The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.
In this unit, students will take a look at the historical vision of the American Dream as put together by our Founding Fathers. They will be asked: How, if at all, has this dream changed? Is this dream your dream? First students will participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing for his or her vision of the American Dream, and then they will write an argument laying out and defending their personal view of what the American Dream should be.
Students read and annotate closely one of the documents that they feel expresses the American Dream.
Students participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing his or her vision of the American Dream.
Students write a paper, taking into consideration the different points of view in the documents read, answering the question “What is the American Dream now?”
Students write their own argument describing and defending their vision of what the American Dream should be.
These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.
What has been the historical vision of the American Dream?
What should the American Dream be? (What should we as individuals and as a nation aspire to?)
How would women, former slaves, and other disenfranchised groups living during the time these documents were written respond to them?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read
During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.
In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze literary and informational texts, focusing on how authors use word choice and rhetoric to develop ideas, and advance their points of view and purposes. The texts in this module represent varied voices, experiences, and perspectives, but are united by their shared exploration of the effects of prejudice and oppression on identity construction. Each of the module texts is a complex work with multiple central ideas and claims that complement the central ideas and claims of other texts in the module. All four module texts offer rich opportunities to analyze authorial engagement with past and present struggles against oppression, as well as how an author’s rhetoric or word choices strengthen the power and persuasiveness of the text.
In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze literary texts, focusing on the authors’ choices in developing and relating textual elements such as character development, point of view, and central ideas while also considering how a text’s structure conveys meaning and creates aesthetic impact. Additionally, students learn and practice narrative writing techniques as they examine the techniques of the authors whose stories students analyze in the module.|
In this 12th grade Extension Module, students can go deeper into analyzing arguments, as they outline, analyze, and evaluate the claims that Michelle Alexander makes in|The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, paying attention to her use of rhetoric to convey her ideas. Please note that this 12th grade Extension Module is an extra module that has been developed as part of the 12th grade ELA modules; grades 9-11 do not have additional or extension modules. A full year of curriculum is available for 12th grade through modules 1-4.
In this 12th grade module, students read, discuss, and analyze four literary texts, focusing on the development of interrelated central ideas within and across the texts. |The mains texts in this module include|A Streetcar Named Desire|by Tennessee Williams, “A Daily Joy to Be Alive” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, “The Overcoat” by Nikolai Gogol, and|The Namesake|by Jhumpa Lahiri. As students discuss these texts, they will analyze complex characters who struggle to define and shape their own identities. The characters’ struggles for identity revolve around various internal and external forces including: class, gender, politics, intersecting cultures, and family expectations.|