Unit Overview

Content Area: Language Arts
Unit Title: Introduction to Literature
Target Course/Grade Level: English Resource Room/9-12
Name: Alicia Heinemann
School: Lindenwold
Date: August 19, 2010

Unit Summary
In this unit, students will be introduced to the foundations of literature. Students will become familiar with the vocabulary and theory necessary to better understand literature. Students will read and analyze a piece of literature.

Primary interdisciplinary connections

21st century themes
Global Awareness, Civic Literacy

Unit Rationale
In order to prepare for continued study of various literary works throughout the year, it is necessary for students to have a solid foundation in order to fully understand literature.

Learning Targets

RL1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.
RL10. By the end of appropriate year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, poems, in the appropriate grade text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
W4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
L1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Content Statements
3.1.12.E.1 Assess, and apply reading strategies that are effective for a variety of texts (e.g., previewing, generating questions, visualizing, monitoring, summarizing, evaluating).
3.1.12.F.5 Define words, including nuances in meanings, using context such as definition, example, restatement, or contrast
3.1.12.G.1 Apply a theory of literary criticism to a particular literary work.
3.1.12.H.4 Read and critically analyze a variety of works, including books and other print materials (e.g., periodicals, journals, manuals), about one issue or topic, or books by a single author or in one genre, and produce evidence of reading.

Unit Essential Questions

Unit Enduring Understandings

Unit Learning Targets
Students will:

Evidence of Learning

Summative Assessment (throughout the unit)
Students will be choosing a novel based on a character from the movie “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” to read and analyze. Students will make journal entries at selected points of reading based on the elements that have been covered in the unit. Journal entries will include, but are not limited to: connecting their novels to the literary terms learned, analyzing their novel based on different literary theories, various questions posed by the teacher based on Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Equipment needed
Novels, Journals, Movie, DVD player

Teacher Resources

Formative Assessments

Lesson Plans

Lesson 1
What Literature Is
2 days

Lesson 2
Words to Know
3 days

Lesson 3
Extraordinary Literature
3 days

Lesson 4
Literary Theory
3 days

Lesson 5
Literary Investigation
2 days

Teacher Notes
Grammar component (identifying subjects and predicates) is in the Explanation section of lesson plan 2.
Differentiation is throughout lesson plan 2. The lesson was designed via 4MAT which accounts for various learning styles. Activities and resources were incorporated to provide opportunities for a variety of learning styles and needs.

Curriculum Development Resources
Click the links below to access additional resources used to design this unit:
See UDL Teacher Toolbox Resources

Lesson Plan 1
Content Area: Language Arts
Grade: 9-12
Lesson Title: Words to Know
Timeframe: 2 days

Lesson Components

21st Century Themes
X Global Awareness: -Literature connects to various parts of the world.
Financial, Economic, Business, and Entrepreneurial Literacy
X Civic Literacy: -Students can learn about citizenship/character from various characters in literature.
Health Literacy

21st Century Skills
X Creativity and Innovation: Communicate new ideas to others effectively X
Media Literacy:
X ICT Literacy: Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information
X Communication and Collaboration: Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams. Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts
X Life and Career Skills: Adapt to varied roles, jobs responsibilities, schedules context,
-Incorporate feedback effectively,
-Deal positively with praise, setbacks and criticism
-Utilize time and manage workload effectively
-Monitor, define, prioritize and complete tasks without direct oversight
-Conduct themselves in a respectful, professional manner
-Prioritize, plan and manage work to achieve the intended result
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes
Information Literacy: Access information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources)
Interdisciplinary Connections: History
Integration of Technology: Use of the SMART Board for engagement activity. Various websites will be used by students to research.
Equipment & materials needed: SMART Board, laptops/computers, KIMS Sheets, words as “tools,” poster board, paper, markers, pens, pencils

Students will complete the following objectives with 80% accuracy: 

Learning Activities/Instructional Strategies

Engagement:  As a class, play hangman on the SMART Board using the literary terms to know until students have done all words. Representing each word as a tool, discuss with students how these tools can help them understand literature. (Based on students interests, multiple examples can be used, i.e. the tools needed to build something, the equipment used to play a sport, the components of music or the parts of an orchestra).

Exploration: Jigsaw activity –

Options: Dictionary, 60 Second Recap, VisuWords, Vocab Ahead
Students need to be able to define the word, identify its part(s) of speech and give use it in a sentence, using KIMS Sheets.


Show students their words in a Wordle.
Ask students what part of speech they noticed each word was.
Discuss subjects and predicates, especially how a noun can be used as both.


Have students use Cue Card or Quizlet to review their terms.
Students will write stories using the selected terms. Students will identify whether they use the term in the subject or predicate.


Students will answer the following questions in their learner diaries:

  1. Which part of our investigation of these terms did you enjoy the most? Why? Did this part also help you understand the terms the best?
  2. Are there any terms that you still don’t understand?

 Formative Assessment Tasks

Universal Design for Learning Options
Multiple Means of Representation

1. Perception

1.1 Options that customize the display of information
Readability - allows the user to customize the display of information by reducing visual     
distractions that surround written text on the web. Students can use Readability when on the
internet to increase focus.

2. Language & symbols

2.1. Options that define vocabulary and symbols
Wordle - The word clouds created used Wordle reinforce key vocabulary and may serve as a     starting point for developing vocabulary lists. Wordle will be used in the Explanation section of the lesson plan.
Vocab Ahead - Vocab Ahead goes beyond a single text definition to increase depth of word knowledge by also supplying visual representations, models of pronunciation, and examples
that show how the word is used in a real context. Vocab Ahead will be used in the Exploration section of the lesson plan.
2.5 Options that illustrate key concepts non-linguistically
Visuwords - Flexibility of color and contrast is a great example of customizing the display of
information so that it is accessible to a broader range of users. Vocab Ahead will be used in   the Exploration section of the lesson plan.  

3.     Comprehension

3.4. Options that support memory and transfer
Cue Card – Cue Card flash cards heighten the memorability of information through repetition and allow students to make flash cards with text, image, and sound to enhance comprehension.  Cue Card will be used in the Elaboration section of the lesson plan.  Quizlet - Creating flash cards is a method to support memory and transfer through the process of creating a visual or textual reminder of information.  This process is likely to be most effective when intentional strategies, such as using mnemonic devices are understood by students and developed though practice.  Cue Card will be used in the Elaboration section of the lesson plan.

Multiple Means of Action and Expression

1. Physical activity

4.3: Options for accessing tools and assistive technologies
Microsoft Accessibility Options - The options described in the tutorial, such as Sticky Keys,
MouseKeys, Filter Keys, and selecting cursor size and color options are excellent examples of
providing options in the mode of response. Students can use Microsoft Accessibility Options    
when on the Microsoft applications to increase attention.

2. Expressive skills and fluency

Animoto - Making a video presentation by combining music and images is another creative way through which students can express their ideas. Students can use Animoto to present their words to the class in Exploration section of the lesson. SAM Animation - SAM provides a unique and engaging way for students to communicate their ideas.  Students can use SAM to present their words to the class in Exploration section of the lesson.

 3. Executive functions

Rubistar - Rubrics are a good source for external organization. Rubistar will be used to design a rubric for the students’ presentations in the Exploration section of the lesson.

Multiple Means of Engagement

1. Recruiting interest

1.3 Options that reduce threats and distractions
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support - PBIS's focus on environmental aspects that lead to problem behavior is reflective of the importance of varying threats and distractions.  PBIS will be used by the teacher to ensure a supportive learning environment for all students.

2. Sustaining effort and persistence