Course Description: Throughout the 2020-2021 school year students will learn to negotiate meaning of diverse essential standards aimed in developing their critical thinking and problem solving capacities: helping students become critical, negotiable agents for future academic and social success. We will work hard in maximizing higher levels of learning so that each student may achieve mastery of reading and writing standards essential for high-school success, as well as future college and career readiness.
RI: This class will concentrate on analyzing both the text features and the rhetorical devices of multifarious types of documents developed throughout American literary history. Students will be able to determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text. Additionally, students will be able to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging. They will analyze and evaluate how the modes in which the clarity of meaning and the complex set of ideas are affected and developed by the patterns of organization, hierarchical structures, repetition of the main ideas, tone, mood, author’s style, syntax, and word choice in the text. They will verify and clarify facts or evidence presented in multiple types of expository texts by using a variety documents in order to generate warranted and reasonable assertions about the author's arguments by using literary and rhetorical elements of the text to defend and clarify interpretations. Moreover, students will be able to critique the power, validity, and truthfulness of arguments set forth throughout public (U.S.) documents; their appeal to both friendly and hostile audiences; and the extent to which the arguments anticipate and address reader concerns and counterclaims (e.g., appeal to ethos, logos and pathos). Finally, students will delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses). Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.
RL: Students will also be able to determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text. They will analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters and archetypes are introduced and developed). Also, they will cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. Further, they will determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. Finally, they will analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact. Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).
WST: Students will be able to write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence: introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence, develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level, concerns, values, and possible biases, use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims, establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing, use specific rhetorical devices to support assertions (e.g., appeal to logic through reasoning; appeal to emotion or ethical belief; relate a personal anecdote, case study, or analogy). CA In addition, students will write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content, introduce a topic or thesis statement; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. CA, develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic, use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts, use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic, establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. Also, students will ultimately produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Finally, they will develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.