English III

English III is a survey of American Literature and literary culture from its inception through the twentieth century. Students will explore the major literary forms, themes, authors, and periods of American Literature. They will understand how this literature represents the experiences of people native to America, those who immigrated to America, and those who were brought to America against their will. Emphasis is placed on a rhetorical analysis of the literature to determine how authors achieve a particular purpose or effect. Through focused readings, composition, speaking and listening activities, vocabulary study and research, students will continue to build the literacy skills they need to meet the challenges of high school and beyond.

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 III students will continue their climb up this staircase of skills through their study of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Intersection in a New World: The focus of this unit will be on the earliest American literature. Students will read first-hand accounts of the dreams and the challenges the first settlers in the New World faced. They will read fiery Puritan sermons and the cultured poetry of a young slave. The reading will highlight the intersection, and resulting conflicts, of Native American, European, and African American cultures as well as establish some of the themes that will appear in the literature of America for centuries to come.
  • Unit 2: Becoming a Nation: The focus of this unit will be on the historic and literary significance of documents relating to the establishment of the new government in America as well as on some of the poetry and prose of the period. Students will compare and contrast points of view presented on related issues. They will also compare and contrast the tone used in foundational documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They will use what they learn about the qualities of an effective argument to create one of their own.
  • Unit 3: American Romanticism: This unit will focus on the romantic literature that dominated America during the first part of the nineteenth century. Students will explore how the romantics revolted against the "cog in the wheel" philosophy of the eighteenth century and instead celebrated intuition, spontaneity, subjectivity, nature and, above all, individuality. They will compare the different aspects of American romanticism by examining the Gothic tales of writers like Poe and Hawthorne as well as the transcendental explorations of writers like Emerson and Thoreau. The slave narrative, a sub-genre of romanticism, will provide students with a glimpse into the protest and struggle for identity these Americans faced.
  • Unit 5: Regional Voices: In this unit, students will continue to explore the theme of individualism, expanding their idea of what that looked for all Americans in the nineteenth century. They will look at the issues of racism, slavery, inequality and displacement through the words of those who experienced these issues first hand and those who worked to make America a more tolerant nation. They will also explore the theme of regionalism and examine how fictional characters in the works of writers like Twain and Jewett express the challenges facing America in this period.
  • Unit 6: American Modernism: This unit explores American literature from the beginning of the 20th century through the Great Depression. Students will be introduced to the characteristics that define literature as modern and analyze those characteristics in poetry, fiction and drama. Because the movement is complex, the unit is subdivided into categories allowing for a more focused analysis of the different aspects of modernism and its writers.
  • Unit 7: Post WW II: This unit focuses on the literature that followed the Second World War and takes students up to what is known as the postmodern period in literature. Like the previous unit, this final unit is divided into sub-categories. Students will read representative works from the abundance of southern literature. The unit also includes a number of selections from the 1960s that mirror this turbulent decade's struggle with issues similar to ones we face today.

Curriculum Content and Skill Focus

Unit 1: Intersection in a New World

  • Sharpen reading skills: summary, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation.
  • Identify explicit and implicit meaning in early American works of historical and/or literary significance and in later works about this time period, including where the text leaves matters uncertain.
  • Analyze a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious).
  • Analyze and evaluate different presentations and interpretations of the same text.
  • Analyze literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, style, theme, purpose.
  • Analyze language: figurative language, imagery, tone, persuasiveness, connotation, nuance, power, beauty.
  • Analyze informational texts: central ideas, interaction of ideas, summarizing, point of view, purpose.
  • Analyze arguments: rhetoric, claim development, structure, purpose.
  • Sharpen writing skills:
    • explanatory: responding to literature; comparing/contrasting; synthesizing information; developing and supporting a thesis; using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas; using precise, domain-specific language; and
    • argumentative: making and supporting a claim; using valid reasoning; sequencing ideas; adapting to purpose, audience, and task; using precise, domain-specific language; using the writing process.
  • Conduct research: web searches, challenging usage and vocabulary.
  • Participate in speaking and listening activities: analysis of oral and written speeches, collaboration with peers.
  • Strengthen language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use.

Unit 2: Becoming a Nation

  • Sharpen reading skills: summary, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation.
  • Identify explicit and implicit meaning in early American works of historical and/or literary significance, seminal texts, and works of public advocacy.
  • Analyze a text from multiple perspectives: historical, literary, psychological, religious.
  • Analyze literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, style, theme, purpose.
  • Analyze language: figurative and technical language, imagery, tone, persuasiveness, connotation, nuance, power, beauty.
  • Analyze informational texts: central ideas, interaction of ideas, structure, point of view.
  • Analyze arguments: rhetoric, premises, claim development, structure, purpose.
  • Evaluate the reason and rhetoric used in seminal texts and works of public advocacy.
  • Sharpen writing skills:
    • explanatory: responding to literature; comparing/contrasting; synthesizing information; developing a thesis and evaluating evidence to support it; using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas; establishing and maintaining a formal tone; using precise, domain-specific language; using technology; peer evaluating; and
    • argumentative: making and supporting a claim; using valid reasoning; using rhetorical devices to persuade; adapting a rhetorical structure; sequencing ideas; creating cohesiveness; adapting to purpose, audience and task; using precise, domain-specific language; using the writing process.
  • Conduct research: the challenge of usage and vocabulary; evaluation of the strengths and limitations of sources in terms of task, purpose, and audience; distinguishment between quoted material and paraphrased ideas; preparation of papers using correct MLA guidelines for formatting, citing sources within a text, and creating a works cited page.
  • Participate in speaking and listening activities: analysis of oral and written speeches, evaluation of a speaker's use of diction and tone, collaboration with peers, presentation.
  • Strengthen language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use.

Unit 3: American Romanticism

  • Sharpen reading skills: summary, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation.
  • Identify explicit and implicit meaning in American literature from a specific period in history.
  • Analyze a text from multiple perspectives: historical, literary, psychological, religious.
  • Analyze literary elements/devices: narrative/poetic structure, point of view, character, style, theme, purpose, irony, allegory, symbolism, suspense.
  • Analyze language: figurative and technical language, imagery, tone, persuasiveness, connotation, nuance, power, beauty.
  • Analyze informational texts: central ideas, interaction of ideas, structure, point of view, use of rhetoric.
  • Sharpen writing skills:
    • explanatory: responding to literature; comparing/contrasting; synthesizing information; developing and supporting a thesis; organizing complex ideas; using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas; using precise, domain-specific language; and
    • argumentative: making and supporting a claim; using valid reasoning; using rhetorical devices to persuade; adapting a rhetorical structure; sequencing ideas; creating cohesiveness; adapting to purpose, audience, and task; using precise, domain-specific language; using the writing process.
  • Conduct research: web search, vocabulary usage/etymology.
  • Participate in speaking and listening activities: analysis of oral and written speeches, evaluation of a speaker's use of diction and tone, collaboration with peers, presentation.
  • Strengthen language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use.

Unit 5: Regional Voices

  • Sharpening reading skills: summary, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in American literature from a specific period in history, including foundational documents
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious)
  • Analyzing literary elements/devices: narrative/poetic structure, point of view (esp. how it shapes content and style), character, style, theme, irony, satire, understatement
  • Analyzing language: figurative language (esp. hyperbole and paradox), technical language, imagery, tone, diction, humor, persuasiveness, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing informational texts: central ideas, interaction of ideas, structure, point of view
  • Evaluating the reasoning and rhetoric used in seminal texts and works of public advocacy
  • Sharpening writing skills
    • explanatory: responding to literature, synthesizing information, developing an original thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, using precise, domain-specific language, using the writing process
    • argumentative: making a claim, supporting a claim, using valid reasoning , sequencing ideas, creating cohesiveness, adapting to purpose, audience and task, using precise, domain-specific language, using the writing process
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluate a speaker's use of diction and tone, collaborating with peers, presenting
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 6: American Modernism

  • Sharpening reading skills: summary, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in American literature from a specific period in history
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious)
  • Analyzing literary elements/devices: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, character, style, theme, purpose, symbolism, satire, sarcasm, irony, understatement
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, imagery, tone, diction, dialect, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing informational texts: central ideas, interaction of ideas, structure, point of view, use of rhetoric
  • Sharpening writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, , synthesizing information, developing an original thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, using precise, domain-specific language, using the writing process – focus on revision
    • narrative: using telling details, sequencing events, using the writing process – focus on revision
  • Conducting research: web search, vocabulary usage/etymology, evaluation credibility of sources, synthesizing information from multiple sources, using correct MLA guidelines for formatting, citing sources within a text, and creating a works cited page, using digital media elements, such as graphics, illustrations, sound, and interactive elements, to enhance presentations
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluating a speaker's use of diction and tone, collaborating with peers, preparing and presenting speeches
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 7: Post WW II

  • Sharpening reading skills: summary, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in American literature from a specific period in history, including works of public advocacy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious)
  • Analyzing literary elements/devices: narrative/poetic structure, point of view, style, theme, purpose, sarcasm, irony, humor
  • Analyzing language: figurative language (esp. hyperbole and paradox), technical language, imagery, tone, diction, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing informational texts: central ideas, interaction of ideas, structure, point of view, use of rhetoric
  • Sharpening writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, , synthesizing information, developing an original thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, using precise, domain-specific language, using the writing process – focus on revision, varying sentence structure and syntax to convey a certain style or tone and to enhance reader understanding, using appropriate references for guidance in constructing artful sentences
  • Conducting research: web search, vocabulary usage/etymology, generating a research question, conducting research to answer a self-generated question, drawing relevant evidence from text to answer research questions, Synthesize information from multiple sources, gathering information representing a variety of perspectives, e valuating the strengths and limitations of sources in terms of task, purpose and audience, integrating information selectively and appropriately, preparing papers using correct MLA guidelines for formatting, citing sources within a text, creating a works cited page
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluating a speaker's use of diction and tone
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Literature List

The following are literary works students will encounter in English III CCSS:

Unit 1: Intersection in the New World

  • Bradford, William
    • Of Plymouth Plantation
  • Williams, Roger
    • A Key into the Language of America
  • Bradstreet, Anne
    • "To My Dear Loving Husband"
    • "A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment"
    • "Upon the Burning of Our House"
    • "The Prologue"
  • Berryman, John
    • "Homage to Mistress Bradstreet"
  • Rowlandson, Mary
    • A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson
  • Franklin, Benjamin
    • "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America"
  • Miller, Arthur
    • The Crucible
  • Sewall, Samuel
    • The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial
  • Wheatley, Phillis
    • "On Being Brought from Africa to America"
    • "An Hymn to the Evening"
    • "To His Excellency General Washington"
  • Gates Jr., Henry Louis
    • "Mister Jefferson and the Trials of Phillis Wheatley"
  • Edwards, Jonathan
    • "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"

Unit 2: Becoming a Nation

  • Franklin, Benjamin
    • "The Way to Wealth"
  • Henry, Patrick
    • "Speech to the Virginia Convention"
  • Paine, Thomas
    • The American Crisis
  • Declaration of Independence
  • Stanton, Elizabeth Cady
    • Declaration of Sentiments
  • Jefferson, Thomas
    • "Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom"
  • de Crevecoeur, Hector St. John
    • "What is an American?"from Letters from an American Farmer"
  • Freneau, Phillip
    • "The Wild Honeysuckle"
    • "The Indian Burying Ground"
  • Equiano, Olaudah
    • EquianoÕs Travels: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, The African
  • Key, Francis Scott
    • "The Star Spangled Banner"
  • "Revolutionary Tea"

Unit 3: American Romanticism

  • Irving, Washington
    • "Rip Van Winkle"
  • Hawthorne, Nathanial
    • "Young Goodman Brown"
  • Poe, Edgar Allan
    • "The Black Cat"
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo
    • "Self-Reliance"
    • "John Brown"
  • Fuller, Margaret
    • Summer on the Lakes in 1843
  • Whitman, Walt
    • "Song of Myself"
  • Dickinson, Emily
    • "This is my letter to the World"
    • "Because I could not stop for Death"
  • Whittier, John Greenleaf
    • "To William Lloyd Garrison"
  • Douglass, Frederick
    • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
  • Thoreau, Henry David
    • "Civil Disobedience"
  • Stowe, Harriet Beecher
    • Uncle TomÕs Cabin
  • Truth, Sojourner
    • "AinÕt I a Woman?"
  • Harper, Frances Ellen Watkins
    • "The Two Offers"
  • Melville, Herman
    • "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street"

Unit 5: Regional Voices

  • Lincoln, Abraham
    • "A House Divided" Speech
  • Whitman, Walt
    • "Oh Captain, My Captain"
  • Addams, Jane
    • "Influence of Lincoln" from Twenty Years at Hull House
  • Twain, Mark
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Chopin, Kate
    • "DesireeÕs Baby"
  • Cooper, Anna Julia
    • "The Higher Education of Women" from A Voice from the South
  • Jewett, Sarah Orne
    • "The White Heron"
  • Freeman, Mary E. Wilkins
    • "The Revolt of Mother"
  • Gilman, Charlotte Perkins
    • "The Yellow Wall Paper"
    • "Why I Wrote the Yellow Wall Paper"
  • Harte, Bret
    • "TennesseeÕs Partner"

Unit 6: Modernism in America

  • Robinson, Edwin Arlington
    • "Aunt Imogen"
  • Frost, Robert
    • "A Servant to Servants"
  • Eliot, T.S.
    • "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
  • Teasdale, Sara
    • Love Songs
  • Sandburg, Carl
    • "Grass"
  • Fitzgerald, Scott F.
    • "Bernice Bobs her Hair"
  • Hemingway, Ernest
    • "Hills Like White Elephants"
  • Moore, Marianne
    • "Poetry"
  • Wilder, Thorton
    • Our Town
  • Parker, Dorothy
    • "Arrangement in Black and White"
  • Hughes, Langston
    • "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountains"
  • Hurston, Zora Neal
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Baldwin, James
    • "If Black English isnÕt a Language Then Tell Me, What is"

Unit 7: Post WW II

  • Welty, Eudora
    • "ÕPetrified Man"
  • OÕConnor, Flannery
    • "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
  • Kennedy, John F.
    • Inaugural Speech
  • Lowell, Robert
    • "For the Union Dead"
  • Wright, Richard
    • "The Man Who was AlmosÕ a Man"
  • Dylan, Bob
    • "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll"
  • Levertov, Denise
    • "Life at War"
    • "Overheard over S.E. Asia"
  • Rukeyser, Muriel
    • "Poem"
  • Goines, David Lance
    • "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie" from The Free Speech Movement: Coming of Age
  • Mirikitani, Janice
    • "Attack the Water"
  • Bishop, Elizabeth
    • "Sestina"
  • Plath, Sylvia
    • "Mirror"

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