Monday, January 26, 2009

World Lit II Overview

World Lit II examines the essential question: How do humans express themselves through their political and personal relationships?

Atwood and Austen

In February we will read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood and view the hot new Kiera Knightley re-make of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Political and personal concepts studied during this unit include women's roles, oppression, civil liberties, sexism, censorship, religious fanaticism, the death penalty, love and war.

We will also make thematic connections to short stories and poetry in the World Masterpieces textbook.

Choice Unit

In March students pick one of the following novels to read:

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya
Waiting by Jin Ha

This choice unit continues to explore many of the concepts introduced in The Handmaid's Tale, and book clubs discuss how people survive political upheavals while maintaining their personal relationships.

With March also comes a World Lit all-time favorite--the Bollywood blockbuster Lagaan. 99% of World Lit students love this film. In fact, whenever I run into past World Lit students, they ask me if I have shown Lagaan yet. A few years ago a bunch of World Lit boys, inspired by this film, even started playing cricket on Sunday afternoons at an Edina park.

Politics and Relationships in Plays

During the Fourth Quarter, World Lit students will not only read the following plays (either in their entirety or excerpts), but also see the dramas come to life through film. The guiding question for this drama unit is: What are the personal and societal obstacles that people must overcome to have a successful marriage/committed relationship?

Othello by William Shakespeare
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

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