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English IV Honors

Subject: English

Course Description:

Come explore the world of big ideas in English IV, where you are able to choose which path you will travel first as you explore highly-engaging, thematic units. Each path will guide you through a series of literary pieces that allow you to analyze the political, social, economic, and cultural messages of its time as well as its relevance to the world you live in today.

Each path revolves around a central theme. The works in the course span a period of over 1000 years and have been written by authors who share common ideas, but employ a variety of literary genres to express their views. Whether it is the dramatic ending of a play, or the colorful images in a verse of poetry, the words of these authors will leave you with a new understanding of the world around you.

As you travel down each path, you will create authentic work pieces that will engage you in higher-level learning and provide you with a greater understanding of literature and its connection to the world.

Major Topics:

Segment 1

Monsters in our Midst

  • Reading Selections: Beowulf, "Gawain and the Green Knight," "The Demon Lover," "Barbara Allen," "Lord Randall," "The Kraken, " Frankenstein (Honors only)
  • Introduction to the Middle Ages and Old English
  • Reflection on monsters and monstrous behavior
  • Study of five Layers of characterization in Beowulf
  • Creation of a Biocube
  • Creative writing exercises
  • Introduction to Arthurian legends
  • Comparison/contrast exercise using Venn Diagram
  • Inner demons in "Gawain and the Green Knight"
  • Creation of a custom Pentagle
  • Self-check comprehension activities
  • Analysis of plot and theme within a story
  • Cloze activity with questions
  • Rewrite of the ending to "Demon Lover"
  • Study of obsessive love with "Barbara Allen"
  • Exploration of lyrical poetry
  • Comparison of poems with modern music
  • RAFT writing assignment
  • Monstrous behavior in humans and the study of "Lord Randall"
  • Cross connections between genres: The common theme
  • Completion of a Conversation Table
  • Study of alliteration, imagery and rhyme
  • Research of monsters: Are they fact or fiction?
  • Research process
  • Writing of business letter, Public Service Announcement, or travel plan
  • Looking back: A reflective exercise
  • Test Prep: Study skills
  • Revise/Edit of a written piece from this path
  • Honors: A study of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Satire and Society
  • Reading Selections: "The Wife of Bath," "A Modest Proposal," Pygmalion, "Sonnet 130," "Sonnet 18" and "Oh Captain, My Captain"
  • What is satire?
  • Matching activity with satirical examples
  • Historical background of Chaucer and the era in which he lived
  • Identification of satire in contemporary society
  • Discussion on Rites of Passage in different cultures
  • Exploration of religious pilgrimages
  • Reflective writing on personal Rite of Passage
  • Discussion on church of Old England and the sale of indulgences
  • Self-check comprehension activity
  • Study of carbon footprinting
  • Connection between satire and carbon credits
  • Higher order thinking questions
  • Study of gender roles in early English society
  • Opinion piece: Choose modern celebrity/person and tell how he or she exemplifies gender role in todays society
  • Revision/editing process using OWL website
  • Study of The Wife of Bath and how she fit into Medieval gender role
  • Opinion piece on Wife of Bath with prewriting via graphic organizer
  • Literature as a reflection of an era
  • Creation of mash-up or iPod play list
  • Study of Jonathan Swift
  • Study of hyperbole, imagery, sarcasm
  • Self-check activity to check comprehension
  • Analysis of what a proposal really is.
  • Creation of authentic proposal to parents
  • Study of oral communication/presentation skills
  • Presentation of proposal as an oral presentation at home
  • Study of language/dialect and the judgments that goes with them
  • Real vs. fake words in the English language
  • Background on George Bernard Shaw and the time in which he lived
  • Analysis of plot structure with Pygmalion
  • 3-2-1 Reflection guide/making predictions
  • Formal and informal language
  • Writing a formal cover letter
  • Plot sequencing and manipulation in Pygmalion
  • Self-check on plot, sequencing, chain of events
  • Study of dramatic irony
  • Analysis of main idea
  • Display of results using charts/graphs
  • Comparison writing piece
  • History of poetry
  • Study of various poetic devices
  • Study of the three types of sonnets
  • Read/compare "Sonnet 130" and "Sonnet 18" by William Shakespeare
  • Poetry analysis
  • Propaganda in the media
  • Recreation of ad to exclude propaganda or to make it satirical
  • Study of an elegy
  • Write a satirical or serious elegy
  • Universal themes in Dr. Seuss and the contemporary world
  • Study skills: good vs. bad habits
  • Honors: Lessons on Victorian Age, Study of Comedic Devices and Finding a Comedy of Errors in modern media
Segment 2

Appearances Can Be Deceiving
  • Reading Selections: Much Ado About Nothing, "To His Coy Mistress," "The Siren Song"
  • Comedies vs. tragedies
  • Shakespeare's plays
  • Background on the Globe Theater
  • Comedic Devices (double entendre, malapropisms, etc.)
  • Locate examples of comedic devices in the modern world
  • Background of Much Ado About Nothing
  • Plot, setting and theme
  • Personal experience writing
  • Elizabethan England and its historical/cultural relevance to Much Ado About Nothing
  • Development of marriage contract
  • Characterization
  • Elizabethan gender roles
  • Family dynamics of Elizabethan England and modern world
  • Explore Relevance to Much Ado About Nothing
  • Love at first sight as a theme in Shakespearean works
  • Trickery through flattery and suggestibility in Much Ado About Nothing
  • Experimentation with flattery
  • Characterization to express societal views
  • Exploration of social classes and evolving gender roles in Elizabethan England
  • Background of Andrew Marvell
  • Changes in the English language from 1500s to 1600s
  • Poetic devices
  • Keying of devices within a poem
  • Types of poetry
  • Sonnets vs. Free verse love poems
  • Types of sonnets
  • Powerful language in literature
  • Chronological order in plot/sequence of events
  • Cause and effect
  • Rewrite of a scene in Much Ado About Nothing
  • Persuasion through words
  • RAFT writing
  • Structure and purpose of epitaphs
  • Intertwining themes
  • Libel and Slander
  • Research of current court cases with libel/slander
  • Background on Homer and epic poetry
  • Overview of "The Odyssey"
  • Use of allusions
  • Connotative and Denotative words
  • Multi-genre response piece
  • Exploration of deceiving appearances in "The Siren Song"
  • Discussion of the writing process
  • Write compare/contrast piece
  • Honors: Study of A Midsummer Night's Dream in comparison to Much Ado About Nothing
Power and Consequence
  • Reading Selections: Macbeth, "The Second Coming" and "The Tyger"
  • Exploration of power and consequence as a theme
  • Powerful leaders in history
  • Powerful leaders in Shakespeare's plays
  • Background of Macbeth
  • Reflective responses to quotations
  • Making predictions using a graphic organizer
  • Exploration of characteristics of powerful people in society
  • Powerful men and women in Macbeth
  • Characterization study using Lady Macbeth
  • Analytical response to relationship dynamics between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth
  • Study of theme
  • Study of predictions
  • Study of foreshadowing
  • Use of paranoia as a medium for moving the plot
  • Study of plot of Macbeth
  • Soliloquy- use/purpose and structure of
  • Cause and effect with consequences of Macbeth's actions
  • Rewrite of scene to enhance plot of story
  • Exploration of Shakespeare's "Truth" theme throughout his works
  • Discussion of riddles as a tool in Macbeth
  • Exploration of tyranny in Macbeth
  • Analysis of Macbeth as a tyrannical leader
  • Research historical figures in society (tyrants vs. good leaders)
  • Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome with Lady Macbeth
  • Composition of RAFT writing response
  • Exploration of fate as a theme in Macbeth
  • Study of poetic structure
  • Study of allusion, imagery, personification, and other poetic devices
  • Explore the theme of "Awakening of darkness" within man
  • Poetry analysis
  • Inference in poetic works
  • Steps for persuasive writing
  • Research process
  • Choosing reliable sources
  • Creating an opinion piece
  • Creation of SWBS writing piece
  • Word connotation and denotation
  • Use of bias, propaganda and word choice in media and speeches
  • Honors: The study of Hamlet in relation to Macbeth

Participation Requirements:

Besides engaging students in challenging curriculum, INVS guides students to reflect on their learning and to evaluate their progress through a variety of assessments. Assessments can be in the form of self-checks, practice lessons, multiple choice questions, writing assignments, peer review, projects, research papers, essays, discussion-based assessments, and discussions. Instructors evaluate progress and provide interventions through the variety of assessments built into a course, as well as through contact with the student in other venues.

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Course Details

  • Course Code: 1001400
  • Course Credits: 2.0

English I, II, and III are recommended

Estimated Completion:
2 Segments/32-36 weeks