will be developed through journal entries, gentle weekly exercises, and essays.  Students will have the opportunity to reinforce and build upon their revision, proofreading, and writing knowledge through class exercises and games.  We will expand our vocabulary through a vocabulary journal that we build as a class. Students will be coached through writing a persuasive paper, a comparative essay, and a definition essay.  There will be a final project of the student’s choice in lieu of a research paper.

Grades will be based on attendance, homework, tests/quizzes, papers, participation and the final project.

Up to 300 extra credit points can be gained through summer reading.


The primary text, Glencoe Literature : The Reader's Choice (ISBN 10: 0078251109) can be rented from the teacher for $10/year unless the student wishes to mark up the text, then s/he will need to purchase one.

Additional texts provided by the student follow. Any edition is fine.

  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • To Kill a Mockingbird  by Harper Lee

Tuition: $590/year, if paid by the end of the first class
$310/semester, payment due first class of each semester

Fee: $20/year for copies and materials, paid by the first class.

Feel free to contact Christine at mrsoswaldclasses@gmail.com or text at 770-715-3639.  We can meet at a location that works for us both and have a lovely visit.

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