Thursday, January 25, 2018

January 25, 2018

Creative Texts in Early American Literature: An English Language Arts Program


Creative Texts in Early American Literature (CTEA) is the first program in a projected “Creative Texts” series of English Language Arts programs for online learning in the US public school systems.

Other programs in the series include: Creative Texts in Contemporary American Literature; Creative Texts in Hispanic Literature from the 1900’s to the Present; and Creative Texts in European Literature I & II.

The Creative Text programs are targeted towards High School students, in public & private academic institutions, at Grade Levels 10-11.

Overview of the Program

Students enrolled in CTEA will be required to read a wide range of Early American non-print texts. 

The texts include fictional prose (short stories, excerpts from novels), non-fictional prose (essays, articles, excerpts from longer works) and poetry.

The goals for students are:

(1) To build an understanding of the texts themselves in the context of the culture in which they
      were written.
(2) To understand the dimensions & nuances of the Early American experience at the periods 
      represented by the creative writers.
(3) To develop a sensitivity to the English Language itself; it’s evolving structure, style, conventions
      & possibilities as a tool for communication of ideas & images.
(4) To use their own developing language skills as they respond to & interact with the texts 
      under consideration.

FAQ for Parents

Q1: How does my student access the CTEA program?

A: Students log into the Creative Texts website (http:/  The log-in ID & Password will be provided by the school.  Once the student is on the site, she will access the Modules.  There are four Modules, one for each CT program.  CTEA is Module 1.   The student selects Module 1 and then follows the instructions for reading & responding to the texts. 
Classroom teachers will provide full instructions & hands-on instruction on how to use the CT program & modules in class.

NOTE: There are links to the CT website on the High School website & on the Michigan Board of Education website if the student or parent wishes to access CT from these locations. 

If the student is unable to access the CT website, or experiences any problems or difficulties with the software, please contact the High School Computer Lab Help Desk during regular school hours. The number is 1-517-888-7878.

Q2: Do students need to have home PCs, laptops or notebooks with Internet access?

A: No.  The CT activities will be done during the normal classroom times.  Students will work in the High School Computer Labs.  However, students have the option of bringing their own devices to the labs if they prefer.  This does not include smart phones and/or cell phones.

Q3: What texts will students be studying?

A: The period of Early American Literature comprises 1630 to the 1890’s.  The specific creative writers will be determined by a five-person panel, the members of which are literature instructors and other academics in related fields.

Examples of standard writers for this period include: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville and Walt Whitman.

Q4:  My student is an ESL student and her competency in English is still in the developmental stage.  Will this be a problem?

A: No.  The CT program runs in conjunction with other software programs that are especially designed to aid ESL students & students with learning disabilities such as ADHD.  The Natural Reader resource (, for example, is one of these options.  The Lingo Talking Translator (via Amazon), which can be used with a smart phone, is another option. 

The combination of the CT software & hand-held translation applications will ensure that ESL students are able to learn independently & efficiently.

Q5: Are there any costs or out-of-pocket expenses for parents or students?

A: No.  The CT programs & activities are part of the regular High School curriculum.

Q6: Much classroom work at the 10th & 11th grade levels seems to be focused on preparation for the SAT and/or ACT standardized tests.  Will the CT programs help my student become more prepared for taking these tests?

A: There is no direct link between the CTEA program and higher scores on the SAT or ACT tests.  However, CT students will generally improve their reading & writing skills and their increasing sensitivity to the written word will contribute at least indirectly to better performance on these tests.

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