• access to blog site for Macbeth blog project :  click http://macbethreadingblog.blogspot.com/



    English 10





    The essential or core question for the course: why don’t we all just get along? 

    Related questions:

    ·         If we know why, might we be able to solve the problems and get along? 

    ·         Are there societies in which getting along is a goal or a value, and, if so, how might these inform our understanding of the core question?

    ·         If getting along is impossible, what makes it impossible?

    ·         Are there societies where there is not even an attempt at cooperation and mutual respect, and, if so, how might these inform our understanding of the core question?


    1. Unit One --- Neighborhoods

    Who am I?  What part of me is unique and individual?  What part of me is shaped or determined by the collective identities of those around me?  What part of me is received, what part chosen?  What is home?  To what degree can my home or my neighborhood nurture me and keep me safe?  To what degree is safety helpful or harmful?


    Antitheses – We are the product of our environment.  We choose (and

    can change) who we are.


    Short Stories:


    “Harrison Bergeron”                           Kurt Vonnegut

                “What Means Switch”                         Gish Jen

                “Sonny’s Blues”                                  James Baldwin



    Personal Essays:


                “The Washing”                        Reshma Memon Yaqub

                “Dishing Dirt”                         Emily White



                To Kill a Mockingbird                         Harper Lee




    To Kill a Mockingbird                         Robert Mulligan



                      Brighton Beach Memoirs                    Neil Simon


       II.     Unit Two --- Into the Woods                         


    When I leave my neighborhood where am I?  To what degree does my identity change?  What is lost when I lose my innocence?  What do I gain through experience?


    Antitheses:  We learn everything we need to know in kindergarten. We

    can learn what we need to know only in the woods.


    Short Stories:


                “Greasy Lake”                                                T. C. Boyle

                “Gimpel The Fool”                                          Isaac Bashevis Singer

                            “The Ones Who Walk Away

                               from Omelas”                                   Ursula LeGuin

                “The Third and Final Continent”                    Jhumpa Lahiri




    Lord of the Flies                                              William Golding



                Waltz With Bashir                                            Ari Folman



    Macbeth                                                          William Shakespeare




    III.      Unit Three --- Heroism and Martyrdom


    What’s right?  What’s fair?  Is there a law that is higher than governmental or societal law?  How do I determine which to follow if my conscience is in conflict with the expectations of my society?


    Antitheses:  The rights of the individual take precedence over the needs of the community.  The needs of the community take precedence over  the rights of the individual.  When communities with differing ideas about morality come into conflict, how does the individual decide which community makes the more legitimate moral claim?




    Black Boy                                            Richard Wright




                “Zoo Story”                                        Edward Albee

    Antigone                                              Sophocles





                            Excerpts from

    Half the Sky                                         Cheryl Wu Dunn and Nicholas Kristof

    Excerpts from

    Mountains Beyond Mountains             Tracy Kidder






    Note:  The class will also complete a three week study of poetry, ideally in April, which will culminate in a group project. Please share this syllabus with your parents.  I welcome student and parent comments on the syllabus.