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, students will think about illustrating A Tale of Two Cities. They will consider what makes a good illustration and learn about Dickens’s most famous illustrator.
In this lesson, students will explore the ways that Dickens points his readers at meaning through symbolism, and they will consider Dickens’s opinion of the Revolution.
Teachers can use this lesson to introduce or examine in depth the concept of heroism through discussions of heroic actions and character.Students will look at images of military, religious, political, and everyday heroes and heroines and discuss their lives and the effects of their deeds. For the purposes of this lesson, heroes are defined as figures who have great strength and ability and are admired for their achievements. They may risk or sacrifice their lives for others or may be noted for special achievement in a particular field.
In this lesson students will: Identify character traits of heroes and heroines; Apply critical-thinking skills to consider the various choices artists have made in depicting heroes; Make personal connections to the theme by identifying heroes and heroines in their own lives.