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 five new units that will be the core 10th Grade ELA sequence for the 2024–25 school year.

In 10th Grade English Language Arts, students explore the tension 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, Purple Hibiscus, Antigone, magical realism short stories and Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Reading Lolita in Tehran, and thematically aligned texts: short stories, articles, poems, and digital media. Students will examine the reciprocal relationship between individuals and the society in which they live, considering how an individual's values impact its relationship with a community and vice versa.

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.

Alternate Unit 3

23 Lessons

"I was born to join in love, not hate—that is my nature": Civil Disobedience in Antigone

Students will examine the central conflict in Antigone between loyalty to one's family and religion and loyalty to society and the law, exploring how characters use rhetorical appeals and devices to convey their stance about their allegiance.

Alternate Unit 4

22 Lessons

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary: Magical Realism in Latin American Literature

Students will explore the literary genre of magical realism through a selection of short stories and the novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold, analyzing how writers blend realism with fantastical elements to reveal truths about human nature.

Alternate Unit 5

29 Lessons

Reading as Resistance: Reading Lolita in Tehran

In Reading Lolita in Tehran, students will examine the central conflict between citizens and their oppressive government, considering how fiction, as well as the reading and discussion of it, can be a powerful form of resistance.

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