American Literature (Minicourse)

From: $93.00 / month for 3 months

Grades: 9th – 12th

Live Class: Wed 2:00 – 3:00 PM EST

Course dates: January 6th – February 19th

Price: $249

Instructor: Susan Spivey

See Reviews of Instructor Susan Spivey

Enrollment in this class is currently closed.

Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Susan Spivey

This class offers students the opportunity to explore classic works and learn how to respond to literature both through class discussions and written assignments. Students who may be hesitant to enroll in a year-long literature course may find this mini-course sparks a desire to read more often and more deeply.

In this winter mini-course, students will read one novel, several short stories, and a sample of poetry by American authors. By exploring a variety of works, students will see how society is both influenced by and represented through literature. We will consider the genres that emerged over the centuries and the literary devices employed by writers that made their works memorable. My goal is to help students see the power in words, both of others, as well as their own.

Course Structure

Students will be assigned a set number of pages to read each week, this normally runs between 10 to 50 pages. They will respond to the reading in the form of short responses to posted writing prompts, as well as other creative projects that will be described in class. We will discuss each week’s reading during our live session once a week. Student participation during class discussions is highly encouraged. If a student misses a class, they can request a link to a recording of the lecture. Students will spend approximately 5 to 10 hours a week on this class.

Who should enroll?

This class is open to all 9th through 12th grade students. No previous literature courses are required.

Technology Requirements:

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

Students can expect to have their homework graded before the next class each week. I provide ample feedback on written responses to help students hone their writing skills. I look to see that students have clear comprehension of what they have read and that they are able to clearly communicate their understanding of the assigned reading. I email both students and parents with any concerns and will provide a final grade at the end of the mini-course.


Once a student is registered in this class, parents will receive an email from me. I will provide you with a list of any books or materials that will be needed for this class. Parents are welcome to email me with any questions, both before and during the course. I normally respond within 24 hours.

View Course Syllabus

Required Texts

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway (any unabridged version is acceptable)

1 review for American Literature (Minicourse)

  1. E.C.

    I enjoyed reading many different kinds of writing from a wide array of authors and eras. I also enjoyed class discussion. Mrs. Spivey always made class time interesting and informative by providing direction where needed but also opening up time for discussion of our own perspectives and interpretations, allowing us to grow further.

    Mrs. Spivey is very passionate about what she teaches, which makes this course very fun. She asks engaging question and encourages the class to be readers that meditate on the works they read and analyze the contents. Mrs. Spivey is open to new perspectives form her students and never ignores or discounts a persons thoughts.

    This course taught me how to analyze a work of literature and form an extensive understanding of it. This course also gave many opportunities for practice of creating well-developed and detailed papers about a piece of literature.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instructor Bio

Susan Spivey

Susan Spivey is enthusiastic about sharing her love of literature with students and finds tremendous joy in teaching. Susan earned her MA in English from Arizona State University and her BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for several years before starting her family. Susan also worked as a freelance writer for magazines and as a substitute teacher in public schools. She has taught English for many years and has been teaching for AIM Academy since 2015. When she is not reading a book, discussing a book, or teaching about books, you can find her in her garden, likely with a book nearby.

British Literature
American Literature
Christian Literature
American Literature (Minicourse)