English Studies 12

This course aligns with the learning outcomes for:


This course aligns with the learning outcomes for:


The driving question of English 12 is, “What are we pursuing?” Every human life is characterized by a variety of pursuits — the pursuit of significance, the pursuit of security, the pursuit of material things, the pursuit of connection, the pursuit of love and belonging, and the pursuit of answers to ultimate questions. What we choose to pursue as humans will determine how we spend the time that we have on Earth. Many works of literature have explored this theme, and it is hoped that students, as they move through their Grade 12 year and consider their path beyond high school, will carefully ponder what they themselves are pursuing and choose their path forward wisely. 

Students will examine classic texts such as The Great Gatsby and Hamlet, as well as modern texts from diverse voices. The course also provides significant coaching for both creative and formal writing, allowing students to hone their writing skills in preparation for their next steps in life. A substantial final project is an opportunity for students to create a presentation in the medium of their choice with their answer to the question, “What are you pursuing?”

Table of Contents

*Each lesson is designed to take 60 – 90 minutes to complete with the exception of major projects and assignments.
Lesson 1: Course Introduction
Lesson 2: Course Thematic Introduction
Lesson 1: Writing for Encounter
Lesson 2: Descriptive Writing
Lesson 3: Storytelling Through Dialogue
Lesson 4: Exploding a Moment
Lesson 5: Capturing Emotion
Lesson 6: The Narrative Hook
Lesson 7: Making Memories
Lesson 8: Writing a Memoir
Lesson 1: Introduction to The Great Gatsby
Lesson 2: The Great Gatsby, Chapters 1-2
Lesson 3: The Great Gatsby, Chapters 3-4
Lesson 4: The Great Gatsby, Chapters 5-6
Lesson 5: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 7
Lesson 6: The Great Gatsby, Chapters 8-9
Lesson 7: Joining the Conversation
Lesson 8: Gatsby Project, Stage 1
Lesson 9: Gatsby Project, Stage 2
Lesson 1: Unit Introduction, Poetry Part 1: Pursuing Love
Lesson 2: Poetry, Part 2: Pursuing Meaning in Suffering
Lesson 3: Poetry, Part 3: Pursuing Tranquility in Nature
Lesson 4: Short Stories, Part 1: Pursuing a Just Society
Lesson 5: Short Stories, Part 2: Pursuing Meaning in Death
Lesson 6: Short Stories, Part 3: Pursuing Reconciliation
Lesson 7: Oral Storytelling: Pursuing a Connection to our Past
Lesson 8: Essays: Pursuing a home
Lesson 9: Speeches: Pursuing hope and a future
Lesson 1: Advertisements: Pursuing Fulfillment
Lesson 2: News and Information Sources, Part 1
Lesson 3: News and Information Sources, Part 2
Lesson 4: How to Read a Movie
Lesson 5: The Pursuit of Happyness
Lesson 6: Speaking Out Loud
Project: Characterization Collection
Lesson 1: Introduction to Hamlet
Lesson 2: Hamlet, Act 1
Lesson 3: Hamlet, Act 2
Lesson 4: Hamlet, Act 3
Lesson 5: Hamlet, Act 4
Lesson 6: Hamlet, Act 5
Lesson 7: Viewing Hamlet
Lesson 8: Literary Criticism of Hamlet
Lesson 9: Research for Character Analysis Essay
Lesson 10: Character Analysis Essay

Lesson 1: Final Project Introduction
Lesson 2: Creating Your Final Project

Project: Souvenir Collection

Experience a lesson as your students would

Course Features

  • Stunning illustrations enhance storytelling of key texts, including The Great Gatsby and Hamlet
  • Opportunities for meaningful reflection on the nature of human pursuits
  • Cumulative “Think Tank” that enables students to track their thinking about the course question throughout the course
  • Scaffolded presentation of text themes, including scene summaries of Hamlet and literary analysis of The Great Gatsby
  • Student voice and choice in novel selection for the Student Choice Novel unit 
  • Blend of canonical and modern texts from a variety of perspectives
  • Strong focus on coaching specific creative and formal writing skills
  • Student voice and choice in their choice of medium and message for the final project