Fiction is truth's older sister
- Rudyard Kipling
English 10 is required of all sophomores. A major focus of the curriculum is driven by the state's CAPT exam, which all of Connecticut's 10th graders are required to take in the spring. Some helpful information from the state of Connecticut about CAPT. We spend time reading, writing and discussing literature in class. All of our writing is maintained within an in-class writing portfolio, which will then be part of a final assessment in June.
Students enrolled in English 10 have the option of taking the Honors Option, which involves completing additional work to show a larger breadth and depth of course content and skills. Information on the honors option is detailed here.
The following links should be checked regularly for updated assignments and resources needed for class:
The following units are some of those covered in the class.
A Separate Peace
Set during the height of World War II, John Knowles' novel tells the story of two friends at a private boarding school in New England. Gene Forrester, the narrator, looks back on his high school days, reflecting on his guilt and pain from a traumatic experience involving a close friend.
Students pursuing the honors option will compare A Separate Peace to The Kite Runner, a novel that explores many of the same themes. Both novels explore many of the same themes of jealousy, redemption, guilt, and friendship. Some of the essential questions for this unit include:
The major assessment of the unit will be a comparison essay. Click here for the assignment. (word document)
In preparation for the essay, students generated quotes from the novel related to Gene and Finny or connected to The Kite Runner.
A major emphasis of sophomore English is the reading of short stories. On CAPT, students will encounter a short story in the response to literature portion and be asked to answer four questions. Our work in class will help us prepare us both for that experience, and, hopefully, for a lifetime of fuller reading enjoyment. Many of the writing assessments will be graded following the state's CAPT expectations.
As you read, you must make notes to record your thinking about the story. Click here to see the different types of thinking good readers do, which we have discussed in class.
Additionally, there will be a compare/contrast essay required as part of the unit. Your essay needs to focus on significant elements of the stories, for example the conflicts, characterizations, symbolism, or themes.Click here to see the assignment. (Word document)
Note: Most short stories are taken from Contemporary Short Stories (McDougal, Littell: 1993)
A Midsummer Night's Dream- "Lord, what fools these mortals be!" As we read and act out Shakespeare's great comedy, we'll see just how true those words are. One significant resource I am using this year is The Folger Library's Shakespeare Set Free. Periodically throughout our study, students will be required to post regularly to the class blog here. In addition, check out the following helpful links:
Note: the model is best if downloaded into Google Sketchup and viewed in 3-D mode. Sketchup is a free download.
Alienation & Isolation Literature Circles unit The thrust of this unit will focus on the three novels listed below. Students will participate in classroom discussions based on the Literature Circle model. Each group will also be responsible for posting evidence of thinking and learning on the class wiki project page.
As usual with all units, students should regularly check the classroom blog for homework prompts and other assignments.
Poetry: Sound & Sense - For two weeks, we will explore the sound and sense of some pretty special poetry. A major focus will be on poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, and consonance, but many of the poems also contain similes and metaphors, two of the most common literary devices. Much of this unit is based on ideas from NCTE's wonderful ReadWriteThink.org page. The two major assessments will be a collaborative poetry analysis and three original poems. And don't forget to check the classroom blog for the latest homework assignments.
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds - A play with a long, strange name. The play, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its author Paul Zindel, tells the story of the Hunsdorfer family. At times disturbing and hilarious, Gamma Rays shows us just how fragile human beings can be.
To explore these questions, students choose from one of two futuristic classic novels, organize themselves into discussion groups and off they go. See also my Lit Circle resource page.
Media Debate Unit - Be ready for the class debate about video games and popular television. What responsibility does society have for what teens do or watch? Here is the assignment. Check here for some potentially helpful links. Many of these documents are in Microsoft Word 2000 format.
Dead Poets Society - The film provides a wonderful opportunity to "Seize the Day" and make a speech in front of your classmates. There are numerous options - a eulogy for Neil, love poems, readings of classic poems, even a graduation speech. And of course there's that silly Shakespeare play that you may have heard about...
The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros' touching and realistic story of a young Hispanic girl is told in a series of moving and enlightening vignettes. Cisneros uses a rich, poetic language to paint a picture of the poverty-stricken, gray world of Esperanza. We, too, created vignettes of our own.
During the unit we are guided by the following essential questions:
First week of class- Get to know what's going to happen in English 10. First, you will write your parents a letter that explains important expectations and impressions of your sophomore English class. And, of course, it's time to hand in your summer reading essay and get ready for your summer reading quiz.
All materials on this page were created by Christian "Bing" Miller, unless otherwise noted