American Lit Resources at your Fingertips


Great public media resources at your fingertips.  West Virginia LearningMedia is free digital library with over 118 thousand pubic media resources from over 200 content providers.  Resources are suitable for pre-K through adults and are searchable by grade level, content area and type of resources. 

To provide a glimpse into one area we have provided links to several of the resources teachers use to help them bring American Literature alive.  There are over 1.8 million registered users on the LearningMedia platform.  Join those taking advantage of this resource to bring your classroom to life.

American Literature Resources


In which John Green reads Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and talks to you about it. You’ll learn about Zora Neale Hurston’s life, and we’ll also look at how the interpretations of the book have changed over time. Also, this book will give you a healthy appreciation for the rabies vaccine, and the terrible dilemmas you’ve avoided thanks to that modern development.

On the house-boat--"The Log Cabin"

Credit Edward Steichen, 1879-1973

This primary source set showcases five prominent American authors and includes examples of the different media that promoted, and sometimes significantly altered, their public images and literary works. Looking at these primary sources provides an opportunity to explore both the authors’ literary texts and the ways in which those works, and the authors themselves, were portrayed in the media at the time of their renown.



Meet F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic character Jay Gatsby in this video from the American Masters film Novel Reflections on the American Dream. Learn about the spectacle of Gatsby, the techniques the author uses to present Gatsby, and the role of perspective and narration in shaping a reader or viewer’s interpretation of a character or event.

Visit the American Masters Collection for additional resources on the American dream and other American writers.


Alice Walker shares stories from her childhood that highlight the strong female figures in her family, particularly her mother who stood her ground against the white landowner and insisted on an education for her children. These experiences inform her views on what it means to be a Southern black writer.

The Color Purple | American Masters: Alice Walker


This video from American Masters: Harper Lee: Hey, Boo highlights the social climate in the South when To Kill a Mockingbird was first published and a few years later, when the film premiered. The video highlights the reactions to the issues presented in the story. The account by Diane McWhorter, a classmate of Mary Badham (the actress who played Scout in the movie), is given special attention.

Character Study: Scout Finch


This video from American Masters: Salinger examines Salinger’s purpose for writing The Catcher in the Rye and how, by inhabiting his character, he was able to find a compelling authorial voice that allowed him to channel his critique of the adult world.


The Path to “The Catcher in the Rye”