English Language Arts » Grade 11

Grade 11

black horseUnit Title: Breaking Away
Essential Question: How does independence define the American spirit?
Literary Focus: Early America
Genre Focus: Fiction

Inspired by the “Constitution of the Iroquois Nations,” the founding fathers established the United States on the principles of equality and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. From the first days of the United States through the present day, the American spirit continues to be independent and sovereign.

How did independence drive the American spirit throughout history? What moments in history contradict this spirit? How has the scope of independence evolved in American society?

This unit offers a wide variety of literature for your students to explore these questions while also exploring texts in the unit’s genre focus, fiction. 
highwayUnit Title: The Highway
Essential Question: How do journeys influence perspective?
Literary Focus: Transcendentalism and Romanticism
Genre Focus: Informational

Leaving the comfort and familiarity of our usual surroundings to experience new places can broaden our understanding of the world and our place in it. Whether recounting family road trips or solo travels to other countries, narratives about journeys invite readers along for the ride and offer them an opportunity to witness how a journey can shape, and even change, the way the traveler sees the world.

What makes a journey life-changing? What do readers learn by reading about journeys and their impact on travelers’ perspectives? What do these stories teach us about ourselves and our society?

In this unit, students will think about the theme and essential question as they focus on the literary periods of Transcendentalism and Romanticism.
colorful flowers under treesUnit Title: No Strangers Here
Essential Question: How does place shape the individual?
Literary Focus: Realism, Naturalism, Regionalism
Genre Focus: Poetry

Places have their own identity. From our country to our state to our town to our home, each one has a culture it’s known for. Where we are, then, affects who we are. The history, social norms, and expectations of the place we live can give us opportunities or limit them.

What makes a place so influential? How have these places influenced who we are? How have they shaped how we view the world and ourselves?

In this unit, students will think about the theme and essential question as they focus on the literary periods of Realism, Naturalism, and Regionalism.
apartmentsUnit Title: Living the Dream
Essential Question: What does home mean to you?
Literary Focus: The Harlem Renaissance
Genre Focus: Drama

Home is a part of who we are. It’s where we spend most of our time, learn many of life’s lessons, seek comfort and protection, and feel a sense of belonging.

What emotional and physical needs must a place satisfy in order to be considered a home? Is home something you need to “own”? What conflicts arise when a home means different things for the people living there?

In this unit, students will think about the essential question as they focus on the literary period of the Harlem Renaissance.