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Debunking the Myth of the American West, by Dina Secchiaroli


Guide Entry to 01.04.10:

This unit looks into the myth of the American West as we know it and as it has been portrayed in Hollywood, and uncovers the truth of our nation’s history. The history of the West is complicated and messy, and the unit begins to make sense of what really happened. Themes covered in the unit are land boundaries, the complexity of this history, conquest, racial convergence, women of the West, uncovering the truth, coming to terms with the past, and closure. This unit covers literature, art, history, and film. I explore history, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Smoke Signals by Sherman Alexie, the movie Lonestar, “Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros, “The Hammon and the Beans” by Americo Paredes, along with a variety of artists. Activities included are a research project, art project, close reading, CAPT practice, and class discussions.

(Recommended for American Literature, U.S. History, American Studies, and Art, grades 7-12.)

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