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COMMON CORE STANDARDS
RL.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
RL.11-12.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
W.11-12.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
L.11-12.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 11 unit titled “Nostalgia” from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is intended to be completed in approximately four weeks of ELA/Literacy instruction. Using high-quality works of literature in several genres (poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and film), students first focus on understanding what nostalgia is and its role in human life. Through collaboration and discussion, they then examine the tools that writers use to create nostalgic effects. Throughout the unit, students write informal and formal analytical commentaries and also write about their own childhood memories. For the final performance task, each student chooses a childhood memory to be the subject of a memoir to be written in the form of prose or poetry, making use of literary techniques studied during the unit.
Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. Teachers should also be aware that due to the rigor required for student success, additional supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band may be required. The unit plan does not list any speaking and listening standards, although they are addressed repeatedly and could be added.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This exemplary unit includes a clear and explicit purpose for daily rigorous instruction which integrates reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills. It focuses on complex texts and engages students in a productive struggle through discussion questions, journal writing, and other supports that build toward independence. It also focuses on building students’ academic vocabulary in context. The unit contains reading materials, templates for instruction, assessment guidelines, frequent formative assessments, and an aligned CCSS rubric (that students help to create) for interpreting student performance. The concepts and resources in this unit can be adapted to any complex literary work with richly developed characters.