This course defines what students should understand and be able to do by the end of 10th grade. Knowledge acquisition should be the primary purpose of any reading approach as the systematic building of a wide range of knowledge across domains is a prerequisite to higher literacy. At this grade level, students are working with universal themes and archetypes. They are also continuing to build their facility with rhetoric, the craft of using language in writing and speaking, using classic literature, essays, and speeches as mentor texts.
This course is designed to be paired with Humane Letters 2 – History. Emphasizing the classical approach to teaching and learning, this course fosters reading, discussion, and writing based on ideas contained within the great books of the modern European tradition. In this course students strive to better understand the world around them by thinking critically about the deeds, positions, and disputes of those who came before us. Through careful reading, thoughtful discussion, and persuasive writing, students will sharpen their abilities to think analytically and critically. Recommended texts for this course include, but are not limited to: Henry V by Shakespeare, Pride and Prejudice by Austen, A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens, and Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.
The benchmarks in this course are mastery goals that students are expected to attain by the end of the year. To build mastery, students will continue to review and apply earlier grade-level benchmarks and expectations.
English Language Arts is not a discrete set of skills, but a rich discipline with meaningful, significant content, the knowledge of which helps all students actively and fully participate in our society.
Standards should not stand alone as a separate focus for instruction, but should be combined purposefully.
The texts students read should be meaningful and thought-provoking, preparing them to be informed, civic-minded members of their community.
Curricular content for all subjects must integrate critical-thinking, problem-solving, and workforce-literacy skills; communication, reading, and writing skills; mathematics skills; collaboration skills; contextual and applied-learning skills; technology-literacy skills; information and media-literacy skills; and civic-engagement skills.
The recommended primary mode of instruction in Humane Letters is the seminar, supplemented with direct instruction through lecture or coaching. The seminar format requires that students participate actively in their search for the fullest understanding of the texts under examination. While the instructor serves as a guide in the learning process, the students and the instructor together investigate and explore the many complex ideas presented in the texts. Students are expected to follow these rules governing the seminar format:
- Students must come to class having read the assignment in its entirety before they can participate in seminar discussion
- Students must mentally prepare serious questions for the class to consider during discussion.
- Each student must attend fully to the discussion at hand and refrain from carrying on side discussions.
- Students must limit their comments only to the selection assigned for homework, or previously discussed passages.
- Students must support their observations, arguments, or claims with specific textual evidence.
Honors and Advanced Level Course Note: Advanced courses require a greater demand on students through increased academic rigor. Academic rigor is obtained through the application, analysis, evaluation, and creation of complex ideas that are often abstract and multi-faceted. Students are challenged to think and collaborate critically on the content they are learning. Honors level rigor will be achieved by increasing text complexity through text selection, focus on high-level qualitative measures, and complexity of task. Instruction will be structured to give students a deeper understanding of conceptual themes and organization within and across disciplines. Academic rigor is more than simply assigning to students a greater quantity of work.
Literacy Standards in Social Studies:
Secondary social studies courses include reading standards for literacy in history/social studies 6-12, and writing standards for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects 6-12. This course also includes speaking and listening standards. For a complete list of standards required for this course click on the blue tile labeled course standards. You may also download the complete course including all required standards and notes sections using the export function located at the top of this page.
English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Social Studies. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success. The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: SS.pdf