The American in the Classroom
Watching The American can expand your students' knowledge and understanding of the novel, Henry James, and the era in which the book was written. Of particular interest is an exploration of the changes made when the novel was transformed into a play and later into the current screenplay.
Note: The American contains partial nudity and mature sexual content and has not been edited for classroom use. We strongly urge you to preview the film and decide whether it is appropriate for use in your classroom.
Suggestions for how to show the 82-minute film in two or three days and discussion ideas for before and after
Activities and Investigations
In-depth research projects and activities about The American and Henry James
Novel to Film
Discussion questions and activities comparing and contrasting The American as a novel, a play (adapted by Henry James himself), and as a film
La Vie Parisienne, 1868 to 1875
Explore life in Paris during the time of the novel.
More Teaching Ideas
Sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) hosts The American Collection's educator's Web site, www.ncteamericancollection.org. This site includes teacher-generated ideas for teaching The American and other American Collection titles.
Sign up for our e-mail newsletter, alerting you to upcoming Masterpiece Theatre programs.
Teacher's Guide Credits
Off Air Taping Rights
Educators can tape the film off air and use it for one year after broadcast.
Essays + Interviews | Who's Who | A James Timeline
Teacher's Guide | Genius in the Family | Henry Wants a Hit!
The Forum | Links and Bibliography
Home | About The Series | The American Collection | The Archive
Schedule & Season | Feature Library | eNewsletter | Book Club
Learning Resources | Forum | Search | Shop | Feedback
Masterpiece is sponsored by: