In English 11, students examine the belief systems, events, and literature that have shaped the United States. Starting with the Declaration of Independence, students explore how the greatest American literature tells the stories of individuals who have struggled for independence and freedom: freedom of self, freedom of thought, freedom of home and country. Students reflect on the role of the individual in Romantic and Transcendentalist literature that considers the relationship between citizens and government, and they question whether the American Dream is still achievable while examining Modernist disillusionment with American idealism. As well, reading the words of Frederick Douglass and those of the Civil Rights Act, students look carefully at the experience of African Americans and their struggle to achieve equal rights. Finally, students reflect on how individuals cope with the influence of war, cultural tensions, and technology in the midst of trying to build and secure their own personal identity.
Students break down increasingly complex readings with close reading tools, guided instruction, and robust scaffolding as they apply each of the lesson's concepts back to its anchor text. Students build their writing and speaking skills in journal responses, discussions, frequent free response exercises, and essays or presentations, learning to communicate clearly and credibly in narrative, argumentative, and informational styles.
This course is built to state standards.
This course has required materials. For more information, see the Course Materials List.