In English 4, students look critically at the world around them by reading a range of texts that explore past and present social, political, and cultural issues. As they read, students are challenged to analyze how central ideas and themes are crafted and presented, assess the author’s purpose for writing, and consider how to break down and evaluate information in a thoughtful manner. Throughout this course, students will think about how people see the world from different perspectives while also considering the common themes, hardships, and triumphs that unite humanity.
“American History” by Judith Ortiz Cofer
“Once Upon a Time” by Nadine Gordimer
“Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston
“The Garden of Forking Paths” by Jorge Luis Borges
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“Dreams of a City on a Hill” by John Winthrop
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
“Declaration of Conscience” by Margaret Chase Smith “How Social Media Has Changed How We Consume the News” by Nicole Martin
“Is College Even Worth It? Is This Even the Right Question?” by Josipa Roksa and Richard Arum
“The Importance of a College Education” by Mark Heckler
“The Patriot Act: Protection Over Privacy” by Mike Kubic
“The Patriot Act Must Go: It Assaults Our Freedoms, Doesn’t Keep Us Safe” by Andrew Napolitano
“Jailing Kids? We Can Do Better” by the ACLU of Washington
“Adult Punishments for Juveniles” by Charles Stimson
“Let Nature Heal Climate and Biodiversity Crises, Say Campaigners” by Damian Carrington
“Maybe We’re Not Doomed After All” by Jon Gertner
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Read and analyze short stories, with a focus on examining character, setting, symbolism, and theme.
Write a literary analysis of a short story.
Read The Crucible and examine how Miller develops themes about fear, corruption, and standing up to injustice.
Explain how Miller used The Crucible as a metaphor for the McCarthy hearings.
Write a scene in which you dramatize a real instance of injustice in society. Lead a group discussion on how people consume and perceive the news.
Read pairs of articles that take different perspectives on the same topic, then analyze how the authors of these articles convey their purpose and introduce, relate, and develop their central ideas.
Read Hamlet and explore how Shakespeare develops the plot and characters through dramatic elements.
Examine the elements of a Shakespearean tragedy and consider how they are applied in Hamlet.
Present an analysis of two interpretations of Hamlet by comparing and contrasting the interpretations with the original text.