Literature – 11th-12th Grade European Literature

Syllabus – Session II

Books required:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I will be using an abridged edition translated by Charles Wilbour and published by Simon & Schuster, Inc. If you aren’t able to get this version, no worries. Just make sure that you are reading an abridged edition.

A Man for All Seasons: a Play in Two Acts by Robert Bolt. Easily found in the library system.

Twelfth Night (No Fear Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare. Easily found in the library system.

Week One: Come to class having read through the section labeled “Fantine. Be prepared to discuss the short story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. Come prepared for a short essay test on Robinson Crusoe. Read through the section of Les Miserables labeled “Cosette” for week two and the short story Miss Brill by Katherine Mansfield. Our writing focus for this session will be on the development of an essay.

Week Two: We will discuss the short story and Les Mis and will continue our exploration of character development. We will work on creating strong thesis statements in class. Read through the section of Les Mis labeled “Marius” for week three. Begin work on an essay related to Les Miserables.

Week Three: Discussion of Les Mis. I will explore theme with the students and how to identify it in works of literature. Read through the final chapters of Les Mis for week four. Finish work on essay to be handed in on week four.

Week Four: Final discussion of Les Mis. Share essays in class. There will be a test on Les Mis to finish out our study. Read the short story The Darling by Anton Chekhov for week five.

Week Five: Begin reading A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt in class. Discuss The Darling. Work on body paragraphs together in class. Finish reading the play for week six. Prepare for a quiz on theme as well.

Week Six: Discussion of the play. Quiz covering the topic of theme. No reading assignments for week seven.

Week Seven: Begin reading Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare in class. Finish reading the play at home in preparation for week eight. We will discuss point of view In class. Our writing focus for these two weeks will be on introductory and concluding paragraphs of an essay.

Week Eight: Discuss Twelfth Night. There will be a quiz covering the story and covering point of view. Then we will celebrate Shakespeare!

Syllabus  ~  Session 1

Course Materials

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White. (The Sword in the Stone is often found as the first
section of larger book, The Once and Future King. This book is easy to find in the SWAN
library system.)
Ivanhoe: a romance by Sir Walter Scott. (Many copies available.)


Week One:

Introduction to The Sword in the Stone and medieval literature and legends.
We will also maintain a focus on story and structure through the hands-on examination of
short stories. What is the purpose of fiction? What differentiates commercial fiction from
literary fiction? These are questions we will pursue during Session One. The students
should come to class having read through Chapter Eight of The Sword in the Stone for
Week Two.

Week Two:

We will discuss the first eight chapters of The Sword in the Stone.
The students will have a chance to use their imaginations as they “turn” into other
creatures. We will focus on character development and perspective. This will be an
ongoing project while reading this book selection. Continuing the story, we will read the
next eight chapters for Week One of Session Two.

Week Three:

The discussion will continue delving into this modern mythical novel. The
fantastical creature writing will be developed and tweaked this week. The final eight
chapters will be read for Week Four. We will dive deeper into structure, artistic unity,
endings, conflict, etc. and the sophisticated plot construction.

Week Four:

Week Four will be our final discussion of The Sword in the Stone. The
students should be ready to hand in their pieces of fiction. There will be a short essay test
at the conclusion of every book. We will discuss the setting for Ivanhoe and read the first
chapter together. We will also read a short story and apply the information about story
structure to that story. Read the first 11 chapters of Ivanhoe for Week Five. A choice of
writing assignment will be offered and will be due on Week Eight.

Week Five:

We will discuss the first 11 chapters of Ivanhoe. We will examine chivalry and
cultural norms as portrayed in the book. We will also compare and contrast the
characters. The discussion of character will continue as we look at modern literary
characterization through direct and indirect presentation. The next 11 chapters should
be read by Week Six.

Week Six:

We will continue our journey through Ivanhoe. Read through chapter 33 for
Week Seven. We will also continue applying what we’ve learned about characterization
to a modern short story.

Week Seven:

Our discussion will cover chapters 23-33. We will read the final chapters of
Ivanhoe for Week Eight. The writing assignment will be due Week Eight. Using another
short story we will continue exploring characterization.

Week Eight:

This will be the final discussion of Ivanhoe. The papers will be due and
shared. We will focus on theme this week and work on ways to discover it within a story
or novel.