English IV

By twelfth grade, students have repeatedly peered through the window to humanity that literature has opened for them. Through it, they have gained valuable perspective on their world, past and present. Their close-textual interaction with literature over the past three years should have heightened their appreciation for those texts, improved their critical and analytical skills in reading and writing, enhanced their speaking and listening abilities, and enriched their academic and personal vocabulary. The window will now open on selected works of European literature from the twelfth century through the twenty-first century. Students will approach this literature chronologically, so they can see the influences on and evolution of the ideas and forms. Writing, research, and speaking assignments will continue to focus on formulating and expressing ideas and arguments about the readings. Particular emphasis will be placed on gaining critical perspective on the relationship between content and form and on synthesizing ideas into clear and concise prose and presentations.

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, America's Founding Documents, Foundational American literature, and Shakespeare. English IV students will complete their climb up this staircase of skills through their study of the following units:

  • Unit 1 Framing Western Literature: Students will explore selected works of medieval literature and philosophy and draw connections between the two. Students will closely examine the narrative structure of the literary works and how that structure affects the content. They will explore literary elements such as allegory and satire, noting the way in which these elements reflect social and philosophical views.
  • Unit 2 Humanism: Students will explore selected philosophical and literary works of the Renaissance, looking closely at the value they place on human beings. Within the selected works, students will explore the humanist philosophy of secularism, the appreciation of worldly pleasures, and the emphasis on individual expression. They will compare the works of this period with those of the Middle Ages, looking at their differences and similarities. The writing focus will be on argumentation. The unit will culminate with a multimedia research project.
  • Unit 3 The Quest for Knowledge: In this unit, students will look at the philosophical and literary writings of the late seventeenth and the eighteenth century, focusing their emphasis on reform, reason, and science. Students will explore themes of man's divided nature, sin and redemption, economic inequality, vanity and hypocrisy. Special attention will be paid to the literary form known as satire and what it reveals about the author's purpose. Also included in this unit is a seminal work of science fiction.
  • Unit 5 Head and Heart: The focus of this unit will be on the conflict between reason and emotion that is prevalent in the literature and philosophy of the early nineteenth century and the emphasis on emotion in early romantic works. Students begin the unit by reading Austen's Sense and Sensibility, the novel that captures this conflict in its title and its characters. Students will read excerpts from Rousseau's philosophy on the nature of man which provides the philosophical basis for the romantic works that follow. The writing focus for this unit will be on deep revision. Students will examine revisions done by poets read in this unit. They will then create and revise their own narrative piece
  • Unit 6 The Individual and Society: This unit will focus on works and authors concerned with the place of the individual in society during the nineteenth century. As with other units, students will read some of the important philosophical works of the period and examine how those philosophies informed the works that follow. Students will write a literary analysis which compares/contrasts an idea in two of the works from the unit.
  • Unit 7 The Search for Meaning: This unit will focus on literature from the first half of the twentieth century and the philosophies that informed it. Students will explore how literary artists grappled with questions about the nature of existence, the meaning of life, the human psyche, and alienation. The unit will culminate with a multimedia research project which presents and evaluates different critical perspectives of a work of the student's choice.

Curriculum Content and Skill Focus

Unit 1: Framing Western Literature

  • Refining reading skills: summary, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in European literature and philosophy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious, philosophical)
  • Comparing and contrasting the treatment of a similar theme or topic in two or more works
  • Analyzing literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, theme, allegory, satire, character
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, tone, syntax, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing informational/philosophical texts: central ideas, key terms, interaction of ideas, point of view, purpose
  • Analyzing arguments: rhetoric, claim development, structure, purpose
  • Refining writing skills –
  • explanatory: responding to literature
  • argumentative: making a claim, supporting a claim, using valid reasoning, sequencing ideas, adapting to purpose, audience and task, using precise, domain-specific language, using the writing process
  • Refining research skills: web searches, challenging usage and vocabulary, evaluating credibility, reliability, validity,
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluating a speaker's point of view and reasoning, collaborating with peers, addressing alternate or opposing views in discussions, structuring ideas to be presented appropriate to audience and purpose, adapting speech to audience and purpose, speaking clearly in formal tone, using correct grammar and vocabulary
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 2: Humanism

  • Refining reading skills: summary, paraphrase, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in European literature and philosophy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious, philosophical)
  • Analyze different presentations and/or interpretations of a text
  • Compare and contrast the treatment of a similar theme or topic in two or more works
  • Analyzing literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, theme, allegory, satire, character
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, technical language, tone, syntax, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing informational/philosophical texts: central ideas, key terms, interaction of ideas, point of view, purpose
  • Analyzing and evaluating arguments: rhetoric, claim development, structure, purpose
  • Refining writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, synthesizing information, developing a thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, writing artful sentences, using precise, domain-specific, college-ready language
  • Refining research skills: web searches, challenging usage and vocabulary, gathering information representing a variety of perspectives, integrating material selectively and appropriately, making informed decisions and solving complex problems, distinguishing between quoted material and paraphrased ideas, 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
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluating a speaker's point of view and reasoning, collaborating with peers, addressing alternate or opposing views in discussions, structuring ideas to be presented appropriate to audience and purpose, adapting speech to audience and purpose, speaking clearly in formal tone, using correct grammar and vocabulary
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 3: The Quest for Knowledge

  • Refining reading skills: summary, paraphrase, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in European literature and philosophy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious, philosophical)
  • Analyze different presentations and/or interpretations of a text
  • Compare and contrast the treatment of a similar theme or topic in two or more works
  • Analyzing literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, theme, character, allegory, satire, irony, sarcasm, understatement, character
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, technical language, tone, syntax, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing informational/philosophical texts: central ideas, key terms, interaction of ideas, point of view, purpose
  • Analyzing and evaluating arguments: rhetoric, claim development, structure, purpose
  • Refining writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, compare/contrast, synthesizing information, developing a thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, writing artful sentences, using precise, domain-specific, college-ready language, using the writing process
    • argumentative: making a claim, supporting a claim, using valid reasoning, sequencing ideas, integrating information from collaboration, adapting to purpose, audience and task, and creating a works cited page, focusing on clarity and precision of expression, using the writing process
  • Refining research skills: web searches, challenging usage and vocabulary, evaluating sources, integrating material selectively and appropriately, making informed decisions and solving complex problems, distinguishing between quoted material and paraphrased ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any source, 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
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluating a speaker's point of view and reasoning, collaborating with peers, addressing alternate or opposing views in discussions
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 5: Head and Heart

  • Refining reading skills: summary, paraphrase, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in European literature and philosophy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious, philosophical)
  • Compare and contrast the treatment of a similar theme or topic in two or more works
  • Analyzing literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, theme, character, allegory, satire, irony, sarcasm, understatement, character
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, technical language, tone, syntax, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing and evaluating informational/philosophical texts: central ideas, key terms, interaction of ideas, point of view, purpose
  • Refining writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, synthesizing information, developing a thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, writing artful sentences, using precise, domain-specific, college-ready language, using the writing process
    • narrative: mimicking literary technique
  • Refining research skills: web searches, challenging usage and vocabulary, evaluating sources, integrating material selectively and appropriately, making informed decisions and solving complex problems,
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, evaluating a speaker's point of view and reasoning, collaborating with peers, addressing alternate or opposing views in discussions
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 6: The Individual and Society

  • Refining reading skills: summary, paraphrase, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in European literature and philosophy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious, philosophical)
  • Compare and contrast the treatment of a similar theme or topic in two or more works
  • Analyzing literary elements: narrative/poetic/dramatic structure, point of view, theme, character, conflict, irony, sarcasm, character
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, technical language, tone, syntax, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing and evaluating informational/philosophical texts: central ideas, key terms, interaction of ideas, point of view, purpose, rhetoric
  • Refining writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, conveying complex ideas clearly and accurately, developing a thesis, supporting a thesis, organizing complex ideas, using appropriate and varied transitions between ideas, distinguish between quoted material and paraphrased ideas, formatting quotations and works cited according to MLA guidelines, writing artful sentences, using precise, domain-specific, college-ready language, using the writing process
  • Refining research skills: web searches, challenging usage and vocabulary, evaluating sources, integrating material selectively and appropriately, distinguishing between quoted material and paraphrased ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any source, using correct MLA guidelines for formatting, citing sources within a text, and creating a works cited page,
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: listening to and analyzing speeches, creating presentations for evaluation; evaluating a speaker's point of view, reasoning, evidence, diction, tone, rhetorical strategies; collaborating with peers, expressing ideas clearly and persuasively in collaborative contexts
  • Strengthening language skills: conventions, knowledge, vocabulary acquisition and use

Unit 7: The Search for Meaning

  • Refining reading skills: summary, paraphrase, annotation, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation
  • Identifying explicit and implicit meaning in European literature and philosophy
  • Analyzing a text from multiple perspectives (historical, literary, psychological, religious, philosophical)
  • Analyzing and evaluating different presentations and/or interpretations of a text
  • Analyzing literary elements: narrative dramatic structure, point of view, theme, character, conflict, irony, sarcasm, character
  • Analyzing language: figurative language, technical language, tone, syntax, connotation, nuance, power, beauty
  • Analyzing and evaluating informational/philosophical texts: central ideas, key terms, interaction of ideas, point of view, purpose, rhetoric, narrative digressions, idiosyncrasies, exaggerations, and biases
  • Refining writing skills –
    • explanatory: responding to literature, relating a literary work to a philosophical work, conveying complex ideas clearly and accurately, developing writing topic thoroughly using a variety of effective supporting content, using appropriate and varied syntax and transitions, adapting writing content to task, purpose, and audience, using appropriate transitions and syntax to link ideas, establishing and maintain a formal and objective tone in expository writing, providing a conclusion that follows from and supports information presented, using writing process to develop and strengthen writing for purpose and audience, using technology to create, edit, and publish individual writing or shared writing projects, using college and career readiness level academic vocabulary in reading, writing, and speaking, varying sentence structure and syntax to convey a certain style or tone and to enhance reader understanding
  • Refining research skills: challenging usage and vocabulary, evaluating sources, integrating material selectively and appropriately, distinguishing between quoted material and paraphrased ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any source, using correct MLA guidelines for formatting, citing sources within a text, and creating a works cited page,
  • Participating in speaking and listening activities: collaborating with peers about complex topics
  • 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