English Language Arts

12th Grade

Course Summary

In this literature course, twelfth-grade students explore powerful works of fiction from around the globe and across the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. In addition to placing each novel in its own particular social-historical context, students also work to recognize commonalities in the human experience across cultures and time periods. Explorations of enduring themes such as love, family, memory, and culture are woven throughout the course. Students will spend time examining the techniques and styles of the various authors, analyzing how each author crafts his or her story and communicates his or her message, including a special emphasis on intertextuality and the authors' use of allusions to other great works of literature to deepen their own messages. In addition to the works of literature is a unit on famous speeches. Students will hone their rhetorical analysis skills, deepening their understanding of how authors use particular strategies to effectively communicate their ideas to a given audience.

At Match, twelfth-grade students may elect to take English 12 or Advanced Placement Language and Composition. Students in both courses read and analyze the same books and articles featured in the 12th Grade English units with heavy emphasis on evidence-based writing. Students in AP Language and Composition, however, complete supplemental projects to practice reading, analyzing, and writing in ways similar to what is expected of them on the CollegeBoard AP Language and Composition exam. We have included Supplementary AP Projects in each English 12 unit to reflect the additional material covered in our Advanced Placement Language and Composition course. Note: these projects do not include explicit work preparing students for the multiple choice portions of the AP exam. To learn more, please see our Guide to Supplemental AP Language and Composition Projects.

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Course Material Overview


Unit 1

36 Lessons

Invisible Man

Students trace an unnamed African American narrator's "Hero's Journey" from innocence to self-discovery in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, examining the novel's harsh critique of American society.

Unit 2

10 Lessons

A Doll's House

Students dive into the novel A Doll's House, exploring this social critique of middle-class Victorian society including issues of gender roles, freedom, and appearance versus reality. Students also investigate the genre of dramatic realism.

Unit 3

37 Lessons

The God of Small Things

Students investigate the complex, nonlinear style of The God of Small Things and its themes of history, colonialism and love, focusing on the novel's literary devices, plot structure, and language.

Unit 4

16 Lessons

Famous Speeches

Students analyze and interpret speeches, honing their rhetorical analysis skills and deepening their understanding of how authors use particular strategies to effectively communicate their ideas to a given audience.

Unit 5

10 Lessons

The Great Gatsby

Students read The Great Gatsby, evaluating Fitzgerald's critique of the American 1920s, as well as considering issues of social class and the impact of history and memory on individuals.