New English 12 Class

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by WordsMeanThings, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. WordsMeanThings

    WordsMeanThings New Member

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    Jun 27, 2018

    I've been tasked with creating an English 12 class and I'm looking for some pointers. This will be taught in a block for one quarter for a half credit. Most of the students won't be attending a four year university (those students usually take the AP Lang or Lit course). I'm trying to figure out an appropriate amount of reading and texts to cover so that the course is still helping prepare them for a possible two year/tech school set up without overwhelming them to the point they do nothing. Right now I'm leaning toward Fahrenheit 451, Our Town, A Streetcar Named Desire and a novel of their choice for the big reading assignments, with additional articles and poems to be decided. This means students will be expected to read about 15-20 pages and write something related to the text each day. Appropriate? Too much? Too little? Any other suggestions or pointers for an upper-level course? I've spent the last 7 years teaching freshman.
     
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  3. tchr4vr

    tchr4vr Companion

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    Jun 27, 2018

    Wow! Only a quarter of English 12. I've never seen that. Everywhere I've taught, regardless of what your after school plans are, you have to take a full year of English each year.

    Anyway, on to your question. If the course if only a quarter, we're talking 8 weeks. Not sure of the reading interest and abilities of your class, but I think 4 works is a bit much. In my full year courses, I do a novel a quarter. I do two a quarter, plus a major project, for my AP students. Of course, this is on top of what's going on in class - short stories, nonfiction, poetry, etc.

    I would suggest focusing on practical reading and writing--resumes, contracts, letters, news, non-fiction pieces. Present them with reading and writing that they will use--how to write a resume and cover letter, interview skills. How to read contracts. How to read documents that they will encounter-tax forms, loan contracts, etc. Have them read/watch/listen to news and write critically about current events and things that affect the world they live in. I would also suggest lit circles. Choose two or three works and have small groups read those, and then do assignments weekly for assigned readings. I would not expect them to do 15-20 pages a night of assigned reading, but I don't know your students and their expectations. I second Fahrenheit 451, but I would stay away from Our Town. I personally love it, but I think most non-theatre students find it very dry--. Streetcar can work, however, a lot of students don't get the dynamics in the relationships. Can I suggest more recent works--Into Thin Air or Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Hidden Figures, I Am Malala, The Curious Case of Henrietta Lacks, The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Road or The Martian. In terms of plays, I would stay away from them, unless you have a group of students who are willing to act them out--plays really don't work well unless they are performed, no matter how good a reader you are--and if you have a reluctant group--they become very boring and then they have no interest in plays ever again.
     
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  4. WordsMeanThings

    WordsMeanThings New Member

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    Jun 27, 2018

    Thanks! We have a block schedule and require a half credit of speech, so they get their full credit of English senior year. The course load info was really helpful. I love Our Town too, but perhaps I cut that for The Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. I think we already have copies of that. Do you have any suggestions for interesting lessons on reading contracts, tax forms, etc.?
     
  5. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2018

    Our English 12 students create a current resume and cover letter. You could include that if looking for writing tasks.
     
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  6. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2018

    I would definitely utilize literature circles. I would also focus on more practical reading and writing skills: book reviews on Good Reads rather than full essays, etc. What other courses would most students be taking at the same time? Try to find topics that relate.
     
  7. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jun 28, 2018

    I don’t think anyone should graduate high school without reading 1984, but that’s just me! I taught seniors for many years and have tons of resources. Do you have access to technology? My seniors did resumes using the website Canva, which has a slew of free templates. Since most applications are done digitally these days, I thought that was appropriate, and many turned out beautifully! I also taught a cover letter format, and pulled up several local jobs from a website. Students “applied” to one of these as part of the assignment. I taught both British literature and the CSU Expository Reading and Writing Course, which is centered around thematic modules and mostly nonfiction reading. PM me if you’d like to know about any of that.
     
  8. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jun 28, 2018

    I feel like that's a lot for such a short time! I'd do one long work and then a lot more smaller things. I love using "A Modest Proposal" to do a satire unit. The students end up writing their own satire piece at the end.
    Research skills are huge for my seniors too. We do a big argumentative paper.
     

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