Course Essential Questions- | Semester One | Semester Two



Course Essential Questions-


  1. How does literature reflect our identity, our culture and our country?external image screen_shot_2012-12-04_at_5.39.30_pm.png
  2. How is language used to manipulate us?
  3. How does language influence the way we think, act, and perceive the world?
  4. How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?
  5. What influences a writer to create?
  6. Are there universal themes in literature that are of interest to all cultures and societies?


Units Of Study Junior Honors English/ AP English Language

Semester One


Unit 1 Americans’ View of the World: Introduction to Rhetoric (September-October)
Students will begin the course with instruction on close reading and rhetoric. Students will return to selected passages from the summer reading and practice close reading and annotation employing critical thinking skills. Immediate instruction will focus on the two summer reading texts: Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris and The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.

Essential Questions
1. How can annotating and close reading skills enhance my understanding of the text?
2. What is the purpose of the text?
3. What rhetoric does the author employ to achieve his purpose?
4. How do images present arguments?
5. What does the text state about Americans’ view of the world? external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSRh8d5Chd-VOCg0MbDByHWGbk40IugpgS5FPMI-z7Gc-2Zldlm

Enduring Understandings
1. Skilled annotation and close reading of the text will enhance understanding of the argument presented.
2. Close reading reveals the purpose of the text.
3. Authors use a variety of rhetorical strategies to support the argument and to reveal the purpose of a text.
4. Everything is an argument including memoirs, newspaper articles, news videos and images.
5. Americans’ view of the world is influenced by personal experiences.

Activities
1. Write blog entries on summer reading assignments.
2. Complete Says/ Does analysis of images, newspaper articles related to the summer reading texts
3. Take notes of key rhetorical vocabulary and apply the vocabulary in discussion of various texts
4. Closely examine and analyze the rhetoric employed in select passages from The Butterfly Mosque and Me Talk Pretty One Day.
5. Create an image for each text reflecting a key passage of the text; present the analysis and image to the class.
6. Read articles on the Brandeis honorary degree controversy, discuss and write response.


Unit 2 Current Events: Issues and Rhetoric of Our Day (October-December)
Texts: The New York Times, contemporary news sources

Essential Questions
1. How does the media reflect our identity, our culture and our country?
2. How is language used to manipulate us?
3. How does language influence how we think, act and perceive the world?
4. How does the study of current events influence how we perceive the world?
5. What influences an editorial?
6. How effective is the rhetoric?

Enduring Understandings
1. The media reflects and influences the concerns, opinions and thoughts of the public.
2. The public influences the media.
3. Effective rhetoric influences our thinking and our perception of our world.
4. Editorials reflect liberal and conservative views on a variety of issues.

Unit 3 Unjust Prosecution: The Salem Witch Trials and The McCarthy Hearings- Understanding Argument (October-November)
Texts: The Crucible, "Why I Wrote The Crucible" by Arthur Miller, primary source documents from the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archives and Transcripts (http://salem.lib.virginia.edu/home.html), “Some Miscellany Observations” (1692) Printed by William Bradford, various McCarthy era documents including letters, transcripts, speeches, images (https://www.gilderlehrman.org), current day texts associated with unjust prosecutions

Essential Questions
1. How do texts reflect our identity, our culture and our country? external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTrtKCDt_Mhzlz4eFBsNTZRBQW4H2wnyOVFZ93Py_KKAWbMqYJh4Q
2. How is language used to manipulate us?
3. How does language influence the way we think, act and perceive the world?
4. How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts influence how we perceive the world?
5. What influences the writer to create?

Enduring Understandings
1. The Puritans and the Americans of the 1940’s-50’s Cold War America behave similarly when dealing with fear.
2. Arthur Miller writes The Crucible to influence Americans’ thoughts and opinions on Senator Joseph McCarthy’s actions.
3. Individuals must take action to stop the wrongs in government, society and the world.
4. Writers create fiction and nonfiction to present their argument.

Activities
1. Research primary sources from the Salem Witch Trials and Puritan New England for a presentation for the class.
2. Reenact key passages from The Crucible to understand the subtleties of the text as well as the messages conveyed by Miller.
3. Read and analyze the argument presented in “Some Miscellany Observations”, a dialogue from 1692.
4. Read, study and analyze texts from the current day to understand how Miller’s argument and message resonate with events in our world today: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Rolling Stones Cover project.


Unit 4 Memoir-Personal Essay: Preparing for the college application process (December-January)
Texts: The Butterfly Mosque, Me Talk Pretty One Day, “Stranger in the Photo” by Murry, impressive college essays from various sites

Essential Questions
1. What are the characteristics of a quality memoir or exceptional personal narrative? external image personal-essay.jpg
2. How does personal experience convey meaning?
3. What makes an exceptional college essay?
4. How is revision important to the writing process.

Enduring Understanding
1. Quality personal writing has a message or a purpose that is conveyed through personal experience.
2. Showing rather than telling strengthens the personal essay.
3. Peer conferencing, class writing workshops and student teacher conferences enrich the revision process and the final product.
4. A quality piece requires multiple revisions.

Activities
1. Read and analyze the “Stranger in the Photo” essay by Donald Murray.
2. Bring five photos of their younger selves to class.
3. Write an essay on one of the photos similar to Murray’s reflection.
4. Read a variety of personal essays. Choose one exceptional college essay for a blog entry analysis. Read classmates’ blog entries and the essays they chose.
5. View and read advice from college admissions counselors to learn more about the purpose and expectations for the college essay.
6. Write a personal essay. After peer and teacher conferencing and multiple revisions, share the essay with the entire class to receive further feedback before submitting the final draft.

Unit 5 Celebrating America- Transcendentalism (December-January)
Texts: "Self Reliance", "Civil Disobedience", Walden

Essential Questions
1. What is transcendentalism?external image p-authors.gif
2. How did the transcendentalists convey their ideas?
3. How are the transcendentalist ideals relevant to our world today?

Enduring Understandings
1. Transcendentalists’ texts convey the importance of the individual discovering his or her talents and ideals.
2. Transcendentalists convey their beliefs through rhetorically rich texts.
3. Transcendentalist beliefs are a part of American culture.

Activities
1. Read portions of the transcendentalists texts including Walden by Henry David Thoreau, “Self Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau
2. Analyze the rhetoric used to present the arguments of the essays.
3. Work in groups to create a project that illustrates how the ideals and sentiments expressed in the essays are a part of our world today. Share these projects with classmates.


Activities
1. Complete says/ does and rhetorical analysis of abolitionist essays, slave narratives
2. After reading various essays, speeches and documents by abolitionists and slaves, write an argument essay describing the worst aspect of slavery
3. Closely read Beloved analyzing how the structure of the novel is used to convey the message about slavery and African Americans
4. Participate in class discussions, analysis of passages, reading quizzes on Beloved.
5. Write a final synthesis essay incorporating the primary sources by slaves and abolitionists and Morrison's Beloved in which you justify your view of the worst aspect of slavery.


Semester Two


Unit 6 Injustice: American Slavery and Its Aftermath (January-February)
Texts: Beloved, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, readings from abolitionists, slaves

Essential Questions
1. What was life like for the slaves?
2. How do the slaves', abolitionists' and slave owners' accounts of slavery influence how we think about slavery?
3. What rhetoric do the slaves, abolitionists and slave owners employ to win the support of the audience?
4. How does the study of nonfiction and fiction texts influence our understanding of slavery?
5. What effect does slavery have on the freed slaves?
6. How does the structure and rhetoric of the work of fiction shape the argument?

external image outrage.jpgEnduring Understandings
1. The institution of slavery was horrific even under the best of circumstances.
2. Abolitionists and the slave narratives have rich rhetoric and powerful arguments.
3. Fictional accounts of slavery provide insight into the institution of slavery.
4. The institution of slavery haunts future generations.
5. By studying multiple texts from a variety of perspectives, a student gains a deeper understanding of the situation.

Activities
1. Complete says/ does and rhetorical analysis of abolitionist essays, slave narratives
2. After reading various essays, speeches and documents by abolitionists and slaves, write an argument essay describing the worst aspect of slavery
3. Closely read Beloved analyzing how the structure of the novel is used to convey the message about slavery and African Americans
4. Participate in class discussions, analysis of passages, reading quizzes on Beloved.
5. Write a final synthesis essay incorporating the primary sources by slaves and abolitionists and Morrison's Beloved in which you justify your view of the worst aspect of slavery.

Unit 7 Ethical Dilemmas (February-April)
Texts: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Randolph Bourne “The Handicapped”, Nancy Mairs “Disability”, Harriet Johnson “Unspeakable Conversations”, Andre Dubos “Why the Able Bodied Still Don't Get It”, Mathew Soyster “Living Under Circe’s Spell” , video on Team Hoyt

Essential Questions
1. How is language used to manipulate us?
2. How does language influence the way we think, act, and perceive the world?
3. How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?
4. What is beauty?
5. What ethical dilemmas does science create?
6. What can the government do to help the poor?


Enduring Understanding
1. Fiction and nonfiction texts influence our thoughts and views.
2. Rhetoric and well-constructed arguments influence how we perceive the world.
3. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
4. Scientific advances create difficult ethical dilemmas.
5. Poverty presents ethical dilemmas.

Activities
1. After students read and discuss a short story, they will read related nonfiction texts. Further discussion will follow leading to understanding of how an author can use fiction to create an argument.
2. Annotate and analyze the argument presented in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Following the reading of the texts, closely examine various ethical situations presented in the text. Respond to and analyze the arguments presented.
3. Read, annotate and analyze essays on the physically impaired. Write a synthesis essay based upon these sources.
4. Choose a medical or scientific dilemma in the news to research. Complete the research; create an advertisement that presents an argument on the issue researched.
5. Read a number of nonfiction texts on beauty. Present an analysis of one of the essays to the class. Write a synthesis essay on beauty.
6. Read and view 6 sources on poverty. Write a synthesis essay on poverty.


Unit 8 Poetry (April-May)
Texts: Poetry Handouts, Poetry Websites

Essential Questions
1. How does poetry present an argument?
2. What literary and rhetorical devices are employed to convey meaning through poetry
3. How can the recitation of a poem convey meaning?

Enduring Understanding
1. Poetry is an argument.
2. Literary devices are similar to the rhetorical devices and strategies employed in the nonfiction texts.
3. Skilled recitation of poetry enhances the audiences’ understanding of the poem.

Activities
1. Read and analyze poems by American poets.
2. Use SOAPSTone to analyze poems.
2. View poetry performances, readings and projects. Discuss how the readings, projects and presentations enhance understanding.
3. With a small group of students, choose a poem to analyze, research.
4. Create a project that will help the class understand the argument and the rhetoric employed to convey the argument of the poem.
5. Share the poem and the project with classmates.


Unit 9 Appreciating Literature (May-June)

Texts may include The Scarlet Letter, The Color of Water, The Namesake, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Mourning Becomes Electra, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Into the Wild, The Kite Runner

external image scarleta.gifEssential Questions
1. How do texts reflect our identity, our culture and our country?
2. How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?
3. Are there universal themes in literature that are of interest to all cultures and societies?
4. What characteristics does a text that is considered quality American Literature possess?
5. How can a group of students conduct discussions and create assignments on a book they read and study as a small group?
6. How can a group of students share the ideal qualities of a piece of literature with classmates who did not read the book?

external image 71szZg1czTL.jpgEnduring Understandings
1. Texts reflect our identity, our culture and our country through their stories and arguments.
2. Fiction and nonfiction texts help us construct our understanding of reality.
3. The texts reflect universal themes of literature.
4. American Literature reflects the ideals of our culture and nation.
5. Small literature groups employ a variety of strategies to enhance the reading and analysis of the texts.
6. Students create quality projects to share the literature with their classmates.

Activities
1. Select an American text to read, discuss and analyze with a small group.
2. Meet with their literature group to assign reading, conduct discussions and analyze the text with the skills they acquired throughout the year.
3. Share a project created by the group on the text studied by the group.

AP Practice (September-May)
Texts: College Board website, AP Central, various handouts

Essential Questions
1. What is rhetoric?
2. How does the speaker create his argument?
3. What skills and techniques are necessary to write a successful analysis of rhetoric employed in an essay?
4. What skills and techniques are necessary to write a successful argument?
5. What skills and techniques are employed to write a successful synthesis essay?
6. How are the AP essays scored?

Enduring Understandings
1. Texts employ rhetorical appeals, strategies and devices to convey meaning.
2. Understanding rhetoric employed in essays will help with the understanding of purpose and tone.
3. Organization, proper sentence structure, skilled use of rhetoric results in a quality argument or synthesis essay.
4. Skillful integration of sources strengthens the argument presented.

Activities
1. Complete a minimum of one multiple-choice section from a past AP test each quarter. Discuss the answers and the reasons for the answers to master the multiple choice segment of the test.
2. Complete says/does analysis of multiple-choice sections of the test.
3. Complete a minimum of two AP style essays per quarter.
4. Use the AP rubrics to score AP essays.
5. Conference with teachers and peers to understand how to achieve a successful score on AP essays and multiple-choice questions.

SAT Practice (September – June)
external image cb_logo.pngTexts: Power Plus Vocabulary 3, number2.com, College Board website

Essential Questions
1. What vocabulary words do I need to know for SAT and college level reading success?
2. What are the rules of grammar that will help me to be a successful writer and to score well on the SAT Writing test?
3. What is the format of an SAT essay?
4. How are the SAT essays scored?
5. What strategies will help me to be successful on standardized tests?

Enduring Understandings
1. Studying vocabulary and completing exercises using the words will improve scores and reading skills.
2. Studying grammar and correcting grammar in exercises and writing will improve writing and test scores.
3. Completing SAT style tests will improve performance on the SAT.
4. A successful SAT essay uses a specific example from personal experience, history, literature, media to explain the point of view.

Activities
1. Complete 21 vocabulary exercises in the Power Plus vocabulary books including grammar and reading comprehension exercises.
2. Write four SAT essays.
3. Score SAT sample essays on two of the prompts. Compare the scores to the scores assigned by the College Board to understand how to write a high scoring essay.



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Student Evaluation
Each student assignment is assigned a point value based upon the time, effort and complexity of the assignment. Dividing the total points assigned by the total points the student earned and multiplying this total by 100 compute a student’s grade.

Major Projects and Writing Assignments
100 pts
In Class Writing Assignments
50-80 pts
Class Discussion
24-50 pts
Reading assessments, annotations, Says/Does analysis, blog entries
10-30 pts
Multiple Choice
10-30 pts
Midterm and final exam
10% of final grade



AP English Language