Unit 1: The Things We Carry: Fostering Emotional Literacy to Benefit the Collective

This unit will be an introductory exploration of the key concepts and the analytical tools we will use to read American society through the lenses of class, race, and gender. We will read Tim O’Brien’s acclaimed novel The Things They Carried, and apply various techniques, offering students a way to not only read literature, but also analyze themselves and the world around them. To become more fully literate of the world around us, we must think critically about definitions of intelligence, how we are socialized, how our behavior impacts others, especially when working with others, and how we can communicate effectively.

Literature Workshop

After reading Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War novel, The Things They Carried, during the summer, this workshop will provide an introduction to various techniques that offer guidance through which both the novel and the world can be analyzed. The topics of war, society, and human nature will also be explored through O’Brien’s use of symbolism, storytelling and postmodern writing style.

Writing Workshop

The writing workshop will continue the process of developing the foundational skills required for critical analysis and expression.

Sociology Workshop

The sociology workshop serves as the foundation of the study of oppression for the remaining units throughout the year. This workshop explores the “power over” dynamic that our institutions and relationships are based on. To more fully understand our relationships to each other, we must understand how we are socialized and how we can begin to build relationships where love, dialogue, and willingness to grow replace fear, ignorance, and insecurity.

Task Group Orientation Workshop

Too often the idea of group work is negative. That is most likely because we have experienced working in a dysfunctional group when one or two members do all the work or one person does little work and jeopardizes the group’s grade. It is not easy to be forced to rely on others for a personal grade. However, in today’s workplace it is essential to work with others for a common goal. Therefore, a component of the first semester of eleventh grade is working in task groups. This workshop introduces you to your task group for the entire semester and begins the process of learning theories and practices useful in creating more effective and harmonious groups.