Trenton public schools: curriculum guide for

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Course Description

The ultimate goal of Literature III is to develop a generation of learners who have had a robust and relevant education, reflecting the knowledge and skills that are necessary for success in an increasingly interconnected world. To this end, Literature III has been designed to make it more relevant and useful to students by focusing each literary unit around skills-based enduring understandings and essential questions. The units have been developed to provide students with a core education that accesses classic and modern texts. Through these texts, units provide opportunities for students to practice skills that will help them transition from high school to college to career. All of the activities in this guide are aligned to an enduring understanding and practice reading, writing, speaking, and production skills. Five distinct thematic units will offer a variety of language arts’ experiences’ relevant to the 21st century learner. The literature selected offers students an opportunity to evaluate full and excerpted texts, indiscriminate of culture and gender. Special emphasis has been placed on writing comparative analysis between fiction, non-fiction, and multimedia texts.

Pacing Guide


Unit Name




Approx. # of Total



The Making of Heroes



The Artist as Creator and Creation



Passion for Power



Consequences of Fate



Protecting Individual Rights


Unit 1: The Making of Heroes Pacing: 15-20 days

Content Area/Course: English Language Arts/Literature III

Stage 1- Desired Results

Common Core State Standards Addressed in this Unit

RL11.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what a text says explicitly as well as the inferences drawn from the text.

RL.11.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account, to provide an objective summary of the text.

RL.11.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g. where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed.)

RI.11.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of a text.

RI.11.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

RI.11.6 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.11.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience.

W.11.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

W.11.7 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

W.11.8 Gaither relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

SL.11.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

SL.11.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

L.11.3 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.

Big Idea: The ability to comprehend the particular conventions and characteristics of a genre is integral to a deeper understanding of an author’s intent.

Essential Questions Enduring Understandings

  • Students will understand that:

    • The ability to comprehend the particular conventions and characteristics of a genre is integral to a deeper understanding of an author’s intent.

    • Effective writing involves drafting, refining, and understanding the various elements of persuasive, expository, and narrative styles.

    • Close reading of text allows for more effective comprehension and analysis.

    • Collaborative discussions build on other’s ideas and allow for democratic self-expression.

    ● How does the structure of a text and use of language contribute to understanding literature?

    ●How do focus and organization contribute to writing an effective essay?

    ●How can different rhetorical effects be achieved through various storytelling techniques?

    ●How can learning the characteristics of the hero’s journey lead to analysis of textual, thematic connections?

    ●How do you determine authorial intent and style?

    • ?


Students will be able to:

●Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

●Comprehend key ideas and details.

●Comprehend craft and structure.

●Comprehend integration of knowledge and ideas.

●Use digital media strategically in presentations to enhance understanding and add interest.

●Interpret how the text supports key ideas with specific details.

● Analyze key ideas and details in a text as evidence to support.

● Reflect on key ideas and details in a text as evidence to support understanding of the text.

● Reference evidence from texts and research to support comments and ideas.

●Conduct steps for short as well as sustained research projects to answer a question.

●Recognize strong and thorough textual evidence within the text..

Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital resources.


Students will know:

●Characteristics of the hero’s journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell

●Patterns of Organization

●Chronological Order

● Cause and Effect

●Problem to Solution Order

●Compare and Contrast

●Thesis Statement



●Types of Archetypes

●Direct/Indirect Characterization

●Flat character

●Round character

●Dynamic character

●Static character

● Direct quotation

●Annotated Bibliography

● MLA format


What key knowledge and skills will students acquire as a result of this unit?

Stage 2- Assessment

What evidence will show that students understand?

Performance Tasks & Criteria

The Hero’s Journey Picture Book: After reading excerpts from A Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, students will create picture or comic books that show all key parts of the structure of a story about a journey. Picture/Comic books can be shared as an oral presentation or digitally. Each page of the storybook should be clearly labeled with the structural component of the journey that it represents.

The Organized Essay: Review patterns for organizing analytical essays. Provide students with sample writing samples organized in various ways. Label each piece with a letter or a number. Students will identify which pattern is represented in the sample. As an extension, students can select a pattern that best suits a given writing prompt. For students who have trouble organizing their writing, provide models and resources for sample writing samples: Transitions and Organizational Patterns or Patterns of Organization.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Students create a visual representation of metaphors, images, words, milestones, key lessons, and themes of their own personal journeys as a point of reflection and reinforcement of the characteristics of a journey. For students who have trouble organizing information, allow students to organize information visually, using tools such as Pinterest, etc.

Be A Storyteller: In their own words, students will tell the story of Beowulf. Their narrative should include a description of Grendel and give a detailed account of the battle. Their narrative should convey excitement and horror as well as capturing the audience’s attention.

Dialectical Journal: In a dual-column format, students will create a chart that tracks a protagonist’s characterization and growth throughout a text. Students should choose passages in which the character exhibits a major change. In the first column, students should record quotations that exhibit the protagonist’s appearance, thoughts, actions, and what other characters say or how they feel about the protagonist. In the second column, students should discuss what the quotation reveals about the character. For students who have trouble organizing information or who have difficulty with reading comprehension, provide a graphic organizer to chart a character’s growth throughout the text. Possible categories would be:strengths/ weaknesses, conflicts, etc. Teachers may also model a timeline of character’s progress.

My Character’s Journey: Students should create a picture of each character as an avatar, cartoon, or drawing. They should focus on clothing, style, facial expression, and background to convey the three main traits they have selected. Students should use their creation to develop a story in which the character goes on a journey. As an extension, students may discuss how their character’s journey fits the structure of a journey described in Joseph Campbell’s text. Use Voki or GoAnimate to create avatars/characters that talk to enhance the activity. These tools may replace hand-drawn sketches or 3D models. Students can post creations to share with classmates. Or, utilize and online sketching platform to create drawings of original characters. For students who have difficulty expressing their thoughts in writing, allow students to present ideas orally. The teacher can offer Venn Diagram model to document their characters vs. Campbell’s text.

Performance Tasks & Criteria:

(Align to New Jersey Model Curriculum & Common Core Standards)

Guess That Archetype: Play a clip of a current movie trailer or TV show to see if students can determine the archetypes involved. (Make sure they understand that it's not the characters' actions that determine their archetype, but the reasoning behind their actions.) Students can then work in pairs or individually to classify all of the characters in the literature being studied.

Chew On This: Either individually or in groups, students should pick a theme from the text. Students should create their own “Chew on This” for the theme they have chosen. These are essentially thesis statements about the theme—arguments to get

people thinking. Students should find three quotations from the text to support their thematic statement. These quotes should incorporate the setting, characters, and/or conflicts that show how these literary elements contribute to the message.

Students should create a way to spread this message in another form to their friends. They should present their “Chew on This” Statement and—explain why they think it's a solid argument.

Using audio-recording software, such as PodBeam or Apple’s GarageBand and iTunes, record and publish a two- to three-minute presentation to discuss themes or other topics to add an audio component. Students may also create a Twitter feed for the novel. Students can “tweet” thematic statements for “Chew On This” activity or use Twitter to have nightly

discussions on the novel. For students who have trouble analyzing, offer a pre-reading activity where

students can trace a theme from a film or piece of literature that they have already viewed/read and come up with a “chew on this” statement. The teacher can model of actual “chew on this” statement. For students who struggle with working independently, set up a “thematic forum” online for the class and have students share information. This can be in the form of a blog or Twitter discussion.

Unit 1: Common Assessment

Using teacher selected passage(s) from one of the pieces covered in this unit and teacher selected passage from Joseph Conrad’s Hero with a Thousand Faces, students will write a multi-paragraph essay that applies the structural characteristics of the journey to the passage or passages under examination. Specific textual evidence from at least three other non-fiction resources (print and/or multi-media) are to be used for support.

(e.g., tests, quizzes, prompts, work samples, observations)

Other Evidence:

(Align to New Jersey Model Curriculum & Common Core Standards)

Writing Forms

- Essays - Journalistic - Research

- Informational - Narrative - Reading Response

- I-Search - Poetry - Argumentative/Persuasive

- Analytical - Expository - Reflective
What other evidence needs to be collected in light of Stage 1 Desired Results?

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Instructional Activities/Strategies to enable students to achieve desired results:

(Align to New Jersey Model Curriculum & Common Core Standards)

Strategy: Anticipation Guides Strategy: Predict-O-Gram Writing

Strategy: Before, During and After Interactive Notes Strategy: Previewing and Generating Text Purposes

Strategy: Cause-Effect • Previewing Texts

• Cause-Effect Organizer(s) • Inform-Entertain-Persuade

• Fishbone Map • Checking Out the Framework

Strategy: Column Notes • SOAPS (Subject-Occasion-Audience-Purpose-Speaker)

• T-Chart Strategy: Quick Write-Free Write

• Fact or Opinion? Strategy: Time-Sequence

• Chapters/Selection Chart • Cycle Note-Taking

• Q-Notes • Linear Planning

Strategy: Compare/Contrast Strategy: Understanding Story

• Compare and Contrast Matrices • Writing From the Narrative Frame

• Venn Diagram • Narrative Organizer: Story Map

• Metaphorical Thinking • Linear Array Story Organizer

Strategy: Concept/Vocabulary Expansion Strategy: Visualizing and Recording Mental Images

• Define Conceptual Terms Strategy: Write-Pair-Share-Write

• Descriptions For Different Purposes Writing-To-Demonstrate Knowledge:

• Possible Sentences Technique: Writing Guidelines

• LINK: List-Inquire-Note-Know Technique: Process Writing

Strategy: Consolidating Thought Technique: Conferring

• Summarizing Technique: Invention

• Synthesizing • Generate Many Ideas: Brainstorming/Cubing

• Inferring • Nut-Shelling

• Discussion Web • Synectics

Strategy: CRAFTS: Context, Role, Audience, Format, Topic, and Strong Verb • SCAMPER

Strategy: Credibility Of a Source Technique: Principles Of Coherence

Strategy: FQIP: Focus-Question-Image-Predict Technique: Peer Reviewing

Strategy: Inquiry Charts Technique: Structures For Compare and Contrast

• I-Charts Technique: Orchestrating Organization

• KWLH Inquiry • Outline/Reverse Outline

Strategy: Idea Funnel • Webbing/Clustering/Mapping

Strategy: Journaling • Chunking

• Dialectical Journal Technique: Thinking Through Writing

• Double Entry Journal/Learning Log • Prompting Higher-Order Thinking

• Meta-Cognitive/Reflective Journal • Thinking Routines

• Synthesis Journal • Thinking On Paper

Strategy: Main Idea Technique: Using Rubrics For Backwards Planning

• Main Idea and Supporting Details Graphic • Traits Of Writing

• Spider Map • ACT

• Cerebral Chart • Rubric For Understanding

Strategy: Marginal Notes

Accommodations for ELL & Special Education Students:


Design instruction using audio and visual Provide summaries of chapters.

Use peer readers. Use marker to highlight important textbook sections.

Provide two sets of textbooks, one for home and one for school. Use index cards to assess learning

Provide the student with pre reading questions..


Vary assignment lengths according to student need. Jigsaw activities

Specify and list exactly what the student will need to learn to pass. Modify expectations based on student needs.

Give alternatives to long writing assignments.


Develop individualized rules for the student. Evaluate the classroom structure against the student’s needs.

Keep workspace clear of unrelated materials. Keep the classroom quiet during intense learning times.

Reduce visual distractions in the classroom . Provide a computer for written work.

Seat the student close to the teacher or a positive role model. Use a study carrel.

Seat the student away from windows or doorways. Provide an unobstructed view of material

Keep extra supplies of classroom materials (pencils books) on hand. Use alternatives to crossword puzzles or word finds.

Maintain adequate space between desks.


Project based learning based on learning style Scaffold instruction to support the learning process.

Give directions in small steps and in as few words as possible. Number and sequence the steps in a task.

Have student repeat the directions for a task. Provide visual aids.

Show a model of the end product of directions Stand near the student when instructing


Alert student before a transition from one activity to another. Provide additional time to complete a task.

Allow extra time to turn in homework without penalty. Use worksheets that require minimal writing.

Use fill-in questions with space for a brief response. Provide a photocopy of teacher notes.

Provide a print outline with videotapes and filmstrips. Provide a print copy of assignments or directions.


Go over directions orally. Teach the student how to take tests

Provide a vocabulary list with definitions. Permit as much time as needed to finish tests.

Allow tests to be taken in a room with few distractions Read test materials to the student, and allow oral responses.

Divide tests into small sections of similar questions or problems. Use true-false, multiple choice, or matching) instead of essays.

Allow the student to complete an independent project as an alternative test. Give progress reports instead of grades.

Grade spelling separately from content. Provide typed test materials, not tests written in cursive.

Allow take-home or open-book tests. Provide possible answers for fill-in-the blank sections.

Provide the first letter of the missing word.


Use Post-it notes to mark assignments in textbooks. Check progress regularly and provide feedback often.

Place a ruler under sentences being read for better tracking. Introduce an overview of long-term assignments .

Chunk information with the easiest work first. Have the student practice presenting in a small groups.

Provide study guides and study questions that directly relate to tests.


Arrange a “check-in” time to organize the day. Pair the student with a student who is a good behavior model.

Use nonverbal cues to remind the student of rule violations. Amend consequences for rule violations

Provide positive as well as negative consequences. Develop an individualized behavior intervention plan.

Increase the frequency and immediacy of reinforcement.

Accommodations for ELL & Special Education Students:

Anchor Activities: Tasks for students to work on independently after completing assigned work when teacher is meeting with other students.

Bloom's Taxonomy: A model to facilitate higher level thinking skills.

Centers : Areas in the classroom containing collections of activities and/or materials designed to reinforce, or extend certain skills or concepts, or to motivate students to explore topics of interest.

Choice Boards (Product Options): Students select from assignments that are placed in pockets and changed as necessary. Teachers can target student need and readiness by directing them to select from a certain row.

Compacting: A three-stage process where teachers assess students prior to teaching a unit or skill to determine what the student does know, does not know, and what alternate experiences will replace those activities already mastered.

Cubing (Q-Matrix): An interactive technique for considering a subject from six points of views. Cubing can also help students think at different levels of the taxonomy. Cubes can also be constructed with tasks in a particular area of the multiple intelligences.

Flexible Grouping: Temporarily grouping students by interest, achievement level (readiness), learning profile, activity preference, or special needs.

Graphic Organizers: A thinking tool that allows students to organize information and see their thinking. A visual representation of facts and/or concepts.

Group Investigations (Interest Groups & Interest Inventory): Students are introduced to topics related to something being studied in class and grouped by interests, then are guided through the investigation of a topic with teacher support.

Independent Study : Allows students to pursue questions or topics of interest, or develop talent in certain areas with set goals and criteria agreed upon by both student and teacher.

Inquiry-based instruction: A student-centered and teacher-guided instructional approach that engages students in investigating real world questions that they choose within a broad thematic framework

Jigsaw: A cooperative strategy where students work with peers who study one fact of a topic and then return to a "home-base" group for sharing what they have learned.

Literature Circles: A student led discussion format which allows students to read on topics of interest, or select books of choice, and share readings and ideas with others who read the same materials. Various jobs are assigned to the different group members.

Menus: A list of learning and/or product options students may choose from.

Multiple Intelligence Options (checklist included): Activities that allow us to recognize and nurture all of the varied human intelligences and learning preferences.

Orbital Studies: This strategy encourages students to raise questions of interest related to the curriculum, figure out how to find answers to their questions, and devise ways to share their findings with peers.

Portfolios: Collections of student work to help students set learning goals and evaluate their own growth.

Problem Based Learning: Students are presented with an unfamiliar, unclear, complex problem for which they must gather additional information, define the problem, locate and appropriately use resources, make decisions about and communicate a solution, and assess the effectiveness of the solution.

Socratic Seminar: A discussion format where students share with each other their thoughts on a particular piece from literature, history, current events, issues, or hypothetical situations.

Stations : Different spots in the classroom where students work with various tasks simultaneously which are linked by a set of concepts and skills.

Think, Pair, Share: A Questioning technique where the students are given a prompt or question. The students are asked to think by themselves, pair with another student, and finally share their ideas with the group.

Tic-Tac-Toe: A menu or options arranged in a 3 x 3 block grid. Students choose their tasks in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal line.

Tiered Assignments: Changing the depth or complexity of a. lesson to create multiple levels of tasks and assigning students to a level according to their readiness.

Web Quests: A teacher designed Internet lesson developed with specific learning goals in mind, some specified and relevant Internet links, and guidelines that support students in the research or inquiry process.

Unit Resources

Literary Texts:

McDougall Littell: Literature & Language 12

Selections from Beowulf’

And of Clay We Are Created Allende

Selections from The Iliad

The Man in the Water Rosenblatt

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Selections from Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy

Excerpts from A Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

Full text available at

The Aeneid Virgil The Internet Classics Archive at MIT

Inferno Dante

“The Seafarer”

“The Wanderer”

Internet Resources:’s_journey.htm#Hero

Jung and Archetypes

Technology Integration

  • YouTube:

  • TeacherTube:

  • Google Docs/Drive:

  • Google Maps:

  • Google Map Maker:

  • Skype:

  • Facebook:

  • Pinterest:

  • Edmodo:

  • Blogs:

  • Cicero:

  • Student Surveys: or

  • Word Clouds: or

  • Class Website:

  • Online Q & A:,, or

  • Podcasts: A multimedia digital file made available on the Internet for downloading to a portable media player, computer, etc.

  • WebQuests: is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. These can be created using various programs, including a simple word processing document that includes links to websites.

  • Interactive Whiteboards: a large interactive display that connects to a computer. A projector projects the computer's desktop onto the board's surface where users control the computer using a pen, finger, stylus, or other device.

  • Digital Cameras

  • Video Camera

  • Audio Visual Equipment

  • Microsoft Office

  • PowerPoint

  • Publisher

  • Excel

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