British Literature – English 12

Course Overview

British Literature is a robust high school English 12 course for 11th and 12th grade students that examines British Literature as it has developed through the ages against an historical backdrop.  It exposes students to classic works of fiction and nonfiction, including epics, legends, poetry, histories, novels, and drama from early Anglo-Saxon texts to post-modern pieces. In addition to the study of literature, the course includes four units focused on writing to give students practice in critical thinking which they translate into written analysis. A strong addition to the writing units is a detailed step-by-step guide through the process of writing a research report, reinforcing students’ preparation for their future in college and/or a career. British Literature - English 12 is taught by Jarius Tapp. This course has been A-G Approved through the University of California.


Scope and Sequence

Unit 1 - Anglo Saxon Period, Epic Poetry, and Beowulf Part I (450-1066) The introductory unit of this course explores the Anglo-Saxon period of history, the spread of Christianity, the epic tradition, and the introduction to the epic poem “Beowulf.” It goes on to discuss the sections on “Grendel” and “Beowulf” in this poem.

Unit 2 - Beowulf Part II This unit discusses the battle with Grendel, and the battle with Grendel's mother from the story of Grendel in the epic poem, “Beowulf.” The unit goes on to cover Beowulf's last battle, the death of Beowulf, and the mourning of Beowulf.

Unit 3 - Non-Epic Anglo-Saxon Literature In this unit students will learn about The Venerable Bede and his non-epic literature, the “History of English Church and People.” Students will then learn how to use the TP CASTT method of analyzing poetry and explore the Exeter Book. The unit goes on to discuss “The Seafarer” and “The Wanderer,” which are found in this book.

Unit 4 - Medieval Literature (1066-1500) Beginning with an overview of the British Monarchy, war and plague, social forces, this unit introduces Geoffrey Chaucer and discusses his “Canterbury Tales.”  Included in the discussions are characterization, literary techniques, and comprehension techniques found in these writings.

Unit 5 - Medieval Romances This unit explores medieval romances, including the Arthurian tales, “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” and “Le Morte d’ Arthur.”  Through these pieces, students study summaries, elements, inference, and theme.

Unit 6 - Narrative Writing and Intro to The English Renaissance (1500-1660) This unit discusses the writing process, including elements, literary devices, and varied syntax, as well as the English Renaissance. Also explored are the British Monarchy, religion in Britain, the Elizabethan era, the rise of the Stuarts, and the defeat of the Monarchy.

Unit 7 - Pastoral Poems and Sonnets Pastoral poems and sonnets are explored in this unit, where the discussions include the works “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” and “The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd,” “Sonnet 30,” and “Sonnet 75.” Each of these works is analyzed to find its themes through the TP CASTT method.

Unit 8 - Renaissance – Humanism This unit begins with an overview of the rise of humanism, followed by the analysis of a selection from “Utopia” by Sir Thomas More. The unit continues by exploring spiritual and devotional writings, including analysis of “How Soon Hath Time“ and “The Pilgrim's Progress.”

Unit 9 - The Cavalier and Metaphysical Poets In this unit students study the Cavalier and Metaphysical poets through analyzing the poems “On My First Son,” “Holy Sonnet 10,” “Meditation 17,” and “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time.”

Unit 10 - Poetic Analysis With discussions on how to write a Literary Analysis, this unit explores using tools such as poem diagnosis, element selection, structure claims, data, warrants, and organization. It continues by presenting how to write an introduction, a body paragraph, and a conclusion.

Unit 11 – Shakespeare This unit discusses Shakespeare's life and times and analyzes his “Sonnet 18,” “Sonnet 29,” and “Sonnet 116.” Further discussion covers the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Unit 12 - Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale Part I This unit introduces Shakespeare’s “The Winter's Tale” and explains how to read with a purpose. Students will then be introduced to “Winter’s Tale” and demonstrates the development of a plot summary, translation, character development, and predictions for each of the acts in the first half of the play.

Unit 13 - Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale Part II This unit discusses the remaining acts in “Winter's Tale,” once again covering plot summary, translation, character development, predictions, and translation, as well as the story’s symbols and themes.

Unit 14 - The Restoration and the 18th Century: Neoclassicism (1600-1785) In this unit presents an overview of the Restoration and the 18th century, the reign of Charles, royalty and people, the Age of Reason, and literature of the times. “A Journal of the Plague Year” is discussed and analyzed, as is “A Dictionary of the English Language.”

Unit 15 - Women Writers, Transition to Romanticism, Persuasive Writing This unit discusses the rise of women writers, analyzing such pieces as “Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” “On Her Loving Two Equally,” “Written at the Close of Spring,” a transitional poet, and “An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.”  It goes on to cover persuasive writing, including how to write introductions, body paragraphs, addressing the counter, and conclusions.

Unit 16 - Romanticism (1785-1832) Beginning with an overview of the time of revolution, war with France, the down side of industry, the revolt against Neoclassicism, and early Romanticism, this unit then discusses and analyzes the works “The Chimney Sweeper,” “The Tyger,” “To a Mouse,” and “To a Louse.”

Unit 17 - Early Romanticism Evolves Within this unit students will learn about how early Romanticism evolved, and then will be introduced to the works “Above Tintern Abbey,” “World Is Too Much with Us,” and “Kubla Khan,” all of which are discussed and analyzed.

Unit 18 - Late Romanticism and Research Writing This unit discusses the late romantics, including a discussion of the works “She Walks in Beauty,” “Ozymandias,” and “Fears That I May Cease to Be.” Additionally, discussion demonstrates how to write a research report, including choosing a topic and researching it, writing an introduction, body, and a works cited section.

Unit 19 – Victorianism Within this unit students will learn about the time of growth and change, monarchy in the modern style, progress, problems, and reform, British imperialism, and the influence of Romanticism. This is followed by an analysis of the works “Ulysses,” “Sonnet 43,” and “Pied Beauty.”

Unit 20 - Victorian Points of View and Realism In this unit, a number of works are discussed and analyzed, including “Matthew Arnold,” “When I was One and Twenty,” “Christmas Storms and Sunshine,” “From Great Expectations,” and “From Middlemarch.”

Unit 21 – Modernism This unit begins with an overview of World War I, the time period between the Great Wars, the loss of the empire, the Irish question, and the challenge of Modernism. It then presents analysis of “A Cup of Tea,” “The Duchess and the Jeweler,” and “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.”

Unit 22 - Irish Renaissance and Post Modernism (1945-?) The concluding unit discusses the Irish renaissance, World War II, the postmodern world, and questions of literature. Works analyzed include “When You Are Old,” “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” “Riders to the Sea,” “Digging,” and “The Horses.”  Finally students are challenged to find their own styles, to make their own contribution to the body of the literature of this world.