engageNY Curriculum Maps: High School ELA

  • 9th Grade: Q1

    “So you want a double life”: Reading Closely and Writing to Analyze

     

    Unit 1: “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” Karen Russell

    Unit 2: Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke; Black Swan Green, David Mitchell

    Unit 3: Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze contemporary and classic texts, focusing on how authors develop complex characters and central ideas and considering the effects of authors’ structural choices on the texts.

     

    Module 9.1 establishes key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that continue throughout the year. Students learn to work in a variety of contexts, including whole-class, pairs, small groups, and independently, as they learn to annotate texts and develop academic vocabulary in context. This 10-week module is the longest of the school year, in part to allow time for deliberate teaching and reinforcement of these key practices and habits.

     

    Module 9.1 is comprised of three units, referred to as 9.1.1, 9.1.2, and 9.1.3 respectively. Each of the module texts is a complex work with multiple central ideas that complement or echo the central ideas of other texts in the module.

     

    In 9.1.1, students read Karen Russell’s short story “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves,” paying close attention to the author’s use of language. In the story, feral girls with werewolf parents attend a Jesuit boarding school founded to socialize the girls by teaching them “normal” human behaviors. Russell organizes the text according to five stages of development using epigraphs from an imaginary text, The Jesuit Handbook on Lycanthropic Culture Shock. Students analyze how Russell’s structural choices create tone in the story as well as contribute to the development of the characters and central ideas. The central ideas students discuss in their analysis of “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves”—individual identity vs. group identification and the meaning of beauty—also appear in relation to the other module texts. The End-of-Unit Assessment asks students to compose a formal, multiparagraph response analyzing the narrator Claudette’s development in relation to the five stages of Lycanthropic Culture Shock.

     

    In 9.1.2, students read excerpts from fiction and nonfiction texts: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and Black Swan Green by David Mitchell. Students analyze the character of Jason as he is revealed in the two fictional excerpts and examine the parallels between “Solarium” in Black Swan Green and Rilke’s “Letter One.” In “Letter One,” Rilke counsels an aspiring poet on how to look within himself for the source of his inspiration to write. In the chapters “Hangman” and “Solarium” of Black Swan Green, Mitchell introduces the narrator, Jason, through Jason’s description of his stammer. Students’ work with these texts includes analysis of the authors’ use of specific word choices and figurative language to develop central ideas. In Black Swan Green students continue their analysis of character interactions in relation to the development of central ideas. The End-of-Unit Assessment asks students to compose a formal, multi-paragraph response analyzing how Rilke and Mitchell develop a similar idea in their respective texts.

     

    In 9.1.3, students participate in an unconventional study of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet by considering representations of the play in other media, first in film via Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and then in painting with Marc Chagall’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Students examine key portions of the text through close reading, collaborative discussion, and writing to synthesize ideas. The portions of the play selected for close reading are based on their pivotal role in the play and how historically and culturally relevant they are in the wider range of reading. Because this may be students’ first exposure to Shakespeare, students examine Shakespeare’s rich use of figurative language, word play, and powerful cadence throughout their reading and viewing of the play. Students also analyze how Shakespeare uses the structure of the text and elements of tragedy to refine central ideas, advance the plot, and create effects such as tension. The End-of-Unit Assessment asks students to compose a formal, multiparagraph response analyzing how Shakespeare develops either Romeo or Juliet as a tragic hero(ine).

     

    All Module 9.1 assessments provide scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment, in which students read paragraphs 4–9 in Rilke’s “Letter Seven,” identify a specific phrase or central idea in that excerpt, and analyze how that phrase or idea relates to one or more characters or central ideas in “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” or Romeo and Juliet.

  • 9th Grade: Q2

    Working with Evidence and Making Claims: How Do Authors Structure Texts and Develop Ideas?

     

    Unit 1: “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,”

    Unit 2: Oedipus the King

    Unit 3: “True Crime: The roots of an American obsession,” “How Bernard Madoff Did It,” The Wizard of Lies Epilogue excerpt, and text-based video “$50bn Ponzi Scheme - How Madoff Did It.”

     

    In Module 9.2, students engage with literature and nonfiction texts that develop central ideas of guilt, obsession, and madness, among others. Building on work with evidence-based analysis and debate in Module 9.1, students will produce evidence-based claims to analyze the development of central ideas and text structure. Students will develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing, and will refine their speaking and listening skills through discussion-based assessments.

     

    In Unit 9.2.1, students analyze the development and refinement of common central ideas in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Emily Dickinson’s poem “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.” The narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” disturbed by an old man’s eye, kills the man and hides the body. The speaker in “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” likens her descent into madness to the stages of a funeral ceremony. These texts offer rich evidence to support claims about point of view, central idea, and text structure, including how point of view and text structure contribute to the development of central ideas. Students will begin to produce evidence-based claims and multi-paragraph writing in unit 9.2.1.

     

    In Unit 9.2.2, students read the Greek tragedy Oedipus the King. The longest text in the module, Oedipus the King allows students to analyze how multiple central ideas are developed and refined throughout the drama; among the many themes developed in the play is Oedipus’s guilt in relation to the discovery of his past. Students will continue to produce multi-paragraph writing and participate in structured discussions to build mastery of speaking and listening skills in anticipation of the End-of-Unit Assessment in Unit 3, an evidence-based discussion of multiple nonfiction texts.

     

    In Unit 9.2.3, students read “True Crime: The roots of an American obsession,” an article from Newsweek that examines humanity’s relationship with guilt; “How Bernard Madoff Did It,” a book review of The Wizard of Lies; and an excerpt from the nonfiction book, The Wizard of Lies, which examines the downfall of white-collar criminal Bernard Madoff. These three texts complement each other in their treatment of guilt and people’s fascination with crime. In this unit, students focus on peer reviewing and revising their writing. The End-of-Unit Assessment in this unit is an evidence-based discussion, which offers students the opportunity to verbally articulate claims. In this forum, students will be asked to make connections across unit texts, particularly in relation to the development of central ideas.

     

    The End-of-Unit Assessments provide scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment in which students will explore how a common central idea is developed across two module texts: one literary and one informational.

     

  • 9th Grade: Q3

    Building and Communicating Knowledge through Research: The Inquiry and Writing Processes

     

    Unit 1: Grandin, Temple, and Catherine Johnson. Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior

     

    Unit 2: Student research sources will vary

    Students choose texts for research based on their individual research question/problem. Model Research Sources:

    • “The Brains of the Animal Kingdom” The Wall Street Journal

    • “Minds of Their Own: Animals Are Smarter Than You Think” National Geographic

    • “Think You’re Smarter Than Animals? Maybe Not” The New York Times

    • “Monkeys Can Perform Mental Addition” ScienceDaily

    • “Animal Intelligence: How We Discover How Smart Animals Really Are” Encyclopedia Britannica Blog

     

    Unit 3: Student research sources will vary*

    *By Unit 3, students have chosen texts for research based on their individual research question/problem.

     

    In Module 9.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 9.1 and 9.2, students explore topics of interest, gather research, and generate an evidence-based perspective to ultimately write an informative/explanatory research paper that synthesizes and articulates their findings. Students use textual analysis to surface potential topics for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.

     

    In Unit 9.3.1, students closely read a nonfiction text, focusing on the development and emergence of a central idea. Additionally, the text serves as a springboard to research, with students surfacing and tracking potential research topics as they emerge from the text.

     

    In Unit 9.3.2, students continue the research process begun in Unit 1. Students begin to learn and deeply engage in this iterative, non-linear process by pursuing areas of interest and deepening their understanding using guiding inquiry questions. Students use this inquiry-based process to gather, assess, read, and analyze sources. In the latter half of the unit, students then take those sources and begin to organize and synthesize research findings to make claims about a specific research question or problem.

     

    In Unit 9.3.3, students engage in the writing process with the goal of synthesizing and articulating their evidence-based research perspective in writing. The end product of this unit is a final draft of an informative/explanatory research paper that articulates the conclusions gleaned from research throughout Module 9.3. The writing cycle — in which students self-edit, peer review and continually revise their work — serves as the primary framework for this unit.

  • 9th Grade: Q4

    Understanding and Evaluating Argument: Analyzing Text to Write Arguments

     

    Central Module Text: Aronson, Marc and Marina Budhos. Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science

     

    Supplementary Module Texts:

    • “Globalization: The Growing Integration of Economies and Societies around the World” World Bank
    • “How Your Addiction to Fast Fashion Kills” law.fordham.edu
    • “Where Sweatshops Are a Dream” The New York Times
    • “Bangladesh Factory Collapse: Who Really Pays for Our Cheap Clothes?” CNN

     

    Module Performance Assessment Texts:

    • “Why Buy Locally Grown?” Dosomething.org
    • “Michael Pollan: Why Eat Local?” Nourishlife.org
    • “What Food Says About Class in America” Newsweek
    • “Buying Local: Do Food Miles Matter?” Harvard Extension Hub
    • “Immigrant Farm Workers, the Hidden Part of New York’s Local Food Movement” WNYC

     

    In Module 9.4, students read, analyze, and evaluate informational and argument writing and build, through focused instruction, the skills required to craft strong and well-supported argument writing of their own. Through the study of a variety of texts, students learn to think of the products they use and consume everyday as part of a complex web of global production and trade that extends not only to distant lands but to the past as well.

     

    Module 9.4 centers around one central text—Sugar Changed the World—and integrates at critical points brief, supplementary texts that situate in the present day the central ideas, claims, and arguments that arise out of Sugar Changed the World. Because of its extended emphasis on a central text, Module 9.4 employs a one-unit structure to facilitate students’ close analysis of the central text while providing opportunities for students to connect the ideas explored in this text to those in the short supplementary

    texts throughout the module.

     

    Sugar Changed the World, the main text of this module, is an historical account of the role the commodity played in shaping global trade, ethics, and modern day society. Through sugar, the authors tell the story of the global exchange of ideas and goods, the rapid spread of slavery, and the principles of freedom that would ultimately spread throughout the world. Students analyze the text to gain a better understanding of how history helps shape the people, culture and belief systems of our modern day world.

     

    The supplementary texts in this module help to contemporize the central ideas presented in Sugar Changed the World and build students’ understanding of the complexities of global trade. Students analyze several articles detailing the complexities of the global garment industry. Students learn about working conditions for garment workers in Bangladesh, consider arguments against the exploitation of sweatshop labor, and evaluate arguments attesting to the benefits of low-wage labor for workers in developing nations. These texts provide an opportunity for students to read, think, and write critically about what it means to be an ethical participant in the global economy.

     

    This module also focuses on argument writing instruction. Students closely read the supplementary module texts as examples of argument writing, learning the skills and components necessary for strong argument writing. Students use tools to evaluate and synthesize the arguments presented in the module’s supplementary texts, culminating in the development of students’ own evidence-based argument. The End-of-Unit Assessment asks students to use evidence from the module texts to respond to the prompt: Who bears the most responsibility for ensuring that goods are ethically produced? For the Module Performance Assessment, students read and analyze several new sources to form an evidence-based argument in response to the following prompt: Is local food production an example of ethical consumption?

  • 10th Grade: Q1

    Reading Closely and Writing to Analyze: How Do Authors Develop Complex Characters and Ideas?

     

    Unit 1: “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe, “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd” by Sir Walter Raleigh, and “Raleigh Was Right” by William Carlos Williams

    Unit 2: “The Palace Thief” from The Palace Thief by Ethan Canin

    Unit 3: “Rules of the Game” and “Two Kinds” from The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan and “Dreaming of Heroes” from Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

     

    In Module 10.1, students engage with literature and nonfiction texts and explore how complex characters develop through their interactions with each other, and how these interactions develop central ideas such as identity and expectations. Module 10.1 introduces foundational protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that students will continue to build upon and strengthen throughout the year. The module consists of three units, referred to as 10.1.1, 10.1.2, and 10.1.3. Each unit focuses on complex texts that offer students opportunities to work with multiple central ideas while exploring a range of genres.

     

    In Unit 10.1.1, students analyze how authors shape, refine, and transform shared central ideas as they read three thematically related poems: Christopher Marlowe’s iconic poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” Sir Walter Raleigh’s critical reply “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” and William Carlos Williams’ contemporary contribution, “Raleigh Was Right.” This unit introduces students to poets in conversation and encourages students to make connections across all three texts. Students consider the choices each poet makes, with a focus on how each poet shapes and refines central ideas shared in all three texts.

     

    In Unit 10.1.2, students read Ethan Canin’s “The Palace Thief,” exploring character interactions and motivations and how they contribute to the development of a central idea. Students also have the opportunity to analyze how rich figurative language contributes to a better understanding of evolving characters and emotions in the story.

     

    In Unit 10.1.3, students read “Two Kinds” and “Rules of the Game” from Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, and “Dreaming of Heroes,” a chapter from H. G. Bissinger’s non-fiction text Friday Night Lights. In their work with Tan’s “Two Kinds” and “Rules of the Game,” students analyze how Tan develops central ideas through the interactions between complex characters. Students continue their analysis of how authors shape and refine central ideas in their exploration of Bissinger’s non-fiction text, “Dreaming of Heroes” from Friday Night Lights, as they forge thematic connections with the central ideas of Tan’s fiction, such expectations and identity.

     

    The module excerpt from Friday Night Lights contains emotionally charged language that may be outside of some students' cultural experiences to describe some people and the cultural groups they represent. Specifically, the racial slur nigger (“the ‘n’ word”) appears several times in the text. The curriculum includes this excerpt because this is a work of literary non-fiction describing real emotions, real people, and real events. While the curriculum tries to limit inappropriate language in general, in this context the use of language contributes to the development of the people, situations, and central ideas in this text.

     

    The End-of-Unit Assessments provide scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment, in which students choose two narrators from the module texts and explore how their different points of view impact the development of a common central idea.

  • 10th Grade: Q2

    “These are strange times, my dear.”

     

    Unit 1: “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr.; “In This Blind Alley,” Ahmad Shamlu; “Freedom,” Rabindranath Tagore; “Women,” Alice Walker

    Unit 2: “A Genetics of Justice,” Julia Alvarez; “Remembering To Never Forget: Dominican Republic’s ‘Parsley Massacre,’” Mark Memmott

    Unit 3: The Universal Declaration on Human Rights; “On the Adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Eleanor Roosevelt; “Address to the United Nations Youth Assembly,” Malala Yousafzai

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze poems and informational texts focusing on how authors use rhetoric and word choice to develop ideas or claims about human rights. Students also explore how nonfiction authors develop arguments with claims, evidence, and reasoning.

     

    Module 10.2 builds upon the key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that were established in Module 10.1. Although these protocols are introduced in the ninth grade modules and spiral through the first tenth grade module of this curriculum, this module provides sufficient support for teachers who are implementing the routines for the first time.

     

    Module 10.2 is comprised of three units, referred to as 10.2.1, 10.2.2, and 10.2.3, respectively. Each of the module texts is a complex work with multiple central ideas and claims that complement or echo the central ideas and claims of other texts in the module. The texts in this module offer rich opportunities to analyze authorial engagement with the struggle for human rights and to consider how an author’s rhetorical choices advance purpose.

     

    In 10.2.1, students read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” focusing on how King develops his argument for universal acceptance of equal human rights. Students also analyze how King uses rhetoric to advance his purpose. Alongside King’s letter, students read poems by Rabindranath Tagore (the first Indian to win a Nobel Prize in 1913), Iranian poet Ahmad Shamlu, and Alice Walker, exploring non-US and feminist perspectives on the human rights movement.

     

    In 10.2.2, students engage with Julia Alvarez’s evocation of the struggle to memorialize the horrors of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic through her mother’s eyes in “A Genetics of Justice.” Alongside Alvarez’s elegiac prose, students encounter Mark Memmott’s more journalistic approach to consider how each author emphasizes different details in their portrayal of Rafael Trujillo.

     

    In the final unit, 10.2.3, students encounter three documents focusing on human rights: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt’s “On the Adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and Malala Yousafzai’s “Address to the United Nations Youth Assembly,” which she delivered in July 2013. Each document demonstrates uses of rhetoric to advance purpose and specific claims related to human rights.

     

    Each unit culminates with an assessment that provides scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment, in which students compose a multi-paragraph response to examine how authors from each unit advance a common purpose through structure, rhetoric, or specific word choices.

     

  • 10th Grade: Q3

    Researching Multiple Perspectives to Develop a Position

     

    Unit 1: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

    Unit 2: Student research sources vary.

    Students choose texts for research based on their individual research topic/area of investigation.

    Model Research Sources:

    • “A Court Allows Payment for Bone Marrow. Should People be Able to Sell Their Parts?” by Alice Park
    • “Do We Own Our Own Bodily Tissues?” by Margaret Ng Thow Hing
    • “Paying Patients for Their Tissue: The Legacy of Henrietta Lacks” by Robert D. Truog, Aaron S. Kesselheim, and Steven Joffe
    • “Tissue Banks Trigger Worry About Ownership Issues” by Charlie Schmidt
    • “Human Tissue For Sale: What are the Costs?” by Deborah Josefson
    • “My Body, My Property” by Lori B. Andrews
    • “Body of Research—Ownership and Use of Human Tissue” by R. Alta Charo

     

    Unit 3: Student research sources vary*

    *By Unit 3, students have chosen texts for research based on their individual problem-based question.

     

    In Module 10.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 10.1 and 10.2, students explore topics that have multiple positions and perspectives by gathering and analyzing research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which will serve as the early foundation of what will ultimately become a written research-based argument paper that synthesizes and articulates several claims with valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Students read and analyze sources to surface potential problem-based questions for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.

     

    In 10.3.1, students closely read selected excerpts from a nonfiction text, focusing on how the author unfolds an analysis of central ideas. Additionally, the text serves as a springboard to research, with students surfacing and tracking potential research topics, regarding medicine, ethics, and scientific research as they emerge from the text.

     

    In 10.3.2, students continue the research process begun in 10.3.1. Students begin to learn and engage in this iterative, non-linear process by pursuing research topics/areas of investigation. They also begin to deepen their understanding by using guiding inquiry questions and evaluating multiple texts’ arguments. Students use this inquiry-based process to gather, assess, read, and analyze sources. In the latter half of the unit, students then take those sources and begin to organize and synthesize research findings to establish a perspective about a specific problem-based question.

     

    In 10.3.3, students engage in the writing process with the goal of synthesizing and articulating their evidence-based research position on the page. The end product of this unit is a final draft of a research-based argument paper that articulates a perspective gleaned from research throughout Module 10.3.

     

    The writing cycle—in which students self-edit, peer review, and continually revise their work—serves as the primary framework for this unit.

     

  • 10th Grade: Q4

    “It is a Tale … Full of Sound and Fury”: How do authors use craft and structure to develop characters and ideas?

     

    Unit 1: “Death of a Pig,” E. B. White

    Unit 2: Macbeth, William Shakespeare

    Unit 3: The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze nonfiction and dramatic texts, focusing on how the authors convey and develop central ideas concerning imbalance, disorder, tragedy, mortality, and fate. Students also explore how texts are interpreted visually, both on screen and on canvas.

     

    Module 10.4 builds upon the key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that were established in Module 10.1 and developed throughout Modules 10.2 and 10.3.

     

    Module 10.4 is comprised of three units, referred to as 10.4.1, 10.4.2, and 10.4.3. Each of the module texts is a complex work with multiple central ideas and claims that complement or echo the central ideas and claims of other texts in the module.

     

    In 10.4.1, students read E. B. White’s personal essay “Death of a Pig.” Students analyze the development of White’s central ideas and his presentation of key events, as well as the connections between these ideas and events. Through “Death of a Pig,” White explicitly comments on the structure of a classic tragedy, and then experiments with this narrative arc over the course of the essay’s development. The essay thus serves as a foundation for two important discussions: one around the elements tragedy, in preparation for work with Macbeth in 10.4.2; and one around the structure of a narrative essay. While studying White’s essay as a masterful example of narrative, students identify examples of parallel structure and various grammatical phrases (e.g., noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, etc.), and practice using these elements in their own writing throughout the module.

     

    In 10.4.2, students read William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in its entirety, analyzing how Shakespeare’s structural choices and use of language contribute to the development of characters and central ideas (e.g., imbalance and disorder, contemplating mortality, fate versus agency, and appearance versus reality). Students then consider representations of Macbeth in other media, first in paintings by Joseph Anton Koch and Henry Fuseli and then in film, via Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and the Royal Shakespeare Company 2010 production of Macbeth directed by Rupert Goold. The End-of-Unit Assessment asks students to continue their work with argument writing from Module 10.3, as they consider which character bears the most responsibility for the tragedy.

     

    In the final unit, 10.4.3, students read excerpts from The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli. Students continue to explore central ideas similar to those present in 10.4.1 and 10.4.2, such as the relationship between appearance and reality and the intersection of morality and ambition with imbalance and disorder. Students also analyze Machiavelli’s use of rhetoric to advance his point of view. Finally, students conclude with a discussion about how Machiavelli’s ideas about leadership might apply to the character of Macbeth.

     

    All assessments throughout the module provide scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment, in which students analyze two of the module texts to consider the ways each author uses nuance to develop a similar central idea through choices around structure, character, word choice, or rhetoric.

  • 11th Grade: Q1

    “O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!” How do authors develop and relate elements of a text?

     

    Unit 1: “My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning

    Unit 2: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    Unit 3: A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (excerpt from Chapter 3 of the extended essay)

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze literary and nonfiction texts focusing on how authors relate textual elements, such as plot, character, and central ideas, within a text.

     

    Module 11.1 establishes key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that will continue throughout the year. Although these protocols are introduced in the grade 9 modules and spiral through the grade 10 modules of this curriculum, this module provides sufficient support for teachers who are implementing the routines for the first time.

     

    Module 11.1 is comprised of three units, referred to as 11.1.1, 11.1.2, and 11.1.3. Each of the module texts is a complex work with multiple central ideas that complement or echo the central ideas of other texts in the module. The texts in this module offer rich opportunities to analyze how authorial choice contributes to character development, setting, meaning, and aesthetic impact.

     

    In 11.1.1, students read Robert Browning’s poem “My Last Duchess,” focusing on how the speaker and main character in the poem develops in relation to the other characters. Students consider the importance of point of view and begin to explore central ideas in the poem.

     

    In 11.1.2, students delve into Shakespeare’s Hamlet, focusing on Hamlet’s soliloquies. Students also read significant monologues and dialogues from the play to gain a fuller understanding of the relationships among characters, plot, and central ideas developed throughout the play.

     

    In the final unit, 11.1.3, students read an excerpt from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own, a commentary on the plight and status of female writers during Shakespeare’s time. Through this rich and compelling piece of literary nonfiction, students consider Woolf’s point of view and use of rhetoric to advance her purpose. In the End-of-Unit Assessment, students analyze the relationship between Woolf’s text and Hamlet’s Ophelia.

     

    Each unit will culminate with an assessment that provides scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment, in which students compose a multi-paragraph response to examine a central idea shared by all three module texts.

     

  • 11th Grade: Q2

    “There is within and without the sound of conflict”: How do authors use figurative language or rhetoric to advance their point of view or purpose?

     

    Unit 1: The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, Chapter 1: “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”; “Atlanta Compromise Speech” by Booker T. Washington

    Unit 2: “An Address by Elizabeth Cady Stanton”; “From the House of Yemanjá” by Audre Lorde

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze literary and informational texts, focusing on how authors use word choice and rhetoric to develop ideas and advance their points of view and purposes. The texts in this module represent varied voices, experiences, and perspectives, but are united by their shared exploration of the effects of prejudice and oppression on identity construction. Each of the module texts is a complex work with multiple central ideas and claims that complement the central ideas and claims of other texts in the module. All four module texts offer rich opportunities to analyze authorial engagement with past and present struggles against oppression, as well as how an author’s rhetoric or word choices strengthen the power and persuasiveness of the text.

     

    This module builds upon key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion established and developed in Module 11.1. Although these protocols are introduced in the ninth and tenth grade modules and spiral through the first eleventh grade module of this curriculum, this module provides sufficient support for teachers who are implementing these routines for the first time. Module 11.2 is comprised of two units referred to as Unit 11.2.1 and Unit 11.2.2.

     

    In Unit 11.2.1, students analyze “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” the first chapter of W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk, followed by Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise Speech.” Student analysis focuses on how each author uses rhetoric to strengthen and develop his argument about the role of African Americans in post-Emancipation America. Read side by side, these texts offer students the opportunities to analyze the diverse ways in which rhetorical strategies contribute to persuasive writing, and to strengthen their own informative/explanatory writing skills as they consider how Washington and Du Bois develop strong arguments.

     

    In Unit 11.2.2, students broaden their exploration of struggles against oppression in America to include issues of gender and sexism. Students read and analyze “An Address by Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” a foundational speech in the women’s rights movement, in which Cady Stanton argues for women’s right to vote. Student analysis focuses on determining Cady Stanton’s point of view and purpose, and analyzing how her style and content contribute to the power and persuasiveness of the text. Students conclude this module with an analysis of the role of imagery and figurative language in Audre Lorde’s contemporary poem, “From the House of Yemanjá.” Although a departure in form from the other module texts, Lorde’s exploration of how a daughter’s identity is influenced by her complex relationship with her mother forms an intersection between the complex dynamics of race and gender that pervade the nuanced arguments in this module.

     

    In the End-of-Unit Assessment for 11.2.2, students are given the opportunity to place the module texts in conversation with each other, as they compare the approaches of two authors of their choosing in developing a similar or related central idea. The assessments throughout this module scaffold to the Module Performance Assessment, in which students develop and present a claim about how a new text, Sherman Alexie’s poem “How to Write the Great American Indian Novel,” relates to at least two of the texts they have analyzed in this module.

  • 11th Grade: Q3

    Researching Multiple Perspectives to Develop a Position

     

    Unit 1:

    Wiesel, Elie. “Hope, Despair and Memory.” The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, December 11, 1986.

     

    Unit 2:

    Student research sources will vary. Students choose texts for research based on their individual research question/problem.

    Model Research Sources:

    • “When the U.N. Fails, We All Do” by Fareed Zakaria (Source #1)
    • “Why Genocide?” by Fred Edwords (Source #2)
    • “After Rwanda’s Genocide” by The New York Times Editorial Board (Source #3)
    • “Bodies Count; A definition of genocide that makes sense of history.” by Aaron Rothstein (Source #4)
    • “The Only Way to Prevent Genocide” by Tod Lindberg (Source #5)
    • “Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide” by William A. Schabas (Source #6)
    • “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” by The U.N. (Source #7)
    • “The Ten Stages of Genocide.” By Gregory Stanton (Source #8)
    • “Why Do We Look the Other Way?” By Gregory Stanton (Source #9)
    • “Would you vote in favor of a treaty allowing individual prosecution for war crimes if it meant an American citizen might be a defendant?” by the University of Nebraska Lincoln (Source #10)

     

    Unit 3:

    Student research sources will vary. By Unit 3, students have chosen texts for research based on their individual research question/problem.

     

    In Module 11.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 11.1 and 11.2, students explore topics that lend themselves to multiple positions and perspectives. Students gather and analyze research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which serves as the early foundation of what will ultimately become a written research-based argument paper. The research-based argument paper synthesizes and articulates several claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence to support the claims. Students read and analyze sources to surface potential problem-based questions for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.

     

    In Unit 11.3.1, students closely read Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Lecture, “Hope, Despair and Memory,” focusing on the central ideas of memory, hope, solidarity, and suffering and how they build and interact over the course of the lecture. As students analyze the text, they examine Wiesel’s use of rhetoric and delineate his argument in the lecture. Additionally, the text serves as springboard to research, as students surface and track potential research topics that emerge from the text.

     

    In Unit 11.3.2, students continue the research process begun in Unit 1. Students begin to learn and engage in this iterative process by pursuing problem-based research questions. They also begin to deepen their understanding of their areas of investigation by using guiding inquiry questions and evaluating textual arguments. Students use this inquiry-based process to gather, assess, read, and analyze sources. In the latter half of the unit, students begin to organize and synthesize research findings to establish a position about a specific problem-based question.

     

    In Unit 11.3.3, students engage in the writing process with the goal of synthesizing and articulating their evidence-based research position. The end product of this unit is a final draft of a research-based argument paper that articulates a perspective gleaned from research throughout Module 11.3. The writing cycle, in which students self-edit, peer review, and continually revise their work, serves as the primary framework for this unit.

  • 11th Grade: Q4

    “This is one story I’ve never told before.” How do authors use narrative techniques to craft fiction writing?

     

    Unit 1: “On the Rainy River” from The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien; “The Red Convertible” from The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

    Unit 2: The Awakening by Kate Chopin; “On the Rainy River” from The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien; “The Red Convertible” from The Red Convertible by Louise Erdrich

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze literary texts, focusing on the authors’ choices in developing and relating textual elements such as character development, point of view, and central ideas while also considering how a text’s structure conveys meaning and creates aesthetic impact. Additionally, students learn and practice narrative writing techniques as they examine the techniques of the authors whose stories students analyze in the module.

     

    The texts in this module develop complex characters who demonstrate conflicts between social conventions and the human psyche, particularly around the issues of war and gender. The texts take up the ideas of freedom and boundaries, bravery and cowardice, sense of self and societal expectations.

     

    Module 11.4 builds upon the key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that were established in Module 11.1 and developed throughout Modules 11.2 and 11.3. Additionally, Module 11.4 fosters students’ independent learning by decreasing scaffolds in key text analysis lessons.

     

    Throughout the module, students discuss the narrative writing techniques in W.11-12.3.a-e. Using the module texts as exemplars of narrative writing, students practice narrative writing techniques to produce a variety of text-based narrative writing. Narrative writing prompts draw inspiration from the module texts, but allow for less structured narrative writing practice. Alternately, or in addition, students may also use the narrative writing skills they develop in relation to W.11-12.3.a-e as the basis for drafting a college essay. Students engage in every aspect of the writing process, from brainstorming, prewriting, drafting, and revising, to peer review, editing, and ultimately, publishing, as they craft final narrative writing pieces in 11.4.1 and in the Module Performance Assessment.

     

    In 11.4.1, students read and discuss the short stories “On the Rainy River” by Tim O’Brien and “The Red Convertible” by Louise Erdrich, analyzing the authors’ uses of structure and point of view to relate the experiences of the protagonists/narrators regarding the Vietnam War. In their own narrative writing, students practice establishing a point of view, crafting engaging introductions, and using narrative techniques to develop experiences, events, and characters.

     

    In 11.4.2, students read and analyze Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening, considering the interrelatedness of setting, plot, and character in developing related central ideas. Additionally, students consider the text’s structure and how it contributes to meaning and aesthetic impact in the text. Students practice their narrative writing, drafting new pieces as well as revising and refining writing they produced in the first unit of the module. Specifically, students build on their narrative writing skills from the first unit as they practice a variety of structural techniques to sequence events and create a coherent whole, include precise words and sensory language to convey a vivid picture, and craft compelling conclusions that follow from or reflect on the narrative provided.

     

  • 12th Grade: Q1

    “All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”: Reading and Writing Personal Narratives

     

    Unit 1: The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley

    Unit 2: “Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit” by Leslie Marmon Silko

    Unit 3: None. (Writing Unit)

     

    Module 12.1 includes a shared focus on text analysis and narrative writing. Students read, discuss, and analyze two nonfiction personal narratives, focusing on how the authors use structure, style, and content to craft narratives that develop complex experiences, ideas, and descriptions of individuals. Throughout the module, students learn, practice, and apply narrative writing skills to produce a complete personal essay suitable for use in the college application process.

     

    Module 12.1 establishes key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that will continue throughout the year. Although these protocols are introduced in the ninth grade modules and spiral through the tenth and eleventh grade modules of this curriculum, Module 12.1 provides sufficient support for teachers who are implementing the routines for the first time.

     

    Module 12.1 is comprised of three units: 12.1.1, 12.1.2, and 12.1.3. In the first two units, students explore two types of personal narrative writing: an autobiography and a personal narrative essay. As students prepare to draft, revise, and edit their own narrative essays in the third unit of this module, these rich texts provide students with opportunities to analyze how the authors effectively incorporate elements of narrative writing.

     

    In 12.1.1, students read The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley in its entirety and analyze how Malcolm X’s experiences shape his character and develop central ideas. Students also explore the structure of the narrative and how style and content contribute to the text’s power and beauty. Throughout the unit, students examine the narrative elements of the text and practice using components of narrative writing in a personal essay.

     

    In 12.1.2, students examine Silko’s personal narrative essay, “Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit,” and focus on how the author uses structure and language to build and refine complex ideas. As in the first unit, students continue to analyze how the author uses elements of narrative writing to effectively structure her personal exploration of the way meaningful experiences and cultural history have influenced her identity formation.

     

    In the final unit, 12.1.3, students concentrate on the narrative writing process, building on the material they produced during the writing lessons of 12.1.1 and incorporating a variety of narrative techniques explored in both 12.1.1 and 12.1.2. Students draft, revise, and edit their essays extensively over the course of the unit, further developing their narrative writing skills through peer-review and discussions. At the end of this unit, students produce a final draft of their personal narrative.

     

    Throughout the module, students’ engagement with personal narratives through text-analysis, independent writing, and interview practice prepares them for the Module Performance Assessment, in which students respond orally to sample questions that may be asked during the college interview process

  • 12th Grade: Q2

    “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government.”

     

    Unit 1: “Ideas Live on” by Benazir Bhutto; “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau

    Unit 2: The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

     

    In this module, students read and analyze two literary nonfiction texts and a drama, examining how the texts treat similar central ideas.

     

    Over the course of Module 12.2, students practice and refine their informative writing and speaking and listening skills through formative assessments, and apply these skills in the Mid-Unit and End-of-Unit Assessments as well as the Module 12.2 Performance Assessment. Module 12.2 consists of two units: 12.2.1 and 12.2.2.

     

    In 12.2.1, students first read “Ideas Live On,” a speech that Benazir Bhutto delivered in 2007. Students consider how Bhutto introduces and develops central ideas in the text, such as exercise of power and the relationship between the individual and the state, paying particular attention to her use of rhetoric. Next, students analyze the complex ideas and language in Henry David Thoreau’s essay, “Civil Disobedience.” In addition to exploring Thoreau’s ideas, students consider the power of his language, in particular how his use of rhetoric and figurative language establishes his point of view.

     

    In 12.2.2, students read William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar in its entirety. Students continue to work with central ideas such as the relationship between the individual and the state and exercise of power, as well as new central ideas of social bonds and ethics of honor. Students’ work with Julius Caesar includes exploring Shakespeare’s craft in structuring the play and developing characters, along with analyzing the impact of powerful rhetorical language, not only on the aesthetic effects of the play but also on the plot. In addition, students refine their speaking and listening skills as they prepare to present small-group dramatic readings of key scenes from the play.

     

    Students’ engagement with Bhutto, Thoreau, and Shakespeare over the course of Module 12.2 prepares them for the Module 12.2 Performance Assessment. Students first engage in a fishbowl discussion in which they consider one of three possible prompts from the point of view of an author or character from the Module 12.2 texts. Students then write a multi-paragraph response to one of the possible prompts from their own perspective, drawing upon evidence from the texts.

     

    Students also continue their Accountable Independent Reading (AIR) in Module 12.2. Although students are expected to continue to read independently several nights a week, in-class discussion and check-ins around AIR occur less frequently, to encourage greater individual responsibility. Students may also engage in Accountable Independent Writing (AIW) in 12.2.1 through optional written homework assignments that scaffold toward an alternate End-of-Unit Assessment prompt.

  • 12th Grade: Q3

    Researching Multiple Perspectives to Develop a Position

     

    12.3.1:

    Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond

    Students also choose from the following model research sources:

    • Source #1: “Empowering Women is Smart Economics” by Ana Revenga and Sudhir Shetty
    • Source #2: “Poverty Facts and Stats” by Anup Shah
    • Source #3: “Evidence For Action: Gender Equality and Economic Growth” by John Ward, Bernice Lee, Simon Baptist, and Helen Jackson
    • Source #4: “How Many Americans Live in Poverty?” by Pam Fessler
    • Source #5: “Human Capital Investment in the Developing World: Analysis of Praxis” by Adeyemi O. Ogunade
    • Source #6: “The Case for Universal Basic Education for the World’s Poorest Boys and Girls” by Gene B. Sperling
    • Source #7: “2005 EFA Global Monitoring Report. Education for All: The Quality Imperative” by UNESCO
    • Source #8: “Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically” by Kirrin Gill, Kim Brooks, James McDougall, Payal Patel, and Aslihan Kes
    • Source #9: “Investing in Development: A Practical Plan to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals” by Jeffrey D. Sachs, et al.
    • Source #10: “Economic Impacts of Broadband” by Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang and Carlo M. Rossotto with Kaoru Kimura in Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact by World Bank Publications

     

    12.3.2: Student research sources vary. By 12.3.2, students have chosen texts for research based on their individual problem-based questions.

     

    In Module 12.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative research process that serves as the basis of a culminating research-based argument paper. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 12.1 and 12.2, students use a seed text to surface and explore issues that lend themselves to multiple positions and perspectives. Module 12.3 fosters students’ independent learning by decreasing scaffolds in key research lessons as students gather and analyze research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which serves as the early foundation of what will ultimately become their research-based argument paper.

     

    In 12.3.1, students read closely excerpts of Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, which explores the ultimate causes for resource and wealth inequity across the globe. While analyzing the text, students consider Diamond’s purpose and how he structures ideas in his complex research to support his various claims. Additionally, in preparation for their own argument writing students evaluate Diamond’s claims, evidence, and reasoning about the causes and explanations of inequality of resources across societies throughout history to the modern-day. The text serves as a springboard to research, as students surface and track potential research issues that emerge from the text.

     

    In the second half of 12.3.1, students’ focus turns more heavily toward the research process. Students engage in this iterative process by pursuing self-selected areas of investigation as they gather, assess, read, and analyze sources. Students also begin to organize and synthesize research findings to establish a perspective about a specific problem-based question.

     

    In 12.3.2, students engage in the writing process with the goal of articulating and supporting their evidence-based research perspective. The end product of 12.3.2 is a final draft of a research-based argument paper that synthesizes and supports several claims using relevant and sufficient evidence and valid reasoning. The writing cycle, in which students self-edit, peer review, and continually revise their work, serves as the primary framework for 12.3.2.

  • 12th Grade: Q4

    “I continually find myself in the ruins / of new beginnings”: Analyzing the Interaction of Central Ideas and Character Development

     

    Unit 1: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, “A Daily Joy to Be Alive” by Jimmy Santiago Baca

    Unit 2: “The Overcoat” from The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol by Nikolai Gogol, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

     

    In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze four literary texts, focusing on the development of interrelated central ideas within and across the texts. This module builds upon the key protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that were established in Module 12.1 and developed throughout Modules 12.2 and 12.3. In order to prepare students for complex, independent text analysis after high school, this module provides fewer scaffolds for text analysis than do prior modules. This module also provides students opportunities to craft narrative, informational, and argument writing pieces that build on writing skills introduced in earlier modules.

     

    The texts in this module develop complex characters who struggle to define and shape their own identities. The characters’ struggles for identity revolve around various internal and external forces including: class, gender, politics, intersecting cultures, and family expectations.

     

    In Unit 12.4.1, students read Tennessee Williams’s play A Streetcar Named Desire, exploring how various textual elements such as character development and setting intersect and contribute to the development of the central ideas of power dynamics, nostalgia, and identity. Additionally, students view excerpts from Elia Kazan’s 1950 film, A Streetcar Named Desire, analyzing how the film interprets the play. Later in the unit, students read the poem “A Daily Joy to Be Alive” by Jimmy Santiago Baca and consider how the central ideas in the poem relate to A Streetcar Named Desire.

     

    In Unit 12.4.2, students read and analyze Nikolai Gogol’s short story “The Overcoat” from The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol and Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake, considering how both texts explore characters’ struggles with identity. Additionally, students analyze how structural choices can shape meaning in a text and create aesthetic impact for the reader.

     

    Note: Accountable Independent Reading (AIR) is suspended in 12.4. Students may begin reading The Namesake at the beginning of Module 12.4 in preparation for Unit 12.4.2.