:: High School Courses

English 4A

Course Description

A survey course of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period through the nineteenth century, including an intensive study of Macbeth. Assignments stress reading for understanding and for analysis and writing/composition skills, with attention to the writing process. Also integrated into the assignments are exercises for vocabulary development.

Required Course Materials

  • Applebee, Arthur N. et al., The Language of Literature: BritishLiterature, Grade 12. Evanston, IL: McDougal Littell, 2000., ISBN 0-395-93182-7. Note to parents: The Language of Literature: British Literature may have language that you find objectionable. If you have a concern, we recommend that you review this book before your child enrolls in the course.
  • A copy of Grendel, a novel written by John Gardner. Look for it in a bookstore or at your school or local library. First published in 1971, the novel is available in paperback.

Course Lesson Organization

Objectives. The objectives for each lesson will help you focus your efforts. They indicate the concepts and skills you must understand or master when you complete the lesson.
Reading Assignments. Each lesson specifies the selections that must be read.
Introduction. The Introduction section of each lesson provides key terms and concepts that give you background for the lesson.
Self-Assessment Activities. These activities help to build your knowledge and skills and to identify your specific strengths and weaknesses. Some activities direct you to Internet sites with supplemental material for the lesson. All activities prepare you for the graded assignments and for mastering course materials.
Graded Assignments. Each assignment provides information about how your work will be assessed and how credit will be given for your responses. Most assignments will be submitted online and graded by your instructor. Some assignments will be computer-graded. The average of your assignments counts as 75 percent of your course grade. The Final Examination counts as the other 25 percent. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all of the lessons. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better.
Format: Multiple-choice, short answer, and essay questions testing literary terms, characterization, fact and opinion, cause and effect, knowledge of grammar, and vocabulary.
Time Allowed: 3 hours
Materials Allowed: #2 pencil

Course Outline

Total Number of Lessons: 10
Total Number of Activities: 38
Total Number of Graded Assignments: 15
Instructor Graded (Online submission): 14
Computer Graded: 1

Lesson 1: The Anglo-Saxon Period (449–1066)
  Activity 1: The Anglo-Saxon Period
  Activity 2: Reading and Listening Exercise
  Activity 3: Kenning
Graded Assignment 1: Lesson 1 Review

Lesson 2: John Gardner’s Grendel
  Activity 1: Grendel
  Activity 2: Grendel
  Activity 3: Grendel
  Activity 4: Grendel
Graded Assignment 2: Lesson 2 Review
Graded Assignment 3: Compare and Contrast Essay

Lesson 3: Geoffrey Chaucer
  Activity 1: Context Clues in "The Prologue"
  Activity 2: Comprehension Questions: "The Pardoner’s Tale"
  Activity 3: Synonyms and Antonyms: "The Wife of Bath’s Tale"
  Activity 4: Comprehension Question: "Get Up and Bar the Door"
Graded Assignment 4: Lesson 3 Review

Lesson 4: Attempts at Perfection: The Medieval Romance
  Activity 1: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
  Activity 2: Le Morte d’Arthur
  Activity 3: Analogies
Graded Assignment 5: Lesson 4 Review

Lesson 5: Poetry of the Renaissance 
  Activity 1: "The English Renaissance"
  Activity 2: Analyzing a Sonnet
  Activity 3: Discussing a Sonnet
Graded Assignment 6: Poetry Analysis

Lesson 6: Renaissance Drama: Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth
  Activity 1: Revising and Editing Exercise
  Activity 2: Act 1 of The Tragedy of Macbeth
  Activity 3: Literary and Poetic Devices
  Activity 4: Act 2 of The Tragedy of Macbeth
  Activity 5: Act 3 of The Tragedy of Macbeth
  Activity 6: Words That Create Mood in Macbeth
  Activity 7: Act 4 of The Tragedy of Macbeth
  Activity 8: Act 5 of The Tragedy of Macbeth
Graded Assignment 7: Macbeth Newspaper Project
Graded Assignment 8: Literary Analysis

Lesson 7: Life, Love, and Spirituality in the Renaissance
  Activity 1: Selections from the King James Bible
  Activity 2: "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" and "Sonnet 116"
  Activity 3: Metaphysical Poetry and Argument
Graded Assignment 9: Lesson 7 Review
Graded Assignment 10: Computer Graded Assignment

Lesson 8: The Restoration and Enlightenment: Part One–Diaries and Letters
  Activity 1: The Restoration and Enlightenment
  Activity 2: "The Diary of Samuel Pepys" and "An Essay on Man"
  Activity 3: "Letters to His Son" and "Letter to Her Daughter"
Graded Assignment 11: Lesson 8 Review
Graded Assignment 12: Letter and Recording

Lesson 9: The Restoration and Enlightenment: Part Two–Satire and Persuasion
  Activity 1: Jonathan Swift
  Activity 2: Satire and Tone
  Activity 3: Synonyms and Antonyms
  Activity 4: Revising and Editing Exercise
Graded Assignment 13: Lesson 9 Review
Graded Assignment 14: Writing Satire

Lesson 10: Nonfiction Literature of the Restoration
  Activity 1: Aphorisms in "On Idleness"
  Activity 2: Identifying the Main Idea
  Activity 3: Comprehension Questions on The Life of Samuel Johnson
Graded Assignment 15: Lesson 10 Review

top of page