After studying utopian literature, students design their own utopian society, publishing the explanation of their ideal world on a blog. As they blog about their utopia, students establish the habits, practices, and organizing social structures that citizens will follow in their utopian societies. They begin by brainstorming ideas about what a perfect society would be like and then, in groups, begin to plan their project. Next, they become familiar with the blogging process, including legal guidelines and the specific site they will be using. Over several class sessions, students work on their blogs comparing their work to a rubric. Finally, after students visit one another's blogs and provide constructive and supportive feedback, they reflect on their own work. The lesson plan includes alternative handouts for classrooms where computer or blog access is limited. In this alternative, students complete the same basic activities, but publish their work using a Flip Book.
In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze nonfiction and dramatic texts, focusing on how the authors convey and develop central ideas concerning imbalance, disorder, tragedy, mortality, and fate.
Students further develop close reading skills as they
examine Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The
tragedy of Hamlet develops many
central ideas, including revenge, mortality, madness, and the tension between
action and inaction. Students analyze the play through the close study of
Hamlet’s soliloquies and other key scenes to determine how Shakespeare’s
language and choices about how to structure the play impact character
development and central ideas. The showing of a filmed version of the play in
select lessons supplements students’ understanding of plot and background
points and encourages them to consider actors’ interpretations of the text.
Students develop close reading skills as they examine Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. The play develops many thematic concepts such as the strength of family, issues with conflicting expectations, and stereotyping and prejudice. Students analyze the play through the close study of scenes and character development as well as the examination of symbolism, language choices, and structure. Students will also view a film version of the play to enhance understanding as well as analyze some poetry.
After reading The Odyssey and discussing the hero journey, students will move into this career research unit. First, students will choose a career that they are interested in exploring and researching. They will create a project/presentation to share the information about their career with their classmates. Then, they will choose a "hero" who made great strides in their chosen career as an inventor, business person, manufacturer, personality, etc. Students will review using MLA style in-text citations and works cited, paraphrasing and summarizing, and writing research as they write a research paper about their career hero.