Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
Home About Unit Index Archive Book Club Site Search
5. Masculine Heroes   

5. Masculine

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Overview Questions

Instructor Overview
A brief description of the literary movement within its historical context.
• How did racial tensions complicate and challenge the expansionist goals articulated in many American texts of the nineteenth century?

• How did gender impact immigrants' experiences and opportunities in the American West?

• How do texts by African American, Native American, and Latino writers expand and transform concepts of American citizenship, identity, and masculinity?

• What are the distinguishing characteristics of the epic? How do writers in Unit 5 draw on and transform the tradition of the epic?

• What characterizes the historical novel? What historical periods or events did nineteenth-century historical novelists see as appropriate subjects for their books? Why were historical novels so popular among nineteenth-century American readers?

• What genres count as literature? How do letters, memoirs, and songs challenge the traditional borders of "the literary"?

• What is a "frontier"? How have American ideas about the frontier changed over time?

• What kinds of attitudes toward nature and the environment were prevalent in nineteenth-century American culture?

• How did the concept of Manifest Destiny impact nineteenth-century American political policies and literary aesthetics?

• What kinds of ideals and values do corridos advocate? How did corridos influence the development of Chicano literature?

• What are the distinguishing characteristics of free verse? How did Whitman's development of free verse influence subsequent American poetry?

• What ideals of masculinity helped shape the nineteenth-century figure of the American hero?

• How were symbols and language usually associated with Anglo-American "patriotism" borrowed, appropriated, and transformed by African American, Native American, and Latino writers and artists?

• How have American attitudes toward landscape and the environment changed over time?

• How were the figures of the bandit and the outlaw represented in popular texts of the mid- to late nineteenth century? What kinds of myths came to surround these figures?

Slideshow Tool
This tool builds multimedia presentations for classrooms or assignments. Go

An online collection of 3000 artifacts for classroom use. Go

Download PDF
Download the Instructor Guide PDF for this Unit. Go


© Annenberg Foundation 2016. All rights reserved. Legal Policy