Revamping Senior Courses?


Two senior courses that worked well for college prep students have  a required semester one course with traditional titles followed by semester two their choice of an elective.

The first semester REQUIRED includes the traditional classic titlesHamlet recitation
Ralph EllisonModern Novel (20th or 21st Century)

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.

Rhetoric: Written and Oral

In the second, we first studied Aristotle’s art of rhetoric, read, viewed, discussed and analyzed speeches Speakingand essays, and then three full length fiction works looking at ways those rhetorical devices were used by characters in literature

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)

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