Junior English Syllabus
Welcome to English 11, a survey of American 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 America’s 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
UNIT ONE: Coming to America – A layering of cultures and perspectives
Big Idea: The realities of the American Dream are different from the myth, yet people have come and are still coming to America based on this Dream.
Essential Questions: What is an American? What is the American Dream? What are the myths and realities of the American Dream? Why did/do people come to the US? What are the founding ideals of this country? How are these ideals still applicable today? Can humans change their behavior based on a knowledge of history? Does the reality of America live up to the idea of America?
Texts: (Primary sources from Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes textbook)
“Journal of the First Voyage to America, ”Native Myths and Legends, Narrative of Olouda Equiano, Crevecoeur Letters From an American Farmer, Power “Museum Indians,” Bradford Of Plymouth Plantation, Puritan poetry, Miller The Crucible
Supplemental Materials: John Smith and Pocahontas, slave narratives, modern slavery, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” Puritan work ethic data, modern-day myths, The Golden Door, Coming to America, Pocahontas
UNIT TWO: The Revolution
Big Idea: Language and rhetoric can be and have been used as powerful tools for social and political change in a society that promotes freedom.
Essential Questions: How can language and rhetoric be used as tools to promote social change? What are the rights and responsibilities of citizens of a free society? What are the responsibilities of government? Is an individual ever morally justified in breaking a law?
Texts: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Henry Speech in to the Virginia Convention, Paine American Crisis, Declaration of Independence, “Mary Chestnut’s War”
Supplemental Materials: Martin Luther King, Jr., Jim Crowe Laws, The Great Debaters, Adam’s “Letter from the New White House”
UNIT THREE: Romanticism
Big Idea: Romanticism is a search for Truth, requiring a trust in nature and one’s instincts, to harness the power of the moment
Essential Questions: What is the difference between being romantic and Romanticism? What are the main features of Romanticism?
Texts: Poe “The Raven” “Annabelle Lee”, Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown, Minister’s Black Veil, “The Raven,” Melville Moby Dick, Longfellow “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls,” Dickinson Poem selection
Supplemental Materials: Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, Dillard “Living Like Weasels”
UNIT FOUR: Transcendentalism
Big Ideas: Transcendentalism celebrates an essential human connection to the natural world rather than a utilitarian or conquering one; the pursuit of Truth leads people down a variety of paths.
Essential Questions: What defines Transcendentalism? How does Transcendentalism relate to Romanticism? How did this small movement so impact our modern society?
Texts: Emerson Nature and Self-Reliance, Thoreau Walden, Civil Disobedience, Whitman Song of Myself
Supplemental Materials: “Water on Tap,” environmental data, Krakauer Into the Wild, “Death of an Innocent”
UNIT FIVE: Realism / Naturalism
Big Idea: The Civil War and Westward expansion lead to the development of more realistic storytelling and writing styles.
Essential Questions: What defines Realism? What defines Naturalism? How does Realism/Naturalism relate to Romanticism and Transcendentalism? How do the events of society impact writers? Who gets a voice in American society?
Texts: Twain Huck Finn, “Celebrated…,” London “To Build a Fire,” Chopin “Story of an Hour,” Robinson “Luke Havergal”
Supplemental Materials: Douglass “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Chief Joseph “I Will Fight No More Forever,” Harte “Outcasts of Poker Flat”
UNIT SIX: Modern Era / Rise of the novel
Big Idea: Modern literature is, to a large degree, driven by the uncertainties and stresses of world conflict.
Essential Questions: How does modern literature compare to earlier periods? How does social disillusionment impact authors and the writing they produce?
Texts: Fitzgerald Great Gatsby, Auden “The Unknown Citizen,” Cummings “old age sticks” “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” Frost Poems, Harlem Renaissance authors (Hughes, McKay, Cullen)
Supplemental Materials: Eliot “Prufrock,” Faulkner “A Rose for Emily,” Thurber “The Night the Ghost Got In,” Feiffer “Trapped in a Comic Book,” Plath poems,
**A selection of contemporary authors and works (Alvarez, Momaday, Anaya, Tan, etc) will be read as homework and discussed in class throughout the year.
**Independent reading and book reports are a large component of our class.
The AHS grading policy is:
90-100% = A
80-89% = B
70-79% = C
60-69% = D
0-59% = F
I greatly look forward to a productive, fun, and fulfilling year with your child. I am available for lunch and after school tutoring nearly every day I am here to help your child and am committed to the growth of each individual.