Educational Resource

English 11

Brief Course Description

Students will read works of American writers and view works of American artists in terms of literary, political and cultural perspectives. Emphasis in the writing process is on the essay form, research and documentation, analysis of themes in American literature and resume format. This course reinforces and refines spelling, mechanics and grammar as each student advances through the pre-writing, writing, revising and publishing stages of essay development. Students will create persuasive, descriptive, evaluative and informative essays, articles and reviews. This course also emphasizes creative and evaluative thinking.

Content Objectives/outline

  • Word Analysis, Fluency, and Systematic Vocabulary Development—
    • Etymology and morphology for systematically building vocabulary. This course emphasizes using those strategies to attack terms from political science, history–social science, science, and mathematics
    • To direct students’ attention to external context cues for meaning
  • Reading Comprehension—
    • The strongest emphasis is directed to the novels or selections students read evaluating and verifying facts and arguments. At the structural level students analyze the ways in which clarity of meaning interacts with elements such as word choice, organization, and syntax.
    • The type of reading interrelates to the outline in writing (e.g., writing reports on historical investigations); speaking (e.g., delivering multimedia presentations); and listening (e.g., identifying logical fallacies in oral arguments)
  • Literary Response and Analysis—
    • Sub-genres that span genres, such as satire and parody
    • Contrast the major literary forms and characteristics of the major literary periods (emphasis on American literature)
    • Relate literary works and authors to major themes and issues of their eras
    • Analyze the philosophical, political, religious, ethical, and social influences that have shaped characters, plots, and themes (emphasis on American literature)
  • Writing Strategies—
    • The basic elements of discourse (e.g., audience) as well as more advanced literary devices, such as irony. Write well-structured arguments with good support and employ rhetorical devices and visual aids to enhance meaning
    • Use a variety of research strategies and organize research information in systematic ways
    • Integrate databases, graphics, and spreadsheets into word-processing documents
    • Revise student texts to highlight voice, improve sentence variety and style, and enhance subtlety of meaning and tone
  • Written and Oral English Language Conventions—
    • Emphasis is given to using standard oral and written language conventions
    • Written work should be legible and edited to follow standard conventions for spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Writing should also reflect appropriate manuscript requirements
  • Listening and Speaking Strategies—
    • Emphasis on analyzing media presentations of various types (e.g., advertisements, speeches, film, news) to help students recognize the strategies being used to inform, persuade, or entertain
    • Use standard English for clarity but recognize when informal language is effective and when technical language is needed
    • Use classic and contemporary forms of logical argument, including inductive and deductive reasoning and reasoning from analogies
  • Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    • Deliver polished formal and extemporaneous reflective presentations, oral reports on historical investigations, oral responses to literature, multimedia presentations, and recitations of poems, selections from speeches, or dramatic soliloquies

Methods of Assessment
Assessment tools include the following but are not limited to:

1. Research projects
2. Written text
3. Portfolios
4. Student demonstrations,
5. Student grades
6. Parent facilitator and education specialist observation
7. Oral communication Periodic review of work by independent study teacher (IST)


  • California State Department of Education—Recommended Literature Grades Nine Through Twelve
  • Core literature list:
    • 11th Grade (All Levels)—The Crucible or The Scarlet Letter—Miller or Hawthorne
    • The Great Gatsby—Fitzgerald
    • Death of a Salesman—Miller
    • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn—Twain
    • any novel by Steinbeck
  • Holt Elements of Literature; 5th course, © 1997
  • McDougal-Littell The Language of Literature; © 2000/01
  • Holt Elements of Writing; 5th course, © 1993