English 11

Course Description 

This junior-year English course invites students to delve into American literature from early American Indian voices through contemporary works. Students will engage in literary analysis and inferential evaluation of great texts, the centerpieces of this course. While critically reading fiction, poetry, drama, and expository nonfiction, students will master the comprehension and literary analysis strategies that the Common Core State Standards require. Interwoven in the lessons across two semesters are tasks that encourage students to strengthen their oral language skills and produce creative, coherent writing. Students will read a range of short but complex texts, including works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Langston Hughes, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., F. Scott Fitzgerald, Amy Tan, and Dave Eggers. This course is aligned with the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.

Units of Study

  • American Roots: From Native Traditions to the American Revolution
  • Bright Romanticism: American Inpidualism
  • Dark Romanticism: American Gothic
  • A Nation Divided and Expanding: Civil War, Regionalism, and Realism
  • Realist Novel Study: The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • “Make It New!”: Early Modernism
  • Modern Drama Study
  • Victory and Despair: The Roaring
    Twenties, Modernism, and Postwar
  • “I, too, am America”: The Harlem
    Renaissance and the Civil Rights
  • Cultural Rebellion: Mid TwentiethCentury
  • Heritage and Multicultural American
    Identities: Contemporary Voices
  • Globalization and the Information Age:
    Postmodernism into the Twenty-First

Course Features

  •  Lesson questions help students focus on big ideas.
  • On-screen teachers use clear graphic organizers to present lesson goals and lesson organization in a student.
  • The course is organized chronologically, with a consistent unit structure. The literature within each unit is linked by a literary movement or time period.
  • To promote inquiry and a focus on big ideas, every lesson includes a guiding lesson question.
  • Students have access to the CloseReaderTM, a text mark-up toolset and supportive reading
    environment, to support the close and active reading of text. Students highlight targeted words and phrases, annotate text with digital sticky notes, and interact with visual and audio guidance written by experienced teachers.
  • Language and vocabulary skills are both woven throughout units and emphasized in stand-alone language lessons.
  • Essay writing is taught through workshops, with a balance of argumentative, informative, and narrative writing.
  • The course features a range of literature, including essays, speeches, memoirs, primary-source documents, scientific writing, novels, short stories, poems, and plays.
  • Students engage in a full novel study (The Awakening by Kate Chopin) and a full drama study (Trifles by Susan Glaspell).
  • Multimedia resources support the development of listening skills, as students listen to audio clips to hear the cadence of poetry read aloud, watch videos of presidential speeches, watch brief film clips of texts they’ve read (Trifles), listen to audio clips to analyze multiple interpretations of a work or subject (Trifles, poetry, a song from the Great Depression), and create their own multimedia research project in the final unit of the course

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