Literature and Literacy

In 11th grade English, students read and discuss a variety of literature through the lens of literary elements and techniques. This year long course is designed so that English Language Learners are moving on to more challenging readings as the year progresses. We begin with short stories and then move on to novels that slowly increase in difficulty. In addition, the literary elements and techniques increase in complexity as the year progresses, beginning with the basics of setting and conflict, building to the more difficult concepts of metaphor, theme, symbolism, etc.

Student choice is built into the course through the use of Layered Curriculum and Book Clubs.

Short Stories by Anton Chekhov, Ray Bradbury, Langston Hughes
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Students conduct research to place the literature in its historical context (e.g., The Great Depression, Jim Crow, slavery, African colonialism, the Trujillo era).

Media Used: 
The Color Purple
Of Mice and Men
Lord of the Flies
Interim Assessments: 

Write a compare/contrast essay for The Giver and Pleasantville

Compare/contrast novel and film versions of Of Mice and Men

Significant Assignments: 

As a group, choose a short story to read and present to the class.
For each novel, complete and present packet of daily activity guides, each with a written component.
For each novel, choose options from each layer of the Layered Curriculum to complete and present to teacher.

Through the use of Layered Curriculum, students are assessed on a daily basis as they present pieces of work to the teacher, either one on one or in a small group. In addition, students take exams at the mid-point of each book and choose from a menu of projects at the end of each book.

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Write a fictional slave narrative.

Create a group project (PowerPoint, website, animoto, etc.) about your Book Club's book.

Sample PBATs: 
Choose one of the following themes: racism, self-esteem, gender roles, religion. Write an essay in which you explain how this theme is explored in The Color Purple by Alice Walker and in another reading from this semester. I will provide you with additional choices of poems and non-fiction to use in your essay. Be sure that your essay has a strong thesis (what are both readings saying about the theme you selected?) and strong supporting evidence.