Language Arts 12

Course Description

Semester A:

Students examine major works of literature organized into thematic units. Each unit contains poetry, short stories, and a novel that revolve around the theme for the unit. Themes include the self, relationships, alienation, choice, and death. As students read these works, they have the opportunity to reflect on these important themes by writing in multiple modes and creating cross-disciplinary projects.

Semester B

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare
Welcome to the contemporary world literature course. In this course you will experience the novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction from countries around the world. You will discover that the writers in this course have ideas and lives as interesting as their work. You will discover many writers have unique writing styles, unique ideas, unique lives, and unique approaches to their art. You will also have the chance to do some unique work of your own. By reading contemporary work and some work of the 20th century you will also discover that “no matter what a writer’s origins, certain themes and events have been hard to run away from in the 20th and early 21st centuries.” As you read, it is my hope that you will come to an understanding that, “. . .reading literature from around the world is unlikely to teach you everything there is to know about a culture. But it may help. . .” Along this journey you will use technology, writing, reflection, vocabulary, research, and other academic and personal skills to help you learn to enter the world of your community, your country, and your world. As the poet Gwendolyn Brooks said, “I believe that we should all know each other, we human carriers of so many pleasurable differences. To not know is to doubt, to shrink from, sidestep or destroy.” So begin your own journey through the world, and do this by reading, writing about what you read, and experiencing the work of writers.

Course Requirements

Grade Level



In this course, you are required to read two novels from the You-Choose list in addition to the works that are listed as required reading below. After selecting the novels you will read as your choices, download the appropriate novel guides using the links below.

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Semester A)
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (Semester B)
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo (Semester B)
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Semester B)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare (Semester B)

You-Choose Novels:

  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Othello by Julius Lester
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley


2 Semesters


Language Arts 9
Language Arts 10
Language Arts 11

Technology Skills

  • Internet Navigation
  • Word Processing
  • Email Communication

Semester A

Major Concepts

• Use language to express ideas, beliefs and feelings.
• Utilize language to facilitate independent thinking.
• Develop and apply strategies to construct meaning from increasingly complex and challenging tests.
• Strategically use language to communicate for a variety of purposes.
• Participate actively and successfully in today’s information-rich society.
• Utilize literature to reveal the complexities of the world and human experience.

Semester B

Major Concepts

• North American literature encompasses several distinct cultures and writing styles.
• Empathizing with the writing of other cultures enables the reader to more fully appreciate the viewpoints represented.
• The literature of Europe is as diverse and eclectic as the countries that make up the continent
• The writings of Asia, Australia, and Oceania, while transforming over time, maintain a rich history.
• Literature helps unite nations separated by cultural differences.
• Shakespeare`s literary decisions reveal the characters’ true identities.