• Breaking the Cycle: Maintaining Individuality in the face of Authority


    This unit explores the thematic concept of challenging traditional ideas in favor of expressing one’s own truth. Students will analyze speeches, texts, and works of art to determine the reasons that inspire individuals to break the cycle of traditional expectation when personal goals/values dictate a need for change. Through the exploration of these concepts, students will be empowered to self-examine their own behavior as well as the words and actions of others in order to “be the change [they] want to see in the world” (Gandhi).


    thematic Questions

    ·         What does it mean to “break the cycle,” and why might a person choose to do so?

    ·         In what situations do individuals question authority?

    ·         How does one maintain a sense of self if personal values are threatened?


    skills-based Questions

    ·         How does an author use various methods of direct and indirect characterization to develop a theme over the course of a work?

    ·         How does one analyze the representation of a subject or theme in various written/spoken formats (including what is emphasized or absent in each document/speech, use of language, connotation, etc.)?

    ·         How can students initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively?


    thematic Enduring Understandings

    ·         Societal limits and expectations may threaten personal goals and values, creating a tension in maintaining the sense of self.

    ·         Individual reaction to authority will vary based on one’s values.

    ·         Conflict may arise when cultural expectations contrast with individual belief systems.

    ·         Individuals can often change at any moment based upon their values and their commitment to change.


    skills-based Enduring Understandings

    ·         An author utilizes multiple methods of direct (directly stated by the author) and indirect (shown through speech, action, interactions/effects on others to reveal a central common insight regarding human nature.

    ·         The ability to analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different texts/speeches, including what is emphasized or absent in each, to reveal the central understanding.

    ·         By determining which details are emphasized in various accounts and mediums of one subject, the reader gains a broader understanding of that subject.

    ·         Themes of rebellion are revealed in both U.S. historical documents and literature, illustrating that literature is a reflection of history.

    ·         Understanding is enhanced when students are able to initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.



    ·         Direct/Indirect Characterization

    ·         Claim and Evidence

    ·         Synthesis

    ·         Quote Weave

    C Unit 8 Common Core Standards:


    ·         R.L. 9-10.2 *Determine a theme or 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.

    ·         RL.9-10.3. Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

    ·         R.L. 9-10.9 Analyze how an author draws or transforms source material in a specific work.

    ·         RI.9-10.9 Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.                        

    ·         L.9-10.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    o    Use a semicolon (and perhaps a conjunctive adverb) to link two or more closely related independent clauses.

    o    Use a colon to introduce a list or quotation

    o    Spell correctly.

    ·         L.9-10.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

    o    Write and edit work so that it conforms to the guidelines in a style manual

    ·         W. 9-10.1 *Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

    o    Introduce a precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claim(s), and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons and evidence.

    o    Develop claim(s) and counterclaim(s) fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

    o    Use words, phrases and clauses 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 counterclaim(s).

    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 form and supports the argument presented.

    (Please note, claim is to be mastered and counterclaim is to be introduced and mastered 2nd semester)

    ·         W. 9-10.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.

    ·         W.9-10.5. 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.


    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.