American Literature: starting to research…

Following an overnight Tweet, I have found the blog of Mrs Livaudais, teaching over the Atlantic and the fourth teacher from America/Canada to get in touch in the past few weeks. The American Literature course is provoking interest.

She has much material on Gatsby and Huck and many other areas, as well as some cracking research activities which I magpie below…

She recommends the Library of Congress to her students: link, as a starting point for research, and rich it is.

I like their rather grandly named ‘primary research tool’ and will be drilling this to my Upper and Lower 6th this year. Primary_Source_Analysis_Tool – the 3 part structure is easy to replicate and formalises ideas I have been stressing for some time: Observe, Question, Reflect.  I particularly like ‘observe’ since in this course we cannot be solely dealing with written source material.

Using the LOC site she asks for at least one source from this list as a basis for understanding the Jazz Age:

  • News
  • Sports
  • Advertisements
  • Lifestyle
  • Entertainment
  • Editorials
  • Obituaries
  • Business

Together with the ever-brilliant JSTOR resource, I think the days of ‘couldn’t find anything are over!

Take a look at the blog I link above – I think it is a great new-to-me resource. I’m looking forward to browsing – just as  I am excited by dipping my toes into American Literature for the first time, I am always fascinated to read views about Shakespeare or other key ‘English Lit’ figures at the centre of our canon from a source removed from the ‘English Tradition’ as it were…. now to see if we can Skype…