Thursday, November 15, 2012

Post for the week of November 12, 2012

Post for the week of November 12, 2012

The Common Core State Standards provide us with new levels of text complexity.  On this site, the authors provide us with suggested texts for the high school grade levels:

What do you notice about this list?

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (1592)
  • “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1817)
  • “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe (1845)
  • “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry (1906)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)
  • The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (1975)

  • “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention” by Patrick Henry (1775)
  • “Farewell Address” by George Washington (1796)
  • “Gettysburg Address” by Abraham Lincoln (1863)
  • “State of the Union Address” by Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1941)
  • “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1964)
  • “Hope, Despair and Memory” by Elie Wiesel (1997)
  • “Ode on a Grecian Urn” by John Keats (1820)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1848)
  • “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson (1890)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (1959)
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2003)
  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine (1776)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854)
  • “Society and Solitude” by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1857)
  • “The Fallacy of Success” by G. K. Chesterton (1909)
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright (1945)
  • “Politics and the English Language” by George Orwell (1946)
  • “Take the Tortillas Out of Your Poetry” by Rudolfo Anaya (1995)

Someone I was with recently noticed that the suggested texts don't align with a particular "curriculum:" they are a mixture of World Literature, American Literature, and British Literature.

This mixing leads me to believe that the student outcomes articulated about the Common Core can be reached with ANY text, so the traditional plan of studying literature in the old categories no longer exists!  This realization might be a shock to the system, but it actually is freeing because teachers have more choices. 

In short, enjoy teaching the texts you know, experiment with new texts, and keep the rigor high.

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