Thematic Units

Unit 1:  Persuasion

Unit 2: The Great Gatsby

 Unit 3: Education

Unit 3.5 (mini-unit) Logical Fallacy & Toulmin

Unit 4: Science, Nature, and the Environment

  • Readings:
    • “The Obligation to Endure” by Rachel Carson
    • “The Ends of the World as We Know Them” by Jared Diamond
    • “Seeing” by Annie Dillard
    • “Sex, Drugs, Disasters, and the Extinction of Dinosaurs” by Stephen Jay Gould
    • “Our Vanishing Night” by Verlyn Klinkenborg
    • “Curbing Nature’s Paparazzi” by Bill McKibben
    • “The Way to Rainy Mountain” by N. Scott Momaday
    • “What’s Eating America” by Michael Pollan
    • “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For” by Henry David Thoreau
    •  “The Death of the Moth” by Virginia Woolf
    • From “Sand County Almanac” by Aldo Leopold
    • “Once More to the Lake” by E.B. White

Unit 5: Morals and Ethics

  • Readings
    • “The Allegory of the Cave” Plato
    • “Shooting an Elephant” George Orwell
    • “Why Don’t We Complain” William F. Buckley, Jr.
    • “On Morality” Joan Didion
    • “On Being a Cripple” Nancy Mairs
    • “The Ways We Lie” Stephanie Ericsson
    • “In Defense of Prejudice…” Jonathan Rauch
    • “Regarding the Pain of Others” Susan Sontag
    • “Whose Life Would You Save?” Carl Zimmer
      • “How Moral Are You?”
    • “Kill Whitey. It’s the Right Thing to Do” David Dobbs
    • “The Maze of Moral Relativism” Paul Boghossian
    • “If It Feels Right…” David Brooks
  • Morals and ethics: 5 theories

Unit 6: Satire

  • Notes: Satire
  •  Readings
    • “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift
    • “Babycakes” by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Jouni Koponen
    • “Letter to My Old Master” by Jourdon Anderson
    • “Author’s Preface” and “Satire” from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
    • “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
    • “Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain” by Jessica Mitford
    • “The Educationist as Painkiller” by Neil Postman
    • “My Satirical Self” by Wyatt Mason
  • Other texts
    • Clips from Saturday Night LiveThe Colbert Report, and The Simpsons
    • Articles from The Onion
      • **NOTE** The Onion website, linked above, is a satirical news publication. It is not curated or edited by me, and may contain materials that are not appropriate for school, such as strong language and adult themes.
    • Dr. Strangelove and clips from This is Spinal Tap

Other Units

  • The Things They Carried
  • Race and Culture
  • History and Politics
  • Identity
  • Media and Pop Culture
  • Gender
  • Family