• Senior English Syllabus  


    Welcome to English 12, a survey of World Literature. The members of the A.H.S. English Department have developed courses designed to encourage academic, social, and personal growth while serving the needs of our school’s diverse student body. Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards mandate that all students become proficient in the same reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language standards.


    This class will expose students to a wide range of historical and modern documents including both informational and fictional texts. Within the classroom, there is an emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving and making textual connections. Students can expect improvements in their:


    «Ability to work independently with confidence

    «Content knowledge of world literary traditions and role in human history

    «Communication and comprehension skills

    «Ability to be discerning readers and listeners

    «Understanding of technology for school and workplace use

    «Use of writing as a means of connection, expression and self-assessment

    «Working vocabulary for reading, writing and communicating effectively




    Senior English will focus around the theme of Global Awareness and on the understanding that:  We are citizens not only of our own local community, but of a global culture.  We must employ a “critical eye” when we examine what is presented to us by the media and changing technology.   Humans are capable of great good and great evil and we must be aware of choices and their consequences. The wide variety of viewpoints, cultures and philosophies in our world both unify and divide us. Since students are approaching adulthood and will soon be graduating to the “real world,” critical thinking and analysis skills and career skills will be emphasized.

     The Essential Questions for Senior English are:  How do I differentiate between image and reality? What is my place in the world? How is progress defined? What are my responsibilities?  What does it mean to be a citizen of our world? How does human nature transcend cultural lines and historical periods? How does technology affect our ability to differentiate between appearance and reality, fiction and fact, information, misinformation, and disinformation?

    Unit Overview:

     UNIT ONE: Where have we been? / The Search for Individual’s Place in the World

                          Where are you going? /  Personal goals and how to get there

    Big Idea: Human nature transcends cultural lines and historical periods

    Essential Questions: What is my place in the world? Who am I? Is life determined by fate or choices?

    Texts: Siddhartha, Oedipus Rex

    Supplemental Materials: Greek Mythology, Greek Theater, “All in One Day,” Dante, Buddhism background for novel, Fate, OWL, Little Buddha


    Personal Statement, (Narrative//Functional)

    Definition Essay (Expository/Literary Analysis with Research Component)

    Reading quizzes

    Essential Vocabulary: fate, free will, pre-determination, nirvana, Buddhism, Reincarnation, Enlightenment, Meditation, Impermanence, Happiness, Middle Way/Moderation, Transience/Transcendence, Truth, Asceticism, Yin and Yang


    UNIT TWO: Short Stories and Poetry / Multi-Cultural Perspectives / Research Paper / Global Awareness

    Big Idea: We are citizens not only of our local community but of a global culture

    Essential Questions: What global perspectives are seen in literature?  How do they compare/contrast?                                                                   Texts: Short stories and poetry ((Jhumpa Lahiri Interpreter of Maladies; Nguib Mahfouz “Half a Day”; Gabriel Garcia Marquez “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, etc. as time permits)

    Supplemental Materials: library databases, internet, criticism


    Research Paper (global topic)

    Essential Vocabulary: internal citation, works cited page, ethos, pathos, logos, primary source, secondary source, refutation, universal human rights. plagiarism, paraphrase, etc.


    UNIT THREE: The Search for Meaning / Individual Responsibility / Impact of war on society and the individual

    Big Idea: Humans are capable of great goodness and great evil

    Essential Questions: What connects people to society? What detaches them? Does life have to have meaning? Do choices matter? Do humans have a responsibility toward fellow humans? Is a moral code necessary for a society to function?  What impact has modern warfare left on society and individuals?

    Texts: The Stranger, The Metamorphosis

    Supplemental Materials: “The Myth of Sisyphus,” Artist Magritte, Nietzsche, The Truman Show


    Synthesis Essay / Literary Analysis / Presentation / Reading quizzes

    Essential Vocabulary: fate, free will, pre-determination, nirvana, Surrealism, Existentialism, absurd, alienation, angst, amoral, atheism, ego, id, superego, ethics, freedom, materialism, morality, nihilism, objective, subjective, anti-hero


    UNIT FOUR: Media and Misinformation

    Big Idea: Global citizens must employ a critical eye when examining what is presented to them by the media and changing technology; the individual must approach the world with a critical eye; make choices

    Essential Questions: How do I differentiate between appearance and reality? How does technology affect our ability to differentiate between appearance and reality, fiction and fact, information, misinformation and disinformation? How does technology affect society? How can information be used to manipulate the masses? Why is fear an essential tool of successful propaganda? Who, if anyone, should protect people whose rights are being violated? To what rights are we entitled?

    Texts: Current events; 1984; Brave New World, Watchmen, Fahrenheit 451 (or excerpts, as time permits)

    Supplemental Materials: advertising, billboards, propaganda, “Daily Show,” satire, “Harrison Bergeron”


    Argumentative/Persuasive Essay / Class presentation of research findings / Reading quizzes

    Essential Vocabulary:  propaganda, persuasive techniques, satire, proletariat, socialism, totalitarianism, democracy, advertising, visual rhetoric, the “greater


    UNIT FIVE: Shakespeare / Universal Themes and Connections / Making Choices / Poetry Project

    Big Idea: Universal desires and weaknesses explored through literature are a mirror of our own lives.                        Essential Questions: How do the choices that we make (or do not make) affect our lives? How do power, ambition, and emotion influence our lives? Is everyone’s nature suitable for every career or task?

    Texts: Hamlet or Macbeth (or equivalent Shakespeare text not used at other levels)

    Supplemental Materials: A variety of poems to compliment or contrast with the chosen text


    Reading quizzes / Final Exam / Peer Discussions / Poem paper and presentation

    Essential Vocabulary:  drama, stage directions, tragedy, catharsis, act, scene, antithesis, aside, soliloquy, dialogue, blank verse, conceit, dramatic irony, foil, etc.


    Grading Policy:

    The AHS grading policy is:

                      90-100%  =  A

                      80-89%    =  B

                      70-79%    =  C

                      60-69%    =  D

                      0-59%      =  F

     According to district guidelines during the COVID crisis, no zeros will be issued for missing work and students may turn in work up to a week late with no penalty. 


    I greatly look forward to a productive, fun and fulfilling year within our classroom. Please feel free to email me at any time for help: hgriffith@amphi.com  I am available for lunch and after school tutoring nearly every day – just ask if you need help or simply want a quiet place to work.