1st nine weeks: Images of Society and Self/Freedom and Confinement Essential Questions



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English 12: Societal Topical Issues

Overarching Question: What is the importance of society and what factors support or destroy its cohesion?

Selected texts are not limited to, but include the following, but the reading selections may change according to the class’s needs.

1st nine weeks: Images of Society and Self/Freedom and Confinement

Essential Questions: How does point of view affect the interpretation of an image? Are liberty and justice for all attainable? When is the restriction of freedom a good thing?

Reading Selections: Images: “In the Shadow of the Image” Stuart Ewen and Elizabeth Ewen; “My Satirical Self” Wyatt Mason; “Juvenile Delinquency Films” James Gilbert; “The Stranger in the Photo is Me” Donald M. Murray; “Shadow Catcher” M. Scott Momaday

Freedom/Confinement : “The Man in the Well” Ira Sher; “The Lottery” Shirley Jackson; “The Ones who Walk Away From Omelas” Ursula K. LeGuin;” “The Price of Free Speech” Gerald Uelmen; “The Debates over Placing Limits on Racist Speech Must Not Ignore the Damage It Does to Its Victims” Charles R. Lawrence III; “Black Boys Play the Classics” Tori Derricotte
2nd nine weeks: Controversial Issues/Research and Documentation

Essential Questions: What are the responsibilities of the individual in regard to issues of social justice? What are the benefits and consequences of questioning/ challenging social order?

Reading Selections: Issues: “obesity: Who is Responsible for Out Weight,” Radley Balko; “Racial Profiling: should Airports Use It to Screen Passengers?” Clifford S. Fishman; “Single-Sex Classrooms:Do They Offer Advantages?” Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers; “Testing: What Value Do Tests Have?” Paul Goodman; “The Brain on Trial” David Eagleman; Other reading is dependent on self-selected topics.
3rd nine weeks: Gender Roles/Justice

Essential Questions: How do gender roles affect our identity and society’s expectations of us? What is social justice? Do we have choices concerning fairness and justice?

Reading Selections: Gender: “Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture” Ariel Levy; “I Stand Here Ironing” Tillie Olsen; “What is Beauty and How Do We Know It” Nancy Etcoff; “Trifles” Susan Glaspell; “Poof!” Lynn Nottage; “The Yellow Wallpaper” Charlotte Perkins Gilman; “Dear John Wayne” Louise Erditch; “My Last Duchess” Robert Browning; “My Ex-Husband” Gabriel Spera

Justice: “The Lesson” Toni Cade Bambara; “Incident” Countee Cullen; “Incident” Natasha Trethewey;

“The Chimney Sweeper” William Blake; “Capital Punishment” Sherman Alexie; “Worked and Overworked” Steven Greenhouse; “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Frederick Douglass; “A More Perfect Union” Barack Obama


4th nine weeks: Family and Community

Essential Questions: What impact does family have during different stages of our lives? How are people transformed through their relationships with others?

Reading Selections: A Raisin in the Sun Lorraine Hansberry; “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” Joyce Carol Oates; “The Story of an Hour” Kate Chopin; “Against Love” Laura Kipnis; “The Marriage Trap” Meghan O’Rourke; “Daddy” Sylvia Plath; “Everyday Use” Alice Walker; “The Rich Brother” Tobias Wolff; ‘forgiving my father” Lucille Clifton; “Legacies” Nikki Giovanni; “Heritage” Linda Hogan


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