(507) 477-3235 9 Sixth Ave SE, Hayfield, MN 55940

Laura Hoebing

High School English Teacher

HS American Literature

Welcome to American Literature!

Course Description: This course will focus on landmark texts from a variety of genres including novels, plays, and poetry from throughout American history. Students will read, discuss, analyze, and respond to texts to understand how authors were influenced by and represented significant events in the United States. This course also provides several opportunities for cross-curricular learning with the American History classes. Possible texts could include historical documents, To Kill a Mockingbird, Warriors Don’t Cry, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Crucible, A Raisin in the Sun, selected works by Edgar Allan Poe, and various other poetry and short stories.


I expect students to:

  • Behave respectfully and responsibly
  • Do their best work in class and on assignments
  • Follow directions and school policies
  • Be on time for class and due dates
  • Communicate concerns and problems to me

Students can expect me to:

  • Treat them with dignity and respect
  • Grade and return assignments in a timely manner
  • Enforce established rules with appropriate consequences
  • Help students successfully cultivate reading, writing, and analytical skills they will use in the future
  • Communicate with students and parents regarding their performance in this class.

If a student or parent has a concern that these expectations are not being met, arrangements will be made to meet outside of class time to discuss strategies and solutions. If students and I cannot agree on a successful strategy, parents and/or administration will be involved.

Classroom procedures:

  1. You should use the bathroom before or after class. If you need to use the bathroom during class, let me know without disrupting the class and return as quickly as possible. I reserve the right to suspend this privilege if it is being abused.
  2. Come to class prepared with a pen/pencil, book, notebook, assignment, laptop, and any other material needed for that day. If you do not have your assignment when I collect it, it will be counted late.
  3. Books being borrowed from the classroom library must be checked out in the check-out log and returned upon completion.
  4. If you know you are going to be gone for a school activity or family trip, you must pick up your make-up work in advance. Depending on the assignment and length of absence, you may be asked to complete the work before your trip or turn it in the next class period. For other absences, you will be given two class days to complete the work you missed. It is your responsibility to pick up make-up work and turn it in.
  5. Cell phones must be silenced and placed in the caddy by the door before class begins. They should be left there for the entire hour unless I instruct you otherwise.
  6. Bring your independent reading book to class to read if you have completed all other class work with time left over.
  7. Don’t procrastinate. You are already busy; don’t make it worse for yourself. Use time wisely.


Course grades will be calculated according to the school’s uniform grading scale:

100-94% A     89-87% B+     79-77% C+     69-67% D+     59-0% F

93-90% A-      86-84% B        76-74% C        66-64% D

83-80% B-      73-70% C-      63-60% D-

Academic Honesty:

Cheating will absolutely not be tolerated in my classroom. This includes copying from another student, the internet, or a published source without giving proper credit. As stated in the HHS student handbook, “Academic dishonesty will be handled in accordance with ISD#203 Policy 506 (Student Discipline). Students in violation of this policy will have five school (5) days from the incident to complete an alternate assessment. If a student fails to complete the alternate assessment a grade of zero will be recorded. The time and location of the alternate assessment will be set by the classroom teacher. Any student with a documented incident of academic dishonesty during the quarter will be ineligible for the honor roll. All documented incidents of academic dishonesty will be considered a violation of ISD#203 Policy 534 (Student Code of Responsibilities).”

Course Units and Themes (subject to change):

Women’s Voices (Emily Dickinson poems, various short stories)

Native American Experiences (various short stories)

Voices from War (A Separate Peace, various short stories)

The American Struggle, the American Dream (The Secret Life of Bees, Warriors Don’t Cry, A Raisin in the Sun, To Kill a Mockingbird, Call Me by My Name,  movie Just Mercy)