Recommended Instruction Timeline


Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story

Suggested Time Frame: ≈ 7 weeks (14-15 blocks)

Introduction The Instructional Timeline is provided for teachers to assist with the organization of the nine/six weeks of TEKS/SE into shorter periods of time. In terms of pacing considerations, this timeline includes 0 week(s) for teachers to extend the instructional period.


Spring ELA Benchmark counts as 1 of the 7 weeks in this unit.


*Each unit should be approached with multiple genres to encourage examination of the theme of

“The American

Dilemma .”

Students will read and analyze short fiction and literary nonfiction text selections from various literary periods, including Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism. As part of this analysis, learners will identify author’s purpose, audience, theme, and stylistic devices used by the author and will examine the unique characteristics of the genres offered. These selections may also serve as models for students to experiment with within their own writing.

This unit is an opportunity to read fiction and literary nonfiction of varying lengths as a whole class or more independently through literature circles. Learners will be introduced to the idea of the American Dilemma as a contrast to the first semester’s focus on the American


Additionally, students will take an analytical essay through the writing process and use the

MLA style manual as an aid in making format decisions and accurately documenting evidence.

TEKS/SE taught during this period and eligible for testing on district assessments

Bold and underlined

TEKS/SE are high stakes for our district

(less than

___% mastery on TAKS)

Bold TEKS/SE are assessed on TAKS


Figure 19

(A) reflect on understanding to monitor comprehension (e.g., asking questions, summarizing and synthesizing, making connections, creating sensory images); and

(B) make complex inferences (e.g., inductive and deductive) about text and use textual evidence to support understanding.

(1) Reading/Vocabulary Development.

Students understand new vocabulary and use it when reading and writing. Students are expected to:

( A) determine the meaning of grade-level technical academic English words in multiple content areas (e.g., science, mathematics, social studies, the arts) derived from Latin, Greek, or other linguistic roots and affixes;

(B) analyze textual context to infer word meanings

(C) infer word meanings through the identification and analysis of word relationships

(D) recognize and use knowledge of cognates in different languages and of word origins to determine the meaning of words; and

(E) use general and specialized dictionaries, thesauri, glossaries, histories of language, books of quotations, and other related references (printed or electronic) as needed.

(2) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Theme and Genre . Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding.

Students are expected to:

(A) analyze the way in which the theme or meaning of a selection represents a view or comment on the human condition;

(B) relate the characters and text structures of mythic, traditional, and classical literature to

20th and 21st century American novels, plays, or films; and

(5) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Fiction.

. Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the structure and elements of fiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:

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Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story

(A) evaluate how different literary elements (e.g., figurative language, point of view) shape the author's portrayal of the plot and setting in works of fiction;

(B) analyze the internal and external development of characters through a range of literary devices;

(C) analyze impact made by shifting the point of view from one character to another

(D) demonstrate familiarity with works by authors of American fiction from each major literary period

(6) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Literary Nonfiction.

Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about the varied structural patterns and features of literary nonfiction and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to analyze how rhetorical techniques (e.g., repetition, parallel structure, understatement, overstatement) in literary essays, true life adventures, and historically important speeches influence the reader, evoke emotions, and create meaning.

(7) Reading/Comprehension of Literary Text/Sensory Language.

Students understand, make inferences and draw conclusions about how an author's sensory language creates imagery in literary text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding.

Students are expected to analyze the meaning of classical, mythological, and biblical allusions in words, phrases, passages, and literary works.

(9) Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Expository Text.

Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about expository text and provide evidence from text to support their understanding. Students are expected to:

(A) summarize a text in a manner that captures the author's viewpoint, its main ideas, and its elements without taking a position or expressing an opinion;

(B) distinguish between inductive and deductive reasoning and analyze the elements of deductively and inductively reasoned texts and the different ways conclusions are supported;

(C) make and defend subtle inferences and complex conclusions about the ideas in text and their organizational patterns; and

(D) synthesize ideas and make logical connections (e.g., thematic links, author analyses) between and among multiple texts representing similar or different genres and technical sources and support those findings with textual evidence.

(10) Reading/Comprehension of Informational Text/Persuasive Text.

Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about persuasive text and provide evidence from text to support their analysis. Students are expected to: (A) evaluate how the author's purpose and stated or perceived audience affect the tone of persuasive texts.


(13) Writing/Writing Process.

Students use elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Students are expected to:

(A) plan a first draft by selecting correct genre for the intended meaning/purpose and audience, determining appropriate topic, and developing a thesis;

(C) revise drafts to clarify meaning and achieve specific rhetorical purposes, consistency of tone, and logical organization by rearranging the words, sentences, and paragraphs to employ tropes (e.g., metaphors, similes, analogies, hyperbole, understatement, rhetorical questions, irony), schemes (e.g., parallelism, antithesis, inverted word order, repetition, reversed structures), and by adding transitional words and phrases; and

(D) edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling.

(15) Writing/Expository and Procedural Texts.

Students write expository and procedural

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Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story or work-related texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes. Students are expected to:

(A) write an analytical essay of sufficient length that includes:

(i) effective introductory and concluding paragraphs and a variety of sentence structures;

(ii) rhetorical devices, and transitions between paragraphs;

(iii) a clear thesis statement or controlling idea;

(iv) a clear organizational schema for conveying ideas; and

(v) relevant and substantial evidence and well-chosen details.

(17) Oral and Written Conventions/Conventions.

Students understand the function of and use the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to:

(A) use and understand the function of different types of clauses and phrases (e.g., adjectival, noun, adverbial clauses and phrases)

(B) uses a variety of correctly structured sentences

(18) Oral and Written Conventions/Handwriting, Capitalization, and Punctuation.

Students write legibly and use appropriate capitalization and punctuation conventions in their compositions. Students are expected to correctly and consistently use conventions of punctuation and capitalization.

(19) Oral and Written Conventions/Spelling.

Students spell correctly. Students are expected to spell correctly, including using various resources to determine and check correct spellings.


(21) Research/Gathering Sources.

Students determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gather. Students are expected to:

(C) paraphrase, summarize, quote, and accurately cite all researched information according to a standard format (e.g., author, title, page number) ), differentiating among primary, secondary, and other sources.

(23) Research/Organizing and Presenting Ideas . Students organize and present their ideas and information according to the purpose of the research and their audience. Students are expected to synthesize the research into an extended written or oral presentation that:

(A) provides an analysis that supports and develops personal opinions, as opposed to simply restating existing information;

(D) uses a style manual (e.g., Modern Language Association , Chicago Manual of Style ) to document sources and format written materials; and

(E) is of sufficient length and complexity to address the topic.


(24) Listening and Speaking/Listening.

Students will use comprehension skills to listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to:

(A) listen responsively to a speaker by framing inquiries that reflect an understanding of the content and by identifying the positions taken and the evidence in support of those positions

(B) evaluate the clarity and coherence of a speaker’s message and critique the impact of the speaker’s diction and syntax on audience

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Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story

(26) Listening and Speaking/Teamwork.

Students work productively with others in teams.

Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to participate productively in teams, offering ideas or judgments that are purposeful in moving the team towards goals, asking relevant and insightful questions, tolerating a range of positions and ambiguity in decision-making, and evaluating the work of the group based on agreed-upon criteria.

College Readiness Standards:

CR 8 Compare and analyze how generic features are used across texts with an emphasis on genre within texts rather than across texts.

Generalizations For Thematic Concepts:

Teachers —ideally, with their course-level team members—will need to create additional generalizations for significant thematic concepts in this unit’s reading selections.

Here are a few connected to Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism with which to begin.


Tapping into the concepts of the second semester guiding question, teachers might ask students to brainstorm and list elements of contemporary society which challenge an individual’s ability to realize the American Dream, according to the class’s collective definition. When proposing an element for this list of threats to the Dream, students should be asked to give evidence of its presence in our society by referring specific events in recent history and/or topical issues in current news. This brainstorming and listing would most appropriately lead to a more philosophical discussion of the concepts at the heart of the students’ examples, and ideally, such a discussion would be revisited over the course of the semester, ultimately incorporating students’ proposed solutions to these threats.

For Writer’s Craft:

1. Effective readers rely on a range of metacognitive skills in order to understand an author’s message. (ongoing)

2. A writer’s purpose influences her selected form, diction, selected details, inclusion of significant literary devices, organization, and syntax.


3. A writer of fiction uses point of view, archetypes, character development, setting, allusion, foreshadowing, and symbolism as tools to convey his meaning in a work to his readers. (First introduced in English III, IT 3)




2 nd Semester Guiding Question:

What is the nature of the American Dream in contemporary American society, and what global/national/local issues threaten fulfillment of the Dream in the 21 st century?

Essential Questions:

 For students’ understanding and study of literary periods: o How do writers of the Romantic, Realist, and Naturalist Periods employ literary elements (diction, imagery, figurative language) to achieve specific themes and meanings?

o How are authors of the Romantic, Realist, and Naturalist Periods in American literature influenced by their social, political, and cultural surroundings? o How can reading works of literature from these periods contribute to our understanding of our diverse nation?

o How do the messages and themes present in the literature from the Romantic,

Realist, and Naturalist Periods connect to the lens of the American Dream? How does the American Dream change during these periods?

o How do the messages and themes present in the literature from the Romantic,

Realist, and Naturalist Periods connect to that of the American Dilemma?

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Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story o What themes found in the writings of from these periods have their roots in earlier periods and/or planted seeds for themes found in the writings of today?

 What factors encourage or hinder an individual’s pursuit of the dream?

 How does an author’s purpose influence form? How does form/genre affect meaning?

What techniques and strategies can writers employ to effectively communicate purpose and meaning?

How do writers of short fiction enhance meaning through development of characters, setting, foreshadowing, and symbols?

What reading strategies help us effectively derive meaning from works of literary nonfiction, such as memoirs and creative nonfiction?

How does a clear, distinctive, and coherent point of view help contribute to the effectiveness of both fiction and nonfiction writing?

What determines the most effective organizational structure for a specific piece of writing?

How do authors of fiction and nonfiction writing effectively achieve closure?

How do sentence structure and diction affect meaning in a text?

What elements of grammar and mechanics lend sophistication and correctness to a piece of writing?

What is the difference between revision and editing, and how can writers do both effectively?


Additional notes may be added here later regarding the specificity of the TEKS.

Teaching Notes

Pacing Considerations


TEA Glossary – English / Spanish


Allusion (historical, mythological, & biblical)

Analysis & synthesis



Characterization, methods of




Imagery and figurative language


MLA format o Parenthetical documentation






Objectivity v. subjectivity

Plot structure

Point of View





6+1 Traits vocabulary (see

English III, IT 1)


Theme (concept v. statement)



Writing process vocabulary (see 11.1a)

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(within, between, and among disciplines)

Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story

All of the TEKS that are reviewed in this unit have already been taught in elementary school.

ELAR/TEKS Vertical Alignment K-12

Social Studies: period specific or historical information of necessity to students’ understanding of the piece(s) vital to the unit concepts —in this case, the movements of

Romanticism, Realism, and Naturalism.




Lessons and



Suggested Lessons and Resources from the Textbook

Short Answer Responses (of all three types)


Ideas for class activities

Interviewing, perhaps on the subject of the American Dilemma (with peers in class and/or with peers and adults outside of class)

Discussions in literature groups

Graphic Organizers

 Conduct a ‘talk show’ skit and interview selected authors of various literary periods or characters from selected short fiction pieces

Design book jackets for collections of stories by single authors

Compose an original song or create a soundtrack, using published works, for a character or piece of literature

Student-taught grammar lessons

Create original vocabulary study aids

Differentiation: See textbook for ideas for struggling readers.

English Language Proficiency Standards Student Expectations with Sentence Stems and Activities to support implementation of the Standards (Note: when you open the link, it may ask you for a certificate or if it is OK to open the file, click OK each time you see the screens.)




Fiction —

Excerpts from Novels:

Chopin, Kate – from The Awakening (elements of Realism and Naturalism) p. 511

Crane, Stephen – from The Red Badge of Courage (American Naturalism) p. 513

Melville, Herman – from Moby-Dick (elements of American Romanticism and Naturalism) p.


Steinbeck, John – from The Grapes of Wrath (elements of Realism and Naturalism) p. 879

Short Stories:

Baldwin, James – “The Rockpile” p. 981

Bierce, Ambrose – “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” p. 395

Carver, Raymond – “Everything Stuck to Him” p. 1280

Chopin, Kate – “The Story of an Hour” (Realism) p. 573

Crane, Stephen – “The Open Boat” (Naturalism) p. 600

Fitzgerald, F. Scott – “In Another Country” (Modernism) p. 764

Hawthorne, Nathaniel – “The Minister’s Black Veil” (elements of Romanticism and

Transcendentalism) p. 284

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Unit 4: The American Story

Irving, Washington – “The Devil and Tom Walker” (American Romanticism) p. 246

London, Jack – “To Build a Fire” (Naturalism) p. 621

O’Connor, Flannery – “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” (later Regionalism) p. 935

Poe, Edgar Allan – “The Pit and the Pendulum” (American Romanticism) p. 269

Rivera, Tomas – “The Portrait” p. 1024

Twain, Mark – “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (Regionalism/Realism) p.


Nonfiction / Resources —

Information on American Romanticism: 1800-1860 pp. 184-192

Douglass, Frederick – from My Bondage and My Freedom p. 359

Fuller, Margaret – from Woman in the Nineteenth Century p. 211

Lopez, Barry – from Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape p. 637

Information on Regionalism and Realism [and Naturalism]: 1880-1910 pp. 506-14

Twain, Mark – “Two Views of the River” p. 524

Internet Resources (Hyperlinked)

American Art Interactive Timeline


Study of Realism:

Realism and Naturalism in American Literature:


Story map:

Additional Short Stories

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins – “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Realism)

Hawthorne, Nathaniel – “Young Goodman Brown” (with elements of Romanticism and



Angelou, Maya – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings {Also on option for Unit 1}

Cather, Willla – My Antonia

Hersey, John – Hiroshima

Kingsolver, Barbara – The Bean Trees

O’Brien, Tim – The Things They Carried

Steinbeck, John – Cannery Row and Of Mice and Men (with elements of Naturalism and


Twain, Mark – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Wright, Richard – Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth {Also on option for Unit 1}

Professional References

Daniels, Harvey – Literature Circles: Voice and Choice in Book Clubs & Reading Groups

Daniels, Harvey & Linda Steineke – Mini-Lessons for Literature Circles

Foster, Thomas C. – How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining

Guide to Reading Between the Lines

Ghallagher, Kelly - Deeper Reading

The above resource books offer suggestions for the teacher practitioner to help learners read closely and naturally tap into life experience as a catalyst for writing.

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Instructional Timeline – English III

Unit 4: The American Story

Non-Negotiable Assessments/Work Products

Compose, revise, and edit analytical essay of sufficient length that includes an effective introduction & conclusion; a variety of sentence structures, rhetorical devices, and transitions between paragraphs; a clear thesis statement or controlling idea; a clear organizational pattern which helps to convey the writer’s ideas; and relevant, substantial evidence and well-chosen details.

Suggested Assessments/Work Products

Ongoing Assessments

Reader Response —Suggestions: express the theme of a self-selected piece through art

(drawing, collage, or concrete poem); fill in missing details about a relevant character from a work of short fiction; create additional chapters, sequel, or rewrite ending.

 Writer’s Notebook entries—Suggestions: c hange a studied passage from one genre to another; m odeling professional writers’ prose patterns; respond to creative nonfiction prompts (generative practice for definition and narrative essays).

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