In this 10th grade course, students explore core texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, while considering what, if any, responsibility we have for others and examining the things, people, and places that motivate people to act in the best interests of others.
In his "Letter from Birmingham Jail", Martin Luther King Jr boldly proclaims, “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be...This is the inter-related structure of reality.”
Our humanity and interconnectedness with other individuals and society that Martin Luther King Jr. highlights for the clergy are integral to this 10th grade English course including its texts, themes, and essential questions. This course calls on students to examine the tension between being selfless and selfish, between being an individual and being part of a community. Through reading of core texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, students will consider the following question: what, if any, is our social responsibility? Additionally they will examine the things, people, and places that motivate people to act in the best interests of others. Students will engage with a variety of writing assignments including analytical essays, personal response essays, and creative writing and participate in weekly seminars to discuss and share their evidence based ideas about the texts they read.
Course Level Essential Questions
Students will explore the individual’s responsibility to society and the ways in which all humans are interconnected through their reading of excerpts from several texts, letters, poems, short stories and articles.
Students will explore the concept of “cancel culture” through their reading of Ray Bradbury’s 1953 dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451 and study of the historical and social context of 1619 Project including the pros and cons against it.
Students examine what it means to have true self-respect and what it means to be a feminist in a society that associates a women’s role with wife, mother, and dependence on men through their reading of Toni Morrison’s Sula and supplemental texts. During their reading of the novel, students will explore how Morrison’s complex and literary style develops characters and themes.
Students explore what it’s like to be a black man in contemporary America through their reading of Jesmyn Ward’s Men We Reaped: A Memoir and supplemental texts.
Students will explore the impact of an epidemic on past and contemporary societies and continue honing their skills of applying a critical lens to interpret a text. Specifically, during this unit, students will apply a queer lens to their reading of Angels in American and unpack the ways in which Kushner applies fantasy elements to develop meaning in the text.