English Language Arts

11th Grade

11th Grade ELA Course Summary

In 11th Grade English Language Arts, students explore thematic questions related to racism, identity, colonialism, reality, and human nature through diverse, rigorous, and relevant texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: The Glass Menagerie, Things Fall Apart, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dreaming in Cuban, Waiting, The Scarlet Letter, and thematically aligned short stories and multimedia materials. Across the 7 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 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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11th Grade Book List


Unit 1

15 Lessons

The Glass Menagerie

In reading Tennessee Williams' "memory play" The Glass Menagerie, students examine thematic topics such as individual freedom, obligation, reality and escape.

Unit 2

25 Lessons

Things Fall Apart

Students read Chinua Achebe's widely acclaimed Things Fall Apart as they examine themes of identity, culture, and colonialism, analyzing the author's careful choice of words and symbolism.

Unit 3

37 Lessons

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Students study the institutional processes and popular beliefs surrounding mental health in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, as they discuss and debate the themes of power, order, and authority.

Unit 4

15 Lessons

Short Fiction: A Study of Genre

Students read multiple genres of fiction, including the absurdist The Metamorphosis and the ancient Greek tragedy Oedipus the King, with the aim of exploring the question: "What does it mean to be human?"

Unit 5

31 Lessons

Dreaming in Cuban

Christina Garcia's novel Dreaming in Cuban will offer students a vivid picture of distant and present-day Cuba, as they contemplate how our past, good or bad, makes us into who we are today.

Unit 6

30 Lessons


Students discover the novel Waiting, examining such topics as the Cultural Revolution and Confucian values as well as tensions between old and new, rural and urban, and communism and capitalism.

Unit 7

26 Lessons

The Scarlet Letter

Students read the renowned novel The Scarlet Letter, exploring and analyzing the themes of sin, compassion, and hypocrisy as they played out in seventeenth-century Puritan New England.

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