English 400 Syllabus & Objectives British Literature Survey

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English 400 Syllabus & Objectives

British Literature Survey


Literary Skills Emphasized

Sample Assignments, Projects

State Standards

WRITING (throughout year):

  • Expository (analysis, comparison / contrast, short research)

  • Reflective (for scholarship essays)

  • Introduction, body, conclusion, transitions, thesis, topic sentences

  • Internal documentation

  • Voice, point of view

  • Compare / contrast Macbeth with another tragedy

  • Compare / contrast two examples of satire

  • Write personal reflection as a response to another essay

Writing: The students write effectively for a variety of audiences, purposes, and contexts.

Reading, Benchmark 3:

2. locates and uses reference materials available in the classroom school, and public libraries (e.g., dictionaries, thesauri, atlases, encyclopedias, internet) that are appropriate to the task.

LANGUAGE (first quarter)

  • History of English language

  • Usage review (as ACT review)

  • Etymology of words

  • Connotation, denotation

  • Comma usage

  • Sentencing

  • Tone, style

  • Create timeline of English language history

  • Pre- and post-test using ACT’s

Reading : The student reads and comprehends text across the curriculum.

Benchmark 3: The students expands his vocabulary.

▲ determines meaning of words through structural analysis, using knowledge of ▲Greek, ▲Latin, and Anglo-Saxon ▲roots, ▲prefixes, and ▲suffixes to understand complex words, including words in science, mathematics, and social studies.

Writing: The student uses effective word choice, clear & fluent sentences, and standard American English conventions.

LITERATURE: British lit survey

  1. Anglo-Saxon through Middle English

    • Beowulf

  • Epic, epic hero, tone, foreshadowing, alliteration, caesura, assonance, consonance

  • Compare / contrast on charts Beowulf with example of more modern fictional hero, using definitions / explanations in video “The Epic Hero.”

Reading: The student expands vocabulary.

Benchmark 3: The students expands his vocabulary.

4. ▲ identifies, interprets, and analyzes the use of figurative language, including similes, metaphors, analogies, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, personification, idioms, imagery, and symbolism.

5. discriminates between connotative and denotative meanings and interprets the connotative power of words.
Benchmark 4: The student comprehends a variety of texts

2. ▲ understands the purpose of text features (e.g., title, graphs/charts and maps, table of contents, pictures/illustrations, boldface type, italics, glossary, index, headings, subheadings, topic and summary sentences, captions, sidebars, underlining,

numbered or bulleted lists, footnotes, annotations) and uses such features to locate information in and to gain meaning from appropriate-level texts.

3. uses prior knowledge, content, and text type features to make, to

revise, and to confirm predictions.

4. generates and responds logically to literal, inferential, evaluative, synthesizing, and critical thinking questions before, during, and after reading the text.

5. ▲ uses information from the text to make inferences and draw conclusions

6. ▲ analyzes and evaluates how authors use text structure (e.g., sequence, problem-solution, comparison-contrast, description, cause-effect) to help achieve their purposes

7. ▲ compares and contrasts varying aspects (e.g., characters' traits and motives, themes, problem-solution, cause-effect relationships, ideas and concepts, procedures, viewpoints, authors' purposes, persuasive techniques, use of literary devices, thoroughness of

supporting evidence) in one or more appropriate-level texts.

8. ▲ explains and analyzes cause-effect relationships in appropriate level narrative, expository, technical, and persuasive texts.

9. ▲ uses paraphrasing and organizational skills to summarize information (stated and implied main ideas, main events, important details, underlying meaning) from appropriate-level narrative, expository, technical, and persuasive texts in logical or sequential order, clearly preserving the author's intent.

10. ▲ identifies the topic, main idea(s), supporting details, and theme(s) in text across the content areas and from a variety of sources in appropriate-level texts.

11. ▲ analyzes and evaluates how an author’s style (e.g., word choice, sentence structure) and use of literary devices (e.g., foreshadowing, flashback, irony, symbolism, tone, mood, satire, imagery, point of view, allusion, overstatement, paradox) work together to achieve his or her purpose for writing text.

14. ▲ identifies the author's position in a persuasive text, describes techniques the author uses to support that position (e.g., bandwagon approach, glittering generalities, testimonials, citing authority, statistics, other techniques that appeal to reason or emotion), and evaluates the effectiveness of these techniques and the credibility of the information provided.
Literature: The student responds to a variety of text.

Benchmark 1: The student uses literary concepts to interpret and respond to text.

1. ▲ identifies and describes different types of characters (e.g., protagonist, antagonist, round, flat, static, dynamic) and analyzes the development of characters.

2. ▲ analyzes the historical, social, and cultural contextual aspects of the setting and their influence on characters and events in the story or literary text.

3. ▲ analyzes and evaluates how the author uses various plot elements (e.g., problem or conflict, climax, resolution, rising action, falling action, subplots, parallel episodes) to advance the plot and make connections between events.

      1. analyzes themes, tone, and the author’s point-of-view across a variety of literary works and genres using textual evidence and considering audience and purpose.

      2. identifies, analyzes, and evaluates the use of literary devices (e.g., foreshadowing, flashback, irony, figurative language, imagery, symbolism, satire, allusion, paradox, dialogue, point of view, overstatement) in a text.

Benchmark 2: The student understands the significance of literature and its contributions to various cultures.

  1. recognizes ways that literature from different cultures presents similar themes differently across genres.

  2. compares and contrasts works of literature that deal with similar topics and problems.

  3. evaluates distinctive and shared characteristics of cultures through a variety of texts.

    • Ballads

  • Ballad form & subjects, feet

  • Similar themes / different cultures

  • Bring examples of modern ballads to class to assess

    • Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Prologue or one tale)

  • Frame story, satire (both Horatian and Juvenalian), direct & indirect characterization

  • Text features

  • Research an area of Medieval life and put together a two-page spread for a textbook on that subject

  1. Renaissance through Elizabethan times

  • Sonnets (second quarter)

  • Scansion, rhyme scheme, Italian & English sonnets, octave, sestet, quatrain, volta

  • Scan poems, write iambic pentameter (in groups); write a sonnet.

  • Watch excerpt from Yes, a movie written in iambic pentamenter

    • Shakespeare (Macbeth)

  • Tragedy, tragic hero, elements of plot (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution / denouement), epiphany, hamartia, catharsis, symbolism, motif, irony, metaphor, blank verse, heroic couplet

  • Show A Face in the Crowd, having students keep a chart of elements of tragedy as they watch.

  • Write c/c essay comparing Lonesome Rhodes to Macbeth & deciding which is better tragic hero / tragedy.

  1. Restoration

  • Samuel Pepys’ Diary

  • Swift – Gulliver’s Travels

  • Diaries, journals

  • Satire (review from first semester)

  • Age of Reason / Rationalism

  • Turn Pepys excerpt into Twitter entries.

  • Discuss importance of private writing in public arena (blogging, texting, email, etc.)

  • Watch two examples of modern satire; write comparison contrast essay

  1. Romantics (poetry) (fourth quarter)

    • Blake, Gray, Burns

    • Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Keats

  • Characteristics of romanticism

  • Ballad form (review from first semester)

  • Alliteration, caesura, assonance, consonance, imagery, metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, diction

  • Do storyboard for graphic novel of Rime of the Ancient Mariner excerpt

  • Discuss / write about use of title from Burns poem for Of Mice and Men

  1. Victorian Age

  • Poetry: Tennyson “Ulysses,” Robert Browning “My Last Duchess,” Thomas Hardy “Ah, Are You Digging on My Grave?”

  • Dickens, C. Bronte (excerpts from Hard Times, Jane Eyre)

  • Dramatic readings

  • Group comparison / contrast of one of the excerpts with modern American education

  1. 20th Century Short Story

  • Orwell “Shooting an Elephant”

  • Wm Trevor “The Distant Past”

  • Conrad “The Lagoon”

  • Nadine Gordimer “The Train from Rhodesia”

  • Anita Desai “A Devoted Son”

  • Characteristics of modernism

  • Review of plot elements

  • Review of epiphany in short story

  • Focus on point of view, diction, tone, and themes of various cultures

  • Individual short story analysis over chosen story / present to group


  • Study of prefixes, suffixes from Plug-In

  • Study of root words

  • Word study through text materials

  • Write original sentences on given topic

  • Invent new words from word parts; define and write complete dictionary entry

Reading, Benchmark 3: The students expands his vocabulary.

1. ▲ determines meaning of words or phrases using context clues (e.g., definitions, restatements, examples, descriptions, comparison-contrast, clue words, cause-effect) from sentences or paragraphs.

3. ▲ determines meaning of words through structural analysis, using knowledge of ▲Greek, ▲Latin, and Anglo-Saxon ▲roots, ▲prefixes, and ▲suffixes to understand complex words, including words in science, mathematics, and social studies.

  1. INDEPENDENT READING: Accelerated Reader (1 per quarter; must pass with 70%)

  • Two novels of choice, appropriate grade level

  • Two classic American or British novels / plays

  • Take AR practice quizzes over free novels

  • Take AR literary quizzes over classics

Reading, Benchmark 4: The student comprehends a variety of texts

12. establishes purposes for both assigned and self-selected reading (e.g., to be informed, to follow directions, to be entertained, to solve problems).

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