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British Literature course overview

Reading selections and assignments subject to change, according to teacher’s discretion. Most reading assignments will have corresponding vocabulary assignments, character charts, chapter summaries, etc. Quizzes on reading will be frequent. All longer writing/presentation assignments will include graphic organizers and rough drafts due in weeks preceding the final draft. Some will require bibliographies.



new teaching






Intro Brit Lit, annotation

“History and the World of English Literature”



Brief history of the English language

“Caedmon’s Hymn”

Excerpts from Beowulf


Vocabulary, close reading questions, read excerpts from Beowulf



Elements of narrative essays

Discuss poem, Anglo Saxon poetry, Beowulf

Answer questions re: heroes

Narrative Essay from Grendel’s Mom’s POV

Read online prologue to Canterbury Tales



Medieval time

Morte d’Arthur

List of English kings

Magna Carta article

Discuss Canterbury Tales/importance


Vocabulary, Read Morte d’Arthur, Introduction pages VII-XXII, note on text page XXIII-XXVI, chronology, glossary of recurrent words, read “How Ether Pendragon Begot the Noble Conqueror King Arthur,” pp. 3-32, mark selections on timeline



Making resumes

Discuss Sir Thomas Malory, reading (Ether Pendragon)


Begin resume, read 3 of 6 legends from Morte d’Arthur, write 3 responses



Literary terms


Introduce compare/contrast essay on hero values in Beowulf and Morte d’Arthur

Vocabulary, finish resume, read 3 more legends from Morte d’Arthur, write 3 responses, brainstorm, take notes on ideas for essay



Structures of an essay about literature, ways to organize compare/contrast essay, introduce “A Man for All Seasons”

Discuss readings, “A Man for All Seasons”

Graphic organizers

3 graphic organizers, read pp VII-XX, read Act 1



Discuss writing paragraphs

Discuss background of England at time of play, Act 1

Quick-write: 5 minutes, What do you think of More and Why?

Write 3 body paragraphs, finish play



Intro and conclusion for literary writing, Renaissance and Elizabethan Age

Discuss Act 2, “Historical Focus: The Renaissance and Elizabethan Age,” “Sonnet 99,” “Macbeth”

Introduce journal log to track references to theme, symbols, and a character

Outline introduction and conclusion of essay, write introduction and conclusion, put essay together, read handouts, vocabulary




Discuss articles, begin “Macbeth”


Read Acts 1-3, vocabulary, notes in journal log



Famous passage: Act 5, Scene 5, lines 19-28, memorization

Discuss journal logs, discuss Acts 1-3


Finish play (Acts 4-5), finish journal log, memorize passage, review play in preparation for test



Introduce Age of Reason, Neoclassical Age, The Age of Satire, The Augustan Age, Introduce poetry unit, analyzing a poem

Discuss entries on journals regarding theme, symbols, character, “Historical Focus: Cromwell, the Restoration, and the Hanovers 1616-1795, ” poem by Robert Herrick, “Two Daffodils,” “A Modest Proposal”

Quick-write: 10 minutes, discuss things or people in “Macbeth” that are not what they appear to be and how they affect the outcome of the play

Take-home test on “Macbeth,” read “Two Daffodils,” complete PAW, read bio on Herrick, read “Preparing to Read ‘A Modest Proposal,’” read and annotate “A Modest Proposal,” answer questions on handout



Metaphysical poetry, formatting poetry analysis essay, GO

Discuss “A Modest Proposal,” discuss PAW for “Two Daffodils,” “Death Be Not Proud,” “Virtue,” “No Man is an Island,” “On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-three”

Poetry analysis essay

GO for poetry analysis essay, write essay



Introduce Wordsworth’s “England in 1802, ” “The Romantic Era 1795-1837,” introduce Frankenstein and Mary Shelley

Review metaphysical poetry


Study guide for midterm, take-home midterm



Discuss Romantic Period, structure of novel, introduce argumentative essay, discuss themes, symbolism, imagery; “The Modern Prometheus”

Begin Frankenstein


Vocabulary, read chapters 1-10 of Frankenstein, look for: evidence of themes and symbols, possible ‘should questions,’ similarities between Victor and Walton




Discuss chapters 1-10


Vocabulary, continue reading and annotating, finish book, consider possible ‘should questions,’ list at least 3



Discuss ‘should questions,’ teach formatting for argumentative essay

Discuss remainder of book, “Rikki-Tikki-Tavi,” “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” “The Mouse”

Graphic organizers for argumentative essay

Read and annotate short stories, complete graphic organizers



Introduce ethos, pathos, logos; introduce writing body paragraphs, transitional clinchers, introduction and conclusion; introduce requirements for research paper; Victorian Age

Discuss short stories, “Historical Focus: Victorian Age,” background of Tale of Two Cities

Argumentative essay

Completed argumentative essay (messy and final drafts), vocabulary, read chapters 1-6 of Tale of Two Cites, log on general reading for research paper, super essay outline



Note-taking for research papers, yellow cards and white cards

Discuss article and chapters 1-6, Tale of Two Cities


Vocabulary, read Book 2 of Tale of Two Cities, read and make note cards for research paper



Discuss informative essay on themes, introduce worksheets

Discuss Book 2, emphasizing themes


Read Book 3, handouts on theme, continue taking notes and bring note cards to class for in-class activity, vocabulary



Divide note cards according to super essay outline, make detailed outline using cards

Discuss Book 3

Informative essay on theme in Tale of Two Cities, make graphic organizers

Graphic organizers for body paragraphs, write outlines for research paper



Teach additional pages that might be part of research paper, introduce H.G. Wells, Introduce Time Machine paying attention to time, society and class, change, fear, and community. Read as time allows.

“Order of Major Papers, Title Page and Numbering, ” “Endnotes,” “Appendix/Appendices,” “Annotated Works Cited/Bibliography,”

Time Machine

Go over graphic organizers, have students explain, messy draft

Messy draft of first section, research paper; messy draft, essay on theme; vocabulary; read chapters 1-5 of Time Machine



Introduce 20th century historical focus

Discuss progress on essay and research paper, “Twentieth Century Historical Focus and Literary Focus,” discuss first 5 chapters of Time Machine


Finish essay, write first section of research paper, vocabulary




Check on progress of outlines/draft for research paper, discuss remainder of Time Machine


Write section 2 of research paper, bring
My Early Life by Churchill



Elements of autobiography, worksheet on autobiographies

Begin reading My Early Life


Read chapters 1-10 of My Early Life, finish last section of research paper and bibliography



Introduce super introduction and super conclusion, next essay: argumentative, student’s choice of topic

Discuss handout and first 10 chapters


Graphic organizer for essay, complete research paper, read chapters 11-20, My Early Life




Discuss chapters 11-20

Discuss progress of argumentative essay

Write argumentative essay, finish My Early Life, vocabulary



Narrative essay structure, begin All Creatures Great and Small, analysis of autobiography, discussion starters for autobiography

Discuss remainder of My Early Life, discuss handout analyzing autobiography

Assign narrative/reflective essay, graphic organizer

Argumentative essay due, begin work on narrative/reflective, read 1/3 of All Creatures Great and Small, review for final exam



Hand out study guide for final, hand out final w/ instructions

Discuss autobiography using discussion starters

Touch base on progress of reflective essay

Study and take final exam, read next third of book, fill out discussion starter, work on reflective essay



Collect final exams

Read and discuss short stories: “Shooting an Elephant,” “On Study,” “Shakespeare’s Sister,” discuss second third of All Creatures Great and Small

Check on progress of final essays

Finish stories if not finished in class, all essays and papers due, finish autobiography and discussion starters handout



Collect outstanding work, return exams, review as needed

Discuss remainder of All Creatures Great and Small


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