High School English 4 or British Literature Course Planning English 4 stresses a progressive mastery of language and writing. The course places particular emphasis on developing a sense of style, sentence structure, and organizational techniques when writing for a variety of purposes. Analytical reading and further review of prominent authors and their works continue. This course also examines the development of British Literature and the English language. Readings include prose, poetry, drama, and criticism from various periods. Extensive reading and writing are required.
Enduring Understandings • What understandings about the big ideas are desired? (what you want students to understand & be able to use several years from now) • What misunderstandings are predictable? • To fully understand a literary work, it is imperative that one is familiar with the historical, social, political and religious context in which it was written. • Modern literary works have been inspired by classical stories and modern poems reflect themes commonly seen in classical poetry. • Although it mirrors a culture different from the reader’s, British literature still maintains the literary elements and structure familiar to and respected by American readers. • Classic writers of the “great books” (i.e., Chaucer, Shakespeare, Austen, Conrad, Kafka, Swift, etc.) included themes that are still important and applicable in today’s modern world.
Academic Vocabulary The Anglo-Saxon Period (A.D. 449-1066): This unit will allow students to utilize various kinds of texts as well as the students’ own personal experiences in order to connect the contemporary ideas of heroism, villainy and anti-heroism with the traditional epic hero cycle. The teacher will provide appropriate background information on Beowulf in terms of history, literary devices and the influence of the concept of heroism and in doing so, the student will be expected to analyze and question the traditional Anglo-Saxon view of heroism while at the same time examining their own thoughts and assuming multiple perspectives within myriad texts. The Medieval Period (1066-1485): This unit will enable students to comprehend texts from the Middle Ages, analyze the characters and their motivations as well as the authors’ purposes in composing such texts and apply those elements to the modern day. Arthurian material has been continually reshaped and developed, reflecting aspects of contemporary life, morality and aspirations. Students can learn much from examining the ideas people possessed then (i.e., how one should behave), which in many ways, compare to today’s shared views. Students will then focus their study on Geoffrey Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s work provides an accurate cross-section of society in the Middle Ages. He authentically and realistically captures the human spirit inherent in people from all walks of life. In studying these tales and these individuals, students will be able to parallel those who lived many centuries ago with individuals that students are familiar with in their everyday lives. The Renaissance (1485-1660): English poetry began to experience this renaissance first, but the greatest and most distinctive achievement of Elizabethan literature was the drama. The sonnets of Shakespeare, Petrarch and Spenser, as well as Shakespeare’s plays challenge students with difficult language and style, express profound knowledge of human behavior, desires, fears and longings and offer insight into the world around us. In Shakespeare we find the great themes of life: ambition, love, hatred, fear, revenge and joy. Through his characters’ experiences, students will be able to find truths that resonate in their own contemporary society. Shakespeare feeds the imagination and holds up a mirror to an individual’s own power to change him- or herself and the world in which they live. The Romantic Age (1798-1832): The Romantic Movement took its name from its interest in the medieval romances of myth, adventure and passion and the movement affected not only literature but also all other arts such as music and painting. The Romantics viewed nature as a wild, free force that could inspire poets to instinctive spiritual understanding. And although poetry was the dominant literary form during the Romantic Age, many significant prose works also appeared mainly in the form of essays and novels. The Victorian Age (1832-1900): During the sixty-four years of Queen Victoria’s reign, from 1837 to 1901, Britain’s booming economy and rapid expansion encouraged great optimism. The literature of this movement focused on ordinary people facing day-to-day problems of life, an emphasis that reflected the trend toward democracy and the growing middle-class audience for literature. A related movement, Naturalism, sought to put the spirit of scientific observation to literary use; Naturalists wrote in gritty detail, often with an aim at social reform. The Victorian period was dominated by an abundance of poetry, drama, fiction and prose.
Pending CC Approval The Modern and Postmodern Periods (1900-Present): Modernism, with its commitment to creating new forms, was perhaps the most important artistic movement of the twentieth century. Many Modernists used images such as symbols, leading to indirect, evocative work. They often presented experiences in fragments, rather than as a coherent whole. The Postmodern period in English literature refers to the time from 1965 to the present. In literature, as in other aspects of British life, women have been highly visible and productive in recent decades. Throughout both the Modern and Postmodern periods, writers have experimented with dialogue, sequencing and the relationships between literature and reality.
Essential Questions What provocative questions will foster inquiry into the content? (open-ended questions that stimulate thought and inquiry linked to the content of the enduring understanding) • Why is it important to reflect upon an historical time period by analyzing the writings of that time period? What does a work of fiction or of nonfiction tell about a particular place and time? • What impact do cultural influences have on an author’s work? • How is gender constructed in works of literature? • How does an understanding of universal themes in the literature of all cultures help one to better understand oneself and the world around him or her? • What do works of literature say about fate and free will? • What were the social mores of medieval England and how do they reveal themselves in literary works such as The Canterbury Tales? • How and why are the “big ideas” of literature repeated through the centuries? • How do poetic devices help support meaning in a text? • What makes for effective satire? What is its purpose in society today? Assessments • Explain how the historical context in which a work was written influenced the work. • Identify, explain and analyze an author’s purpose, especially when considered within the historical and social context of the time period. • Connect literature of an historical era to the significant events of that era and explain the connection between specific historical events and specific works of literature. • Differentiate between fact and legend when comparing a work of literature to an historical subject or event (i.e., Arthurian legend). • Trace shifts in English language development. • Analyze, interpret and annotate poetry according to structure and form and analyze poetic devices used in works such as Beowulf, The Seafarer and Rime of the Ancient Mariner. • Identify, analyze and interpret satire and satirical aspects of texts. • Identify modern examples of Shakespeare’s influence and thoroughly explain the connection. • Identify, analyze and interpret a work of Gothic literature. • Engage in close reading for symbols, metaphorical language and motifs. Standards Addressed Reading RL2. 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; restate and summarize main ideas or events, in correct sequence, after reading a text. RL4. 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. RL5. 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. RL6. Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, understatement, or attitude). RL7. 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.
Pending CC Approval Language SL1. 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. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. b. Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed. c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives. d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives or arguments; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task. SL6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate and addressing intended audience needs and knowledge level. (See grades 11–12 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.) Writing W3. Use narrative writing to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well- structured event sequences. a. Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events. b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. c. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution). d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters. e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative. W10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Pending CC Approval Assessments Concepts to be Assessed Skills to be Assessed What knowledge will the student acquire as a result of this course? What skills will the students acquire as a result of this unit? • One must approach a work of literature with an • Explain how the historical context in which a work was historical, social and cultural eye to fully understand the written influenced the work. purpose and theme of the work. • Identify, explain and analyze an author’s purpose, • The English language has developed over time, so it is especially when considered within the historical and social important to understand the language of a culture when context of the time period. reading a literary work written or set in a particular time • Connect literature of an historical era to the significant period. events of that era and explain the connection between • Differentiating between historical truths and legendary specific historical events and specific works of literature. misinformation is essential when reading a text or • Differentiate between fact and legend when comparing a discussing a historical legend. work of literature to an historical subject or event (i.e., • There are parallels between historical and cultural Arthurian legend). practices of times past and the modern era. • Trace shifts in English language development. • Reading works of literature is an active process that • Evaluate, classify and analyze the use of stock, requires one to read carefully, analyze thoughtfully, stereotypical and archetypal characters and narrative infer beyond the text and constantly revise thoughts frame in character development. and predictions based upon what is presented in the • Identify, analyze and interpret satire and satirical aspects text. of texts. • It is imperative that a reader infer beyond the text to • Identify modern examples of Shakespeare’s influence and identify key themes, tones, symbols, motifs, events and thoroughly explain the connection. ideas from selected works of literature. • Identify, analyze and interpret a work of Gothic literature. • Dramatic literature and satire have consistently been • Analyze and annotate ballads. used as cultural forces. • Identify and explain the impact that diction, detail, syntax, • Literature has always been used to convey point of view, narrative structure, literary devices (i.e., philosophical ideas and the ideas portrayed in rhyme scheme, metaphor, extended metaphor, alliteration, philosophical texts can be related to and discussed in etc.) and tone have on a particular work of literature. the context of past society as well as in contemporary • Engage in close reading for symbols, metaphorical society. language and motifs. • The characters and themes presented throughout history (i.e., Beowulf) can connect to modern day people, issues, and/or lessons. • The works of William Shakespeare undoubtedly continue to influence contemporary society. Novels Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift Frankenstein by Mary Shelley A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Beowulf The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte Haddon Emma by Jane Austen Poetry by: Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery Tennyson, Shelly, Keats, Blake, S.T.Coleridge, Worsworth
Pending CC Approval