12th Grade English/Language Arts

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12th Grade English/Language Arts

First Six Weeks: Week 1

Writer: Lacy Starnes




  • The students will be introduced to the campus’s procedures and expectations.

  • The students will be introduced to the teacher’s expectations for success in class

  • The students will write a letter to themselves addressing goals for the upcoming year.

The students will be presented with a yearlong theme and short overview of material.


Students should be provided with a syllabus outlining what major literary pieces and essays will be covered, class expectations, grading policies and supplies needed.

Students should complete an information sheet providing primary contact information.
The student letter to themselves could address academic goals, social, family-related, skills-related, or personal in nature.
In presenting the yearlong theme, one should focus on an essential question or idea that can be revisited continually throughout the year. Some ideas include:

  • How does one define good and evil? Can these descriptions change or transform through the different pieces read? Is there something to be said about the relationship between good and evil?

  • How is a writer’s background a direct influence on the piece?

  • How a hero is defined, transformed, and/or influenced for good or bad.

The overview should include a timeline of English literature to be read and essays to be written throughout the year.

Essential Questions:

What your goal and expectations for the year?

How does literature reflect society?

Where did English literature begin?

Suggested Lesson Ideas:

  1. Open discussion about the relationships between literature and place.

How do traditions, beliefs, societal norms, affect what is seen in the literature we read? Look at modern culture (consider a popular television show, movie, book) and how it reflects society today.

  • Look at “Snapshot of the Period” on pages 2-3 to transition into early English time period. What events influenced the language and early writing of that time?

  • “Historical Background” on pages 4-5 could be used to introduce the significant events that led to development of England as a nation, thus the government, economy, social order. Place emphasis on that of the Anglo-Saxon culture and determine what major elements made up the society.

  1. Locating societal influence

For a required assignment or extra credit, ask students to locate a literary piece that shows evidence of societal influence. They can turn this into a project or presentation or simply just a written piece.

Suggested Assessment:

-Students could complete a teacher created, open-ended quiz or multiple choice quiz from the ancillary material.

-Teacher could use the “Locating societal influence” as small assessment or as a 6 week major project


Prentice Hall Literature Textbook

Ancillary Material/Quizzes

12th Grade English/Language Arts

First Six Weeks: Week 2

Writer: Lacy Starnes


3A, 4A, 1C, 2C. 3C

  • Students will read and analyze the epic poem, Beowulf, from the Anglo-Saxon period.

  • Students will recognize, analyze, and apply their knowledge of epic works (characters, structures, themes) and give evidence from Beowulf to support understanding.

  • Students will familiarize themselves with academic vocabulary seen in epic poetry.

To understand Beowulf, one must identify two major components about the piece.

  1. Beowulf, the piece, is classified as a Folk epic. A Folk epic, in ancient times, were stories about heroes that were recited or sung as entertainment and passed down orally from one generation to next.

Certain key elements make an epic what it is (see page 34 in text):

  • Epic Hero

  • Quest

  • Valorous Deeds

  • Divine Intervention

  • Great Events

*Also see Types of Epics (Literary versus Folk), Epic Conventions ( See page 35 in text)

  1. Beowulf, himself, is known as the “epic hero”. The epic hero is the central character of an epic. This character is a larger-than-life figure, typically of noble or semidivine birth, who pits his courage, skill, and virtue against his opposing, often evil, forces.

Essential Questions:

How does one define a hero?

How does a literary piece reflect a society?

Suggested Lesson Ideas:


Before Reading

  • Ask students to explain how the historical background might influence the nature of the piece.

  • Define and discuss academic vocabulary found in Beowulf: extolled, archetype, paraphrase, emphasis, etc.

  • Define and discuss literary terms for Beowulf: epithets, in medias res, foreshadowing, kenning, setting, dialogue, style

  • Define and discuss SAT Vocabulary for Beowulf: reparation, reprisal, loathsome, vehemently, etc.

  • Go over key strategies for reading poetry. For example, epic poetry is famous for descriptive writing, therefore, encourage kids to visualize this like a movie!

  • Establish context of piece. Take some time on day one to go over setting, characters, and conflict.

During Reading:

  • Create a graphic organizer that can be used to identify characteristics of an epic or epic hero, and/or poetic devices (simile, metaphor, alliteration) used throughout Beowulf.

  • Reinforce vocabulary by asking students to identify and provide examples from the text.

  • Assess comprehension by pairing students up and asking them to translate key passages into their own words. Such as on page 47, where Beowulf introduces himself and boasts of his many accomplishments.

After Reading:

  • Teacher could encourage students to share their translations and take a moment to point out where they might see this same sort of “boasting” in modern society. (Rap stars, celebrities, etc.)

Read: The Wrath of Grendel (p. 40), The Coming of Beowulf (p. 44), The Battle with Grendel (p. 49) The Monster’s Lair (p. 51), The Battle with Grendel’s Mother (Pg. 52)

Suggested Assessment:

Ancillary quizzes

Textbook comprehension questions

Passage translation into modern language

Defining poetic device and providing examples from text


Prentice Hall Literature Textbook

Diagnostic material from ancillaries

12th Grade English/Language Arts

First Six Weeks: Week 3

Writer: Lacy Starnes


3A, 4A, 1C, 2C,


  • Students will read and analyze Beowulf: The Last Battle, The Spoils, The Farewell.

  • Students will analyze and reflect on how the epic mirrors the values of the culture that produced it.

  • Students will analyze and reflect how the epic reflects the theme of good and evil.

Students will continue to identify and explain how Beowulf presents characteristics of an epic and how Beowulf, himself, reflects that of an epic hero. It is important in the last three sections of this piece to emphasize how even in Beowulf’s last battle, death, and burial, he continues to exemplify that of a true hero. It is also encouraged to point out that of Beowulf’s men and how they see and respect him as their hero. The men that stand behind the hero are just as equally important as that of the hero, himself. Explore why.
Once finishing the piece, students need to be able to identify, as a whole, how Beowulf mirrors that of the Anglo-Saxon culture. (Ex: How are the Anglo-Saxon beliefs and traditions represented in Beowulf?) Additionally, what do they see in Beowulf, himself, that reflects that of the Anglo-Saxon culture? (Ex. What VALUES are seen in Beowulf that could be a reflection of the Anglo-Saxon culture?)
After reflecting on the epic and its ties to culture, it is then important to connect the piece to the yearlong theme of good and evil. How is good and evil defined in Beowulf, specifically? This could be answered literally, figuratively, and in various ways.

Essential Questions:
What in Beowulf reflects that of the common beliefs and/or traditions of the Anglo-Saxon culture?

What values are seen in that of the hero, Beowulf, that would be a reflection of the Anglo-Saxon culture?

How does the epic poem Beowulf connect and define to the yearlong theme of good and evil?

Suggested Lesson Ideas:

  1. Beowulf’s Last Battle

Concerning “The Epic”:

  • Have a student read aloud lines 630-649 on page 57. Ask what prominent themes they notice in these lines and/or how it promotes the ideals of an epic. Then ask, specifically, how do these lines support the characteristics of an epic hero.

  • Concerning Anglo-Saxon Culture:

Ask how lines 630-649 suggest values about the Anglo-Saxon culture. (Clearly, the Anglo-Saxon culture valued bravery and honor.)

  • Have students paraphrase the events of Beowulf’s battle with the dragon. Challenge them to be creative while keeping their passages concise. After sharing their paraphrased passages, ask them to share what the passage reveals about the values of the warrior culture.

  • Identify and analyze Wiglaf’s character and how the story would be different if he was not there. How might Wiglaf redefine that of a “hero”?

  1. The Spoils/The Farewell

  • Read aloud lines 779-785 on page 61. Allow class to summarize what occurs in passage.

  • Read aloud and summarize “The Farewell” reflecting on Beowulf’s last request. How might the burial of Beowulf reflect that of Anglo-Saxon culture?

Suggested Assessment:

Students could create a Beowulf comic strip, as final review, that outlines either one of the major battles or the story in its entirety.

-Comic strip would require that students outline major plot events and emphasize aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture

-Must provide direct quotes from piece

-Must be creative and concise

To create:

Take a piece of paper and fold so that six squares are shown on front and back for a total of 12 scenes.


Prentice Hall Literature Textbook

Diagnostic material from ancillaries

Teacher created project

12th Grade English/Language Arts

First Six Weeks: Week 4

Writer: Lacy Starnes


13A, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13D, 15A, 15B,


  • Students will be introduced to the college application essay

  • Students will discuss what makes for an acceptable college application essay

  • Students brainstorm and plan for the college application essay.

  • Students will write a first draft.


Although students have already been introduced to the college application essay in English 3, it is imperative to review the “makeup” of this type of essay. English 4 students at this time of year will more than likely be getting ready to apply for college, and therefore will need to be well-prepared in writing this type of essay. The teacher might consider providing essays that have been successful in the past and discussing with his/her class what aspects of the essay made it successful. (Using sensory detail, “showing” rather than “telling” style of writing, solid structure and clarity.) Teachers should reference the “Texas Common Application” website for an updated list of essay prompts for all incoming freshmen. (www.applytexas.org)

Because this is the first formal essay of the year, a review of the format and parts of an essay, plus examples of each step will aid students’ understanding.
English 4 students should develop the college application essay to fit a 500-700 word count and should use MLA format when typing: Times New Roman, 12 point font, double-spaced, 1” margins, etc.
The details of a college application essay should be discussed: correct grammar, clear organization, vivid details, unique style.
A standardized rubric should be used across grade levels. It can be as holistic or specific as the department desires, but it should be used for each formal essay evaluation.

Essential Questions:

What are the characteristics of college application essay?

What makes for a good college application essay?

What topics are there to choose from when writing a college application essay?

Suggested Lesson Ideas:
Notes on writing a college application essay can be found on page 694 of the Prentice Hall Literature Textbook.

I suggest, first and foremost, collecting and preparing information that can be given to students concerning what effective expository writing should look like. The college application essay must be detailed and personal in style but short and concise. Students will find the “short and concise” part to be the most difficult; therefore, finding actual examples of successful essays will help in organizing their own essays.


While this essay will take on a more informal tone, it is important to encourage them to focus on structure and communicating their story efficiently. I would recommend that this essay be between 500-700 words with an emphasis on creating a beginning, middle, and end to their story. Due to the pressing length of this paper and what the student must accomplish in this amount of space, encouraging them to outline their piece would be best. Create a “prewrite” which asks the students to determine their topic, subject, and points to be discussed. Once again I emphasize, their essay MUST have a beginning, middle, and end. The reader of this essay needs to see that the student can not only write eloquently but in an organized fashion.

*It is STRONGLY recommended that grammar be integrated into lessons throughout the year. A great idea would be to have a mini grammar lesson every day as a warm-up activity. Working on such things as parts of speech, punctuation, sentence variations, etc. will greatly benefit your students in essay writing.


After completing the “prewrite”, instruct students to start on their first draft. It is important to mention that they stay on point of what their subject is. (For example, if their subject is about dogs, students need to make sure that they do not end up discussing goats halfway through). Encourage them to write in a “showing” fashion rather than in a “telling” fashion. Work on constructing sentences that show what they saw, heard, smelled, and felt! Detail, detail, detail, is the name of the game. Providing detailed writing gives the writer his own unique voice, which is something the reader of the essay is looking for. Look to see that students are writing with purpose and showing structure to their papers.

Suggested Assessment:

Short warm-ups practicing grammar, descriptive writing, etc.

Labeling the parts of an essay on an actual essay


Prentice Hall Literature Textbook www.applytexas.org

Standardized rubric

Teacher created material Technology

12th Grade English/Language Arts

First Six Weeks: Week 5

Writer: Lacy Starnes


13A, 13B, 13C, 13D, 13D, 15A, 15B,


  • The student will revise/edit the college application essay

  • The students will produce a final, corrected draft

Due to the importance of this kind of essay in the senior year, it is recommended that the teacher require students to produce 2-3 drafts of the paper before turning in a final product. It is suggested that students understand that writing is a PROCESS and that process includes: prewriting, planning, drafting, revising, more drafting, editing, and publishing.
Again, a standardized rubric should be used across grade levels. It can be holistic or specific as the department desires, but it should be used for each formal essay evaluation.

Essential Questions:

What is the importance of writing being a process?

What kind of editing and revising should be used with a college application essay?

Suggested Lesson Ideas:
Revision/Editing of college application essay

Notable writing comes from the rewriting process rather than from the first draft. A teacher should share this thought because no writing is perfect, therefore, multiple drafts are encouraged. Perhaps, require students to write their first draft outside of class and then rewrite their second draft in class. Again, it is encouraged to push students to write with detail but be concise. The revising and editing process could be stretched out to 2+ days if interested in doing individual revision -edit/peer-edit-revision/teacher-student private conferencing.
When ready to start the revising process (consult p. 698), instruct students to ask the following:

  • Have I answered the question asked?

  • Do I back up each point that I make with an example? Have I used concrete and personal examples?

  • What does it say about me? After making a list of all the words you have used within the essay -- directly and indirectly -- to describe yourself, ask: Does this list accurately represent me?

  • Does the writing sound like me? Is it personal and informal rather than uptight or stiff?

  • Regarding the introduction, is it personal and written in my own voice? Is it too general? Can the essay get along without it?

  • What about the essay makes it memorable?

When ready to start the editing process (consult p. 701), consider:

  • Spelling

  • Punctuation

  • Capitalization

  • Sentence structure

Suggested Assessment:

Short grammar quizzes or warm-ups

Labeling the part of the essay on the actual essay

The completed college application essay with all parts of the writing process attached to the back


Teacher created material

Standardized rubric

Prentice Hall Literature Textbook

12th Grade English/Language Arts

First Six Weeks: Week 6

Writer: Lacy Starnes


3A, 4A, 1C, 2C, 3C


  • The students will be introduced to the Research Paper

  • The students will write an in-class essay

  • The students will take and pass a six weeks test.

Week 6 should focus on the review of the Anglo-Saxon culture and the epic poem, Beowulf. This review will not only aid students in preparing for the 6 weeks test, but it will also help them in transitioning into their research paper.
Students will be required to write an in-class essay identifying and explaining how Beowulf, the hero, is a direct reflection of the Anglo-Saxon culture he was created in. This might include how he exhibits the culture’s values, beliefs, and/or traditions.Students will reflect on their in-class writing and consider the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf as a reflection of his society. Likewise, students will then consider a modern hero that perhaps reflects that of modern society. Looking at both of these ideas, students will contemplate a basis for their research paper topic: “How does the hero act as a mirror of the society that created him/her?” The research paper will not begin until week 1 of the second 6 weeks, however, they should spend THIS week deciding on what topic will work for them.
Students will take a six weeks test to assess their knowledge of the Anglo-Saxon culture, characteristics of an epic/epic hero, and perhaps some basics on expository writing

Essential Questions:

What are the characteristics of an epic and an epic hero?

Who is and what is the Anglo-Saxon culture?

What modern hero, just like Beowulf, is a reflection of our modern society?

Suggested Lesson Ideas:
Looking back, moving forward
The teacher should use this week as time for review and transition. It needs to be clearly communicated as to the purpose of what this week entails. Students are to review all of Beowulf including plot summary, characters, setting, context, themes, etc. They are to also review characteristics of the epic and epic hero. How is Beowulf a direct reflection of Anglo-Saxon culture? Be sure students are able to provide specific examples.
Instruct students that they will be doing an in-class, timed writing in which they must take what they reviewed last class and answer the prompt: Analyze and explain how Beowulf is a mirror of the Anglo-Saxon culture.
After collecting their time writings, discuss and share some of the possible answers. Students should be able to identify values and beliefs that Beowulf possessed directly connecting the values and beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon culture. From this idea, the teacher could then introduce the research paper topic that will be addressed in the 2nd 6 weeks: “How does the hero act as a mirror of the society that created him/her?” Students will then spend the remainder of the class deciding on a modern hero in book, poetry, or film that might reflect that of our modern culture. (Details to come…)
To close out the 6 weeks, it is recommended to either make the timed writing be their 6 weeks test or give a multiple choice test that covers everything including basics on writing the college application essay.

Suggested Assessment:

Timed writing

Teacher created multiple choice test


Prentice Hall Literature Textbook

Diagnostic material from ancillaries

English 4 Checklist

1st Six Weeks
After the completion of the First Six Weeks, the student will be able to:
______ set goals in the form of a student letter
______ understand and explain the yearlong theme
______ recognize, analyze, and apply knowledge of epic works
______ recognize aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture
______ read Anglo-Saxon piece, Beowulf and explain how it connects to the yearlong theme
______ identify and apply writing techniques for a successful College Application Essay
______ complete the writing process for a College Application Essay
______ pass a timed writing analyzing and explaining how Beowulf is a product of his society
______ determine a general idea of what his/her research will be about
_____ pass a six weeks test
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