Grade 11

Unit 1: Youth - Growing Up American
In this unit, students will explore the overarching course theme of the American Story by beginning with an in-depth focus on the depiction of youth in American literature. Students will analyze the structure of literary and informational texts, as well as the role of satire, sarcasm, irony, and understatement as critical for grasping an author’s point of view through the study of a self-selected text of their choice:  A Lesson Before Dying, The Catcher in the Rye, The Joy Luck Club, A Separate Peace, The Other Wes Moore, or Into the WildThe unit culminates with students creating a fully developed production plan for a television show based on their analysis of the text. 

​Unit 2: Dreams - Rags to Riches
In this unit, students will focus on the American Dream - by drawing connections to this dream in personally and culturally diverse ways and by analyzing how the dream is conveyed in a variety of literature. Students will determine two or more central ideas or themes in order to analyze their development over the course of a text, as well as analyze the impact of authors’ choices to develop and relate elements of a text.  Text selections for this unit include The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Nickle and Dimed. The unit concludes with students developing a cover letter for a grant proposal to address a community need.

Unit 3: American Activism
In this unit, students will explore the concept of protesting through American activism in literature.  Students will analyze the works of writers and poets from the Revolutionary Period, the 1920’s Harlem Renaissance, the 1950’s McCarthyism era, the Civil Rights movement, as well as modern activists in order to understand the purpose of protest in fiction and the rhetoric of non-fiction thinking that provides the foundation of major political movements in history.  Extended text choices include:  The Crucible, Fahrenheit 451, Invisible Man, The Tipping Point, or Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Students will compose an SAT style essay analyzing how a writer builds an argument to persuade and inspire others. 

Unit 4: Expression - Poet, Artist, and Storyteller 
In this unit, students will analyze paired texts using foundational works along with pieces of modern and mid-century poetry, prose, music and art in order to determine how themes and central ideas develop and interact over of the course of the text by examining the authors' choices and rhetoric.  Central novels of study include either The Awakening or Fences as well as a variety of shorter texts to draw conclusions regarding what it means to express the American Story. The unit ends with the development of a creative literary work  that traces the themes, ideas, and evolution of the experience of either women or minorities in America. 

Click here to view the Grade 11 Year at a Glance document

Note: The BCPS ELA curriculum provides teachers and students with choices that allow for personalized, responsive, and engaging instruction. Students should read the majority of the unit's novel-length work(s) outside of class time. The suggested unit sequences and text options may vary.