11th Grade Language Arts 


Reading Process  Literary Text Writing Processes Writing Applications Writing Conventions Research Communications

(Based on State of Ohio
Curriculum Standards)

1. Recognize and identify how authors clarify meanings of words through context and use definition, restatement, example, comparison, contrast and cause and effect to advance word study.
  1. Context Clues from TV411
    This interactive web site uses a slide show, quizzes, and graphic organizers to help students use context to figure out new words, practice using context clues, and define words in sentences.
  2. Prize-Winning Prose: Developing "Kid's Pulitzers" in the Language Arts Classroom -In this promising practice students develop criteria for Kid's Pulitzers -- awards in categories of writing determined by the students. Each student will then bestow a Kid's Pulitzer upon a piece of writing which they deem to be distinguished based on the established criteria.
2. Analyze the relationships of pairs of words in analogical statements (e.g., synonyms and antonyms, connotation and denotation) and evaluate the effectiveness of analogous relationships.  
3. Examine and explain the influence of the English language on world literature, communications and popular culture.
  1. Poetry: Blues Style -This lesson focuses on how the blues both operate as poetry and inform the poetry of many prominent African American poets. Students consider the poetic devices and recurring themes in blues lyrics and the significance of the poetry of the blues as part of the African American tradition.
4. Use knowledge of Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots, prefixes and suffixes to understand complex words and new subject-area vocabulary (e.g., unknown words in science, mathematics and social studies).
  1. Word Roots from Ed Helper 
    This web site has over 20 printable worksheets and puzzles that cover word roots, prefixes, and suffixes, including Greek and Latin examples.

The following ON LINE quizzes are a result of the following two people:  Created by:  Miss Stephanie Weston   Inspiration by Miss Harman English Teacher Willoughby-Eastlake Schools 

  1. Prefixes
  2. Suffixes
  3. Latin root words A-G

  4. Latin Root words H-O

  5. Latin Root words P-Z

  6. Number Prefixes

5. Determine the meanings and pronunciations of unknown words by using dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries, technology and textual features, such as definitional footnotes or sidebars.
  1. Multimedia Poetry Beast- This resource is an instructional unit in which students record poetry readings to express and demonstrate their understanding of the poet's purpose.
  2. Painting Portraits with Words: A Language Arts Lesson Based on an Exhibition on William Butler Yeats -This resource uses a feature article from the New York Times to examine how an exhibition of William Butler Yeats' writings represents a portrait or biography of the author's life. Designated a promising practice, this lesson allows students to analyze various poems by Yeats using varied written forms.
1. Apply reading comprehension strategies, including making predictions, comparing and contrasting, recalling and summarizing and making inferences and drawing conclusions.
  1. Summarizing from TV411 -This interactive web site uses a slide show, quizzes, and graphic organizers to review the basics of summarizing, identify main idea statements and detail statements, and use categories to summarize lists.
  2. The Poetics of Hip Hop-This lesson combines an analysis of hip hop music and lyrics to provide students with a greater understanding of rhythm, form, diction, and sound in poetry.
  3. Name That Chapter! Discussing Summary and Interpretation Using Chapter Titles-In this lesson, students name chapters in novels that they are reading, creating a cumulative list for the novel as they work through the text.
  4. Comic Makeovers: Examining Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Media-Students explore representations of race, class, ethnicity, and gender by analyzing comics gathered during a two-week period and then re-envisioning them with a "comic character makeover."
2. Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic and visual media.
  1. Literacy Learning Resources from CBS and CNN  -This site has dozens of actual stories from CBS and CNN, including the full text, the abridged text, an outline, a video of the story, and the audio read aloud. After the student reads the story they can take online interactive quizzes over the material covering vocabulary, word selection, sequencing, conclusions, and more.
  2. Finding Poetry in Prose: Reading and Writing Love Poems -When students think of love poetry, they almost invariably think of poetry about romantic love. This lesson expands the concept of love poems to move beyond romantic love to explore other kinds of love, particularly the love within a family.
  3. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Teaching Through the Novel -This resource introduces students to Achebe's first novel and to his views on the role of the writer in his or her society. It can be used alone or in conjunction with the related lesson Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Oral and Literary Strategies .
3. Monitor own comprehension by adjusting speed to fit the purpose, or by skimming, scanning, reading on, looking back, note taking or summarizing what has been read so far in text.
  1.  Comparing O'Neill and Williams-At first glance, Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire do not seem to have anything in common.
  2. Critical Reading: Two Stories, Two Authors, Same Plot?-Many students often lack critical thinking skills to be able to analyze what they read. This lesson encourages students to read and respond critically to two different pieces of literature with the same title.
4. Use criteria to choose independent reading materials (e.g., personal interest, knowledge of authors and genres or recommendations from others).
  1. Authentic Persuasive Writing to Promote Summer Reading- Devote time during your last weeks of school to promote summer reading by inviting students to create brochures and flyers that suggest books and genres for others to explore during the summer months.
5. Independently read books for various purposes (e.g., for enjoyment, for literary experience, to gain information or to perform a task).
  1.  Utopian Visions-In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea of an idealized society. Students read Sir Thomas More's Utopia and examine the concepts behind his vision of an ideal society. Students then contrast the ideas in Utopia with those found in the Constitution of the United States.

Reading Applications: Informational, Technical and Persuasive Text

1. Analyze the rhetorical devices used in public documents, including newspaper editorials and speeches.
  1. Censorship in the Classroom: Understanding Controversial Issues -This lesson helps students to understand the ways in which bias and stereotyping are used by the media to influence popular opinion. Students examine propaganda and media bias and explore a variety of banned and challenged books, researching the reasons these books have been censored.
2. Analyze and critique organizational patterns and techniques including repetition of ideas, appeals to authority, reason and emotion, syntax and word choice that authors use to accomplish their purpose and reach their intended audience.  
3. Analyze the content from several sources on a single issue, clarifying ideas and connecting them to other sources and related topics.
  1. Figuring Somepin 'Bout the Great Depression - After examining primary sources, including songs, newspapers, interviews, and photographs of migrant farm workers in California during the Great Depression, students create a scrapbook from the point of view of a migrant worker, providing evidence of the colloquial speech used by the migrants and the issues affecting their lives.
  2. Quest for the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun-People of all backgrounds live in America and come to America dreaming of social, educational, economical opportunities as well as political and religious freedoms.
  3. The Red Badge of Courage: A New Kind of Realism-Increase your students' understanding of Crane's influences and how the novel's style helped convey a new realism. In this lesson, students learn about the elements of Stephen Crane's style that contribute to the realistic nature of The Red Badge of Courage.
  4. A Midwife's Tale-A Midwife's Tale is an innovative dramatic film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning story of Martha Ballard, a midwife and mother living in the wilds of Maine during the chaotic decades following the American Revolution.
4. Distinguish between valid and invalid inferences and provide evidence to support the findings, noting instances of unsupported inferences, fallacious reasoning, propaganda techniques, bias and stereotyping.
  1. The Crucible- This resource is a study of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This instructional unit, maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, provides opportunities for students to analyze, interpret, and respond to language, meaning, and ideas in the play. Content support, assessment guidelines, and links to other internet resources are also available at the website.
5. Examine an author’s implicit and explicit philosophical assumptions and beliefs about a subject.
  1. Identifying and Understanding the Fallacies Used in Advertising -This lesson alerts students to the fallacies that surround them every day. The fallacies used in advertising are often overlooked without the tools needed to examine them critically. In this lesson, students deconstruct fallacious images and messages in advertisements and demonstrate their understanding of the fallacies through multimedia presentations. 
  2. Propaganda Techniques in Literature and Online Political Ads-After reading or viewing a text, students are introduced to propaganda techniques and then practice identifying examples in the text. After examining these examples, students explore the use of propaganda in popular culture by looking at examples in the media.
  3. Decoding the Dystopian Characteristics of Macintosh?s ?1984? Commercial -students explore the dystopian characteristics and symbols presented in the “1984” Macintosh commercial and analyze the comments that it makes about contemporary society. This activity is a particularly effective introduction to George Orwell’s 1984 because of the direct allusions to the novel in the commercial.
6. Evaluate the effectiveness and validity of arguments in public documents and their appeal to various audiences.
  1. Argument, Persuasion, or Propaganda?: Analyzing World War II Posters-students analyze World War II posters, chosen from online collections, to explore how argument, persuasion, and propaganda differ. The lesson begins with a full-class exploration of the famous “I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY” poster, featuring a determined Uncle Sam. Following the class discussion, students complete individual analysis projects.
7. Analyze the structure and features of functional and workplace documents, including format, sequence and headers, and how authors use these features to achieve their purposes and to make information accessible and usable.  
8. Critique functional and workplace documents (e.g., instructions, technical manuals, travel schedules and business memoranda) for sequencing of information and procedures, anticipation of possible reader misunderstandings and visual appeal.  

Reading Applications: Literary Text

1. Compare and contrast motivations and reactions of literary characters confronting similar conflicts (e.g., individual vs. nature, freedom vs. responsibility, individual vs. society), using specific examples of characters’ thoughts, words and actions.
  1. Black and Blue: Jazz in Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man -Ralph Ellison, musician-turned-writer, wrote Invisible Man like a jazz composition. The novel has many solo parts, and the events seem improvised as the unnamed main character goes from the south to the north, with many ups and downs. His life is a sad song, illuminated in the end with his self-made light bulbs that seem to cry, "Why am I so black and blue?"
  2. Faulkner's As I Lay Dying: Form of a Funeral-In this unit, students read and examine the novel, As I Lay Dying. Students explore the social and historical context in which the novel was written and draw parallels between the author's experiences and the way life is depicted in the text.
  3. The "Secret Society" and FitzGerald's The Great Gatsby-The high school social scene is rife with drama. Who's out? Who's in? What's cool? What's not? Behind many of the questions is a burning desire to belong. Students must learn the unwritten and unspoken codes of behavior. Students' own experience of the struggle to belong can provide a starting point for an exploration of how concerns about wealth, race, geographical origins, and other factors affect the perception of social status in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
  4. Become a Character: Adjectives, Character Traits, and Perspective-students "become" one of the major characters in a literary work and describe themselves and other characters, using lists of accurate, powerful adjectives.
  5. Performing Julius Caesar- This resource is a study of the Shakespearean play, Julius Caesar. The instructional unit, maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, provides opportunities for students to analyze, interpret, and respond to language, meaning, and ideas in the play. Content support, assessment guidelines, and links to other internet resources are also available at the website.
  6. Shakespeare's Macbeth: Fear and the Motives of Evil -Students read the play Macbeth and analyze the title character's shift from a man who, at the beginning of the play is described as noble and brave, to a violent and ruthless tyrant. Characters whose shifting minds we feel compelled to follow through every twist and turn are a mark of Shakespeare's art.
  7. Movie transcripts   You will find the transcripts from many if not all movies made on this website.  You will notice how they identify and explain various types of characters.  4 Star
2. Analyze the historical, social and cultural context of setting.
  1. Identity, Oppression, and Protest: To Kill a Mocking Bird and the Blues-African American history during the Jim Crow era includes encounters with poverty, racism, disrespect, and protest. Harper Lee develops all four of these themes in her famous 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. To help students understand these ideas, this lesson incorporates the blues and other literature of the time.
  2. Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "Yellow Wallpaper": Writing Women in Turn-of-the-Century (1890s-1910s) America-This lesson uses "The Yellow Wallpaper" to explore such literary concepts as setting, narrative style, symbolism, and characterization. Students complete a close reading of the text in order to gain an understanding of the rapidly changing roles of American women during the nineteenth and early twentieth century and how the story reflects the social, historical, and economic realities of that time. Following the literary analysis, students participate in group discussions and write a well-supported essay describing how the narrator of "The Yellow Wall-paper" represents Charlotte Perkins Gilman's feminism.
  3. Perceiving a Culture Through Its Literature: Korea as an Example-The discussion and comprehension of literary text is enhanced by an understanding of the environmental context in which the story takes place. This lesson uses a Korean story, After Seventeen Years by Kim Yong Ik, to demonstrate how to develop an environmental context and find cultural clues in literature.
3. Explain how voice and narrator affect the characterization, plot and credibility.
  1. What Did They Say?: Dialect in The Color Purple-  The Color Purple by Alice Walker is an excellent example of a text that is successfully and eloquently written in dialect. Unfortunately, many students find it inaccessible because they are unfamiliar with the concept of dialects and do not know how to read a book that is written this way.
  2. Magic Words, Magic Brush: The Art of William Butler and Jack Yeats-This curriculum unit integrates a literary study with various artistic disciplines, geography, history, media, and technology. The unit contains six lessons, which may be taught individually or in the context of the instructional unit.
4. Evaluate the author’s use of point of view in a literary text.
  1.  American Puritanism: The Nature of Guilt This unit examines the consequences of personal conscience in conflict with rigid societal perceptions of what is "right" in human behavior as this conflict is articulated in Arthur Miller's The Crucible and selected plays of Tennessee Williams.
  2. Letters from Emily Dickinson: 'Will you be my preceptor?-In this curriculum unit, students explore Emily Dickinson's poetry as well as her personal correspondence to her editor and sister-in-law. Working individually and in groups, students reflect on Dickinson's views and the process by which she writes.
5. Analyze variations of universal themes in literary texts.
  1. Reader Response in Hypertext: Making Personal Connections to Literature-In this lesson, students choose four quotations to inspire their personal responses to a novel that they have read. Students write a narrative of place, complete a character sketch, create an extended metaphor poem and write a persuasive essay. Each piece of writing is linked to the quotations.
  2. Discovering Poetic Form and Structure Using Concrete Poems -After analyzing examples of contemporary youth poetry as well as the poetry of Langston Hughes, students use the Internet to conduct research on how events in the world shaped Hughes' work.
  3. Our City, Our Words: Writing Poetry Celebrating Student Impressions of Their City-In this lesson, students begin by sharing their opinions and ideas about what it means to help someone in need. They then read and analyze a poem which illustrates the struggle of poor people.
  4. Teaching Anna Karenina-This resource provides an online teacher's guide for use with Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy's novel, Anna Karenina, and the film adaptation, of the same name, created by Masterpiece Theater.
6. Recognize characteristics of subgenres, including satire, parody and allegory, and explain how choice of genre affects the expression of a theme or topic.
  1. Reading Literature in Translation: Beowulf as a Case Study -By comparing a number of translations of Beowulf with each other and with the basic poetic elements of Old English alliterative verse, this lesson asks students to reflect upon the nature of translation not as an act of accurate representation of a literary work but as an act of interpretive re-creation. Students analyze various texts and examine how a translator’s decisions shape our understanding of a literary text.  
7. Analyze the characteristics of various literary periods and how the issues influenced the writers of those periods.
  1. Examining Transcendentalism through Popular Culture-Using excerpts from the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, comics, and songs from different musical genres, students examine the characteristics of transcendentalism. In the course of their exploration, students use multiple genres to interpret social commentaries, to make connections among works they've studied in class, and to develop their own views on the subjects of individualism, nature, and passive resistance.
  2. Oliver Twist-This resource provides an online teacher's guide for use with Oliver Twist and the film adaptation, of the same name, created by Masterpiece Theater. The teacher's guide for Oliver Twist presents an integrated study that uses visual media to extend students' understanding of the novel.
8. Evaluate ways authors develop point of view and style to achieve specific rhetorical and aesthetic purposes (e.g., through use of figurative language irony, tone, diction, imagery, symbolism and sounds of language), citing specific examples from text to support analysis.
  1. Language Arts: Shakespeare's Sonnets -One of the difficulties teachers face when they teach Shakespeare is language accessibility. Twenty-first century students often have difficulty understanding the words, and so they miss the meaning of his plays and sonnets. 
  2. Unlocking the Underlying Symbolism and Themes of a Dramatic Work-This lesson invites students to explore the things relevant to a character from Lorraine Hansberry's play, A Raisin in the Sun, to unlock the drama's underlying symbolism and themes.
  3. Style: Translating Stylistic Choices from Hawthorne to Hemingway and Back Again-Exploring the use of style in literature helps students understand how language conveys mood, images, and meaning. In this activity, students translate passages that demonstrate specific stylistic devices, then translate fables into the style of one of the authors they have been reading.
  4. Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Oral and Literary Strategies -This resource introduces students to Chinua Achebe's first novel and to strategies of close reading and textual analysis. It can be used alone or in conjunction with the related lesson Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart: Teaching Through the Novel .

Writing Processes

1. Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed material, and keep a list of writing ideas.
  1. Exploring Cross-Age Tutoring Activities with Lewis and Clark- In this lesson, cross-age tutoring gives high school students the opportunity to guide elementary students (in grades 3-5) to a deeper understanding of the adventures of Lewis and Clark.
2. Determine the usefulness of and apply appropriate pre-writing tasks (e.g., background reading, interviews or surveys).
  1. Communicating    You have the opportunity to create a Poster, Newspaper and or a Cartoon.  This website is very good and will allow students to learn how to transform their ideas to a hard copy that they may printout.   This is great for an LCD projector or a computer lab.  4 Star 
  2. Communicating through Garfield  Your students may create a cartoon and depending on your experience with technology they may create a complete story.  You will only be limited by your technology background and your imagination.  4 Star 
3. Establish and develop a clear thesis statement for informational writing or a clear plan or outline for narrative writing.
  1. Techniques for Writing: Writing Thesis Statements for Essays -This web site has extensive information on writing a thesis as well as interactive exercises the students can take online to check their understanding.
4. Determine a purpose and audience and plan strategies (e.g., adapting formality of style, including explanations or definitions as appropriate to audience needs) to address purpose and audience.
  1. Purpose and Audience -This online study guide from Encyclopedia Britannica is on purpose and audience. It covers an explanation for determining why we write and to whom, in a variety of settings and styles.
5. Use organizational strategies (e.g., notes and outlines) to plan writing.  
6. Organize writing to create a coherent whole with an effective and engaging introduction, body and conclusion and a closing sentence that summarizes, extends or elaborates on points or ideas in the writing.  
7. Use a variety of sentence structures and lengths (e.g., simple, compound and complex sentences; parallel or repetitive sentence structure).  
8. Use paragraph form in writing, including topic sentences that arrange paragraphs in a logical sequence, using effective transitions and closing sentences and maintaining coherence across the whole through the use of parallel structures.
  1. Techniques for Writing: Writing Topic Sentences for Paragraphs-This web site has extensive information on writing a topic sentence as well as interactive exercises the students can take online to check their understanding.
  2. Paragraph Organization -This online study guide from Encyclopedia Britannica is on paragraph organization. It includes a discussion of the creation of logical and cohesive paragraphs, including topic sentences, paragraph unity, coherence, and transitions.
9. Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, colorful modifiers and style as appropriate to audience and purpose, and use techniques to convey a personal style and voice.
  1. Techniques for Writing: Using Specific Language-This web site has extensive information on precise language as well as interactive exercises the students can take online to check their understanding.
  2. Choosing the Best Verb: An Active and Passive Voice Mini-lesson -For most students, speech and informal writing flow naturally. Yet students often struggle with formal or academic writing. This mini-lesson explores verb choice in a variety of online resources, then encourages students to draw conclusions about verb use which they can apply to their own writing.
  3. Choosing the Best Verb: An Active and Passive Voice Mini-lesson -For most students, speech and informal writing flow naturally. Yet students often struggle with formal or academic writing. This mini-lesson explores verb choice in a variety of online resources, then encourages students to draw conclusions about verb use which they can apply to their own writing.
10. Use available technology to compose text.  
11. Reread and analyze clarity of writing, consistency of point of view and effectiveness of organizational structure.
  1. The Shortest Distance Between Two Points -This lesson integrates technical writing, specifically producing memos, with revising and editing strategies. Students assume the role of mechanical drafters and develop a revised set of instructions for a drafting communique.
12. Add and delete examples and details to better elaborate on a stated central idea, to develop more precise analysis or persuasive argument or to enhance plot, setting and character in narrative texts.
  1. Techniques for Writing: Giving Examples and Explanations-This web site has extensive information on elaborating on an idea as well as interactive exercises the students can take online to check their understanding.
13. Rearrange words, sentences and paragraphs, and add transitional words and phrases to clarify meaning and achieve specific aesthetic and rhetorical purposes.  
14. Use resources and reference materials (e.g., dictionaries and thesauruses) to select effective and precise vocabulary that maintains consistent style, tone and voice.
  1. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary and Thesaurus -Excellent dictionary and thesaurus. Easy to use with lots of good information on each word. This site will even pronounce the word for you.
15. Proofread writing, edit to improve conventions (e.g., grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization), identify and correct fragments and run-ons and eliminate inappropriate slang or informal language.
  1. Activities for ESL/EFL Students -Don't be fooled by the name of this site. It is an excellent resource for all students of the English language. There are over 1,000 quizzes, exercises and puzzles on every topic of grammar, punctuation, writing, and more. Begin by looking through the Easy, Medium, and Difficult Grammar Quizzes.
16. Apply tools (e.g., rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge the quality of writing.
  1. Peer Editing Strategies  -This site has several articles on peer editing such as "Do's and Don'ts" and a peer editing guide.
  2. Techniques for Writing: Giving and Receiving Peer Responses  -This page has good guidelines for giving and receiving peer feedback on writing.
17. Prepare for publication (e.g., for display or for sharing with others) writing that follows a manuscript form appropriate for the purpose, which could include such techniques as electronic resources, principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing and columns) and graphics (e.g., drawings, charts and graphs) to enhance the final product.
  1. Guide to Grammar   You will find that this is an outstanding site to assist you and your students in learning proper grammar  4 Star

Writing Applications

1. Write reflective compositions that:
a. use personal experiences as a basis for reflection on some aspect of life;
b. draw abstract comparisons between specific incidents and abstract concepts;
c. maintain a balance between describing incidents and relating them to more general, abstract ideas that illustrate personal beliefs; and
d. move from specific examples to generalizations about life.
  1. Fooling With Words: Teaching Tools for Poetry- Fooling With Words is an informative web site with a focus on contemporary American poets. Many of these poets are frequently published in high school anthologies. Lesson plans develop critical thinking skills from a text-based perspective, often using the poets' lives to analyze their work. Comparison-contrast skills are highlighted through discussion of multiple poets. Good opportunities for students to write poetry drawing on their own background and life experiences. Prewriting and writing activities are particularly strong. The site also features video clips of the poets reading their own work. Good links to background information on the poets and to online copies of their work.
  2. Poem writing   Create your own "I Am" poem by filling in each blank. Be sure to select all the words (and parentheses) that are already in each blank before entering your own words.  4 Star
2. Write responses to literature that:
a. advance a judgment that is interpretative, analytical, evaluative or reflective;
b. support key ideas and viewpoints with accurate and detailed references to the text or to other works and authors;
c. analyze the author’s use of stylistic devices and express an appreciation of the effects the devices create;
d. identify and assess the impact of possible ambiguities, nuances and complexities within text;
e. anticipate and answer a reader’s questions, counterclaims or divergent interpretations; and
f. provide a sense of closure to the writing.
  1. Id, Ego, and Superego in Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat -In this lesson, The Cat in the Hat is used as a primer to teach students how to analyze a literary work using the literary tools of plot, theme, characterization, and psychoanalytical criticism.
  2. Mark Twain, the Lincoln of Our Literature-This unit focuses on the unique genius of autobiographer, satirist, humorist, and novelist Mark Twain. Students explore the American "voices" through which Twain translates, assails, contours, and celebrates aspects of American life and the American character.
  3. Novel News: Broadcast Coverage of Character, Conflict, Resolution, and Setting-In this lesson, students prepare original news programs based on the events from a novel. After reading a novel, independently or as a class, students explore the literary elements of character, conflict, resolution, and setting.
  4. Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet-This lesson combines the teaching of formal terms used to describe sonnets with appreciating the sounds of poetry. Focusing on the sounds of poetry, this resource provides a series of sound exercises to illustrate the underlying form or structure in poetic language.
3. Write functional documents (e.g., requests for information, resumes, letters of complaint, memos and proposals) that:
a. report, organize and convey information accurately.
b. use formatting techniques that make a document user-friendly.
c. anticipate readers’ problems, mistakes and misunderstandings.
  1. Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama Students read fictional works, use software resources, read and interpret classified ads, and write original resumes for a character they are exploring. Students focus on one character in a Shakespearean drama or other play, paying close attention to the descriptions of that character to determine the character's education, skills, extracurricular interests, previous employment, and possible references.
4. Write informational essays or reports, including research, that:
a. develop a controlling idea that conveys a perspective on the subject;
b. create an organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience and context;
c. include information on all relevant perspectives, considering the validity and reliability of primary and secondary sources;
d. make distinctions about the relative value and significance of specific data, facts and ideas;
e. anticipate and address a reader’s potential biases, misunderstandings and expectations; and
f. provide a sense of closure to the writing.
  1. Guide to Grammar   You will find that this is an outstanding site to assist you and your students in learning proper grammar  4 Star
5. Write persuasive compositions that:
a. articulate a clear position;
b. support assertions using rhetorical devices, including appeals to emotion or logic and personal anecdotes; and
c. develop arguments using a variety of methods (e.g., examples, beliefs, expert opinion, cause-effect reasoning).
  1. William Golding/Lord of the Flies Trial Simulation - This resource, created by a group of high school teachers, details a simulation based on Lord of the Flies. Developed as a common project between social studies and English classes, students satisfy curricular requirements for both subjects as they role play a trial involving characters from the novel.
6. Produce informal writings (e.g., journals, notes and poems) for various purposes.
  1. Exploring Literature through Letter Writing Groups-In this lesson, students discuss literature through a series of letter exchanges. Though not a new idea, this lesson provides an alternative to traditional literature discussion groups.

Writing Conventions

1. Use correct spelling conventions.
  1. Spelling -This web site has extensive information on spelling as well as quizzes the students can take online to check their understanding.
2. Use correct capitalization and punctuation.
  1. Capitalization and Punctuation  -This web site has extensive information on capitalization and punctuation as well as quizzes the students can take online to check their understanding.
  2. Capitalization -This is an excellent site explaining capitalization. Here you will find explanations, an online quiz, and a fantastic PowerPoint presentation you can download for use in class.
  3. Punctuation Marks -This is an excellent site explaining punctuation. Here you will find explanations, online quizzes, and great PowerPoint presentations you can download for use in class.
  4. Commas  -This is a great interactive review site all about commas. Included are factsheets, games, quizzes, and worksheets.
3. Use correct grammar (e.g, verb tenses, parallel structure, indefinite and relative pronouns).
  1. Consistency  -This web site has extensive information on consistency as well as quizzes the students can take online to check their understanding. Section 3 specifically deals with parallel structure.
  2. Verbs -This web site has extensive information on verbs as well as quizzes the students can take online to check their understanding. Sections 5, 6, and 7 deal specifically with tenses.
  3. Guide to Grammar   You will find that this is an outstanding site to assist you and your students in learning proper grammar  4 Star


1. Compose open-ended questions for research, assigned or personal interest, and modify questions as necessary during inquiry and investigation to narrow the focus or extend the investigation.
  1.  A Significant Influence: Describing an Important Teacher in Your Life -All of us have encountered someone who has made a profound difference in our lives—someone who changed our lives, made us think more deeply, set our feet on the right path. Perhaps it was a teacher we met in a classroom, but it could just have easily been a coach, a youth group leader, a family or community elder, or religious leader. In this lesson, students write a tribute to such a teacher, someone who has taught them an important lesson that they still remember.
  2. Allen Ginsberg: Poetry and Politics-This lesson focuses on the works of Beat poet, Allen Ginsberg. Students participate in literary discussions, complete journal responses, and conduct web-based research.
  3. I Beg to Differ -This resource is an instructional unit in which students use formal speaking skills to communicate major ideas supported by key details. This instructional unit, maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, provides opportunities for students to research examples relevant to their topic and use a range of speaking skills during a debate.
2. Identify appropriate sources and gather relevant information from multiple sources (e.g., school library catalogs, online databases, electronic resources and Internet-based resources).
  1. Sell Phones: Exploring the Future of Cellphone Markets- In this lesson, students read about changes in the cellular phone market and then work in small groups to prepare and present a comprehensive marketing plan to the board of a fictitious cell phone company.
  2. Murder and Mayhem : The Great Gatsby: The Facts Behind the Fiction-In order to appreciate historical fiction, students need to understand the factual context and recognize how popular culture reflects the values, mores, and events of the time period. This lesson uses The Great Gatsby to study the connection between fiction and historical/social contexts.
  3. The Grapes of Wrath: Scrapbooks and Artifacts: Ethnographic Field Studies in Fiction- This instructional unit uses The Grapes of Wrath and digital images from the American Memory collections to explore cultural and literary themes. Students use the American Memory collections to conduct research and gather artifacts.
3. Determine the accuracy of sources and the credibility of the author by analyzing the sources’ validity (e.g., authority, accuracy, objectivity, publication date and coverage, etc.).
  1. Hoax? Scholarly Research? Personal Opinion? You Decide!- This lesson is designed to help students determine the validity of information that is presented to them on the Internet. After reviewing a series of evaluation techniques for online resources, students form groups to assess selected websites based on accuracy and authority, advocacy and objectivity, and currency and coverage.
4. Analyze the complexities and discrepancies in information and systematically organize relevant information to support central ideas, concepts and themes.
  1. 1984: A Teachers Cyberguide-In this thematic unit, students learn about George Orwell's life and political views as they examine the key concepts from the novel 1984. During the study of this novel, students discuss the major themes and make connections to current issues and their own lives.
  2. Searching Near and Far: Learning About How Specialized Search Engines Make Internet Information Accessible-This resource uses a news article from the New York Times to explore using an Internet search engine for research. Designated a promising practice, this lesson allows students to use a hands-on experience with Internet search engines to learn more about how to locate information on the web.
5. Integrate quotations and citations into written text to maintain a flow of ideas.
  1. KnightCite Citation Machine 
    A free bibliography creation tool. The user can choose the citation style from MLA, APA, or Chicago. They are prompted for information regarding the resource used, and then are given the citation in proper format.
    (Submitted by: Paula Cline)
6. Use style guides to produce oral and written reports that give proper credit for sources, and include appropriate in-text documentation, notes and an acceptable format for source acknowledgement.  
7. Use a variety of communication techniques (e.g., oral, visual, written or multimedia reports) to present information that supports a clear position about the topic or research question and to maintain an appropriate balance between researched information and original ideas.
  1. Debate: Is Cheerleading a Sport? -Using the topic of cheerleading, students examine how women are perceived in sports and then debate whether or not cheerleading should be considered a sport.
  2. Web Writer's Block: Investigating Internet Censorship Around the World -This interdisciplinary lesson promotes critical thinking through thoughtful research and discussions about the legitimacy of banning access to certain types of information on the Internet. Working in cooperative groups, students review websites banned in various countries, and investigate the reasons why particular countries would want to block information.
  3. Newsworthy Intentions: Exploring the Risky and Edifying Dimensions of Satire -Students explore the legal distinction between satire and libel. Students begin by discussing their ideas about humor, then work in small groups to research a libel case. Each group presents its research findings to the class. Students follow up by writing an editorial stating their opinion about the decision in the case.

Communications: Oral and Visual

1. Apply active listening strategies (e.g., monitoring message for clarity, selecting and organizing essential information, noting cues such as changes in pace) in a variety of settings.
  1. Video     Students who are responsible for a school activity demonstrate the various potential project roles, responsibilities of group members and various mean...


2. Analyze types of arguments used by a speaker, such as causation, analogy and logic.
  1. It Comes as a Great Surprise...- This resource, designated a promising practice, is an instructional unit in which students create and deliver a formal speech. This instructional unit, developed as part of a project funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, provides opportunities for students to research examples relevant to their topic and use a range of speaking skills during a formal speech. Content support, assessment guidelines, and links to other internet resources are also available at the website.
3. Critique the clarity, effectiveness and overall coherence of a speaker’s key points.  
4. Evaluate how language choice, diction, syntax and delivery style (e.g., repetition, appeal to emotion, eye contact) effect the mood and tone and impact the audience.  
5. Demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language and select language appropriate to purpose and audience.  
6. Adjust volume, phrasing, enunciation, voice modulation and inflection to stress important ideas and impact audience response.  
7. Vary language choices as appropriate to the context of the speech.  
8. Deliver informational presentations (e.g., expository, research) that:
a. present a clear and distinctive perspective on the subject;
b. present events or ideas in a logical sequence;
c. support the controlling idea with well-chosen and relevant facts, details, examples, quotations, statistics, stories and anecdotes;
d. include an effective introduction and conclusion and use a consistent organizational structure (e.g., cause-effect, compare-contrast, problem-solution);
e. use appropriate visual materials (e.g., diagrams, charts, illustrations) and available technology to enhance presentation; and
f. draw from and cite multiple sources including both primary and secondary sources and consider the validity and reliability of sources.
  1. Through the Eyes of a Child: Creating Documentaries from the Perspectives of Adolescents -   students explore how documentaries can present realistic and sometimes difficult perspectives on events in our world. Students begin by watching video clips from the film "Gaza Strip" and sharing their insights.
9. Deliver formal and informal descriptive presentations that convey relevant information and descriptive details.  
10. Deliver persuasive presentations that:
a. establish and develop a logical and controlled argument;
b. include relevant evidence, differentiating between evidence and opinion, to support a position and to address counter-arguments or listener bias;
c. use persuasive strategies, such as rhetorical devices, anecdotes and appeals to emotion, authority, reason, pathos and logic;
d. consistently use common organizational structures as appropriate (e.g., cause-effect, compare-contrast, problem-solution); and
e. use speaking techniques (e.g., reasoning, emotional appeal, case studies or analogies).