Short Story Unit -
Rationale: Here, we will take a math-like, formulaic approach to literal meanings and constructed response answers. This approach will help students build mastery and confidence in answering exam-type questions.
* Literal meanings are helpful exercises for two reasons: They help build your note-taking/precis skills. Also, your literal meanings will be helpful references for a quick plot reminder when we approach them for our essay writing portion of this unit.
SHORT STORY WORKBOOK (will be completed during class time.)
King Oedipus Unit -
Rationale: There’s a reason we still study this warped tragedy 2500 years later. While we (thankfully) are not likely to have such a convoluted, angst-ridden, familial chaos as poor ol’ Oedipus, many will find themselves in the throes of their own hubris. In this unit, we examine the literary tragic hero; learn it and be able to recognize it in our world today. Rob Ford, Donald Trump, Lance Armstrong, the list goes on... In order to avoid the downfall, we must recognize when pride gets out of hand - in others and in ourselves.
RATIONALE: “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” - Robert Frost
Our understanding of language cannot be developed without contemplation of the inferred or deeper meanings. It requires contemplation, and contemplation and self-reflection are the best building blocks for learning (about EVERYTHING!) For those intimidated by poetry or daunted by its requirements, I’d encourage you to explore poetry in its basic and more attainable forms; take a closer look at nursery rhymes, familiar song lyrics, quotes, etc. What words or phrases ‘jump‘ to you?; What is the poet’s message?; Does it matter to you? Why/Why not?; Is it relevant? Consider the tone and the emotion it evokes or provokes.
Poetry = Powerful stuff, indeed.
In-class poetry quiz
RATIONALE: Whether it be in television and Internet content, or radio broadcasts and newspaper articles, media surrounds and permeates our lives. The central question of our focus during our study in this unit is:
Does media relect society, or does it create it?
In order for us to be cognizant and informed consumers of the media world, we must first understand the nuance of media and the psychology behind it. Otherwise we run the risk of becoming a society of ignorant and gullible citizens; willing to bow to the pressures of an economy or fame driven society.
The famous Canadian, Marshall MacLuhan once said, "The medium is the message". So, let's be conscientious and cognizant consumers of the media that surrounds us. The future depends on us.
RATIONALE: Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth is considered by many to be his greatest work, as it portrays the gamut of human emotions. Grounded in ambition, we see guilt, curiosity, lust, fear, anger, compassion, betrayal, loneliness, pity, and so much more. A timeless piece of literature, this Shakespearean tragedy shows us the folly of blind ambition and how we should be clear sighted in our aspirations. Be careful what you wish for...
The Literary Essay
RATIONALE: Like short stories, literary essays are a wonderful form of short prose that can serve as a great catalyst for the reluctant reader. Fiction, or non-fiction; formal or informal, there's truly something for everyone to be found within this form. This is a varied literary form and there are countless examples of wonderful writing techniques found within this genre.
Few worksheets on da go: Complete all 5 worksheets. Indicate ONE for numerical grading
Novel Study Unit - Lord of the Flies
RATIONALE: This is a classic. And sometimes fiction becomes truer than we'd like to believe. In times when global unrest and populism is rising while critical thought seems to be at a decline, it is crucial that we find lessons in literature; mob mentality, civil obedience, innate human cruelty. Once we see the perils, we can fix them within ourselves.
Independent Novel Study:
RATIONALE: Reading for enjoyment is one of life's truly great leisures. It offers an escape from the stresses of life, and also serves to keep the brain sharp and the imagination lively.
Film study Unit -
Rationale: Films are a great way to start the year. A good film can be entertaining; a great film should have all the elements of great literature: dynamic characters, symbolism, theme, irony, point of view, and the list goes on. This film is one that launched some pretty amazing careers and has a "depp"th" (;-) not often found in films. This unit will act as our springboard for our viewing strand as well as constructed response and essay writing.