In my junior English class, we move through American literature chronologically. So in the fall we start with some foundational writers —Crevecoeur, de Tocqueville, Douglass — and finish the semester with Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. The second semester starts with Hemingway stories. We read The Great Gatsby and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Interspersed throughout those readings are miscellaneous poems and stories. As we read, we continually hearken back to the earliest writers we encountered. How are the ideas we see expressed now related to those from the past? How are we supposed to live as Americans according to those who came before us? Finally, late into the spring semester, students write a personal narrative in which they develop their own voice for the time and place in which they live today.