Language Arts 700
Language Arts 700 is a thematic study of literature that explores accounts of earth, space, and survival. Throughout this course, students will delve into texts that span the genres of narrative fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and informational texts. Students will demonstrate their understanding of various works by analyzing how common themes like exploration, innovation, and courage are able to transcend diverse time periods and genres. They will also develop their writing skills as they focus on the six traits while producing argumentative, narrative, and expository compositions. With a strong emphasis on close reading instruction, research activities, and speaking and listening tasks, this course will help students expand their understanding of literature while building 21st century skills.
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 addition 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 high-quality contemporary works, the classics of American literature, and the timeless dramas of Shakespeare. English 700 students will be enriched as they expand their skills and confidence in English language arts through a comprehensive study that includes the following units:
Unit 1 - Skill Workshop: In this unit, students will review skills learned in previous courses, while demonstrating a grasp of literary analysis at the 6th grade level. Students will also have the opportunity to refresh their knowledge of writing, research, and content-area vocabulary.
Unit 2 – Lands of Ice and Snow: This unit focuses on mankind’s struggle with the wild elements of nature. The anchor piece for this unit is the story of a dog who is kidnapped and taken to the wilds of Alaska, where he must adapt and endure its rough terrain during the Klondike gold rush. The novel will highlight themes of survival and adaptation in the natural world. Students will also read a selection of poetry and nonfiction that will cause them to think about man’s relationship with nature, and our own mortality.
Unit 3 – Courage in Everyday Journeys: In this unit, students will consider the meaning of courage, both in fictional characters, and in real life. The anchor for this unit is the theatrical version of The Diary of Anne Frank, based on the true story that details the experience of a young girl who finds her life in danger during the Holocaust. Students will also be exposed to a collection that includes the fictional works of Mark Twain, the biography of Steve Jobs, and an historical essay by Susan B. Anthony. Throughout each selection, students will build on their understanding of characterization by comparing the courage of their fictional heroes with that of real men and women.
Unit 4 – Sea Journeys: The unifying theme of this unit is centered around the notion of exploration and discovery. Students will explore the concept of symbolism as they examine how different authors portray the sea as a symbol of adventure and freedom. They will view this symbol as a common thread that links the works of poetry, fiction, and articles throughout the unit. The focal point of the unit, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, will provide an opportunity for students to examine internal and external conflict as they follow the journey of self-discovery through the eyes of this mythological heroine.
Unit 5 – Extreme Frontiers: The focus of this unit highlights the journey of mankind in their quest to achieve the impossible. Through a collection of narrative fiction, literary nonfiction, biography, and essay, students will be exposed to themes of exploration and discovery. Anchoring this unit, is The First Men in the Moon, by H.G. Wells. Throughout the course of this science fiction text, students will examine the visionary quality of men who would dare to stand up to a challenge. Students will also develop their skill in writing and analyzing argumentative essays while learning new strategies to build vocabulary acquisition.
Unit 6 – Ancient Lands: This unit will take students on a journey into ancient history as they examine the link between mythological stories and contemporary ideas. As students connect with the mythical heroes of ancient Greece and Rome, they will observe the intersection between ancient culture and the values of our modern-day society. Throughout this collection of fictional stories and nonfiction articles, students will develop background knowledge of mythological constructs while considering the ways in which having an understanding of the past can shape our future.