Two senior courses that worked well for college prep students have a required semester one course with tradition titles followed by semester two their choice of an elective.
- Autobiographical Reading and Writing to prep for college essay
- Evaluating Literature based on Nine Yardsticks of Value
- Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles –Oedipus Rex Essay Assignment
- Hamlet by Shakespeare – Recitation Assignment, Hamlet in Your Own Words,
- Essay Assignment comparing student response and published critical essays about Hamlet
- Semester Project – Nobel Laureate author project with product and presentation
We read one assigned novel for each of three decades and then students selected one novel they have always wanted to read but never had time. In each case, the essential question that focused our discussions and writing was “In what way does this novel reflect the social, economical and political milieu of the times in which it was written?” This opened opportunities to link what they had and were learning in history, social studies and science.
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison – Unit of Assignments
- The Giver by Lois Lowry – to launch unit on Dystopia
- A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Essay Prompt – Connecting Literature to Current Events
- Monkey Bridge by Lan Cao Slides to introduce 1970’s and Vietnamese Culture
Rhetoric: Written and Oral
In the second, we first studied Aristotle’s art of rhetoric, read, viewed, discussed and analyzed speeches and essays, and then three full length fiction works looking at ways those rhetorical devices were used by characters in literature
- Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee – Unit outline
- A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt
- A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines – Journaling
The unifying tasks: What strategies do characters use to bring about a change in belief or behavior? How effective were they?
We watched films clips from each book, and considered similarities and differences in message from reading and viewing.
Students wrote essays and presented a variety of persuasive speeches to demonstrate their understanding of various strategies for argument and persuasion.
Closing event: Evening of Speech to a Guest Audience of family, friends, faculty, and administrator(s)