Essay on Good vs Evil in Beowulf
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In Beowulf, the clash between good and evil is the poem's main and most significant focal point. Although the epic poem Beowulf utilizes many characteristics of Christian themes, the violence in the poem relates to paganism. By exploring the characteristics of “good vs. evil” such as Cain, Grendel and Beowulf, this paper will explore the elements of Beowulf in such a light.
The Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, was originally told orally then later was written down anonymously in the Old English language. It is not known who or whom wrote this poem down. What we do know is that Beowulf is the oldest surviving epic poem of the English language; the original has suffered irreparable damage in a fire. “The poem dates back to 1000 AD”…show more content…
Beowulf represents all of those values. The story starts with King Hrothgar of the Danes celebrating his region by building a bar called Heorot. He holds a feast there; the loud music and laughter makes Grendel attack the hall at night. The bloodshed and loss of warriors lasts twelve years. Word spreads of Grendel’s attack to the Geats. Beowulf decides to help them. Beowulf and his men arrive to help the Danes. They wait for Grendel to attack Heorot, when he does, Beowulf tears Grendel’s arm from the socket. Grendel runs to his lair where he dies. Grendel’s arm is nailed to the wall in Heorot. Grendel’s mother comes to the hall for revenge of her son. Beowulf goes to defeat her at her lair at the bottom of the lake where Grendel’s mother is waiting to attack. They battle but Beowulf’s sword cannot hurt her; he finds another sword near by which slices her head off. He then goes to find the dead Grendel to cut off his head as a trophy. Everyone is waiting at the surface of the lake and because it is taking such a long time that they have gave up hope. Beowulf comes up victorious and with treasures; they all celebrate. Beowulf returns to his home, fifteen years later a fire-breathing dragon is terrorizing the Geats. Beowulf being the hero that he is goes to fight the dragon. The arm that he brings runs in fear except Wiglaf. They battle the dragon; the dragon was beheaded. During the battle, Beowulf had been bitten and later dies from the poisonous venom
Pearson Literature 2015 Grade 12 do not meet expectations of alignment. Texts are of quality and reflect the distribution of text types and genres. Some texts do not meet the criteria of text complexity. Anchor and supporting texts provide some opportunity for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. Materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. While the materials provide some opportunity for discussions, there is inconsistent guidance and support for use of protocols. The instructional materials for Grade 12 partially meet the expectations of Gateway 2. While most texts are organized around topics and themes, the materials contain few sets of questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of these texts.The materials partially support building students' knowledge and academic vocabulary as students are presented with critical reading, writing, and speaking and listening work to prepare them for end -of-grade level work.
Pearson Literature Grade 12 partially meets the criteria for Gateway 1. Texts are of quality and reflect the distribution of text types and genres. Some texts do not meet the criteria of text complexity. Anchor and supporting texts provide some opportunity for students to engage in a range and volume of reading. Materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions and tasks are evidence based and build to a culminating task. Materials provide some opportunity for discussions, but lack guidance and protocols. Both on-demand and process evidence based writing is present, however there is limited opportunity for students to practice and receive feedback before assessment. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided, however it does not increase in sophisticated contexts.
Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
Pearson Literature Grade 12 partially meets the criteria for providing quality texts that support students toward advancing toward independent reading. Texts are of quality and reflect the distribution of text types and genres. Materials partially meet the criteria of text complexity. Also, text complexity analysis and rationale provided by the publisher is limited. Anchor and supporting texts provide some opportunity for students to engage in a range and volume of reading but may not succeed in having students achieve grade level proficiency.
NOTE: Indicator 1b is non-scored and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.
The units are divided by time period and topic. Each unit is divided into four parts and there is an anchor text for each part that relates to the overall topic of the part and the unit as a whole. Some of the topics chosen for the time period are interesting and cover a range of student interests.
Anchor texts are well-crafted, content rich. Content is meaningful and each are well-crafted. Included anchor texts provide an appropriate amount of quality texts to span the school year. anchor texts are of publishable quality, well-crafted, and content rich, but may lack in engagement for all students, considering the span of time that the pieces represent.
Quality anchor texts found in Grade 12 materials include (but are not limited to) the following high-quality text selections:
- “The Seafarer”, from Beowulf
- The Wife of Bath’s Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer
- “Speech Before Her Troops” by Queen Elizabeth I
- “The Tragedy of Macbeth Act I” by Shakespeare
- “Song” by John Donne
- from the Divine Comedy: Inferno” by Dante
- from "Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift
- “Introduction to Frankenstein” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
- “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron
- “On Making an Agreeable Marriage” by Jane Austen
- “The Vindication of the Rights of Woman” by Mary Wollstonecraft
- “ My Last Duchess” by Robert Browning
- “Sonnet 43” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- “To an Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Housman
- “Sailing to Byzantium” by William Butler Yeats
- “ The Rocking - Horse Winner” by DH Lawrence
- “The Train from Rhodesia” by Nadine Gordimer
- “A Devoted Son” by Anita Desai
Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
Materials provide an appropriate balance between literature and informational text. Literature consists of stories, dramas, and poetry. Informational texts consist of literary nonfiction and all classified as biography. There are additional non-fiction sections: historical and literary background, the British tradition - reading in the humanities, literature in context - reading in the content areas, world literature connections, and literary history. Texts include allegory, fantasy, graphic novel, historical fiction, novel, romance, satire and social commentary, and short stories, multi-act plays, one-act plays, ballads, dramatic poetry, elegies, epics, lyrical poems, narrative poems, odes, philosophical, reflective, and satirical poems, song lyrics, sestina, sonnets, villanelle, and scripture. Also included are biographies, diary, essays about art, literature, and language, essays about ideas, historical accounts and texts, journalism, letters, personal essays, satire, technical accounts, and functional texts.
While most units follow the standards for a 70/30 balance of non-fiction versus fiction, additional texts that are in the informational text section because they are often small blurbs on the side of pages, single page infographics providing additional information, or background information are mostly informational text. Examples of texts include but are not limited to:
Unit 1- From Legend to History
- from Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel
- from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
- "The Seafarer" by Burton Raffel
Unit 2- Celebrating Humanity
- Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare
- The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Unit 3- A Turbulent Time
- "To His Coy Mistress" by Andrew Marvell
- from A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
- from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
- from A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson
Unit 4- Rebels and Dreamers
- Introduction to Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly
- "The World Is Too Much With Us" by William Wordsworth
- "Speech in Favor of Reform" by Lord John Russell
- "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor
Unit 5- Progress and Decline
- "An Upheaval" by Anton Checkhov
- from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- "Remembrance" by Emily Bronte
- from Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Unit 6- A Time of Rapic Change
- "Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell
- " A Devoted Son" by Anita Desai
- "Extra-Terrestrial Relays: Can Rocket Stations Give World-wide Radio Coverage?" by Arthur C. Clarke
- from "We'll Never Conquer Space" Arther C. Clarke
Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.
56% of the anchor texts in Volumes 1 and 2 have the appropriate level of complexity for 12th grade according to the quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationships to the associated student task. The appropriate grade level lexile bank for grades 11 and 12 is 1185L to 1385L. Units 1, 2, and 3 are more appropriately placed with associated tasks, while Units 4, 5 and 6 had many anchor texts not appropriately placed. Many selections are too easy for 12th graders with a simplistic task associated with the text.
Examples include, but are not limited to,
Each unit is divided into 3 to 4 parts. Each part has either one or two anchor texts.
- Unit 1: There are 4 parts, with one anchor text per part.
- “The Seafarer” Anonymous. The Anglo-Saxon content, long sentence structure and complex vocabulary make this a very complex text to start off the unit. The related student task has an appropriate complexity.
- From “Beowulf” Anonymous. This Anglo-Saxon poem with long complex sentence structure has a qualitative measure of average complexity. The related student task has an appropriate complexity.
- “The Wife of Bath’s Tale” by Chaucer. This epic poem has a qualitative measure of average complexity with archaic language and syntax. The associate student task is is very complex which balances well with the average complexity of the reading selection.
- From Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. Lexile 1270, qualitative measure is moderately complex based on historical and cultural knowledge demands as well as archaic diction and long sentences. The related student task has an appropriate complexity.
- Unit 2: There are 3 parts, with one anchor text per part.
- “Sonnet 1” by Edmund Spencer. The qualitative measure is complex based on the content, archaic diction and syntax. The related reading tasks are also quite complex.The associated student task is difficult and, combined with the difficulty of the sonnet, makes this an appropriately complex task for 12th grade.
- “Speech Before her Troops” by Queen Elizabeth I. The qualitative measures are low based on accessible content, language, structure, and level of meaning. The purpose of reading the speech does not really connect to the associated writing task, and neither the research project nor the text are overly complex .
- Macbeth by Shakespeare. The qualitative measures of archaic language and structure make this complex. Macbeth is an exemplar text for the grades 9-10 band in Appendix B of the CCSS. The student task is relatively easy for 12th grade students, but balances with the complexity of Macbeth.
- Unit 3: There are four parts, with one anchor text per part.
- “Song” by John Donne. The qualitative measures are average for content, structure and language, but more complex in concepts of love and death. This text is also found in Appendix B of the CCSS as an exemplar for grades 9-10. The student task is not at all related to the poems. Students would not have to have read any of the poems to complete this task and the complexity is not very difficult.
- From “The Divine Comedy: Inferno” by Dante. Lexile 1270. The qualitative measure includes biblical references requiring students to have background knowledge to understand the allusions. Even with those allusions, the content, language and structure is more accessible, yet appropriate for 12th grade. The associated tasks are complex.
- From Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Lexile 1480. The qualitative measures include satirical fantasy and historical background knowledge. The long sentences and concepts of politics, royalty and religious disputes also make this a complex text. The associated student task is more accessible.
- “Aims of the Spectator” by Joseph Addison. Lexile 1470. The qualitative measures include content of enlightenment, with historical and cultural references, along with the lengthy sentences and high-level vocabulary making the essay challenging. Because the topic is the news, it makes it more accessible. The student task is relatively easy for 12th grade, combined with a more accessible text makes this a lower-level text/task.
- Unit 5: This unit consists of four parts with two poems serving as anchor texts in each part. Below are some examples of the texts and their associated tasks.
- Part 3: “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold and “Recessional” by Rudyard Kipling. Both poems are considered accessible and slightly to moderately complex. However, their task is more complex. Students write an argumentative essay, supporting or refuting the idea that poems during this time were characterized by “widespread doubt about the nature of man, society, and the universe”. They must use evidence to support their claim.
- Part 4: “ God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. This poem is more accessible to students. After students read poems by Hopkins, they are to write a business letter to a British publishing company recommending that the publisher issue a collected edition of the poetry of Hopkins. This task is simplistic for the second semester of grade 12.
- Unit 6: There are
- Part 1: “Sailing to Byzantium” by William Butler Yeats
- Part 2: “The Rocking - Horse Winner” (650) by DH Lawrence. Lexile 650, and “A Shocking Accident” by Graham Greene. Lexile 980. “The Rocking Horse Winner” is below grade level in Lexile. The context and knowledge demands are moderate in complexity. The structure and language is accessible as well. “A Shocking Accident” is also fairly easy for 12th graders in the end of the year. The task that accompanies these two texts is to have students write a script for a scene for a film, using one of the texts of their choice. They are to incorporate film terminology as well. This tasks seems fairly easy for 12th graders at the end of the year. So the texts and task are below grade level, fourth quarter, senior year.
- Part 3: “ The Train from Rhodesia” (870) by Nadine Gordimer. Lexile 870, and B. Wordsworth by V.S. Naipaul. Lexile 600. Both of these are below the 12th grade Lexile level. The task associated with these two texts is to write a biographical sketch of a remarkable person they have met, using themselves as a first person narrative.
- Part 4: “A Devoted Son” by Anita Desai. Lexile 1440
Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.)
The complexity of anchor texts do not provide an opportunity for student’s literacy skills to increase across the year. In fact, texts decrease in qualitative and quantitative measures as the year increases. Series of texts include a low level of texts towards the end of 12th grade. None of the anchor texts support students proficiency in reading independently at grade level at the end of the school year between qualitative and quantitative measures.
- In Unit 3, the last two anchor texts, Gulliver’s Travels and “The Aims of the Spectator,” are both over the Lexile grade band at 1480L and 1470L, respectively. If the level of complexity is maintained, students may become proficient at reading their grade level independently.
- In Unit 5, most of the texts are poetry so there are no quantitative measures. An excerpt from Jane Eyre has a 930 Lexile level. The qualitative measures of the selections in this unit are mostly in the 2-3 range. This complexity is too low for the end of grade 12.
- In Unit 6 text selections, both anchor and supporting, range primarily in level 2 and 3 for complexity in the qualitative measures. There are no texts with a level 5 in this unit. The quantitative measures range from a 650 Lexile level to 1440.
Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
There is a “Text Complexity: At a Glance” section at the beginning of each Part. It provides a general text complexity rating for the selections in this part of the unit to help guide instruction. It states the title of the text and provides a label of either more complex or more accessible. Within each Part, a Text Complexity Rubric is provided that is more specific, however it is still not specific enough to provide appropriate and strategic scaffolding. The Text Complexity Rubric for qualitative measures is divided into three parts, all with a scale of 1-5 (1 being the lowest): Context/Knowledge Demands, Structure/Language Conventionality and Clarity, Levels of Meaning/Purpose/Concepts. Then there is a quantitative measures section which includes Lexile and text length. Lastly, a Reader and Task Suggestions section exist for each text. Each unit is divided into parts. Each part in the unit is a set of connected texts featuring one or more Anchor Texts, and works of particular significance. At the beginning of each part there is a “Selection Planning Guide” that tells why the texts are in that part. However, the rationale for educational purposes and placement are limited.
Examples include, but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, the introduction page has the following explanation for the “Part-Level Text Sets: Each Part of the Unit is a set of connected texts featuring one or more Anchor Texts, works of particular significance.” The explanation of the Extended Studies states: “Students explore in depth the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, presented with links to contemporary culture, a Critical Commentary, and a Comparing Literary Works feature.” The explanation of the Primary Sources states: “Students engage the documents that recorded history as it was made.”Finally, the explanation of the Informational Texts states: “Students learn to use and evaluate various types of information texts.” These explanations could serve as general rationale for educational purpose of the texts, but there is no mention why the texts were placed at 12th grade.
- In Unit 1, Part 1, the anchor text is “The Seafarer” and the accompanying texts are “The Wanderer” and “The Wife’s Lament.” The text complexity rubric is found on the first page of “The Seafarer” and includes the other two poems. There is a brief mention in the teacher edition on the first page of the Preteach section of Part 1 called “Preparing to Read Complex Texts” that tells the teacher: “Point out that “The Seafarer” is an Anchor Text. From a close reading and rereading of it, students can gain important insights about living in exile, away from one’s home.” This could be seen as the purpose for choosing the texts. On the “Teach” page of the Part, which is also the first page of the poem, an “About the Selection” feature in the teacher edition provides a summary of the poem. This feature is the first one for each text in the curriculum.
- In Unit 1, Part 2, the anchor text is Beowulf. The text complexity rubric is found on the first page of the poem. The accompanying texts are informational text and a graphic novel. None of the texts have accompanying text complexity rubrics. A feature in the teacher edition on the introduction page of Part 2 is called “Selection Planning Guide.” In this paragraph, there is a general explanation that could be seen purpose for the texts: “The selections in this text set reveal the development of an English national identity. The excerpts from medieval history (listed) describes events of the early Middle Ages. The excerpts from The Canterbury Tales reveal much about the structure of fourteenth-century society and also show the development of a national language.” This feature and the text complexity rubrics are also found in Parts 3 and 4. This pattern is found in the rest of the curriculum.
- In Unit 4, Part 3, the selections in the text set are described as “highlights of the societal problems that arose during the Industrial Revolution”. There are two main texts in this part, one is described as more accessible and one is more complex. “On Making an Agreeable Marriage” is at a 1900 Lexile level with long sentences and informal diction. From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is a 1730 Lexile level with long sentences and formal diction. Both of these texts fall outside of the recommended Lexile band for 12th grade. There is no rationale, as to why these texts were placed here except for the fact they address societal problems that arose during the Industrial Revolution.
- In Unit 5, Part 2, the selections in the text are described as texts that “reveal how nineteeth-century novelist expressed their views about society and its problems in their works of fiction”. In Hard Times, the Lexile is 1050, however the concept in the text is challenging with information on education and reform. Jane Eyre is at a 930 Lexile level with accessible components. This is a lower level text, lower than the 9th-10th grade band, found towards the end of 12th grade in Unit 5. There is no rationale as to why this was place in this grade.
- In Unit 6, Part 2, the selections introduce students to modern experience as expressed through fiction. Modernist ideas concerning the loneliness and isolation of the self and reflect the subjectivity of the self and objectivity of the surrounding world. “The Lady in the Looking Glass” is at a 1220 Lexile level with complex structure and challenging information. From Mrs. Dalloway is a 780 Lexile level with challenging structure. “Shakespeare’s Sister” is at a 1110 Lexile with archaic language. “The Rocking Horse Winner” is a 650 Lexile and “A Shocking Accident” is 980.
Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
The majority of the text types in Volume One and Two are poems. This does not provide a variety of text types and disciplines to support students in becoming independent readers at the grade level. There are other texts that provide some opportunities for students to read different genres, but they are few compared to the poetry. Many of the texts that are not poetry are informational texts that are very short in length. There are opportunities for students to engage in a volume of reading, if they read everything in the text. There are beginning, mid, and end-of-year assessments for teachers to monitor student progress. There are various lengths of time suggested for students to examine texts to build reading stamina.
- In Unit 1, there are 20 informational texts, mostly one page in length, 9 poems in various lengths, and 3 prose texts which are all excerpts from larger pieces. The poetry is 62% of the unit. This pattern follows in the rest of Volume one.
- In Unit 4, there are 29 poems read by students. Unit 4 also offers 5 essays, a transcript, a biography, an expository text, a functional text, 2 letters, 2 parliamentary debates, and a special commentary.
- In Unit 6, there are 32 poems read by students. In addition there are several instructional essays, 2 biographies, 5 essays, a blog, a speech, a memorandum, a technical article and a press release.
- Various lengths of time are suggested for students to engage with texts. For example, in Unit 1, Part 1 there are three texts, equally eight pages long. The recommended reading time is one day. In Part 2 of Unit 1, students read from Beowulf, which is twenty-two pages long. The recommended reading time is two days. In Part 3, students read from A History of the English Church and People, six pages. The time recommended for reading is 1 day.
- In Unit 6, Part 4, students have the opportunity to read 18 texts, some shorter in length, some longer, in a proposed nine days for completing reading.
Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
Pearson Literature Grade 12 materials partially meet the criteria to provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. Most questions and tasks are evidence based and build to a culminating task. Materials provide some opportunity for discussions, but lack guidance and protocols. Both on-demand and process evidence based writing is present, however there is limited opportunity for students to practice and receive feedback before assessment. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided, however it does not increase in sophisticated contexts.
Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text; this may include work with mentor texts as well).
Most of the questions, tasks, and assignments provided over the course of a school year in the materials are text-dependent or text-specific. Each unit provides opportunities to analyze texts in different ways. One way is for students to study a stand-alone text and answer text-dependent questions. Another way texts are presented allows students to analyze texts that are similar in topic or genre with accompanying close reading activities that ask them to compare the texts’ key ideas and details and write an analysis. After each text there is a “Critical Reading” section where questions are directly connected to the text and ask students to cite textual evidence to support ideas. There are writing tasks found throughout the text that require students to engage with the text directly. Within units, text-dependent questions are embedded within stories and follow each text. At the beginning of each unit, the teacher’s guide suggests students engage in “Multi-draft Reading” to support and extend reading comprehension for all students. The protocol in the multi-draft reads is as follows:First reading - identifying key ideas and details and answering and Comprehension questions.Second reading - analyzing craft and structure and responding to the side-column prompts. Third reading - integrating knowledge and ideas, connecting to other texts and the world, and answering end-of-selection questions.
Examples of text dependent/specific questions, tasks and assignments include but are not limited to:
- In Unit 1, “from Beowulf”, Students need to use textual evidence to answer, “What annoys Grendel and leads to his attacks? What universal conflict lies behind his war with the Danes?” In Part 2, “from Beowulf”, students are asked to find evidence in lines 173-198 in the story to indicate that Beowulf is battling for good. Another example from this selection is, “In what visual ways does Hinds build suspense for the battle with the dragon? How do the words in the text boxes work with the images to create suspense?”
- In Unit 2, “Analyze Text Features, Who or what are Graymalkin and Paddock in lines 8 and 9? How do you know?”. Another example from Unit 2 is, “Critical Viewing, This engraving shows the murderers menacing Macduff’s family. In what way does the artist capture the defiance reflected in Act IV, Scene ii, line 81?”.
- In Unit 3 in “Writing to Sources” in “The War Against Time” unit, students are asked to imagine they are a publisher preparing a biographical narrative about John Donne, highlight the most important events of his life, and select the key events in his life to include in the writing. Also in Unit 3 in “A Nation Divided” students are asked to complete a timed writing, informative text essay. In the directions they are asked to include relevant and substantial evidence and well-chosen details
- In Unit 4, in “Frankenstein Past & Present”, there are critical reading questions at the end of the text. These questions require students to use the text in order to answer. For example; “What is confusing the villagers? In what way is their confusion a humorous comment on monster movies in general?”
- In Unit 5, in the poem “In Memoriam, A.H.H.” there are text-dependent questions embedded in the margins for students to answer. For example; “In lines 29-44, what does the poet suggest about the consolations of faith and philosophy? What are two of the main feelings Tennyson conveys in these stanzas?” At the end of the poem, there are more text dependent questions found under Critical Reading, where students are asked to cite their evidence to support their responses. For example, “By what place is the speaker standing in section 7? What effect does the loss of his friend have on the scene?”
- In Unit 6, after students read “Shooting an Elephant” and “No Witchcraft for Sale” students are asked to write an explanatory essay. In the pre-writing directions, students are directed to reread both selections and jot down details from the text that both clarify the problems and suggest possible solutions. In their draft, they are asked to support their answers with accurate and detailed references to the text.
Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent and text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.
There are a variety of culminating tasks found throughout the texts. One is found in the introductory part of each unit, titled Multiple Perspectives on the Era, with a Speaking and Listening: Collaboration tasks. At the end of each text set, students have an opportunity to write about the texts read and analyzed. Also, each unit includes Common Core Extended Studies which includes culminating tasks for the texts included in the Extended Study. At the end of each unit there is a Common Core Assessment Workshop. Within this Workshop, the Constructed Responses are text dependent and require use of the text from the unit. There are three Writing prompts and three Speaking and Listening tasks.
Culminating tasks are varied over the year. However, not all writing tasks are supported by text dependent questions and activities needed to support the culminating tasks. The “Writing Workshop”, “Speaking and Listening”, “Language Study” assessments are most often not tied to text, either ones from the unit’s selections or otherwise. The “Text Set Workshop” assessments require students further explore the unit’s texts and build from the central themes of those texts. As the text-specific questions accompanying these texts explored similar themes, this set of assessments builds from previous text-dependent questions in the materials. The “Assessment Workshop: Test-Taking Practice” are designed to give students direct practice with SAT and ACT tests. The texts and questions in these assessments are not tied to those of unit. The “Assessment Workshop: Constructed Response” are text-dependent because they require the use of texts from the unit but do not explore themes from text-dependent questions or extend previous text dependent tasks.
- In Unit 1, Text Set Workshop: From Text to Understanding, Part 2: The Puritan Influence, Research: The American Dream Assignment: “With a small group, design and conduct a survey that will help you assess the ways in which the idea of the American Dream has changed over time. First, describe the ‘original’ American Dream. Use this text set and research beyond it to formulate a statement of what the original European settlers wished to achieve. Then, ask questions about how that definition compares to today’s idea of the American Dream. Follow the Survey Research Plan to prepare and conduct your survey. After you have gathered your data, present and discuss it. Include an analysis of your results and draw conclusions based on your analysis.”
- In Unit 3: A culminating task that meets this criteria is: Assessment Workshop, Performance Task, Evaluate a Work of Nonfiction and Two Foundational Documents. Students are asked to “Deliver an oral presentation in which you assess whether the social injustices described by Frederick Douglass in the excerpt from “My Bondage and My Freedom” were addressed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Fourteenth Amendment. Review the excerpt from “My Bondage and My Freedom”. Identify the individual injustices that Douglass describes in the excerpt. Find the texts of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Fourteenth Amendment online or in print. Analyze and compare the purposes, themes, and language of the autobiographical account and the two historical documents. Assess the two documents to determine whether they address Douglass’s grievances completely, partially, or not at all. Organize and present your findings logically, so your audience can easily follow your reasoning.”
- In Unit 4: There is a text set workshop where students synthesize texts from each text set in a culminating task. This task meets the criteria of containing high quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that lead to the task. Part 1 asks students to write an argumentative essay reviewing all the works in Part 1 and develop and defend a claim that explores how the authors incorporate fantasy and reality into their work.
- Again, In Unit Four, Part One there is a text set with 8 texts. After three texts, there is a culminating task of preparing an editorial speech in which students argue that using dialect is or is not a valuable literary technique. There are text-dependent questions in the three poems that ask students to consider and think about dialect. One question is What feelings or qualities does the use of dialect add to the mother’s advice to her daughter? From “Woo’d and Married and A’” and the other question is from ”To a Mouse” Does dialect add to the quality of folk-wisdom in the poem, or does it distract from the meaning?
- Then, under the “Lyric Poetry” Part 2 Unit, students are asked to find a copy of “The Raven” by Poe and read it carefully. Then write an essay comparing the Albatross in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (found in the textbook). The essay asks students to compare the appearance, actions, and influence of the Albatross to Raven. There are no text-dependent questions for “The Raven” as it is not included in the anthology. 12% of the text-dependent questions would be useful to students in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in regards to this task of writing an essay.
Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
At the end of every unit, in the Assessment: Synthesis there is one speaking and listening opportunity where students have a group discussion. In the Close Reading Workshop found in each unit, there is a “Discussions” paragraph, which gives students some directions on how to have discussions. The directions for these end of unit activities ask students to “refer to text in this section, other texts you have read, your personal experience, and research you have conducted to support your ideas.” In some activities, there is a direction to “Present your ideas using academic vocabulary”, however, there is no modeling of academic vocabulary found in the material. There are some opportunities to promote students’ ability to master grade level speaking and listening standards. Within the reading selections, there are questions for teachers to ask in the margins of the teacher’s edition. In some lessons, directions will state “Have students discuss...” There are no discussion protocols provided in the material. The teacher materials provided repeat the students’ directions and remind teachers to prompt their students to read the directions. However, there are some protocols, monitoring tools, accountability rubrics, and guidance for organizing students found in the ProfessionalDevelopment Guidebook. Examples of materials partially meeting this indicator include, but are not limited to:
- At the end of each unit there are Speaking and Listening lessons.
- Unit 1: Evaluate a Persuasive Speech
- Unit 2: Deliver a Persuasive Speech
- Unit 3: Oral Interpretation of a Literary Works
- Unit 4: Analyze a Non-Print Political Advertisement
- Unit 5: Analyze and Evaluate Media
- Unit 6: Compare Media Coverage of Same Event
- All of these lessons have a page on “how to” complete the skill and then a page on implementing the skill.
- At the beginning of each unit there is a Speaking and Listening skill, found on the “Common Core/Multiple Perspectives on the Era” page, which includes questions for an evidence based discussion. This is the only time this is found in the material. For example, In Unit four, students are asked to work with a group and stage a press conference in which Wordsworth, his sister, Dorothy; and Coleridge answer questions about their Romantic beliefs. Students need to have read the texts leading up to this activity in order to successfully complete the task. Next to the Speaking and Listening: Press Conference activity, there is an Essential Question Vocabulary box which includes words in three categories, Literature and Place (exotic, secular, residential), Literature and Society (privileged, institution, industrial), and The Writer and Tradition (conventional, routine, foibles). The directions state, “Use these words in your responses.”
- Another type of speaking and listening can be found at the end of each text set under the “Close Reading Activity”. It is called “Writing and Speaking Conventions” where students practice a grammar/language skill and are asked to write and then present their practice to the class. For example, in Unit Four,students write a sentence beginning with a phrase or clause provided (during his lifetime, working as an engraver, to support himself). Then students are asked to write and present to the class a paragraph contrasting The Lamb and The Tiger, using at least four phrases or clauses to begin sentences.
- In Unit 1, students evaluate a persuasive speech. They read on the types of propositions of persuasive speeches then identify the persuasive speech techniques to appeal to audiences. Next, students participate in an activity of evaluating a persuasive speech. The directions ask them to work with a classmate and find a persuasive speech in a play or on the internet. Then they describe the proposition and evaluate the use of specific persuasive techniques. Students then identify logical fallacies in three different speeches and discuss why the speakers might have resorted to using fallacies. Directions and support for the teacher on how to implement is found in the teacher’s edition next to the lesson in the margins. The support provides guiding questions the teacher may ask students and what to review with them. It also provides examples the teacher can use with the students to help them understand. For example it states, “ Give an example of parallelism, such as: Scientists note that average temperatures are rising and greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing.” Also, “Tell students that the expression red herring originated when it was suggested that someone drag a fish across the trail during a foxhunt to disguise the fox’s scent and confuse the dogs.”
- In Unit 2, the teacher edition provides many opportunities for text-based, whole class discussions. These are teacher-led since the questions are only found in the teacher edition. Examples include: “Have students reread lines 5-12 (of “Sonnet 116” by Shakespeare). Then, ask students what is the main idea of each of the quatrains.” Another example is while reading a non-fiction text, “The Mystery of the Sonnets,” the teacher is provided a “Connect to the Literature” question: “Does knowing the story told by the sonnets make reading individual sonnets more interesting? Why or why not?”
- In Unit 3, students participate in an Oral Interpretation of a Literary Work. On the first page, they read how to analyze a literary work. Then they write their own analysis. Then they rehearse with speaking strategies. Next, students are directed to present their interpretations. Lastly, students are asked to work with a small group, listening to a variety of interpretations of the same work. The teacher support suggest teachers “Divide the class into pairs of students and allow partners to deliver their oral interpretations to each other. As each student shares his or her performance, have the partner fill out an evaluation form like the one shown on the student page. ….”
- In Unit 3, “Speaking and Listening: Collaboration Media Evaluation, the following directions are provided: 1. Review the assignment with students. 2. Have students examine the picture. They should formulate media evaluations that take into account the questions provided. They may discuss forums for discussion and exchange analogous to eighteenth-century coffee-houses that exist in today’s society. 3. After students complete their media evaluations of the picture, have them present their analysis to the class. To help conduct the discussion, use the Discussion Guide in the Professional Development Guidebook, page 65”.
- In Unit 6, Part 4, there is a Literary History page that includes a “Speaking and LIstening: Research” box. However, the directions within that box are to compile an annotated bibliography. The listening and speaking part is, “Briefly explain your choices.” The teacher directions state to, “Have each student share the contents of his or her bibliography with a partner. Students should discuss what they have learned about each book and why they think it looks interesting.”
- In Unit 6, Part 4, there are few opportunities to engage in discussions. At the beginning of “That’s All” the teacher directions state, “Have students compare their responses to the prompt, completed before reading the plays, with their thoughts afterward. Have them work individually or in groups, writing or discussing their thoughts, to formulate new responses. Then, lead a class discussion, probing for what students have learned that confirms or invalidates their initial thoughts.” In Unit 6, Part 4, the second opportunity to discuss is found at “Prayer”. Under Activating Prior Knowledge in the TE is states, “Lead a discussion about what qualities we take from our parents or guardians, and what qualities originate from ourselves."
Materials support students' listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence. Students have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading and researching through varied grade-level-appropriate speaking and listening opportunities. Opportunities include speeches, formal presentations, and engaging in small and large group discussions.
Speaking and listening opportunities are not frequent over the course of the school year. It happens once at the beginning of the unit in the “Snapshot of the Periods” and once at the end of the unit. Instruction and speaking and listening opportunities throughout the unit lessons is rare. End of unit activities do increase in complexity. Speaking and listening is often presented as a stand alone task. Prompts and presentations are included in final tasks with criteria for success listed, however clear instruction on how to engage in small or large discussions, debates, formal presentations is not included within materials. Practice in speaking and listening is not varied over the school year.
The speaking and listening work requires students to marshall evidence from texts and sources and is applied over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:
- In Unit 1, “Burton Raffel refers to the conflict between ‘Anglo-Saxon ‘natives’’ and Viking or Danish ‘immigrants.’ Suppose you were a council of Viking leaders planning to invade England. Hold a small group discussion about the map of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms below, answering these questions as you make your military plans: Which region or regions might aid you in your fight? Why? Which regions might oppose your invasion most strongly? Why? Would it be easier to sail your war ships down the Ouse River or the Thames? Explain.”
- In Unit 2, “Play the role of a docent, or tour guide, at the new Globe, and prepare a multimedia ‘welcome’ talk for visitors. Your talk should include a brief history of the original Globe theater, as well as a description of the resources at the modern Globe. Make sure to address alternative views of the theater’s history and construction. To accompany your talk, prepare a brief slide presentation that includes photographs or diagrams of the theater. Select images that will lend interest or that will help your audience understand your points.”
- In Unit 2, students, “choose a topic you are passionate about”. Students are instructed to: A. Rehearse your speech in front of friends. Then, deliver it to your class. Afterward, discuss your speech with the class. Respond thoughtfully to classmates’ comments and questions. Then, have your audience fill out an evaluation form like the one shown below. B. Review classmates’ comments, synthesizing them by noting where they overlap. Conduct any research needed to answer the concerns raised, and then develop and present an impromptu speech offering a rebuttal, or answer to your audience’s critique of your argument.”
- Unit 3, Task 6, students are to “Deliver a visual presentation in which you analyze the impact of words choice on tone in a literary work from this unit. State which work you chose and summarize its key elements - setting, characters, events and themes. Describe the tone of the work. Cite at least three specific word choices - especially those with rich connotations or multiple meanings - that contribute to this tone. Present your ideas clearly and logically, using formal English and academic vocabulary.”
- the Unit 6, Speaking and Listening, Activity: Compare Print Coverage of Same Event, students “Select a news event and examine its coverage in three different newspapers or magazines. Look for similarities and differences in the ways each publication approaches its coverage, and examine how the coverage emphasizes different elements, including facts. Conduct a group discussion in which members exchange and discuss what they have learned and what ideas they have developed in their own media examinations.” This task is not supported by the reading selections found in the text.
Every unit contains a Speaking and Listening lesson at the end of the unit. The lessons include:
- Unit 1: Evaluate a Persuasive Speech
- Unit 2: Deliver a Persuasive Speech
- Unit 3: Oral Interpretation of a Literary Works
- Unit 4: Analyze a Non-Print Political Advertisement
- Unit 5: Analyze and Evaluate Media
- Unit 6: Compare Media Coverage of Same Event
While there are ample opportunities for listening and speaking about what is read and researched, the facilitation, monitoring and instruction within the materials is limited.
Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.
- In Unit 2, in the Assessment Section, the “Constructed Response” tasks have students (or teacher) choose one of the prompts that connect to CCSS reading skills: analyze the development of a drama, analyze Shakespearean language, analyze the development of central ideas. Each of the tasks is an essay that asks students to refer to one or more of the texts that appears in the unit.
- In Unit Six, under the Writing to Source activity after “The Demon Lover” students write a sequel to the story. The materials do not indicate a required length for this assignment nor provide teacher tools for feedback to support students’ writing.
- In Unit Four, under the Writing to Source after “She Walks in Beauty”, “Apostrophe to the Ocean”, and “from Don Juan”, students write an interior monologue. The draft directions say to structure your monologue as the tale of a sequence of events that leads to your hero’s strongest expression of his or her attitude. Also, in Unit Four, after students read the Introduction to Frankenstein, they are asked to write a brief autobiography of a monster. First they are provided the prompt, next they are asked to prewrite and outline the plot of their narrative. Second, they are asked to draft their narrative. Third, they are to revise their draft adding figurative language to make their descriptions more vivid.
- In Unit Four, the first on-demand writing opportunity appears in the “Common Core Extended Study of William Wordsworth and Lyric Poetry from Around the World” portion of the unit. Students are asked to write an Explanatory Text: Essay, comparing and contrasting two poems. They are told to write in 40 minutes. There is a second on-demand opportunity in this unit under the Reading for Information section. Here students write an Informative Text. The prompt says, “Although these documents have different purposes, they are about the same place. Write a brief analytical essay in which you use both documents to tell visitors what to expect on a trip to the Lake District.” Students have 40 minutes to write. The third opportunity comes at the end of the unit in the Common Core SAT Assessment Workshop. Students are asked to write a position statement whether education is the key to liberation for an oppressed group of people.
- In Unit Six, there is a Writing to Source activity that requires students to write directions for traveling by car from Belfast to Derry along the beautiful Antrim coast of Ireland. It is not clear, but is assumed that this is intended as a short writing task. Then there is another task that asks students to write a scene from an absurd drama set in school. Another task is to write a poem that is a parody. Then in the Writing Workshop students write a short story. The lengths and timings of these writing tasks are not clearly indicated.
Evidence for revising and lack of opportunities for editing:
- In Unit Five, in the Ulysses Close Reading Activities, students write an informative text (biographical essay) recounting the details of Tennyson’s life and work. They are asked to prewrite, draft and revise. When revising, the directions have them read through their draft to make sure they presented the correct sequence of events and clearly explained the cause-and-effect relationships. It also asks them to make sure they have ample evidence and solid reasoning to claim such a relationship. There is no mention of editing in this task. Also, In Unit Five, there is one opportunity to edit and proof read. This is found in the Writer’s Workshop. Students are asked to check their report to eliminate grammatical or spelling errors. Also, to be sure their report is neatly presented and legible. It also, asks students to review an earlier lesson on verb tenses and active voice directing students to the page number if they need to review. Then it asks students to check their report to be sure they used those conventions correctly.
- In Unit Five, under the Common Core Assessment Workshop writing opportunities, there are three writing tasks, all essays. The words,”edit” or “revise your writing” are not found in the tasks. However, there are bullet points that say “Use transitions to clearly show the relationships and interactions among story elements.” Or “Use active, not passive voice.” Or “Accurately use academic vocabulary in your writing.” Or “In your writing, use technical academic vocabulary, standard English grammar, and correct spelling.”
- There are digital resources available for teachers and students: Online Skills Support, CC Companion, Professional Development Guidebook, Online Graphic Organizers, Online EssayScorer, and Interactive Whiteboard Activities however we do not have access to them as a reviewer so we do not know their role in the writing tasks. Digital resources for students to use during their writing.
Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. May include “blended” styles.
Materials include sufficient writing opportunities for a whole year’s use. Materials provide multiple opportunities across the school year for students to practice and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. However, learning opportunities are limited. There is a Writing Workshop at the end of each unit which teaches a writing lesson. However, students are asked to practice and apply genres/modes throughout the entire unit, including at the beginning before instruction on those genres and modes has been provided. Materials provide few opportunities for students/teachers to monitor progress in writing skills. Rubrics and checklists are found in the Writing Workshops at the end of each unit (6 times total). The “Writing to Sources” tasks say to use rubrics which are in the Professional Development Guidebook. Also, in the teacher’s edition, it says to guide students to writing a specific text using the Support for Writing page, available online. The writing tasks found in the Common Core Assessment Workshop provide a rubric and a checklist for tasks.
None of the six Writing Workshops require students to connect to text or text sets, however at the end of every unit there is a Text Set Workshop where students explore the fundamental connections among the texts through a writing task. In the Writing to Sources activities students have to connect to the text in order to complete the activity.
- Writing Workshops found at the end of each unit that teach a lesson on writing to students.
- Unit 1, Autobiographical Narrative
- Unit 2, Argumentative Essay
- Unit 3, Reflective Essay
- Unit 4, Multimedia Presentation of an Argument
- Unit 5, Historical Investigation Report
- In Unit 1, after reading two historical nonfiction texts, the “Close Reading Activities: Writing to Sources” task is classified as argument and asks students to write a business memo “convincing people to invest in an enterprise Britain or Ireland. Explain your plan clearly and persuasively, citing passages from the selection to support your points.” The teacher edition suggests that teachers provide students 5 minutes to prewrite, 10 minutes to draft, and ten minutes to revise and edit.
- In Unit 1, students’ first three writing opportunities are to write an editorial, write a job application, then complete a timed write where they write an analytical essay. There are limited directions on how to do this. In the Time and Resource Manager (the pacing guide) for the teacher, it is suggested that the editorial be used as an assessment in one period or as an homework assignment. The same suggestion is made for the job application.