English I

Students should enter this course with a foundation in fiction, drama, poetry, mythology, and nonfiction. This course will provide them with the opportunity to build on that foundation. They will engage in in-depth analysis of more complex literature, view that literature from its historical perspective, and connect it to other arts. They will write literary analyses, logical arguments, informational/explanatory texts, narratives, and focused research projects. These writing tasks will be both formal and informal. Additionally, they will engage in speaking and listening activities that use and incorporate media and technology. As a result of the reading, writing, speaking, and listening students will do in this course, they will grow their vocabulary and their understanding of how to communicate effectively by making skillful choices when expressing themselves with language.

Curriculum decisions for this course are guided by the Common Core State Standards. These standards were developed to provide clear and consistent goals for student learning and to ensure that students have the skills they need to be successful beyond high school. These standards define what students need to know and be able to do by the end of each grade. In additional to defining grade-level skills, the ELA standards require that students be exposed to increasingly more complex texts to which they apply those skills. In order for curriculum to align to these standards, it must be both rigorous and relevant. It must also expose students to certain critical content. In English language arts, that content includes classic myths and stories from around the world, AmericaÕs Founding Documents, Foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. English I students will begin their climb up this staircase of skills through their study of the following genres:

  • Short Stories: In this unit, students will gain a deeper understanding of common literary elements through the study of selected short stories. The goal will be to teach students how to apply this understanding to their reading, their writing, and their everyday life.
  • Literary Nonfiction: Students will read a variety of nonfiction forms, including autobiography, memoir, essay, and speech. Selections will focus on writings about growing up, education, liberty, and politics. Students will consider the way in which each of these selections are reflective in nature and encourage readers and listeners to look at events and ideas in a new way.
  • Epic Poetry: In this unit, students will focus on epic poetry as its own genre. Students will read Homer's The Odyssey in its entirety, as well as informational texts providing historical context, and various selections of poetry that draw on Homer's work. As a way of further exploring the theme of the unit, "heroism," students will also read selected works of nonfiction that address that theme from a more contemporary perspective.
  • Drama: The focus of this unit will be on drama as a literary form with an emphasis on tragedy. Students will be introduced to philosophy by reading an excerpt from AristotleÕs Poetics. They will then read the sources for and the text of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and compare the treatment of related themes in the two plays.
  • Novel: This unit will focus on the novel as a literary form. Students will apply and expand their understanding of literary elements as they read To Kill a Mockingbird. Students will explore a number of unifying themes as they read the novel, including honor, courage, intolerance, and compassion and these concepts will provide the basis for their writing, speaking, and other learning activities throughout the unit. A study of various informational texts will illuminate the historical context of the novel.
  • Poetry: students will study the genre of poetry and its concentrated blend of sound and imagery, as well as the personal and the universal. Students will examine poetic form, rhyme, meter, devices, imagery and language. Students will study poems from different eras and different cultures. Students will also be introduced to literary criticism which will provide the basis for a research project and presentation.

Curriculum Content and Skill Focus

Unit 1: Short Story

  • Developing reading skills: analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in short stories
  • Analyzing literary elements: character, setting, plot, conflict, theme, point of view, suspense, dialogue
  • Analyzing literary devices: figurative language, imagery, mood, irony, symbol, foreshadowing
  • Developing writing skills - explanatory: responding to literature, developing a thesis, supporting a thesis, composing strong introductions and conclusions, writing a literary analysis, using the writing process, targeting an audience
  • Conducting research: formulating a research question, gathering, evaluating, synthesizing, paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, documenting information
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborate discussions, research presentations
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 2: Literary Nonfiction

  • Developing reading skills: analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in literary nonfiction types: memoirs, autobiography, speeches, and foundational American literatureÕs supporting ideas with text
  • Analyzing characteristics of literary nonfiction types: variety of form, personal presence, self-reflection, tone, diction, sequencing of ideas, use of rhetoric and rhetorical strategies, historical/cultural influence, relevancy and sufficiency of support for claims
  • Developing writing skills –
    • narrative : incorporating sensory detail, sequencing, reflecting, peer evaluating
    • explanatory: responding to literature, comparing/contrasting, revising for alignment to purpose and audience, depth of information, and clarity and accuracy of content
    • argumentative: analyzing rhetorical strategies, evaluating the validity of an argument, using transitions, using formal and objective language, editing for conventions
  • Conducting research: locating information, paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, documenting information
  • Analyzing and participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborate discussions, peer evaluation
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 3: Epic Poetry

  • Developing reading skills: analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in epic poetry, contemporary poetry, and informational texts; supporting ideas with text
  • Analyzing characteristics of the epic: oral tradition, hero, journey motif, mythology, simile, epithet, invocation, foreshadowing, flashback, parallel plot
  • Reading for information: Cultural and historical background, interviews with contemporary heroes
  • Developing writing skills - narrative and argumentative: responding to literature, exploring point of view, making a claim, supporting a claim, composing strong introductions and conclusions, using the writing process, targeting an audience
  • Conducting research: formulating a research question, gathering, evaluating, synthesizing, paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, documenting information
  • Analyzing and participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborate discussions, research presentations, creating a power point
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 5: Drama

  • Developing reading skills: analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in drama, philosophical texts, source material; supporting ideas with text
  • Analyzing characteristics of drama – esp. Shakespearean: comedy and tragedy, character, dialogue, chorus, spectacle, soliloquy, aside, blank verse, iambic pentameter, allusion, foil, puns
  • Developing writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, analyzing dramatic elements, comparing treatment of a subject in two different mediums, identifying and incorporating textual support, revising for alignment to purpose and audience, depth of information, and clarity and accuracy of content, formatting and documenting according to MLA guidelines, collaborating, using the writing process
  • Conducting research: answering the research question, identifying shared characteristics of art across time and cultures, evaluating the effectiveness of subject treatment in two or more mediums.
  • Analyzing and participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborate discussions, peer evaluation
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 6: Novel

  • Developing reading skills: analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in fiction and nonfiction; supporting ideas with text
  • Reading for information: Cultural and historical background
  • Analyzing characteristics of fiction – esp. characters, setting, theme, style, tone, point of view, figurative language, historical context
  • Developing writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, comparing treatment of a subject in two different mediums, analyzing within historical context, identifying and incorporating textual support, varying transitions, using relevant and precise vocabulary, formatting and documenting according to MLA guidelines, collaborating, using the writing process
    • argumentative: evaluating the effectiveness of subject treatment in two or more mediums, making a claim, supporting a claim, identifying and incorporating textual support, varying transitions, using relevant and precise vocabulary, formatting and documenting according to MLA guidelines, collaborating, using the writing process
  • Conducting research: evaluating the effectiveness of subject treatment in two or more mediums.
  • Analyzing and participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborate discussions, recording a speech
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 7: Poetry

  • Developing reading skills: analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in poetry and art
  • Analyzing characteristics of poetry – figurative language (esp. simile, metaphor, personification, hyperbole, idiom, onomatopoeia), poetic devices (esp. alliteration, assonance, consonance, and enjambment), rhyme, meter, form, speaker, theme, symbol
  • Developing writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, analyzing poetic elements, comparing and contrasting the depiction of the same subject or scene in a literary work and another artistic medium, identifying shared characteristics of art across time and cultures, paraphrasing, annotating, supporting with text, using the writing process, revising for style, sentence variety, and word choice
    • narrative/creative: playing with figurative language and sound devices
    • argumentative: diagraming arguments, formulating a claim, supporting a claim, using the writing process, connecting ideas in arguments, using persuasive language
  • Conducting research: Defining and refining a research question, evaluating sources, formulating a thesis, synthetizing and integrating information, using MLA style guide, paraphrasing, summarizing and quoting, incorporating digital media,
  • Analyzing and participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborate discussions, preparing and presenting a multimedia presentation
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

State: National, Oklahoma, Utah
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: English Language Arts
Course Length: Year