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English 4/5/6 Banned Books Lit and Comp

Course Catalog ID:
Subject Categories:
English Language Arts, Literature and Media, New and Improved, Writing and Composition

The issues of censorship and book bans have been implemented and disputed for centuries, and both topics continue to be the subjects of fierce debate in our contemporary world, but the question – and ultimately decision – of whether a work should be altered or forbidden is a complex and curious one that begs further exploration, discussion, and consideration on individual basis. In this course, students will read a variety of plays and novels and watch movies that have all historically been the subject of bans and censorship. Books include Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which is often contested in schools because of the use of racial slurs, All Quiet on the Western Front which spurred anti-war sentiment and led to several governments forbidding their soldiers from reading it, and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible which, through the guise of the Salem Witch Trials, critiqued the Red Scare of McCarthyism and led to larger political conversation. Students will also read a range of scholarship written about the works which will give further context and evaluation to both sides of the debates regarding the bans. Through assignments and in-class discussions, students will analyze the lasting impacts these works have had on literary history and convention. Throughout the course, students will receive direct writing instruction and expert feedback on research-supported essays featuring textual analysis, interpretation, and persuasion.

Grade Levels*:
10, 11, 12
* Enrollment restricted based on Date of Birth and Grad Year (whichever is more limiting). Enrollment outside these levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.
• Successful completion (75% or higher) of any TPS English 3 Lit and Comp (or higher) course
━ OR ━
• Successful completion of Readiness Test
Notes and Conditions

Transcript Planning: Students typically take two or more English 4/5/6 courses. They may generally be taken in any order, though some sequences may be better for some purposes (e.g., preparation for a particular AP course).

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