English 12

Course Description

This senior-year English Language Arts course invites students to explore a perse collection of texts
across 12 units. Students will engage in literary analysis and inferential evaluation of both classic and
contemporary literature. While critically reading fiction, poetry, drama, and expository nonfiction, students
will learn and apply comprehension and literary-analysis strategies. Tasks will encourage students to
strengthen their oral language skills and produce creative, coherent writing. Students will read a range of
classic texts, including the ancient epic Gilgamesh, William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Oscar Wilde’s
The Importance of Being Earnest. They will also study short but complex texts, including essays by
Jonathan Swift and Mary Wollstonecraft, and influential speeches by Queen Elizabeth I and Franklin D.
Roosevelt. Contemporary texts by Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott, and Chinua Achebe round out the
course.

Units of Study

  •  Epic Beginnings
  • From the Middle Ages through the Renaissance
  • Life in the Renaissance
  • Elizabethan Drama: The Tragedy of Hamlet
  • The Enlightenment in England Romanticism in England
  • The Gothic Novel: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • 19th-Century England
  • The First Half of the 20th Century
  • Cultural Reflections in Art and Artifacts
  • Contemporary Voices
  • Success and Planning for the Future

Course Features

  • A perse group of experienced teachers guide students through the content, combining rigorous instruction and modeling of important skills with humor, real-world connections, and positive reinforcement that together provide an engaging experience.
  • Every lesson includes an overarching lesson question that aims to promote inquiry and help
    students focus on big ideas.
  • On-screen teachers step “out of the box” and into exciting locales such as a
    Japanese garden to introduce a lesson on Haiku poetry, a hobbit house to connect to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and a gothic street scene to demonstrate elements of setting and suspense.
  • Engaging lesson elements, such as teachers conducting virtual tours of the Globe Theatre and the British Museum, draw students into the course content.
  • Artwork is infused into various lessons, including a historic scene that comes to life and a close, critical analysis of a painting.
  • The study of a Shakespearian drama is enhanced through the analysis of a professional performance of a scene and a culminating project in which students storyboard their own adaptation of a scene. Students are supported during reading with an original audio performance of the play, featuring unique voices for each character that bring the play to life.
  • Students make meaningful connections between texts in differing genres, such as comparing H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds with Orson Welles’s 1938 radio broadcast adaptation. They listen to and analyze an authentic excerpt from the recording.
  • Students apply their learning using 21st-century skills and platforms. In Unit 7, students consider advertising techniques and mood while creating a movie poster for a modern adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Unit 10, students create a virtual museum exhibit based on what they have learned about artifacts from the British Museum. In Unit 11, students apply persuasive strategies while writing an e-mail to a community leader.
  • Multimedia elements are woven into the fabric of the course via radio broadcasts, short video clips or adaptations of texts, and audio recordings of poems and speeches. There are also student activities and projects that incorporate multimedia elements such as storyboarding, blogging, making a movie poster, creating a travel brochure, developing a multimedia presentation, and creating a virtual museum exhibit.
  • Lessons focused on speaking and listening are more effective than ever due to the creative use of our digital platform, including watching a formal debate that highlights strategies for presenting an argument and reviewing a multimedia presentation that demonstrates how to effectively combine visual elements with research.
  • College-readiness skills such as writing an application essay and a personal statement are covered, as are topics like career planning for high school students and research methods.
  • Units of study progress through notable periods in British and world literature, and texts within each unit are linked by a thematic or formal focus. The course is organized both chronologically and topically.
  • Texts are presented within the CloseReaderTM, a text mark-up toolset and supportive reading environment that supports students in their close and active reading of texts.Students are encouraged to highlight targeted words and phrases, use digital sticky notes to annotate text, and interact with visual and audio guidance written by experienced teachers.
  • Language and vocabulary skills are emphasized in stand-alone language lessons, but also incorporated into reading and writing lessons whenever possible.
  • Writing workshops emphasize the importance of the writing process while providing students with the skills and strategies needed to conduct research and write in argumentative, analytical, informative, and narrative modes. 

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