• The World and Me: Cultural Identity

    This unit focuses on how one’s cultural experiences contribute to an understanding of self. Students will evaluate arguments made by authors, speakers, and artists, determining whether the claims made are valid and comparing them to their own ideas. Through literature, art, and speeches, students will be exposed to various values and belief systems. Students will demonstrate critical thinking and analysis in formal and informal discussion.

    thematic Questions

    ·         How does one’s cultural experience contribute to an understanding of identity?

    ·         How does the examination of other cultures widen our global understanding?

    skills-based Questions

    ·         How do authors use language to reveal the purpose and tone of their writing?

    ·         What is the relationship between purpose and medium (the author’s chosen vehicle of expression)?

    ·         In what ways can we use medium to achieve a desired effect?

    ·         What does a quality discussion look and feel like?

    thematic Enduring Understandings

    ·         When one examines other cultures, beliefs, and values, he/she is better able to understand his/her cultural identity.  Having a wider worldview broadens one’s outlook on identity, family, community, and self.

    skills-based Enduring Understandings

    ·         Writers use word choice (diction), sentence structure (syntax), style, and rhetorical strategies to help convey their purposes and tone.

    ·         By comparing different non-fiction selections, poetry, and documentaries, students will begin to recognize how an author’s approach to a subject—the language style, the details selected, the tone—alter or reinforce the author’s purposes. It is critical that students learn to admit that an author’s choices—even at the word and sentence level—are deliberate and meaningful.

    ·         A good discussion is one in which students prepare ahead of time—developing questions, analytical claims, and evidence from the assigned material: questions probe, encourage, and clarify; claims are stated clearly and adjusted according to the evidence of classmates; reasoning is explained; and perspectives are synthesized.


    ·         Author’s Purpose

    ·         Parallel Structure

    ·         Tone

    ·         Mood


    Unit Common Core Standards:

    ·          R.L. 9-10.1 *Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

    ·          R.L. 9-10.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension or surprise.

    ·          R.L. 9-10.6 Craft and structure; Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

    ·          R.I. 9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

    ·          R.I. 9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

    ·          RI.9-10.3. Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.

    ·          RI.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative, connotative and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

    ·          R.I. 9-10.6 *Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

    ·          R.I. 9-10.7. Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

    ·          W.9-10.2 *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.

    o    Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. 

    o    Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.

    o    Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

    o    Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.

    o    Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

    o    Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). 

    ·          W.9-10. 9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    o    Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare].

    o    Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

    ·          SL.9-10.4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

    ·          L.9-10.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

    o    Use parallel structure.

    o    Use various types of phrases (noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, absolute) and clauses (independent, dependent; noun, relative, adverbial) to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest to writing or presentations.

    ·          L.9-10.6. *Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

    These Common Core Standards must be completed at some point in the semester:

    ·          W. 9-10.6.  Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

    ·          SL. 9-10.1.  Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    o    Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

    o    Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.

    ·          SL. 9-10.5 *Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and too add interest.