English 11R: American Literature



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English 11R: American Literature

  • CURRICULUM MAP

GENERAL SYLLABUS: LITERATURE

  • English 11R: American Literature Syllabus
  • The link above will take you to the syllabus for English 11R: American Literature. This is an interactive syllabus and general outline for the works covered in English 11R.
  • The link below will redirect you to the Common Core Skills and Standards. This page explains how the CCLS are being met by the content in the syllabus.
  • Link to SKILLS and STANDARDS in compliance with CCLS

QUARTER ONE: Summer Reading Assignment

  • The Summer Reading Assignment was The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros.
  • Upon returning to school, students will complete an activity to test their understanding of the novella through a DBQ format.
  • Please click on the link below to view the Mango Street Activities.
  • Link to The House on Mango Street DBQ Project
  • If you have trouble viewing this document, it is available through the English Shared Drive in 11th Grade Folder.

Curriculum Map: Quarter One

  • Nonfiction: Patrick Henry Speech --
  • Essential Questions:
  • What is satire? What is rhetoric? What is being mocked in this speech? How does the author use rhetorical questions to make an argument?
  • Assignment: Write a counter-argument to Patrick Henry’s speech using the techniques utilized by the author.
  • Skill: Writing to explain -- use rhetorical devices to form an argument.

Quarter One: Text -- Nonfiction

  • Nonfiction:
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Text: Poor Richard’s Almanack
  • Essential Questions:
  • What are proverbs? Which of Franklin’s proverbs most accurately depict the American desire for freedom and prosperity?
  • Assignment: Create a proverb explaining how best to live life and present your proverb to the class.
  • Skills: Public speaking, creativity, and evaluation

Q1: Text -- Nonfiction

  • Crevecoer:
  • Text: Nonfiction: “What is an American?”
  • Essential Questions: What impressions of Americans can be gleaned from Crevecoer’s letter? What made America appealing to Crevecoer and other Europeans during this time period? Why was Crevecoer’s opinion of America accurate or inaccurate?
  • How similar/different are Crev’s impression of America to Franklin’s proverbs? How similar were the motives of 18th century immigrants to today’s immigrants? What is the American Dream in this time period?
  • What is the thesis of Crev’s argument? What does Crev seem to be saying about universal human needs in his discussion of what America has to offer?

Q1: Nonfiction -- What is an American? Cont...

  • Assessment: Write a letter to a student in a different country explaining what characterizes an Island Trees High School student.
  • Skills: Writing to explain.

Q1: ESSAY WRITING

  • At this point, students should be presented with a model for essay writing. Please click on the link below for a suggested Introduction Format.
  • Guidelines for Writing Introductions
  • Assignment: The American Revolution -- Write an essay in which you argue against revolting against England. Please click on the link below for a suggested essay assignment.
  • Essay Assignment 1

Q1: Regents Preparation

  • Overview of the Regents Examination
  • Links: a. June 2015 Regents
  • b. Scoring Key and Rating Guide
  • c. Sample Essays
  • d. Rubric and More Sample Essays
  • e. Scoring Key
  • f. Conversion Chart
  • Essential Questions: How can familiarity with the examination engender success on this examination.

Q1: Regents Preparation

  • 2. Multiple Choice
  • Close Reading Skills
    • Reading at an Auditory Pace
    • Active Reading -- Interacting With Texts
  • b. Multiple Choice Tips and Tricks
  • i. Process of Elimination
  • ii. Pre-reading Questions
  • iii. Active Reading of Questions
  • Essential Question: How can active reading and guided practices benefit student performance?
  • Skills: Reading for Meaning, Analysis, Evaluation

Q1: Text -- Nonfiction

  • Nonfiction: Historical Document: The Declaration of Independence
  • Support: Video Clips about Time Period
  • *Links are available through interactive syllabus
  • Essential Questions: What are factors leading to the creation of this document? To what extent was there consensus in America about breaking with England? What is ironic about the line beginning “we hold these truths…”? Of the arguments presented, which do you find most compelling and why? How many times was God referenced and what does this tell you about the people of this time period?
  • Skills: Reading for meaning, analysis, evaluation, argument.
  • Assessment: Write a letter in which you try to convince a friend to support breaking ties with England. You must use at LEAST three quotations from the original source.
  • *Suggested Summative Assessment Link: Letter Writing Assignment and Rubric

Q1: Unit Two: Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Individualism

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • William Wadsworth Longfellow: “A Psalm of Life”
  • ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: What do lines 6-8 imply about mortality? What is the poem’s structure? How does the poem’s structure add to the meaning of the work? How are CONSONANCE and ALLITERATION used by the poet? What is elaboration? How can specific supporting details add meaning to writing? What is the speaker’s view of life? What is the poet’s command in line 23? What do the last four lines of the poem reveal about the speaker’s view of life? What does the speaker say about people in lines 25-32? To what degree have the values of Americans changed over the course of time? What are the MAIN ideas of the selection?
  • SUPPORT: Video Clips on poem, poet, time period, and literary movements.
  • *Available through links provided by the interactive syllabus.
  • ASSESSMENT: Write an original QUATRAIN using Wordsworth’s rhyme scheme and meter. Include
  • consonance and alliteration.

Q1: Unit Two: Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Individualism

  • Nonfiction: Essay
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Self-Reliance”
  • ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: What are the main ideas of this selection? What is agreeable or disagreeable about these ideas? Would Emerson’s ideas about life work for our nation today? To what degree are nonconformists accepted today? What if everyone was a strict nonconformist? How would devout nonconformity impact our society?
  • SUPPORT: Video Clips about time period and author available through interactive syllabus.
  • ASSESSMENT: Write down Emerson’s thesis in this piece. Find and copy three quotes that support this thesis. Explain how each quote supports Emerson’s thesis.
  • SKILLS: Analysis, evaluation, writing for meaning, using text as support for argument.

Q1: Unit Two: Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Individualism

  • Nonfiction: Essay
  • Henry David Thoreau: “Walden”
  • ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: How can paraphrasing aid in comprehension? What is the thesis of this work? What is an extended metaphor? How does Thoreau use extended metaphor to build his argument? What was the writer’s purpose in writing this essay? What situation was Thoreau exaggerating in lines 80-92? Why is he exaggerating this situation? Why does thoreau jokingly connect the postage rate with the phrase “a penny for your thoughts” in lines 97-99? What does he say he wants to understand in lines 112-126? How does he think he can find these answers? How does Thoreau use personification in lines 172-178? What does the title suggest about Thoreau’s writing? What is the message of the parable in lines 299-317? Why did Thoreau think it was essential to retreat into the woods to live simply and deliberately? To what extent do you agree with the ideas presented by Thoreau?
  • SUPPORT: Video clips available through interactive syllabus.
  • ASSESSMENT: PROJECT: Work with a partner to create a list of rules to live by that Thoreau would have supported. Be able to support and explain each of the rules you choose using examples from the text.
  • SKILLS: Reading for meaning, critical analysis and evaluation, establishing and defending a position, public speaking through presentation of information.

Q1: Unit Two: Romanticism, Transcendentalism, and Individualism

  • Fiction: Poetry New concept: Free Verse Poetry
  • 4. Walt Whitman:
  • Texts: “I Hear America Singing”, “Song of Myself”, and “O Me, O Life”.
  • Essential Questions: “I Hear America Singing”:
  • How does breaking with traditional poetic form mirror the spirit of America? What is the thesis of this poem? How does Whitman go about proving this thesis?
  • Essential Questions: “Song of Myself”:
  • What are the main arguments presented in this poem? What is the poet’s thesis?
  • Essential Questions: “O Me, O Life”
  • What is the poet’s attitude about the vast majority of people? What does the poet think is great about this country and about the individuals within this country? What is the meaning of life according to the poet? To what extent is the author correct in his ideas about greatness?
  • Assessment: Write a Free Verse poem about being an individual in high school.

Q1: Regents Preparation: PART 2: Writing

  • Directions:
  • Closely read each of the four texts provided and write a source-based argument on the topic below. You may use the margins to take notes as you read and scrap paper to plan your response.
  • Topic: Should Island Trees High School institute a dress code?
  • Your Task: Carefully read each of the four texts provided. Then, using evidence from at least three of the texts,
  • write a well-developed argument regarding whether or not a dress code should be established and enforced. Clearly establish your claim, distinguish your claim from alternate or opposing claims, and use specific, relevant, and sufficient evidence from at least three of the texts to develop your argument. Do not simply summarize each text.
  • Links to Texts:
  • Tinker versus Des Moines School District (1969)
  • 5 Benefits of a School Dress Code
  • School Dress Codes: Mini-skirt Madness (LA Times Op-ed)
  • The Battle Over Dress Codes (New York Times)
  • Click this for a link to handout for this assignment.

Quarter 2: UNIT THREE: American Gothic and the Dangers of Individualism

  • Nonfiction: Essay Excerpt
  • Stephen King: from “Danse Macabre”
  • Essential Questions: According to the author, what are the key elements of fiction? Why do people enjoy reading and watching scary books and movies? What are the elements of a horror story? How does King use analogy to discuss the craft of writing? How does King use paradox to develop his concept of writing? Why are human beings so curious?
  • Support: Video Clip: Stephen King Interview (link available through syllabus)
  • Skills: Close reading, building of background knowledge for Poe’s short story.

Quarter 2: UNIT THREE: American Gothic and the Dangers of Individualism

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Edgar Allan Poe: “The Masque of the Red Death”
  • Essential Questions: How does the author use allegory to build the story? How does Poe’s diction function in this story? How does Poe use development of plot to develop his story? How does Poe use elements of the writer’s craft to build his thesis about human nature in this story? What does Poe say about the danger of Individualism in this story? How does Poe use characterization to deliver his message about individualism?
  • Support: Video Clips of animated story and Poe Biography
  • Assessment: Write a newspaper article describing the events in the story from the perspective of the victims outside of the castle.
  • Skills: Close reading, reading for meaning, analysis, evaluation, writing from a new perspective.

Q2: UNIT FOUR: Slavery and the Civil War -- 1850-1900

  • Nonfiction: Essay Excerpt
  • Frederick Douglass: “The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, American Slave”
  • Essential Questions: How does the autobiographical account differ from other formats we have read? What is the difference between objective and subjective writing? How does the author employ a cause-and-effect style to deliver his messages? How does the author use direct and indirect characterization? How is conflict developed in this narrative?
  • Support: Video Clips -- Biography, History of Slavery, History of Civil War
  • (available through links in syllabus)
  • Assessment: Part 3 Essay.
  • Skills: Understanding alternative perspectives, reading and writing for meaning.

Q2: Unit 4: Regents Preparation -- Part 3: Writing

  • Using the text from Frederick Douglass:
  • Text-Analysis Response
  • Your Task:
  • Write a well-developed, text-based response of two to three paragraphs. In your response, identify a central idea in the text and analyze how the author’s use of one writing strategy (literary element or literary technique or rhetorical device) develops this central idea.
  • Use strong and thorough evidence from the text to support your analysis. Do not simply summarize the text.
  • You may use the margins to take notes as you read and scrap paper to plan your response.
  • Guidelines:
  • • Identify a central idea in the text
  • • Analyze how the author’s use of one writing strategy (literary element or literary technique or rhetorical device) develops this central idea. Examples include: characterization, conflict, denotation/connotation, metaphor, simile, irony, language use, point-of-view, setting, structure, symbolism, theme, tone, etc.
  • Click on this link for a link to the handout for this task.

Q2: UNIT FOUR: Slavery and the Civil War -- 1850-1900

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Robert Hayden: “Frederick Douglass”
  • Essential Questions: How does diction affect meaning? What is the thesis of the poet and how does he develop this thesis? Which adjective in the poem most accurately describes freedom? What does the poet mean by the word “terrible”?
  • Support: Full text of poem available through link in syllabus.
  • Assessment: Write a companion poem to this poem in which you discuss someone you admire.
  • Skills: Address new perspective and write creatively.

Q2: UNIT FOUR: Slavery and the Civil War -- 1850-1900

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Ambrose Bierce: “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge”
  • Essential Questions: How is characterization used by the author to create a sense of dread? How does point of view contribute to the story? How does the end of the story alter impressions made by the beginning of the story? Judging from the content of the story, what opinions does the author have about hanging, the military code, and war in general? How would changing the sequence of the story affect the reader? How does the author attempt to make the reader feel sympathy for the protagonist?
  • Support: Video of story (Twilight Zone), other links provided through syllabus.
  • Assessment: Imagine that Farquhar was given time to write to his wife before his hanging. Write the letter as if you are Farquhar expressing his last words to his wife.
  • Skills: Close Reading, interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating.

UNIT FIVE: The Female Voice: 1850-1900

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Emily Dickinson: “Because I could not stop for death…”, “Hope is the thing with feathers”, “Success is counted sweetest”.
  • Support: Various videos on “first-wave feminism”, Emily Dickinson, etc. available through links in the General Syllabus.
  • Essential Questions: How does Dickinson’s style differ from most 19th century poetic style? How does Dickinson use the quatrain to develop meaning? HOw might her religious upbringing have influenced Dickinson’s style? How does this simple style contribute to meaning? How does Dickinson employ slant rhyme and dashes to build meaning? How does Dickinson use figurative language such as metaphor, simile, and personification in her poetry? How does Dickinson’s use of personification differ from her predecessors’ use?
  • Assessments: “Hope” -- Revise the poem into prose. “Success” -- Regents style M.C.
  • “Death” -- Write a brief paragraph explaining why Dickinson’s opinions about death are unique--use specific quotations from the poem for support.
  • Summative for Dickinson: Create an essay in which you establish a thesis about Dickinson’s poetry. Use quotations from all three poems in your analysis.
  • Skills: Interpreting, evaluating, analyzing, writing for meaning.

UNIT FIVE: The Female Voice: 1850-1900

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “The Yellow Wallpaper”
  • Essential Questions: What were the roles of women in the 19th Century? How is imagery employed by the author to deliver her thesis about women and society? How did the rigid social roles of women in this time period contribute to this story? How does Point of View contribute to the tone of the story? How is characterization and diction used to develop the mood of the story? Why is the narrator kept from her baby? Why is the narrator’s isolation important to the story? What is the thesis of the story? How did the author use tools of the writer’s craft to deliver her thesis? To what degree have the roles of women in our society changed from 1890 to today?
  • Support: Audio (story read), Video: Biography of Gilman -- links available through syllabus.
  • Assessment: Regents Style M.C. test on the story.
  • Skills: Close reading, evaluation, analysis, interpreting information.

UNIT FIVE: The Female Voice: 1850-1900

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Kate Chopin: “The Story of an Hour”
  • Essential Questions: What is the thesis of this story? How does the author use elements of the writer’s craft to deliver her thesis? What is Chopin saying about marriage? How did Chopin demonstrate characteristics of feminism in this story?
  • Support: Links to biographical information and text of the story.
  • Assessment: Write a well-developed paragraph in which you cite three examples from the story that suggest Mrs. Mallard had an unhappy marriage. Explain why you chose each quotation and how it supports your thesis.
  • Skills: Writing for meaning, close reading, analysis, evaluation.

QUARTER THREE: Unit Six: Revising the American Dream

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Carl Sandburg: “Chicago”
  • Essential Questions: What is an epithet? How does the string of epithets at the beginning of this poem contribute to its tone, mood, and meaning? What is parallelism? How does parallel structure emphasize the interconnections of all forms of labor in the city? How is parallel structure used to develop meaning? How us characterization used to develop meaning? What is the poet’s thesis? How are poetic devices used to develop this message?
  • Support: Links to text and biography on author. Links to the new wave of immigration video.
  • Assessments: Create a thesis to explain the message of the poem and use support from the poem to solidify thesis. Explain how the quotes you chose support your thesis.

Q3: Unit Six: Revising the American Dream

  • Nonfiction: Excerpt: Memoir
  • Bernard Weisberger: “A Nation of Immigrants”
  • Essential Questions: How did industrial expansion affect immigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? What is the narrator’s tone when describing America? What is the most important step the narrator takes in learning to live in America? How realistic are the narrator’s chances of attaining his version of the American Dream? What is the American Dream according to the narrator? How does the narrator’s dream differ from prior versions? What is a memoir and how does this differ from other forms of storytelling?
  • Support: Video clips about author and the time period.
  • Assessment: Memoir Writing -- Write about a personal experience that was “a bitter memory, but a good school”.

Unit Seven: The Modern Age -- 1910-1940

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • William Faulkner: “A Rose for Emily”
  • Essential Questions: How has the South changed with industrialization and the ending of the Civil War? How is American culture changing during this time period? In what ways is the protagonist powerless? In what ways is the protagonist powerful? What are the connections between this work and the painting “American Gothic”? How does the author use literary elements to deliver his thesis? What is his thesis?
  • Support: Biography link through syllabus.
  • Assessment: Write a brief essay in which you explain the antagonist of this story...is it the protagonist’s father, society, or changing culture?
  • Skills: Reading for meaning, analysis, evaluation, writing for meaning.

Unit Seven: The Modern Age -- 1910-1940

  • Fiction: Novel
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • Essential Questions: What are the benefits and hindrances of a 1st Person narrator? How does the opening poem contribute to the meaning of the work? How does Fitzgerald use ellipsis in Chapter 2 to build meaning? How does Fitzgerald use direct and indirect characterization to achieve meaning? To what degree is Nick a subjective or objective narrator? What is the nature of love? How does Nick feel about love? How does Gatsby feel about love? How do social conventions of the time period contribute to this novel? What is a tragedy? To what degree is Gatsby a tragic hero? What is Fitzgerald’s thesis about love? about America? about the American Dream? How does Fitzgerald develop his ideas about social class in America?
  • Support: Various links via the syllabus.
  • Assessments: M.C. Quizzes on chapters, Summative MC test, various writing assignments culminating with a full-length essay.
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, evaluation, writing, communication, collaboration.

Sub-unit: The Harlem Renaissance

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Langston Hughes Unit: “I, Too” and “The Weary Blues”
  • Essential Questions: How does music influence poetry? How does rhythm contribute to meaning? How is the mood created in these poems? To what degree are these poems similar? What is the thesis of each poem? How was the thesis created in each poem? How is characterization utilized in “The Weary Blues”?
  • Support: Various links available through the syllabus.
  • Assessment: Compare/Contrast Essay
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, evaluation, writing.

Sub-unit: The Harlem Renaissance

  • Nonfiction: Essay
  • Zora Neale Hurston: “How it Feels to Be Colored Me”
  • Essential Questions: What is the purpose of autobiography? What is the tone of this piece and how is it established? How does Hurston develop tone? How does Hurston develop imagery? How does Hurston use figurative language to develop meaning? What is the author’s purpose/thesis? How does the writer use tools of her craft to develop her thesis?
  • Support: Various links via the syllabus.
  • Assessment: MC Reading Comprehension Quiz
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, and evaluation.

Sub-unit: Alienation and Identity

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Robert Frost: “Acquainted With the Night”, “Mending Wall”, and “Out, out…”.
  • Essential Questions: How does rhyme scheme contribute to meaning? HOw is allusion used by the poet to achieve meaning? What adjectives are most effective in developing these poems? What is the thesis of each poem and how does the poet use the tools of his craft to develop these?
  • Support: Various links through syllabus.
  • Assessments: Regents-style M.C. quizzes.
  • Skills: close reading, analysis, and evaluation

Sub-unit: Alienation and Identity

  • Fiction: Novella
  • John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men
  • Essential Questions: How is direct and indirect characterization used by the author to develop reader sentiment? What influences does society have in creating morality? To what degree did America have a caste system during this time period? To what degree is this caste system still intact? When is murder justifiable? What is Steinbeck’s thesis in this work? How does Steinbeck deploy tools of the writer’s craft to deliver his thesis?
  • Support: Links available through syllabus--videos covering The Great Depression and Immigration.
  • Assessments: Regents-style M.C. quizzes. Final Multiple Choice Test with Regents-focused essay.
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, evaluation, writing for meaning.

QUARTER FOUR -- Unit Eight: 1940 - 1975

  • Fiction: Drama
  • Arthur Miller: Death of a Salesman OR The Crucible
  • OPTION ONE -- Death of a Salesman:
  • Essential Questions: What is the American Dream during this time period? What elements of America have contributed to this shift in dreams? What is success according to Willy Loman? How is the audience supposed to react to Willy’s conceptions of success? What is the thesis of this play? How does Miller use tools of the writer’s craft to deliver this message? In what ways are Miller’s tools different from other types of writers?
  • Support: Links for the play and biographical information on Arthur Miller.
  • Assessment: Evaluative Essay -- Willy Loman and the American Dream.
  • Skills: Close reading, evaluation, analysis, writing for meaning.

QUARTER FOUR -- Unit Eight: 1940 - 1975

  • Fiction: Drama
  • Arthur Miller
  • OPTION TWO: The Crucible
  • Essential Questions: What is McCarthyism? What is a mob mentality? What are the dangers of hysteria? What is in a name? How important is reputation in our world? In what ways did the Puritans influence our modern society? What is allegory? What is Miller’s thesis? How did Miller prove his thesis through the characters and events of the play?
  • Support: Various links about McCarthy and Murrow, Miller, Communism available through syllabus.
  • There is a DBQ Activity available via the English Shared Drive.
  • Skills: Reading for meaning, evaluation, analysis.
  • Assessment: Essay -- How does the media manipulate our citizenry?

Unit Eight: 1940 - 1975

  • Nonfiction: Essay
  • John Steinbeck: “Why Soldiers Won’t Talk”
  • Essential Questions: What is the difference in voice between fiction and nonfiction? HOw is Steinbeck’s voice when writing fiction versus nonfiction? How is imagery used in this work to build meaning? What is the most vivid sensory image in this work? How plausible is Steinbeck’s explanation about why soldiers won’t talk? What is Steinbeck’s thesis and how does he prove it?
  • Support: Links to videos about W.W. II, 1950s, 1960s, Korea and Vietnam Conflicts, Conservatism.
  • Assessment: Write a personal narrative about fear or stress.
  • Skills: Close reading, evaluation, and analysis.

Unit Eight: 1940 - 1975

  • Nonfiction: Essay
  • Gloria Steinem: “Sisterhood”
  • Essential Questions: How has the feminist perspective changed since “The Yellow Wallpaper”? How is the American Dream different for women throughout American History? How are themes developed by an essayist? How are quotations used to support points? What is the author’s purpose in writing this piece? How does she deliver this message?
  • Assessment: Reading Comprehension Quiz. Write a paragraph establishing the author’s thesis and the tools she used to deliver it.
  • Support: Link to information about Gloria Steinem.
  • Skills: Close reading, evaluation, writing for meaning.

Unit Eight: 1940 - 1975

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Dwight Okita: “In Response to Executive Order 9066”
  • Essential Questions: Why is the American Dream different for different people? How is tone developed in this piece? Why do we need to be vigilant against tyranny in our government? What is the poet’s thesis and how does he use tools of his craft to deliver this thesis?
  • Support: Link to poem and to Dwight Okita’s Website.
  • Assessment: Write a companion poem about an injustice you have experienced.
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, evaluation, writing from a personal perspective.

Unit Eight: 1940 - 1975

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Tim O’Brien: “Ambush”
  • Essential Questions: How should we evaluate an author’s choices? How should we evaluate the choices the author has the characters make? How do we build an effective analysis? How is an effective argument structured? How can writer’s tools be used to write more effectively?
  • Support: Link to video about Tim O’Brien and to video about Vietnam.
  • Assessment: Essay analyzing the choices of a character.
  • Skills: Close reading, writing for meaning.

Unit Nine -- 1975 - The Present

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Kurt Vonnegut: “Harrison Bergeron”
  • Essential Questions: What is mediocrity? To what extent does society expect mediocrity? Does society work to eliminate exceptional people? What is the tone of this story? How does Vonnegut create this tone? What is the author’s thesis in this story and how does he deliver it?
  • Assessment: Essay -- Argument -- Are we all created equal?
  • Support: Link to Vonnegut explaining the elements of good short stories.
  • Skills: Close reading, evaluation, analysis, argument writing.

Unit Nine -- 1975 - The Present

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Joyce Carol Oates: “Hostage”
  • Essential Questions: How are characters, plot, and theme linked? How has diction changed over the centuries? What role does violence play in our society? How are symbols used to add meaning to a literary work? How are we supposed to feel about the characters? What was the author’s larger purpose in writing this piece?
  • Support: Link to a lecture given by Oates discussing her writing.
  • Assessment: Regents-style M.C. Test.
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, evaluation.

Unit Nine -- 1975 - The Present

  • Fiction: Short Story
  • Raymond Carver: “Neighbors”
  • Essential Questions: How does Carver use characterization to develop his ideas? How has language changed over the course of American history? How is Carver’s story different from Oates and Vonnegut? What is the author’s thesis and how did he use tools of the craft to develop this thesis?
  • Support: Link to the text and an interview/article about Raymond Carver’s life presented in The Paris Review.
  • Assessment: Create your own short story that discusses a theme similar to Oates, Vonnegut, or Carver.
  • Skills: Close reading, analysis, evaluation, writing creatively.

Unit Nine -- 1975 - The Present

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Billy Collins: “Introduction to Poetry” and “Another Reason Why I Do Not Keep a Gun in the House”.
  • Essential Questions: How does Collins use figurative language in his poetry? What is the thesis of each poem and how does Collins develop each thesis? In what ways is Collins’s poetry different from earlier poets such as Frost and Dickinson?
  • Assessment: Regents-style M.C. Create a Companion poem for either poem.
  • Support: Link to Collins reading and commenting on his own poetry.
  • Skills: Close reading, critical thinking, evaluation, analysis, writing creatively.

Unit Nine -- 1975 - The Present

  • Fiction: Poetry
  • Malcolm London: “High School Training Ground”.
  • Essential Questions: What are the auditory components of poetry? How do the poet’s experiences shape his focus? What is the poet’s thesis about school and our society? How does the poet use literary elements to foster this argument? What is the American Dream, according to London?
  • Support: Link to TED talk with Malcolm London reciting his poem.
  • Assessment: Create a companion poem for “Training Ground” describing your own experiences with school so far.
  • Skills: Listening, critical thinking, evaluation, analysis, writing creatively.


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