There is no one poem that represents the experience of African Americans in the United States, yet the history of racism in this country is seared deeply into the lives of many African Americans. “The Weakness” by Toi Derricotte recounts an experience with racism through the eyes of a young, light-skinned African American girl going shopping with her grandmother in a department store in 1945. The poems in The African American Experience offer a number of perspectives from African American poets that add a rich complexity to students’ perceptions of African American lives.
Students will view a reality television episode and read a news article related to reality television. Then students will complete a graphic organizer to create an argument for or against children participating in reality television. Students will apply supportive details for writing a persuasive paragraph.
In this lesson, students watch as the teacher models using details to describe a character in an Arnold Lobel fable. Then students work to use details to describe a character in another fable.
The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.
People often say that mankind should learn from history. Charles Dickens, whose books are considered classics, set his novel A Tale of Two Cities in the past. He wanted his readers to learn from the bloody French Revolution and from the widespread brutality in London. Both cities (Paris and London) offer the reader a glimpse into dark and dangerous times. As students read about Dickens's Victorian setting and learn his view of the French Revolution, they will think about what makes a just world. Students will have a chance to think about their own experiences, and, using techniques they have learned from Charles Dickens, they will do some writing that sends a message about your own world.
To complete the unit accomplishments, students will:
Read the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities.
Read several short pieces, including a biography of Dickens and excerpts from other literature, to help them understand Dickens’s world and the world of the novel.
Explore new vocabulary to build their ability to write and speak using academic language.
Practice close reading and participate in several role plays and dramatic readings to help them experience the dramatic writing style of Charles Dickens.
Write a vignette and a short narrative piece, and practice using descriptive detail and precise language.
Write a reflection about the meaning of Dickens’s novel.
These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.
How does good storytelling affect the reader, and how can a good story promote change in the world?
What was the Victorian view of gender roles?
How can power be abused?
What is loyalty ? What are the limits of loyalty?
In this lesson, after they envision the setting of the novel, students will hear about a tableau and take part in creating one for presentation to the class. Finally, students will consider ways in which Dickens creates suspense and mystery.
This site offers a series of photographs with titles from the era between 1886 and 1894 by John C. H. Grabill. Grabill is known as a western photographer, documenting many aspects of frontier life hunting, mining, western town landscapes and settlers relationships with Native Americans. Teachers can use these photographs for students to compare various interpretations of the same time period. Each photo can be enlarged for clarity.