12th Grade English

The first semester of 12th grade English focuses on the study of tragedy. The second semester explores the theme of destiny in literature. The aim of this course is to ensure that students are prepared to succeed in college level English courses. They analyze challenging texts, engage in discussions and debates and write multiple analytical essays, each demanding the creation of a complex thesis and the support of textual evidence.

Readings: 
Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
Antigone, Sophocles
Othello, Shakespeare
A View From the Bridge, Arthur Miller
The Laramie Project, Moises Kaufman
Poetics, Aristotle
Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel
Flight, Sherman Alexie
Choice of either: Thousand Splendid Sons, Lesson Before Dying, Sectret Life of Bees, Breath Eyes Memory
Significant Assignments: 

Analytical essay on the conflict between moral law and state law in Antigone

Analytical essay exploring who is to blame for the death of Desdemona in Othello

Final exam covering all the texts. Requires identification and analysis of significant quotations and theme-based questions

Scene performance. At the end of the semester, students form groups which each select a scene from one of the plays we have read that they feel is important. Students collaborate to fully analyze the scene, write a director’s vision for the scene, create blocking and perform it for the class.

"Is Tita a positive female character" essay on Like Water for Chocolate

After reading a college level book on their own, students then lead an analytical discussion with an adult who has read the same book

Significant Activities or Projects: 

Debate on who is the most tragic tragic hero

Roundtable in which each student must present and defend the work from the semester to an adult member of the school community

Modern adaptation of Antigone. Students are asked to create a scene that incorporates the central themes and conflicts of Antigone

Students work with actors from the Shakespeare society to study Othello as actors.

Sample PBATs: 
Analytical essay determining whether Oedipus is a victim of fate or free will
"The Conflict Between Moral Law and State Law in Antigone and View From the Bridge"
"The Role of Gender in the Tragedies of Desdemona and Antigone"
Both Like Water for Chocolate and Flight portray powerless characters who struggle to empower themselves. How do Tita and Zits struggle? How do their individual journeys contribute to this struggle?
Love is expressed in different forms: familial, friendly, romantic, or even self-love. How do Tita and Zits learn the meaning of love? Examine what forces make love hard for both characters and how they either overcome or fail to overcome these obstacles to love.
How does the structure of each novel, particularly the use of magic realism in Like Water for Chocolate and the magic of time travel in Flight, help deepen the journey of each character?