My students are creative and eager individuals at a high-performing public magnet school in Louisiana. Students must test into our school, and they are all working one grade level above expectation. I teach a mixture of gifted and regular education students at the high school level.
Enrichment and acceleration are the two pillars of gifted education.
Gifted students thrive when they are encouraged to think outside of themselves or see through another's eyes, which is a focus in my curriculum for English II.
My English II class is focusing on three units: the first teaches rhetorical strategies and emphasizes the power of words. The second focuses on Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) and the legacy we leave behind. The last unit features Macbeth and investigates the issue of free will and how much control we have on our fate. To enrich my students, I plan to assign two outside novels: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, and Spoon River Anthology, by Edgar Lee Masters:
The Book Thief is the best book of all time.
It is about an illiterate girl's relationship with words as she grapples with being a child in Hitler's WWII Germany. This will tie perfectly into our unit on rhetoric as well as the legacy we leave (the book is narrated by Death, who is fascinated by the impact Liesel has on him).
Spoon River Anthology is a fabulous novel written as a series of epitaphs as they appear on the gravestones in the local graveyard. Through each of the over 200 epitaphs, we learn how each person impacted the others around them and illuminates how drastically different one's reaction to an experience can be from another's. This picks up where the Book Thief leaves off, focusing on the legacy we leave and also deals with with how we influence other's actions and existences.
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