What makes a monster? Students will grapple with this question as it applies to both traditional and nontraditional monsters in literature. In doing so, students will consider the following questions: What are the characteristics of a monster? How does a monster reflect the society he exists in? What role do monsters play within a society or culture? Do we need monsters? And Can a human be a monster? Texts include: excerpts from Beowulf, Grendel, The Tempest, and Heart of Darkness.
Essay 1: What makes Grendel monstrous? Was his monstrosity innnate or learned?
Essay 2: In Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Hank Rogerson’s Shakespeare Behind Bars, we observe characters – both the fictional characters in the play and the real-life inmates in Luther Luckett Correctional Facility – who have committed truly monstrous acts: murder, conspiracy to murder, sexual molestation, and rape among other heinous crimes. And yet ultimately these works seem to be less focused on what it means to be a monster than what it means to be human.
Your task is to answer this complex question: In The Tempest and Shakespeare Behind Bars, What does it mean to be human?
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.
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
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.
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 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.
Do you want to travel abroad? have you ever read a book written by someone from Colombia, Haiti, India or Afghanistan for example? Do you want to go to any of these places? What do writers from these countries have to tell us?
In this class we will read novels and short stories written by authors from around the world particularly with an eye towards writers coming from "developing countries." Not only will we read these books but we will also see a fair share of foreign films as well We will go globe trotting, right within the confines of our class!
Students are expected to write two (2) typed comparative essays. These papers should be a minimum of 5 pages.
Students write a typed weekly response essay anywhere between 1 -2 pages. Students can respond either to the readings, films or other text introduced to the class.
Weekly quizzes are given.
Students find reviews of the films and write their own reviews either critiquing or supporting the positions taken by the reviewers.