A blog following teacher Aaron Jura as he plans engaging, yet relevant English Language Arts content for High School students in New Orleans, LA.
I recently received the challenge of changing everything I had planned and perfectly executed in English I to change everything and be prepared to teach American Literature in the Spring semester. All teachers out there know how stressful this can be.
I am actually very excited to teach American Literature to 11th graders. First, I had many of them as Sophomores -- so we already know each other. Second, the breadth of literature to cover in an American Lit course is inspiring.
As for full works I am planning on teaching: The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, and The Bluest Eye. My setup for the curricular map has us traveling through literary periods including colonial writing, romanticism to transcendentalism, realism, modernists, post-modernism.
Overall, the high stakes test for students is the most concerning. This is especially important considering the passage rates on the English III EOC test in the past. I think a wide ranging approach to American Literature will best prepare students for the complexity of texts.
Also, I am excited to try out Laura Randazzo's Weekly 20 idea this semester. This will allow students to select a high engagement area of study and conduct a sustained research project on the topic of their choice. The culmination will be a presentation and written project that students will turn in at the end of the semester. With 20 minutes a week -- who knows what a student might be inspired to do. I am doing one too -- any suggestions are welcomed.
Mr. J is a high school teacher in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. J believes in the power of educators to help children and families achieve. Follow his blog for tips and techniques to keep engagement high and student achievement at the forefront.