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


     

     

    English 10

    A-School

    Howard

    Syllabus

     

    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

    Novel:

               

                To Kill a Mockingbird                         Harper Lee

     

    Film:

               

    To Kill a Mockingbird                         Robert Mulligan

     

    Theater:

                      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

     

    Novel:

     

    Lord of the Flies                                              William Golding

     

    Film:

                Waltz With Bashir                                            Ari Folman

    Theater:

               

    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?

     

                Autobiography:

                     

    Black Boy                                            Richard Wright

     

     

    Theater:

                “Zoo Story”                                        Edward Albee

    Antigone                                              Sophocles

               

     

     

    Non-fiction:

                            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.