In this 10th grade course, students explore works of literature by authors from twentieth-century America, Elizabethan England, and ancient Greece, encompassing an array of fiction subgenres.
In this tenth-grade English course, students explore works of literature written by authors from twentieth-century America, Elizabethan England, and ancient Greece. While the major works in this course are all fiction, they represent an array of fiction subgenres such as science fiction, realistic fiction, and drama. In addition to the core texts, students will also read thematically paired poems, nonfiction articles, and short stories in each unit.
As students read the texts, there is an emphasis on developing their high school–level literary analysis skills. Identifying decisions made by each author about how to develop characters, create conflict, drive the plot, convey theme, and provide social commentary is the primary area of focus. Through this analysis, students will develop their abilities to independently analyze diction, symbols, figurative language, point of view, and characterization.
In addition to analysis of texts, this tenth-grade course is focused on helping students increase their word knowledge and vocabularies, practice their discussion and speaking skills, and develop their craft as writers of literary analysis essays. Explorations of enduring thematic topics such as isolation, love, racism, fear, and truth are woven throughout the course and will challenge students to recognize commonalities of the human experience throughout time and across the globe. This course provides the necessary foundation for success with the rigors of the upper high school English courses.
It is important to note that this English course was written to be taught in conjunction with a 10th grade Composition class in which students build their writing skills.
Reading the novel The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, students trace the themes of fear, innocence and corruption as they follow the narrator through a pivotal three days in his unraveling teenage life.
In Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible, which explores the consequences of the McCarthyism scare of the 1950s, students explore the central topics of history, community, herd mentality and truth.
Students read Fahrenheit 451, their first exposure to the genre of science fiction at the high school level, and discuss the author's messages about humanity, censorship, and technology.
Students read Antigone, their first exposure to the genre of Greek tragedy, and explore the conflict between loyalty to family and to country that is relevant throughout time.
Students read Macbeth, analyzing and discussing universal themes of power, greed, and morality, while tackling Shakespearian language.
Reading Sula, often called the first black feminist novel in the United States, students explore themes of friendship, gender, and race.