Junior English Literature Guide and Lesson Plans

Junior English is wonderful, and one of the advantages of home schooling is that your teenager can spend more time reading American literature this year.  

To do this, however, she will need to get a survey book of literature, which can be found at a used bookstore or a "Friends of Library" branch store. It will probably be a college edition, but that only means that she can choose from a wider range of authors. 

Have your teenager read at least three poems, four short stories, and an essay from each literary period listed below. 

A Multi-Cultural Comment

Multi-culturalism is a political movement that seeks to bring "equality" to whatever it touches through the idea that all voices are equally important and should be studied.

Since I began teaching before multi-culturalism took hold of curriculum decisions, I didn't like the push for students to read more from this newly added literature. Usually, it meant that in order to read some obscure writer, another author would have to be eliminated.

Often, teachers believe they don't have enough time to teach the basic authors, but since homeschooling affords much more choice, I've linked to a site that includes not only the essentials, but also many other lesser known authors. 

In choosing authors in this junior English course, a well rounded selection should include the dominant writers of the time who wrote about ideas that shaped American heritage. This usually means male writers.

However, looking for a female writer certainly complements the time period. Lesser influential (not less important) writers may include native Americans, newly arrived immigrants, and newspaper articles from the period. Please visit this site and read through the timeline section to make literature selections. 

Writing About American Literature

She also should keep a journal and write summaries of the literature. Writing her opinion and thoughts about the lives of these people and the lives they lived also will be important. 

This will help her with the research paper that she will have to write during the second semester of junior English. 

For example, one summary of an important Colonial writer would be about Anne Bradstreet. The majority of her poems, specifically “__________” were about her devotion to God.  She was wealthy, lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and had a large house.









Periods of American Literature








1980 to present

Vocabulary and Grammar

Throughout the school year in junior English, continue working on SAT vocabulary .

If your teen has been studying this list since her freshman year, she will be on the final third of the words. You can review the English curriculum now.

If not, begin now and cover as much as possible during the year. Next, master the compound-complex sentence.

Practice writing it correctly over and over by thinking critically about the authors read. 

Writing The Research Paper

Traditionally during the junior year, students learn to write the research paper. It is a long process and very challenging for most students.

I know this from having taught it for about 17 years to approximately 150+ students each year.

As a result of all this experience in junior English, I have created many pages to guide parents through the process, so they can help their teens be successful. 

The above link is an introductory page to the research paper, but if you are looking for something specific, try the pages below for now. It is not a complete list, so please check back: 

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