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Join The Lit Corps





Operation: Lit Drop

Wesley Evans

Penn State Harrisburg




| Into | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teacher Notes





You have joined the Lit Corps, an organization dedicated to teaching American literature to the citizens of foreign countries. This project is called Operation: Lit Drop. Your supervisors in the Corps want the course to reflect important moments or issues in American literature, and to encompass a variety of writing styles and time periods. You may use any work you wish, but remember that the people in your class are not native English speakers also remember that you have been asked to use three novels and three short stories or sections from a novel.





Your task is to prepare for your infield assignment as part of Operation: Lit Drop, by selecting three important American novels that represent the time periods of the American Renaissance, the 19th-century and the 20th-century. These can be actual novels, plays, essays or other works that you consider important which are longer than five to 10 pages in length. You must also 3 select “short stories” as well. These can be short stories, sections of the novel, sections of an essay or poems, but they also must be from the same three time periods as the novels. You will write up a detailed description of why you chose these novels and short stories, how you intend to teach their themes and stories, and why you consider them to be important pieces of American literature. This information will be assembled in a portfolio, which you will give to the Corps for approval





Step 1

The class will be divided into groups of three. Each member of the group will then become the “expert” on one of the three time periods: the American Renaissance, the 19th century, or the 20th Century. This person will then be responsible for choosing the “novel” and “short story” from their own time period, and explaining to the group why these texts are important to American literature as a whole.


Step 2

Each member the team will then be required to choose one novel and one short story from their time period. The “novel” can be actual novels, plays, essays or other works that you consider important than are longer than five to 10 pages in length. The “short story” can be short stories, sections of the novel, sections of an essay, or poems.


Step 3

Your group must then agree on all the works to be used. Then write up a description for each one of the works, describing why this work is important in American literature, and what themes and motifs it deals with. This will be a part of your final portfolio for this project. Remember that you are going to be teaching these books to people who are not native English speakers, so describe how the language of the work can be explained or easily understood by those with limited English fluency. This will also be part of the final portfolio.


Step 4

Include in the portfolio what you believe to be either the most important quote or scene from each one of your works, and a description of why those quotes or scenes are important.

The Goal

The goal of this project is put to put together a final portfolio that will include all the texts you wish use for all three time periods, a description of why each one of these texts is important and relevant to important moments in American literature, and the quotes and reasoning of why those quotes are important or relevant.






American Literature on the Web

The Norton Anthology of American Literature

Literary Resources -- American

Brief Timeline of American Literature





Your final portfolio will be assessed using a rubric. The rubric will evaluate how well you have chosen texts that reflect important moments in American literature, how well you have explained those choices, how well the quote demonstrate an important moment in the text, and how well you explained that quote.


Click Here for Rubric







You have completed all the requirements necessary before going into the field and demonstrating important moments in American literature to those who will benefit from learning about them. On behalf of the Lit Corps we wish you Good Luck and best of success in Operation: Lit Drop.




Teacher notes


Copyright 2004 Wesley Evans