“ "The books that help you the most are the ones that make you think the most.”
Short Stories: (*be sure to check out the useful links )
RATIONALE: Short Stories: Short stories are a wonderful literary genre for people who wish to ‘get back in the game’ of reading. They can be enjoyed in a single sitting and you can enjoy the best elements of literature, without the time investment.
During this unit, we will focus on our analysis of 5 different short stories through a process of math class-like drill. The unit workbook will help solidify your ability to complete various types of standard exam-type questions. The unit will take approximately 3 weeks to complete.
Rationale: Throughout history, tragic heroes have been the illuminators of our own hubris. Here, once again, we see the plight of the House of Labdacus. (That poor brood of buggers, wha’?) In this, his final installment of the Theban trilogy, Sophocles slams home the idea of the classic literary tragic hero in the characters of Creon and Antigone. Sophocles shows us how our decisions actually DO have consequences for ourselves and others.
The assignment for this unit will focus on the relevance of Sophocles‘ themes in modern times (despite a two and a half eon time gap!), our notions and ideas concerning tragedy and its scale, as well as an analysis of Sophoclean and modern day tragic heroes; cautionary figures from whom we learn the noble lesson of humility.
The Catcher in the Rye:
RATIONALE: J.D. Salinger’s novel is a classic character study; unique in its portrayal of a young person who is both protagonist and antagonist. The characters with whom we see Holden interact are each significant in the reader’s recognition of our protagonist/antagonist. Most characters are dimensional, even if only slightly. This unit assignment will help you dissect not only the characters of this novel, but it will also help you go beyond the surface of the film characters and actors with whom you are already familiar; to help you think more critically about films and the people who make them come to life. (An added bonus is that you’ll get to watch lots of movies during the holiday break!) This may well be one of the most enjoyable assignments you’ll ever complete - And I’m not just saying that.
the BIG ideas (class notes)
RATIONALE: Whether it be in television and Internet content, or radio broadcasts and newspaper articles, media surrounds and permeates our lives. The central question of our focus during our study in this unit is:
Does media relect society, or does it create it?
In order for us to be cognizant and informed consumers of the media world, we must first understand the nuance of media and the psychology behind it. Otherwise we run the risk of becoming a society of ignorant and gullible citizens; willing to bow to the pressures of an economy or fame driven society.
The famous Canadian, Marshall MacLuhan once said, "The medium is the message". So, let's be conscientious and cognizant consumers of the media that surrounds us. The future depends on us.
Novel Study - Lord of the Flies
RATIONALE: Lord of the Flies is a classic novel for good reason. Its themes are timeless. Frightening, but compelling, they deal with the nature of power, the inherent evil of mankind, the loss of innocence, and the necessity of rules. This is still a very powerful story with many lessons for the modern age.
Lord of the Flies assignments:
Part 1 - Essay assignment:
RATIONALE: Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” - Frost
Our understanding of language cannot be developed without contemplation of the inferred or deeper meanings. It requires contemplation and contemplation and self-reflection are the best building blocks for learning (about EVERYTHING!) For those intimidated by poetry or daunted by its requirements, I’d encourage you to explore poetry in its basic and more attainable forms; take a closer look at nursery rhymes, familiar song lyrics, quotes, etc. What words or phrases ‘jump‘ to you?; What is the poet’s message?; Does it matter to you? Why/Why not?; Is it relevant? Consider the tone and the emotion it evokes or provokes.
Poetry = Powerful stuff, indeed.