Senior Lit: Tragedy & Comedy

In this course, students explore the nature of tragedy and comedy. They read poetry by classic writers including Robert Browning and Robert Frost and contemporary writers, including Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni and more. They read a number of short-stories, excerpts from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the play Fences by August Wilson and Othello and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. They study the elements of comedy, as well as the elements of tragedy and what it means to be a tragic hero.

Students write five major analytical essays throughout the year and complete a number of creative projects to showcase their mastery over the texts and literary devices they studied.

"Everyday Use" by Alice Walker
Excerpts from "Autobiography of Malcolm X"
"Fences" by August Wilson
"Othello" by William Shakespeare
"Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare
Selection of poetry and short stories related to themes of the class
Media Used: 
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Significant Assignments: 

Students choose three texts and two themes that we have studied this year and construct a well organized essay in which they use evidence from all three texts to prove how those themes are developed and connected in the texts they chose. They must also include a discussion of literary techniques used to demonstrate mastery.

Students create a series of letters from the perspective of Malcolm X that showcase his character development before and after he educated himself in prison.

Students create artistic collages made of work they completed for Othello. They display and defend their collages to students and staff members during a formal gallery walk.

Students participate in class-wide debates, based on short stories they have read. The focus is on a controversial issue raised by the authors. Students must collect evidence and then debate and articulate their ideas in front of the class.

Sample PBATs: 
What have authors taught me about crafting an adult life? Develop a perspective (or theme) of your own, and use examples and quotations from at least two works of literature we have read this term to support your perspective. Cite all additional evidence used.