Decisions and Revisions

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Spring semester
Elective

To choose or not to choose: that’s the real question. This course explores the power human beings have to choose, and the extent to which we use, or choose to use, that power. How much control do we have over our lives? What role does choice play in our search for meaning? What are the causes and effects of agency and passivity? We’ll struggle with these questions as we meet characters who struggle with their decisions. We’ll also dabble into a bit of existentialist philosophy.

Units

Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources
Decisions and Revisions
  • How much control do we have over our lives?
  • What role does choice play in our search for meaning?
  • What are the causes and effects of agency and passivity?
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  • Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions
  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet
  • Herman Melville, “Bartleby”
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
  • Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
  • T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • Albert Camus, The Stranger 
  • ----------------- “The Myth of Sisyphus”
  • Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
  • Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
     
  • Direct class discussion
  • Develop critical abilities as readers
  • Improve skills as writers of analytical prose
  • Prepare and present class meetings, both in collaborative groups and as individuals
  • Apply principles of unguided peer reviewing and metacritical self-review for both content and style
  • Use techniques of active reading, class note-taking, and test-taking
  • Three analytical essays are assessed for both content and style in individual conferences
  • Tests emphasize reading comprehension and synthesis
  • Peer reviews
  • Metacritical writing
  • Discussions about critical analysis and persuasive writing
  • Class presentations are assessed for both class plan and execution
  • Consultation with departmental handouts from grades 9-11