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English 4

English 4

High School

English Language Arts

Course Description:

By grade twelve, students read two million words annually, including a wide variety of classic and contemporary literature, magazines, newspapers, and online information. English 4 focuses on British literature, beginning with the Anglo-Saxons and extending through modern and contemporary literature. Students analyze both the features and the rhetorical devices of different types of public documents; analyze the way in which clarity of meaning is affected by the patterns of organization, hierarchical structures, repetition of the main ideas, syntax, and word choice in the text; and critique the power, validity, and truthfulness of arguments set forth in public documents. They will write clear, coherent essays that contrast the major literary forms, techniques, and characteristics of the major literary periods; relate literary works and authors to the major themes and issues of their eras; and evaluate the philosophical, political, religious, ethical, and social influences of the historical period that shaped the characters, plots, and settings.

Semester 1

Unit 1: Origin of a Nation
Texts from the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Periods including Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Le Morte d’Arthur

Unit 2: A Celebration of Human Achievement
Texts from the English Renaissance including The Tragedy of Hamlet and William Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Unit 3: Tradition and Reason
Texts from the Restoration and the 18th Century including A Modest Proposal, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and The Journal and Letters of Fanny Burney

Semester 2

Note: if the following section is blank the course is 1 semester long

Unit 4: Emotion and Experimentation
Texts from the Romantic Period including the poems of William Wordsworth, Frankenstein, and Ode on a Grecian Urn

Unit 5: An Era of Rapid Change
Texts from Victorian Literature including Jane Eyre, The Lady of Shalott, and Great Expectations

Unit 6: New Ideas, New Voices
Texts from Modern and Contemporary Literature including The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, A Village After Dark, and A Cup of Tea

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