Self- Guided Course Tours: Conversations in American Literature

Document created by Sydney Browne on Oct 25, 2017Last modified by Classroom Compass Administrator on Feb 21, 2020
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BFW Self-Guided Course Tours are designed with your schedule in mind - they're on-demand, self-paced, and provide you with everything you need to know to get started using BFW materials successfully in your classroom.

Each course contains short videos that review the AP Exam (where applicable), the student edition, and teacher resources. The videos are all less than 3 minutes long, so they're easy to watch in-between classes, during prep, or whenever you need a refresher on your textbook program. At the end of the course, you'll receive a Program Guide to use as a reference of your materials, as well as a lesson planning guide to help you get started.

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Teachers have struggled for years to balance the competing demands of American Literature and AP English Language. Now, the team that brought you the bestselling Language of Composition is here to help. Conversations in American Literature: Language ∙ Rhetoric ∙ Culture is a new kind of American Literature anthology—putting nonfiction on equal footing with the traditional fiction and poetry, and emphasizing the skills of rhetoric, close reading, argument, and synthesis. To spark critical thinking, the book includes TalkBack pairings and synthesis Conversations that let students explore how issues and texts from the past continue to impact the present. Whether you’re teaching AP English Language, or gearing up for Common Core, Conversations in American Literature will help you revolutionize the way American literature is taught.


A Comprehensive Anthology. With over 150 classic and contemporary nonfiction texts, 80 poems, 35 stories, and 50 visual texts, Conversations in American Literature is a thorough and unique look at the history of American literature. It includes authors ranging from Anne Bradstreet to Jonathan Franzen, from Phillis Wheatley to Joan Didion.

Activity-Driven Opening Chapters. Focusing on rhetoric, close reading, argument, and synthesis, the opening chapters for Conversations in American Literature help students develop the skills necessary to analyze and interpret complex texts.

Probing Questions. Questions after each reading prompt students to analyze each piece closely and critically, looking for how language and rhetoric are used to shape important ideas.

Contemporary Talkbacks. To show how the issues and texts of the past continue to inform our national discourse, Conversations in American Literature links important pieces of American literature with more recent essays, literature, and images that respond, resonate, and reinterpret. For instance, N. Scott Momaday responds to a collection of Native American myths in his essay "The Becoming of the Native," Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Ho Chi Minh respond to the Declaration of Independence with their own Declarations, and Natasha Trethewey’s poem "Again, the Fields" gives us a fresh perspective on Winslow Homer’s painting The Veteran in a New Field.

Compelling Conversations. Three Conversations clusters in each chapter let students exercise their synthesis and argument skills while exploring enduring historical issues and literary legacies. Many of these Conversations explore the legacy, mythology, and sometimes even controversy surrounding some of the most important figures in American history, such as Christopher Columbus, Pocahontas, George Washington, Phillis Wheatley, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, and Henry David Thoreau. Other Conversations explore an issue such as Immigration, Japanese Internment and Reparations, or Class in America from its roots in the past to its enduring impact on the present.

Unique Chronological and Thematic Organization. Each chapter begins with a chronological collection of readings, in keeping with the tradition of American Literature being a historical course, and to facilitate interdisciplinary connections (and even team teaching) with U. S. History. The chapters then include three thematic Conversations that ask students to consider enduring issues from the period.

Illustrated Historical Introductions. To provide students with the context and background knowledge necessary to enter historical conversations, each chapter of readings begins with an illustrated period introduction covering major events and social trends.

Grammar as Rhetoric and Style. A favorite in The Language of Composition, adapted here for the American literature course. These sections go beyond simple right and wrong to help students analyze the rhetorical effects of grammatical choices.