Unit 3

The Restoration Through The Victorians: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift


English IV    

Unit Length and Description:


Nine Weeks


Students will read various selections from 18th and 19th century British Literature, focusing on the elements that make each piece unique to its particular time period.  Readings include poetry, short stories, novels, critical analyses, diary entries, letters, drama, and informational texts.  The anchor for the unit, Gulliver’s Travels, introduces many elements that carry over into other authors’ works in later periods.  Students will focus heavily on analysis of texts, especially on the craft and structure of the works they read.  They will also write in response to the various literary texts to explain and argue throughout this unit.


This unit will focus on craft and structure and integration of knowledge and ideas as well as composing narrative and informative/explanatory essays.




Reading Literature


RL.11-12.7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text.


RL.11-12.9: Demonstrate knowledge of foundational works of U.S. and world literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.


Reading Informational Texts


RI.11-12.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.


RI.11-12.8: Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).



RI.11-12.9: Analyze foundational U.S. and world documents of historical and literary significance for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.




W.11-12.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

a.  Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

b.  Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, mood, tone, events, and/or characters.

c.  Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).

d.  Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and figurative and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, mood, tone, and/or characters.

e.  Provide a conclusion (when appropriate to the genre) that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.


W.11-12.8: Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation. (e.g., MLA Handbook, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).


W.11-12.9: Draw relevant evidence from grade-appropriate literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a.  Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Demonstrate knowledge of foundational works of literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics”).

b.  Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. and world texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning [e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court Case majority opinions and dissents] and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy).


Speaking and Listening


SL.11-12.4: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, while respecting intellectual property; conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, address alternative or opposing perspectives, and use organization, development, substance, and style that are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.


SL.11-12.5: Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


SL.11-12.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts, audiences, and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.




L.11-12.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a.  Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

b.  Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., conceive, conception, conceivable).

c.  Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, its etymology, or its standard usage.

d.  Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).


L.11-12.5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a.  Interpret figures of speech (e.g., hyperbole, paradox) in context and analyze their role in the text.

b.  Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.


Enduring Understandings:


·        Exposure to societal ills can inspire social change.

·        Reading about nature can teach the reader an appreciation for beauty.

·        Escaping reality does not solve anyone’s problems.

·        The words we choose to use are important; we must learn to be precise and diverse in our vocabulary.

·        Masterpieces can apply to any time period.


Essential Questions:


·        What can fix society’s problems?

·        What can people learn from nature?

·        Is it better to escape or face reality?

·        Why do words matter?

·        How does literature from the past apply to the present?