Curriculum Review: American Literature By James P. Stobaugh


With an extensive summer reading list, this American Literature curriculum is full of wonderful content. James P. Stobaugh created a delightfully organized system for imparting the content in a very valuable way. The lessons are short enough to capture the student’s interest while “meaty” enough to impart the information in a way that even the most reluctant student can enjoy. Chapters start with an introduction and learning objectives as well as clearly outlining what the students will learn.  The student text book and the teacher guide go together so wonderfully each complementing and completing each other like a good marriage. Each chapter also comes with weekly essay options which are vital for today’s youth. Too many students are getting by with not being able to express themselves clearly which has increased the practice of plagiarism. To combat this, each lesson starts with a warm-up mini lesson that includes a short writing assignment or discussion question. Students continue to do the assignment contained in the student text. These lessons include the student taking the responsibility of reading beforehand to be prepared for the daily lessons.  The most eager students will pleasantly find that there is a “Reading ahead” section at the bottom of each chapter introduction which will keep them on track.

Along with learning typical literary objectives such as setting, cause and effect, alliteration and such, Stobaugh set out for student to learn through keeping a prayer journal, learning to take notes and write essays.  He touches on great time periods and popular pieces of literature like: The Revolutionary Period includes The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Walden from the Romanticism New England Renaissance, The Crucible from The Modern Age, and Everything That Rises Must Converge to include Contemporary Writers. Aside from this he encourages increasing functional vocabulary by using 3 x 5 cards to create a pool of new words to learn and use in essay writing.

Teachers are clearly guided step-by- step so that the even the substitute teacher can follow along just as easily as the teacher her/himself.  I found this curriculum to be wonderfully pleasant as I favor math and science. I looked at this curriculum and for the first time I didn’t go into a cold sweat trying to understand where to start or how to impart the information.  Stobaugh also set out 3 grading options in order to make the criteria and clear to educators, parents and students. As an educator for almost 20 years I would completely recommend this curriculum to any teacher, parent, or student.


Author:  James P. Stobaugh

I received a free copy of this curriculum from New Leaf Publishing Company. I was not required to submit a positive review. I expressed my personal opinion.


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