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American Literature (Course)

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Contents

Description of Course

Enduring Understandings

  • Accomplished readers comprehend texts by reading fluently, strategically, and critically.
  • Speakers and writers control or personalize messages through word choices, voice, and style.
  • Writers choose to spend time ensuring all grammar and punctuation is accurate to show respect for readers.
  • Critical readers question the text, consider various perspectives, and look for author’s bias in order to think, live, and act differently.
  • Accomplished researchers employ strategies to help them research information.
  • Literature can reflect, clarify, criticize, and satirize the time, ideas, and cultures it depicts.
  • American literature explores the conflicts that shape our nation.
  • Writers’ choices of words reflect their membership in various social, regional, and cultural groups.

Essential Questions for Course

  1. What does it mean to be an American?
  2. How has the United States lived up to its original promise?
  3. How do history, culture, and literature inform and influence one another?

Teaching Resources

Lesson Planning Resources

Each unit also contains links to lessons specific to that time period.

Pacing Guide

The course consists of six units, covering eight different periods in American literature. An approximate pacing guide is as follows:

Length of Each Unit in Weeks
Course Length 36 Weeks
Year-Long Course
18 Weeks
Block Schedule
12 Weeks
Trimesters
Unit 1 (10%) 3.6 1.8 2.4 Eng
A
Unit 2 (20%) 7.2 1.8 4.8
Unit 3 (20%) 7.2 3.6 4.8
Unit 4 (15%) 5.4 2.7 3.6 Eng
B
Unit 5 (15%) 5.4 2.7 3.6
Unit 6 (20%) 7.2 3.6 4.8



Unit 1: Encounters and Adventures (1607-1765)

The Colonial Period to the Stamp Act

The colonial period begins in 1607 with the founding of the Jamestown colony in Virginia and ends with the passage of the Stamp Act by the British Parliament.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Standards and I Can Statements

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

  • I can define and identify various forms of figurative language. (K)
  • I can distinguish between literal language and figurative language. (K)
  • I can recognize the difference between denotative and connotative meanings. (K)
  • I can analyze how an author's choice of specific words evokes a particular meaning or tone in a text and how using language in a new way creates an engaging overall effect. (R)
  • I can analyze how specific word choices build on one another to create a cumulative (collective) impact on the overall meaning and tone of a text. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9
Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

  • I can identify various foundational works of American literature from different time periods. (K)
  • I can identify two or more texts from the same time period that contain similar themes or topics. (K)
  • I can analyze how authors of two or more texts from the same time period treat similar themes or topics. (R)
  • I can analyze how the point of view of an author impacts his or her approach to a theme or topic found in a particular time period. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.

  • I can define point of view as how the author feels about the situation/topic of a text. (K)
  • I can determine an author's point of view and explain his or her purpose for writing the text. (R)
  • I can define rhetoric—a technique an author uses to persuade a reader to consider a topic from a different perspective. (K)
  • I can identify when an author uses rhetoric and analyze how the rhetoric strengthens his or her point of view or purpose. (R)
  • I can analyze how the author's style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

  • I can choose a topic and identify and select the most significant and relevant information to develop and share with my audience. (S)
  • I can define common organizational/formatting structions and determine the structure or structures that will allow me to organize my complex ideas so that each new element builds on what precedes it. (R)
  • I can analyze the information; identify domain-specific vocabulary for my topic; incorporate techniques such as metaphor, simile; and organize information into broader categories using my chosen structure or structure(s). (R)
  • I can present my information maintaining an objective tone and formal style that includes an introduction that previews what is to follow, supporting details, varied transitions and syntax (to clarify and create cohesion when I move from one idea to another), and a concluding statement/section that supports the information presented. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  • I can review and/or research material(s) to be discussed and determine key points and/or central ideas. (S)
  • I can create questions and locate key textual evidence to contribute to a discussion on the given topic, text, or issue. (P)
  • I can work with peers to define the rules and roles necessary to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making. (S)
  • I come prepared with key points and textual evidence to contribute to a discussion and stimulate a thoughtful well-reasoned exchange of ideas. (S)
  • I can participate in a discussion by posing questions that connect the ideas of several speakers, responding to questions, and elaborating on my own ideas and/or the ideas of others to ensure a full range of positions on a topic or issue. (S)
  • I can propel conversations by clarifying, verifying, or challenging ideas and conclusions to promote divergent and creative perspectives. (S)
  • I can respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine when additional information or research is required. (S)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.3
Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

  • I can identify how language functions in different contexts. (K)
  • I can analyze the context of various texts and determine how language choice affects meaning, style, and comprehension. (R)
  • I can explain that syntax refers to how words are arranged to form sentences. (K)
  • I can identify regular/normal syntax. (K)
  • I can identify irregular/varied syntax. (K)
  • I can write using varied syntax and consult references for guidance as needed. (S)
  • I can recognize that writers creatively use irregular/varied syntax to convey imagery, to create rhyme scheme, to emphasize ideas, etc. (R)

Lesson Sequence

Assessments

Diagnostic

Formative

Summative

Literary Resources

Bradstreet, Anne (1617-1672)
Selections from The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America (1650)

  • "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House"
  • "A Love Letter to Her Husband"
  • "To my Dear and Loving Husband"

A list of her poems, along with links to their texts, can be found here.

Rowlandson, Mary (c. 1636 - c. 1711)

  • Selections from A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings, and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682)

Edwards, Jonathan (1703-1758)

  • Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Bradford, William (1590-1657)

  • Selections from Of Plymouth Plantation (1620)

Taylor, Edward (1642?-1729)

  • "Huswifery"

Byrd, William (1674-1744)

  • Selections from The History of the Dividing Line (c. 1728)

Dekanawida

  • Selections from The Iroquois Constitution

Teaching Resources

Background Reading

Especially useful chapters include chapter 2 ("White Servitude"), chapter 4 ("Black Slavery"), and chapter 7 ("The Awakeners").

Documentaries

Websites

Lesson Plans

Academic Language

Tier 2

  • allusion
  • analogy
  • analyze
  • anecdote
  • arguments
  • audience
  • characterization
  • chronological order
  • claim
  • collaboration
  • compare/contrast
  • connotation
  • denotation
  • description/express
  • dialogue
  • emotional appeals
  • evaluate
  • evidence
  • historical context
  • imagery
  • inference
  • interpretations
  • logical appeals
  • metaphor
  • narrative
  • pacing
  • purpose
  • reflection
  • rhetorical question
  • satire
  • summarize
  • synonyms
  • theme

Tier 3

  • alliteration
  • archetype
  • Deism
  • conceit
  • extended metaphor
  • parallelism
  • personification
  • plot line
  • Rationalism
  • syntax
  • The Great Awakening
  • tone

Unit 2: Nation Building (1765-1828)

The Revolutionary and Early National Periods

The Revolutionary Period in American literature begins in 1765 with the passage of the Stamp Act by the British parliament, and ends in 1789, with the ratification of the United States Constitution. The Early National Period begins in 1789 and ends in 1828 with the election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

  1. What could cause a people to fight for their independence?
  2. How do you create a new national identity?
  3. What is unique about the founding of the United States?

Standards and I Can Statements

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

  • I can define and identify various forms of figurative language. (K)
  • I can distinguish between literal language and figurative language. (K)
  • I can recognize the difference between denotative and connotative meanings. (K)
  • I can analyze how an author's choice of specific words evokes a particular meaning or tone in a text and how using language in a new way creates an engaging overall effect. (R)
  • I can analyze how specific word choices build on one another to create a cumulative (collective) impact on the overall meaning and tone of a text. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

  • I can determine how an author chose to structure his or her exposition or argument (R)
  • I can analyze the structure of an author's exposition or argument and evaluate whether the structure is effective. (R)
  • I can determine if an author's structure is effective in making his or her points clear, convincing, and engaging. (R)
  • I can evaluate how an author's choice of structure impacts his or her audience. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.8
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

  • I can determine the purpose behind the creation of seminal U.S. texts. (R)
  • I can identify constitutional principles and/or legal reasoning found in seminal U.S. texts. (K)
  • I can delineate (outline) and evaluate the application of constitutional principles and the use of legal reasoning in seminal U.S. texts. (P)
  • I can identify the premises, purposes, and arguments found in words of public advocacy. (K)
  • I can delineate (outline) and evaluate the premises, purposes, and arguments found in works of public advocacy. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.9
Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

  • I can identify various foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance from different time periods. (K)
  • I can identify themes, purposes, and rhetorical features used in various foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance. (K)
  • I can analyze how different foundational U.S. documents utilize themes (e.g., freedom, independence, equality). (R)
  • I can analyze how different foundational U.S. documents utilize rhetorical features. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

  • I can analyze substantive (influential) topics or texts to determine an argument that causes or has caused a debate in society. (R)
  • I can choose a side of the argument; identify precise, knowledgeable claims; and establish the significance of the claim(s). (S)
  • I can identify alternate or opposing claims that counter my argument. (K)
  • I can organize claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence into a logical sequence. (S)
  • I can anticipate my audience's knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases and develop my claims and counterclaims by pointing out the most relevant strengths and limitations of both. (S)
  • I can present my argument in a formal style and objective tone. (P)
  • I can create cohesion and clarify relationships among claims and counterclaims using transitions as well as varied syntax. (P)
  • I can provide a concluding statement/section that supports my argument. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

  • I can present information, findings, and/or supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically to convey a clear and distinct perspective.
  • I can present my information in a sequence that allows the listener to follow my line of reasoning. (S)
  • I can address alternative or opposing perspectives in my presentation. (S)
  • I can prepare a presentation with organization, development, substance, and style that are appropriate to the purpose, task, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.1
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • I can recognize the conventions of Standard English usage can change over time. (R)
  • I can recognize that certain standard English usage can be contested, and individuals can dispute what is correct or proper. (R)
  • I can consult reference materials to resolve issues of complex or contested usage of standard English. (S)

Lesson Sequence

Assessments

Diagnostic

Pretest over academic vocabulary.

Formative

Collaborate
Reflect on seminar questions, take notes on your responses, and note the page numbers of the textual evidence you will refer to in your seminar and/or essay answers. Share your notes with a partner for feedback and guidance. Have you interpreted the text correctly? Is your evidence convincing? (RL.11-12.1, SL.11-12.1)

Summative

Essay
Imagine that you are an early American colonist. Write a letter to a family member or friend persuading him or her to join your fight for American independence. Use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support an original thesis statement. (W.11-12.1, W.11-12.9b)
Essay
Write an essay in which you explain Madison’s use of the term “faction” in Federalist No. 10. Use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support an original thesis statement. (RI.11-12.4, W.11-12.2, W.11-12.9b)
Seminar and Essay
Do The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution share similar tones? Why or why not? Use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support an original thesis statement. (RI.11-12.9, W.11-12.9b, SL.11-12.1)
Research Paper
Select one of the texts studied and write a research paper in which you trace the enduring significance of the work through contemporary American history. Cite at least three secondary sources to support an original thesis statement. (W.11-12.7, W.11-12.8, W.11-12.9).
Oral Presentation
Students will prepare and give a formal oral presentation of the research paper, fielding questions from peers. (SL.11-12.3, 4)

Literacy Resources

Wheatley, Phyllis (1753-1784)

Equiano, Olaudah (c. 1745-1797)

  • Selections from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789)

Franklin, Benjamin (1706-1790)

  • Selections from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Selections from Poor Richard's Almanack

Henry, Patrick (1736-1799)

  • "Speech to the Virginia Convention" (1765)
  • "Liberty or Death" speech (1775)

Paine, Thomas (1737-1809)

  • Selections from The Rights of Man (1791)
  • Selections from Common Sense (1776)
  • Selections from Notes on the State of Virginia
  • Selections from The Age of Reason (1794, 1796)
  • Selections from The Crisis

Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1820)

  • Selections from A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774)
  • Selections from Notes on the State of Virginia
  • Selections from The Autobiography
  • Selections from "The Declaration of Independence"

Teaching Resources

Artworks

  • Leutze, Emanuel. Washington Crossing The Delaware (1851)
  • Trumbull,John. Declaration of Independence (1819)
  • Copley, John. Paul Revere (ca. 1768)
  • Rossiter, Thomas Pritchard. Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon (1859)
  • Stuart, Gilbert. James Monroe (ca. 1820-1822)
  • Hesselius, Gustavus. Lapowinsa (1735)
  • Couder, Auguste. Siège de Yorktown (ca. 1836)

Background Reading

Documentaries

Websites

Activity 1: The structure of the Declaration: introduction, main political/philosophical ideas, grievances, assertion of sovereignty.
Activity 2: The ideological/political origins of the ideas in the Declaration.

Academic Language

Tier 2

  • ambiguity
  • atmosphere
  • autobiography
  • beliefs
  • biases
  • coda
  • cohesion
  • connotation
  • counterclaim
  • denotation
  • diction
  • elliptical construction
  • etymology
  • foreshadow
  • hyperbole
  • Idealism
  • Individualism
  • irony
  • oratory
  • parable
  • paradox
  • purpose
  • refrain
  • satire
  • symbol
  • tone
  • transitions

Tier 3

  • allegory
  • alliteration
  • aphorism
  • assonance
  • cadence
  • exact rhyme
  • free verse
  • Gothic short story
  • internal rhyme
  • lyric poetry
  • mood
  • Naturalism
  • onomatopoeia
  • primary source
  • Realism
  • Regionalism
  • Romanticism
  • slant rhyme
  • slave narrative
  • Transcendentalism

Unit 3: Dreams and Nightmares (1828-1865)

The Romantic Period through the Civil War

The Romantic Period in American literature begins in 1828 with the election of Andrew Jackson to the presidency, and ends in 1865 with the conclusion of the Civil War.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Standards and I Can Statements

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • I can define theme. (K)
  • I can analyze plot to determine two or more themes. (R)
  • I can determine how multiple themes in a text develop and interact to build on one another and produce a complex account. (R)
  • I can define a summary. (K)
  • I can compose an objective summary stating the key points of the text without adding my own opinions or feelings. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.9
Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

  • I can identify various foundational works of American literature from different time periods. (K)
  • I can identify two or more texts from the same time period that contain similar themes or topics. (K)
  • I can analyze how authors of two or more texts from the same time period treat similar themes or topics. (R)
  • I can analyze how the point of view of an author impacts his or her approach to a theme or topic found in a particular time period. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

  • I can determine how an author chose to structure his or her exposition or argument (R)
  • I can analyze the structure of an author's exposition or argument and evaluate whether the structure is effective. (R)
  • I can determine if an author's structure is effective in making his or her points clear, convincing, and engaging. (R)
  • I can evaluate how an author's choice of structure impacts his or her audience. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

  • I can define narrative and describe the basic parts of plot. (K)
  • I can engage the reader by introducing one or more point(s) of view, the narrator (first, second, or third person point of view), characters, setting, and a problem, situation, or observation and its significance.
  • I can use narrative techniques to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. (S)
  • I can use descriptive words and phrases that reveal details, appeal to the senses, and help convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. (S)
  • I can sequence events and signal changes in time and place by using transition words, phrases, and clauses to show the relationship among experiences and events.
  • I can create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome using a variety of techniques. (P)
  • I can write a logical conclusion that reflects on the experiences/events and provides a sense of closure. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

  • I can present information, findings, and/or supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically to convey a clear and distinct perspective.
  • I can present my information in a sequence that allows the listener to follow my line of reasoning. (S)
  • I can address alternative or opposing perspectives in my presentation. (S)
  • I can prepare a presentation with organization, development, substance, and style that are appropriate to the purpose, task, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • I can infer the meaning of unknown words using context clues. (R)
  • I can recognize and define common affixes and roots. (K)
  • I can break down unknown words into units of meaning to infer the definition of the unknown word. (S)
  • I can use patterns of word changes to determine a word's meaning or part of speech. (S)
  • I can verify my inferred meaning of an unknown word, its part of speech, its etymology, and/or its standard usage by consulting general and specialized reference materials. (K)

Lesson Sequence

Assessments

Diagnostic

Formative

Summative

Literary Resources

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (1815-1902)

  • Selections from Declaration of Sentiments of the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention

Irving, Washington (1783-1859)
Novels

  • A History of New York
  • The Sketch Book (1819-20)
  • Tales of a Traveller (1824)

Short Stories

  • "The Devil and Tom Walker"

Bryant, William Cullen (1794-1878)

  • "Thanatopsis"

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth (1807-1882)

  • Evangeline (1847)
  • The Song of Hiawatha (1855)
  • "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls"
  • "The Cross of Snow"

Emerson, Ralph Waldo (1803-1882)

  • "Nature"
  • "Self-Reliance"

Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)

  • Walden (1854)
  • "Resistance to Civil Government" (1849)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel (1804-1864)
(Selected stories are available at the Lit Project.) Novels

  • Selections from Twice-Told Tales (1837)
  • The Scarlet Letter (1850)
  • The House of the Seven Gables (1851)

Short Stories

  • "Young Goodman Brown"
  • "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment"
  • "The Minister's Black Veil"

Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849)

  • Tamerlane (1827)
  • Al Aaraaf (1829)
  • The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
  • "The Gold Bug"
  • "The Purloined Letter"
  • "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"
  • "The Tell-Tale Heart"
  • "The Cask of Amontillado"
  • "The Pit and the Pendulum"
  • "The Raven" (1845)

Teaching Resources

Background Reading

Documentaries

Websites

Academic Language

Tier 2

  • abolition
  • ambiguity
  • atmosphere
  • beliefs
  • biases
  • cohesion
  • connotation
  • counterclaim
  • denotation
  • dialect
  • diction
  • etymology
  • foreshadow
  • hyperbole
  • Idealism
  • Individualism
  • irony
  • oratory
  • parable
  • paradox
  • purpose
  • refrain
  • satire
  • symbol
  • tone
  • transitions

Tier 3

  • cadence
  • catalog
  • coda
  • elliptical construction
  • exact rhyme
  • free verse
  • Gothic short story
  • internal rhyme
  • lyric poetry
  • mood
  • primary source
  • Romanticism
  • slant rhyme
  • Transcendentalism

Unit 4: New Frontiers (1865-1914)

Realism, Regionalism, and Naturalism

The Realistic Period in American literature began in 1865 with the conclusion of the Civil War and ended around 1900. The Naturalistic Period in American literature began at the close of the Realistic Period and ended in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I. Regionalism is a trend in literature to focus on the characters, dialect, customs, geography, and other features particular to a specific region.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Standards and I Can Statements

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

  • I can identify elements of a story or drama (e.g., setting, events characters). (K)
  • I can analyze how elements of a story or drama are developed and/or interrelated. (R)
  • I can analyze the impact of an author's choices in presenting elements of a story or drama. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

  • I can determine a complex set of ideas or sequence of events conveyed in a text. (R)
  • I can analyze how specific individuals interact and develop within a complex set of ideas or sequence of events. (R)
  • I can analyze how specific ideas interact and develop within a complex set of ideas or sequence of events. (R)
  • I can analyze how specific events interact and develop within a complex set of ideas or sequence of events. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.5
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

  • I can use prewriting strategies to formulate ideas. (S)
  • I can recognize that a well-developed piece of writing requires more than one draft. (K)
  • I can apply revision strategies with the help of others. (S)
  • I can edit my writing by checking for errors in capitalization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc.
  • I can analyze my writing to determine if my purpose and audience and have been fully addressed and revise when necessary. (R)
  • I can prepare multiple drafts using revisions and edits to develop and strengthen my writing. (P)
  • I can recognize when revising, editing, and rewriting are not enough, and I need to try a new approach. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

  • I can identify the parts of my presentation, including findings, reasoning, and evidence, that could use clarification, strengthening, and/or additional interest. (K)
  • I can integrate appropriate digital media in a strategic manner to improve my presentation. (S)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • I can determine when to capitalize words. (K)
  • I can apply common hyphenation conventions. (S)
  • I can recognize that there are many different rules concerning hyphens and use resources to assist me in hyphenating correctly. (R)
  • I can identify misspelled words and use resources to assist me in spelling correctly. (S)

Lesson Sequence

Assessments

Diagnostic

Formative

Summative

Literary Resources

New England

  • Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins (1852-1930)
  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher (1811-1896)
  • Jewett, Sarah Orne (1849-1909)

Southern

  • Chopin, Kate (1850-1904)
  • Harris, Joel Chandler (1848-1908)

Western

  • Harte, Bret (1839-1902)
  • Twain, Mark (1835-1910)

Great Plains

  • Zitkala-Sa (1876-1938)

Teaching Resources

Background Reading

Documentaries

Websites

Academic Language

Tier 2

Tier 3


Unit 5: Stepping Onto the Stage (1914-1945)

Modernism

The Modern Period in American literature begins with the start of World War I and ends with the conclusion of World War II.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Standards and I Can Statements

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

  • I can define textual evidence ("word for word" support). (K)
  • I can define inference and explain how a reader uses textual evidence to reach a logical conclusion ("based on what I've read, it's most likely true that…"). (R)
  • I can read closely and find answers explicitly in the text ("right there" answers) and answers that require an inference. (S)
  • I can analyze an author's words and determine multiple pieces of textual evidence that strongly and thoroughly support both explicit and inferential questions. (R)
  • I can determine places in the text that leave matters uncertain (e.g., when the reader must draw his or her own conclusions or assumptions). (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6
Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).

  • I can analyze an author's point of view in a text. (K)
  • I can analyze words stated directly in a text and determine when an author is requiring the reader to make an inference as to what is really meant. (R)
  • I can recognize when authors use literary techniques to shape the content and style of a text. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

  • I can define textual evidence. (K)
  • I can define inference and explain how a reader uses textual evidence to reach a logical conclusion. (R)
  • I can read closely and find answers explicitly in text and answers that require an inference. (S)
  • I can analyze an author's words and determine multiple pieces of textual evidence that strongly and thoroughly support both explicit and inferential questions. (R)
  • I can determine places in the text that leave matters uncertain. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.4
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

  • I can identify the writing style that best fits my task, purpose, and audience. (K)
  • I can use organizational/formatting structures (graphic organizers) to develop my writing ideas. (S)
  • I can composes a clear and logical piece of writing that demonstrates my understanding of a specific writing style. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5
Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

  • I can identify the parts of my presentation, including findings, reasoning, and evidence, that could use clarification, strengthening, and/or additional interest. (K)
  • I can integrate appropriate digital media in a strategic manner to improve my presentation. (S)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.6
Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

  • I can recognize the difference between general academic words and phrases and domain-specific words and phrases.
  • I can acquire and use college and career readiness level academic and domain-specific words and phrases to demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • I can consider vocabulary knowledge including denotation, nuance, etymology, etc., and determine the most appropriate words or phrases to express overall meaning. (S)
  • I can gather vocabulary knowledge independently when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression. (S)

Lesson Sequence

Assessments

Diagnostic

Formative

Summative

Literary Resources

Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Novels

  • The Great Gatsby

Teaching Resources

Background Reading

Documentaries

Websites

Academic Language

Tier 2

Tier 3


Unit 6: The Center Cannot Hold (1945-?)

Postmodernism

The Postmodern Period in American literature begins with the conclusion of World War II. Scholars debate its end point.

Enduring Understandings

Essential Questions

Standards and I Can Statements

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

  • I can determine how an author chose to structure specific parts of a text. (R)
  • I can analyze specific parts of text and explain how the individual parts fit into the overall structure. (R)
  • I can analyze how an author's choice of structuring specific parts of a text affects the overall meaning. (R)
  • I can analyze how an author's choice of structuring specific parts of a text creates an aesthetic impact. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

  • I can identify multiple interpretations of the same source text. (K)
  • I can analyze how authors interpret a source text in different mediums. (R)
  • I can evaluate various works that have drawn on or transformed the same source material and explain the varied interpretations of different authors. (R)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • I can define a central idea. (K)
  • I can determine two or more central ideas of a text. (R)
  • I can determine how two or more central ideas of a text interact and build on one another to develop a text with complex meaning. (R)
  • I can analyze how central ideas develop over the course of a text. (R)
  • I can compose an objective summary stating the key points of the text without adding my own opinions or feelings. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

  • I can choose a topic and identify and select the most significant and relevant information to develop and share with my audience. (S)
  • I can define common organizational/formatting structions and determine the structure or structures that will allow me to organize my complex ideas so that each new element builds on what precedes it. (R)
  • I can analyze the information; identify domain-specific vocabulary for my topic; incorporate techniques such as metaphor, simile; and organize information into broader categories using my chosen structure or structure(s). (R)
  • I can present my information maintaining an objective tone and formal style that includes an introduction that previews what is to follow, supporting details, varied transitions and syntax (to clarify and create cohesion when I move from one idea to another), and a concluding statement/section that supports the information presented. (P)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.3
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.

  • I can define a point of view as how the speaker feels about the situation/topic being presented. (K)
  • I can determine a speaker's point of view and explain his or her reasoning. (R)
  • I can define rhetoric (a technique used to persuade a listener to consider a topic from a different perspective). (K)
  • I identify when a speaker uses evidence and/or rhetoric and analyze how these techniques strengthen his or her point of view or purpose. (R)
  • I can assess the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used by the speaker. (S)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  • I can define and identify various forms of figurative language. (K)
  • I can interpret figures of speech and analyze their overall role in the text. (R)
  • I can recognize word relationships and use the relationships to further understand multiple words. (R)
  • I can recognize the difference between denotation and connotation. (K)
  • I can analyze how certain words and phrases that have similar denotations can carry different nuances. (R)

Lesson Sequence

Assessments

Diagnostic

Formative

Summative

Literary Resources

A good list of postmodern novels is available from the L.A. Times.

Drama

  • Hansberry, Lorraine: A Raisin in the Sun (1959)
  • Miller, Arthur: Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953)
  • Williams, Tennessee: The Glass Menagerie (1944), A Streetcar Named Desire (1948)

Novels

  • Alexie, Sherman: Reservation Blues (1995)
  • Baldwin, James: Got Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
  • Banks, Russell: Rule of the Bone (1995)
  • Barth, John: Giles Goat Boy (1966), Lost in the Funhouse (1968)
  • Bellow, Saul: Seize the Day ()
  • Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
  • Burroughs, William: Naked Lunch (1959)
  • DeLillo, Don: White Noise (1985)
  • Dick, Phillip K: The Man in the High Castle (1962)
  • Eggers, Dave: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius ()
  • Ellis, Bret Easton: Less Than Zero (1985)
  • Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man ()
  • Erdrich, Louise: Love Medicine ()
  • Fowles, John: The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969)
  • Heller, Joseph: Catch-22 (1961)
  • Hersey, John: Hiroshima (1946)
  • Krakauer, Jon: Into the Wild ()
  • Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  • McCarthy, Cormac: All the Pretty Horses (), The Road ()
  • McInerney, Jay: Bright Lights, Big City (1984)
  • Momaday, N. Scott: House Made of Dawn (1968)
  • Moore, Alan, and Dave Gibbons: Watchmen (1984)
  • Morrison, Toni: Beloved (1987), Song of Solomon ()
  • Pynchon, Thomas: V (1963), Gravity's Rainbow (1973)
  • Robbins, Tom: Still Life with Woodpecker (1980)
  • Roth, Philip: Goodbye, Columbus (1959)
  • Salinger, J.D.: The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  • Thompson, Hunter S.: "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971)
  • Vonnegut, Kurt: Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Breakfast of Champions (1973)
  • Walker, Alice: The Color Purple (1982)
  • Wallace, David Foster: Infinite Jest (1996)
  • Wright, Richard: Native Son ()

Poetry

  • Bishop, Elizabeth: "The Fish" (), One Art (), "Sestina" ()
  • Brooks, Gwendolyn: "The Bean Eaters" ()
  • Carver, Raymond: "Happiness" (), "The Current" ()
  • Forche, Carolyn: "The Visitor" ()
  • Ginsberg, Allen: "America" ()
  • Jarrell, Randall: "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" ()
  • Kleinzahler, August: "The Tartar Swept" ()
  • Lowell, Robert: "Skunk Hour" (), "Memories of West Street and Lepke" ()
  • Merrill, James: "The Black Swan" (), "The Octopus" (), "Days of 1964" ()
  • Merwin, W.S.: "My Friends" ()
  • Plath, Sylvia: "Mirror" (), "Mushrooms" (), "Tulips" ()
  • Sexton, Anne: "The Bells" (), "Young" ()
  • Wilbur, Richard: "The Beautiful Changes" (), "Boy at the Window" (), "The Writer" (), "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World" (), "Advice to a Prophet"

Short Stories (and collections)

  • Barthelme, Donald: Sixty Stories (1981); "Game" (1968)
  • Carver, Raymond: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981), Cathedral (1983); "Everything Stuck to Him" ()
  • Cheever, John: "The Swimmer" ()
  • Jackson, Shirley: "The Lottery" (1948)
  • Kaplan, David Michael: "Doe Season" (2005)
  • LeGuin, Ursula K: "She Unnames Them" (1985)
  • Oates, Joyce Carol: "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" ()
  • O'Brien, Tim: The Things They Carried (1990)
  • O'Connor, Flannery: "A Good Man is Hard to Find" (1955)
  • Olsen, Tillie: "I Stand Here Ironing" (1961)
  • Tan, Amy: The Joy Luck Club (1989)
  • Welty, Eudora: "Petrified Man" ()
  • Wright, Richard: "The Man Who Was Almos' a Man" ()
  • Updike, John: "Pigeon Feathers" (1962), "A&P" (1962), "How to Love America and Leave It at the Same Time" (), "Son" (),

Speeches

  • Kennedy, John F.: "Inaugural Address" (1961)
  • Minow, Newton: "Address to the Broadcasting Industry" (1961)
  • Reagan, Ronald: "Brandenburg Gate Address" (1987)

Teaching Resources

Background Reading

Documentaries

Websites

Academic Language

Tier 2

Tier 3