This set of lessons extends over several days and focuses on "The Crisis, No. 1" by Thomas Paine. Students closely read and annotate the text. Students identify and evaluate claims and evidence in the text. Students present their findings to the class. Finally, students collaboratively write short arguments identifying claims and evidence in "The Crisis, No. 1." Students present their arguments to the class, and the class discusses and assesses the arguments.
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 Module 11.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 11.1 and 12.2, students explore topics that have multiple positions and perspectives by gathering and analyzing research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which will serve as the early foundation of what will ultimately become a written research-based argument paper. The research-based argument paper synthesizes and articulates several claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence to support the claims. Students read and analyze sources to surface potential problem-based questions for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.
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.
Module 12.1 includes a shared focus on text analysis and narrative writing. Students read, discuss, and analyze two nonfiction personal narratives, focusing on how the authors use structure, style, and content to craft narratives that develop complex experiences, ideas, and descriptions of individuals. Throughout the module, students learn, practice, and apply narrative writing skills to produce a complete personal essay suitable for use in the college application process.
In Module 12.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative research process that serves as the basis of a culminating research-based argument paper. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 12.1 and 12.2, students use a seed text to surface and explore issues that lend themselves to multiple positions and perspectives. Module 12.3 fosters students’ independent learning by decreasing scaffolds in key research lessons as students gather and analyze research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which serves as the early foundation of what will ultimately become their research-based argument paper.
In this unit, students explore social, cultural, and political events that helped define America in the decades following the Second World War. The lesson on the Civil Rights movement revolves around the question: Why did the Montgomery Bus Boycott succeed? In another, students compare speeches by JFK and John Lewis regarding the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the Women in the 1950s lesson plan, students use secondary sources and popular images to explore whether "the happy housewife" was reality or perception. Finally, students will encounter opposing views on whether the Great Society was successful, and what led many Americans came to oppose the Vietnam War.
This set of lessons extends over a few days. Students read and annotate Ernie Pyle's "A Long Thin Line of Anguish." Students complete a SAYS/DOES graphic organizer, working on summarizing the text, noticing the choices the author makes about use of details, and describing the choices the author makes regarding the structure of the article.
Students complete a SOAPStone handout, identifying subject, occasion, author, purpose, speaker and tone (SOAPStone is a pre-AP/AP strategy). Students develop claims about why Ernie Pyle makes the writing choices he makes. Students write an informal, free-response style assessment about the impact of Pyle's choices.