English Language Arts

10th Grade

10th Grade ELA Course Summary

Please Note: The Fishtank team is in the process of revising the 10th Grade ELA units to refine the sequence of texts we offer and provide deeper, more aligned support for teachers and students. At the bottom of this page, you will find the first two units of the new sequence that will be offered for the 2024–25 school year. The remaining three new units will be published during Summer 2024.

In 10th Grade English Language Arts, students explore the tension between being selfless and selfish, between being an individual and being part of a community through diverse, rigorous, and relevant texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Fahrenheit 451, Sula, Men We Reaped, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and thematically aligned texts: short stories, articles, poems, and digital media. Students will examine the things, people, and places that motivate people to act in the best interests of others. Across the 5 units, students deepen their paragraph writing skills through narrative, opinion, analytical, and informational writing tasks.

Building upon the knowledge and English Language Arts skills they’ve developed in previous years, students deeply engage with complex texts through both independent reading and guided Close Reading, prepare for and engage in longform whole class discussions including Socratic Seminars, and write multi-paragraph responses to Essential Questions by gathering evidence and effectively communicating their thoughts. 

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Recommended Sequence

Unit 1

11 Lessons

Altruism and Interconnectedness in Short Texts

Students explore the individual’s responsibility to society and the ways in which all humans are interconnected through excerpts from several texts, letters, poems, short stories and articles. 

Unit 2

20 Lessons

Censorship, Truth & Happiness in Fahrenheit 451

Students explore the concept of “cancel culture” through Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian novel, and study the historical and social context of the 1619 Project.

Unit 3

21 Lessons

Feminism and Self-Respect in Sula

Students examine what it means to have true self-respect and what it means to be a feminist through their reading of Toni Morrison’s Sula and supplemental texts.

Unit 4

22 Lessons

Home, Grief, and Storytelling in Men We Reaped

Students examine the thematic idea of home, the intricate relationship between personal responsibility and public responsibility, and the significance of telling historically untold stories. 

Unit 5

23 Lessons

Sanity & Madness in A Streetcar Named Desire & Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Students engage in comparative textual analysis, exploring the concepts of sanity, truth, and power, through their reading of two iconic plays by Tennessee Williams and August Wilson.

Alternate Units

Alternate Unit 1

21 Lessons

"If This Goes On..." Technology, Truth, and Happiness in Fahrenheit 451

Students will explore the effects of technology and censorship in Ray Bradbury's dystopian novel and make connections between his futuristic society and their own.

Alternate Unit 2

24 Lessons

Flowers of Freedom: Voice, Defiance, and Coming of Age in Purple Hibiscus

Students will explore how Adichie uses characterization, structure, point of view, and motifs to develop themes connected to freedom, tyranny, and coming of age.

Can't find the unit you're looking for?
Visit our archives to find units that we've retired from our core curriculum.

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