The New World This four-week unit, the first of six, allows students to experience the earliest American literature and note the contemporary endurance of some of its themes. Rate this Unit Show All



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Grade 11  Unit 1

The New World

This four-week unit, the first of six, allows students to experience the earliest American literature and note the contemporary endurance of some of its themes.



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OVERVIEW

    • The first eleventh-grade unit focuses primarily on nonfiction prose—including sermons and diaries—and some poetry from seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century America. Students examine the works of some of the earliest settlers in various parts of the “New World.” They consider the significance of the intersection of Native American, European, and African cultures. They explore whether conflicts were inevitable and how language and religion served as both barriers and as bridges. Students look for emerging themes in American literature, such as the “new Eden” and the “American Dream.” Finally, works of art from the period are examined for their treatment of similar themes.



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FOCUS STANDARDS

    • These Focus Standards have been selected for the unit from the Common Core State Standards.

      • RL.11–12.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

      • RL.11–12.9: Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.

      • RI.11–12.6: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

      • W.11–12.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

      • SL.11–12.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

      • L.11–12.3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

Common Core State Standards, ELA



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SUGGESTED OBJECTIVES



      • Identify emerging themes in early American literature, such as a "new Eden," "salvation," and "cooperation and conflict."

      • Compare and contrast the experiences of America’s earliest settlers, as conveyed through primary source documents and literature of the Colonial period.

      • Identify and explain elements of Puritan literature.

      • Explain "preaching" as a type of formal speech and explain its role in the "First Great Awakening."

      • Explain the role of religion in early American life.



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SUGGESTED WORKS reviewable

LITERARY TEXTS

      • Drama

        • The Crucible (Arthur Miller) (EA)

      • Poetry

        • An Almanack for the Year of Our Lord 1648 (Samuel Danforth) (selections)

        • “An Hymn to the Evening” (Phillis Wheatley) (EA)

        • “On Being Brought from Africa to America” (Phillis Wheatley) (E)

        • “The Day of Doom” (Michael Wigglesworth)

        • “The Sot-Weed Factor” (Ebenezer Cook)

        • “To His Excellency General Washington” (Phillis Wheatley) (EA)

        • “To My Dear and Loving Husband” (Anne Bradstreet)

        • “Upon a Spider Catching a Fly” (Edward Taylor)

        • “Upon the Burning of Our House” (Anne Bradstreet)

INFORMATIONAL TEXTS

Autobiographies



      • A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (Mary Rowlandson)

      • The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover, 1709-1712 (William Byrd) (excerpts)

Nonfiction

      • A Key into the Language of America (Roger Williams) (excerpts)

      • Of Plymouth Plantation (William Bradford) (excerpts)

      • The Bloody Tenent of Persecution, for Cause of Conscience (Roger Williams) (excerpts)

      • "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” (Langston Hughes) (EA)

      • The Selling of Joseph: A Memorial (Samuel Sewall)

      • "The Trials of Phillis Wheatley” (Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) (excerpts)

Speeches

      • “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” (July 8, 1741) (Jonathan Edwards)

ART, MUSIC AND MEDIA

      • Art

        • Charles Willson Peale, Mrs. James Smith & Grandson (1776)

        • John Singleton Copley, Mrs. George Watson (1765)

        • John Valentine HaidtYoung Moravian Girl (ca. 1755-1760)

        • Joseph Wright (Wright of Derby), Portrait of a Woman (1770)



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SAMPLE ACTIVITIES AND ASSESSMENTS reviewable

    • Note:  After reading and discussing a work or pairing of works as a class, students prepare for seminars and essays by reflecting individually, in pairs, and/or in small groups on a given seminar or essay question. In this way, students generate ideas. (Seminar and essay assignments may include more than one question. Teachers may choose one or all of the questions to explore in the course of the seminar; students should choose one question for the essay.) Seminars should be held before students write essays so that they may explore their ideas thoroughly and refine their thinking before writing. Textual evidence should be used to support all arguments advanced in seminars and in all essays. Page and word counts for essays are not provided here, but teachers should consider the suggestions regarding the use of evidence, for example, to determine the likely length of good essays.

Scoring Rubric for Seminar

Reading Literature, Performance

Select a one- to two-minute passage from one of the texts and recite it from memory. Include an introduction that states:



Record your recitation using a video camera so you can evaluate your performance for accuracy. (RL.11-12.9, SL.11-12.6)

Reading Informational Text, Argument Writing

In his essay "The Trials of Phillis Wheatley” Henry Louis Gates, Jr. discusses Wheatley’s critics. He notes that her "trials” began when her white contemporaries doubted her ability to write. Today, Gates says, her "trials” continue. In the conclusion to his essay, Gates suggests that Wheatley’s critics miss a crucial point: "The challenge isn’t to read white, or read black; it is to read. If Phillis Wheatley stood for anything, it was the creed that culture was, could be, the equal possession of all humanity.” Write an argument in which you agree or disagree with Gates; use evidence from Wheatley’s work to support your position. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to share your initial thoughts on the classroom blog in order to get feedback from your classmates. (RL.11-12.1, RI.11-12.1, W.11-2.1)



Language Usage

Examine one of the texts studied in this unit for usage (e.g., words or conventions) that differs from contemporary usage. Discuss with classmates online or in class whether and/or how the meanings of words and/or sentence structure has changed since that time. "Translate” instances of antiquated syntax into contemporary sentences; determine whether and/or how the meaning of the sentence is affected by the translation. (L.11-12.1a)



Argument Writing

Seminar: Could some contemporary American approaches to religion be traced to Puritan origins? Why or why not? Write an argument in which you use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support your position. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to share your initial thoughts on the classroom blog in order to get feedback from your classmates. (RI.11-12.4, RI.11-12.9, W.11-12.2)

Art, Speaking and Listening

Examine the artworks listed. What does each image show about "young America”? Examine the Copley painting in comparison to the Haidt. What can you learn about each of these women and their lives in America? How are the women different? Carefully examine the iconography present in each image. Compare the Peale, Copley, and Wright paintings. What can we learn about the new nation from the way these painters worked? Do you detect a European influence? What stylistic aspects or materials might American artists be borrowing from England, judging by the similarities between the Wright (English) and Copley or Peale (American) portraits? (SL.11-12.2, SL.11-12.3)



Reading Poetry, Reading Informational Text, Informative Writing

Seminar: Select one passage from one of the poems and one from one of the informational texts that treat a similar theme (e.g., "On Being Brought from Africa to America” and Of Plymouth Plantation. How are the themes revealed in the different genres? What different techniques or literary devices do the authors use to convey theme? Write an informative/explanatory essay in which you use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support an original thesis statement. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to share your initial thoughts on the classroom blog in order to get feedback from your classmates. (RL.11-12.2, W.11-12.2, W.11-12.9, L.11-12.5)

Reading Informational Text, Argument Writing

After reading excerpts from "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God,” write an argument that explains why you think early settlers were persuaded by Edwards’s sermon. Note evidence from the text to support your thesis. (RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.2, W.11-12.1)



Reading Literature, Argument Writing

Seminar: "Does Anne Bradstreet’s work typify or differ from the other Puritan literature that you have read?” Write an argument in which you use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support your position. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to share your initial thoughts on the classroom blog in order to get feedback from your classmates. (RL.11-12.9, W.11-12.9, SL.11-12.1)

Speaking and Listening

Reflect on seminar questions, take notes on your responses in your journal or on a shared spreadsheet, and note the page numbers of the textual evidence you will refer to in your seminar and/or essay answers. Share your notes with a partner for feedback and guidance. Have you interpreted the text correctly? Is your evidence convincing? (RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.10, SL.11-12.1)



Film, Reading Literature, Argument Writing

Seminar: View a staged or film version of The Crucible. Then discuss this question: Is John Proctor a tragic figure? Why or why not? Compare him to other tragic figures studied in ninth grade, such as Oedipus Rex. Write an argument in which you use at least three pieces of textual evidence to support your position. Your teacher may give you the opportunity to share your initial thoughts on the classroom blog in order to get feedback from your classmates. (RL.11-12.3, RL.11-12.7)



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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES reviewable



      • Africans in America (Part 1) (PBS) (RL.11-12.1, RI.11-12.1, LS.11-12.1)

      • The First Great Awakening (National Endowment for the Humanities) (RI.11-12.2, RI.11-12.3) 543211

      • Religion and The Founding of the American Republic (Library of Congress) (RI.11-12.2, RI.11-12.3)



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TERMINOLOGY



      • Allegory

      • Apostrophe

      • Conceit

      • Covenant of grace

      • Didactic poetry

      • The great awakening

      • Idealism

      • Lyric poetry

      • Oxymoron

      • Parallelism

      • Pragmatism

      • Sermon


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