About This Chapter
Standard: By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Standard: By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
About This Chapter
Students who have mastered this standard will be able to read and understand a variety of literary genres. At the eleventh grade level, some assistance is appropriate when reading higher-level text. By the end of twelfth grade, students who have mastered this standard will be able to autonomously read and comprehend literature by utilizing an understanding of the concepts and elements that contribute to the complexity of a text.
Lessons in this standard cover concepts and literature from the following time periods and literary movements:
- Medieval Literature
- The Renaissance
- 17th- and 18th-Century Literature
- Romantic Prose
- Romantic Poetry
- Victorian Literature
- Literary Modernism
Students demonstrate mastery when they are able to read different types of complex literature and are able to decipher meaning from the text. Comprehension is apparent through class discussions, essay assignments, and presentations. Knowledge and skills at this level prepare students for post-secondary experiences such as college, trade school, or entering the work force.
How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom
Here are some tips for how to use these lessons to support instruction in the CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.10 standard:
Medieval Literature Lessons
When studying Medieval Literature and, more specifically, Chaucer, the Introduction to Chaucer: Middle English and the Canterbury Tales video is an excellent way to present information about the man who wrote these famous tales as well as the language they were written in. Use this video to set the stage for reading the literature, and use follow-up videos to explore concepts and genres within Chaucer's tales.
English Renaissance Lessons
When introducing a time period or significant historical movement, it can be difficult to narrow down exactly what to cover. The video Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works takes major players in the English Renaissance and divides them into three categories: dramatists, poets, and major thinkers. With some historical information to give it context, this video is a jumping off point when introducing England's literary life in the 15th and 16th centuries. In addition, several videos on Shakespeare are available, as well as brief informational videos on Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser, and Ben Jonson.
Romantic Prose Lessons
British literature took a turn to the natural, supernatural, and individual in the Romantic period. Lasting from about 1800-1840, the Romantic period's emotional and imaginative prose was a response to the Age of Enlightenment that preceded it. Use the video Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and Works to enlighten students on what the literary period was about and the authors who are associated with it. Additional videos include overviews of the works of Mary Shelley, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Sir Walter Scott, and Jane Austen.
1. Introduction to Medieval Literature: Old English, Middle English, and Historical Context
We'll go over some quick medieval history to situate some of the major literary works of the time period. We're going from Caedmon and Beowulf, writing in Old English, all the way up to Sir Thomas Malory's collections of the Arthur myths in late Middle English.
2. Beowulf: Story, Characters, and Old English
In this lesson, we'll take a look at the Old English epic, Beowulf. We'll explore what happens, how it's written and why it has such a lasting legacy.
3. The Canterbury Tales General Prologue: Style, Structure, and Characters
In this lesson, we'll go over the General Prologue to Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. We'll take a look at some of the most interesting pilgrims and establish the frame narrative for the rest of the work.
4. The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale: Two Approaches to Chivalric Romance
In this lesson, we'll outline some of the key features of the medieval genre of chivalric romance. Then we'll talk about two very different tales that are examples of this genre: The Knight's Tale and the Wife of Bath's Tale.
5. Introduction to Renaissance Literature: Characterizing Authors and Works
Chances are, you've heard of the term 'Renaissance' before, but do you know what it means? Watch this video to learn about how this artistic movement forever altered England and the way we look at literature.
6. Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's Famous Star-Crossed Lovers
Great tragedies resonate throughout time. In this lesson, we'll go over the role of fate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. We'll explore the story of his star-crossed lovers and explain some of his most famous quotes.
7. Hamlet: Beyond the Famous Soliloquy
To be or not to be? In this lesson, that really is the question. Watch this video to learn all about Hamlet, one of Shakespeare's great tragedies. We'll explore its plot, characters and the meaning of that famous phrase.
8. Macbeth: Themes and Quotes from the Scottish Play
In this lesson, we'll follow how ambition shapes the events of Shakespeare's Scottish play, 'Macbeth'. We'll explore the plot, characters and supernatural elements that are characteristic of this play.
9. Introduction to 17th- and 18th-Century Literature: Major Authors and Works
A lot can happen in 200 years, as you'll see on our lesson that introduces you to British literature of the 17th and 18th centuries. Go from Shakespeare to the invention of the novel to the introduction of a prominent dictionary in our video below!
10. Robinson Crusoe: Summary and Themes
In this lesson, we'll explore Daniel Defoe's 'Robinson Crusoe' while examining themes present in the work. You may also learn some handy skills if you ever find yourself shipwrecked and having to survive on an island for 28 years.
11. Introduction to Romantic Prose: Overview of Authors and Works
Romantic prose exists in novels, short stories and essays written during the Romantic period, specifically in England. The Romantic period lasted from about 1800 to 1840.
12. Jane Eyre: Summary, Characters and Analysis
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, was first published in 1847 under Bronte's pseudonym, Currier Bell. It's about a girl named - not surprisingly - Jane Eyre, and it's a bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story that follows Jane from childhood through motherhood. Many elements of Jane's life are similar to events in Charlotte Bronte's life. Because the work features a strong-willed and intelligent woman, it's often considered to be an early feminist text.
13. Wuthering Heights: Plot Overview and Character Analysis
'Wuthering Heights' is Emily Bronte's only published novel, but if you're only going to publish one novel in your lifetime, this is a good one. Follow along as this lesson introduces you to the plot, characters and other aspects of this novel.
14. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein: Literature vs. Film
FIRE BAD! That may be the depth of your experience with Frankenstein. But before he broke into pop culture, the character had a rich literary history. Watch our lesson to learn more!
15. Pride and Prejudice: Plot and Character Analysis
In this lesson, we'll go over the quintessential romantic comedy, Pride and Prejudice. We'll take a look at all of the factors conspiring to keep Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy apart as well as read some of Jane Austen's sparkling prose.
16. Introduction to Romantic Poetry: Overview of Authors and Works
Like the French Revolution that helped inspire it, the Romantic poetry movement signaled massive, controversial changes with ramifications that are still being felt today. Watch this video lesson for an introduction to Romantic poetry, including descriptions of the major authors and significant works.
17. Ode on a Grecian Urn by Keats: Analysis and Summary
In this lesson, learn about Romantic poet John Keats' 'Ode on a Grecian Urn,' which is considered one of the greatest odes ever written. In the poem, Keats has a surprisingly emotional reaction to staring at an old piece of pottery. We'll examine the story of the poem, its meaning and its form.
18. Introduction to Victorian Literature: Overview of Themes, Style, and Authors
Victorian literature is literature written in England during the reign of Queen Victoria, or roughly from 1837 -1901. It is largely characterized by the struggle of working people and the triumph of right over wrong.
19. A Tale of Two Cities: Dickens' Novel of the French Revolution
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In this video lesson, learn about A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens' classic novel about the French Revolution.
20. Dickens' Great Expectations: Plot, Characters, and Social Class
In 'Great Expectations,' young Pip has big dreams and lofty goals. All that's standing in his way is pretty much everyone he meets, as well as himself. Watch this lesson to learn more about this classic Charles Dickens novel.
21. Conrad's Heart of Darkness: Plot, Characters, and Style
Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' is one of the most read and taught stories in the English language. It also inspired a hugely popular film. Watch our lesson to learn all about this horrifying classic.
22. Overview of Literary Modernism: Authors, Context, and Style
This video provides an introduction to the literary movement known as Modernism. Encompassing such writers as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, Modernism developed out of a sense that the art forms of the late nineteenth-century were inadequate to describe the condition of Europe after World War I.
23. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: Overview and Analysis
This video introduces T.S. Eliot's poem, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.' It outlines the general setup of the poem, its enigmatic lead character and its stylistic characteristics. It also highlights key passages.
24. Character in Literature: Definition, Types & Development
What do Cinderella's stepsisters, Jeannine Matthews, and Neville Longbottom have in common? They are all characters in literature. This lesson focuses on what a character is by using specific examples to illustrate various types of characters.
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Other chapters within the Common Core ELA - Literature Grades 11-12: Standards course