Grade 12 ELA Literary Criticism Module

student in library with books

In this Grade 12 Literary Criticism Module, students read and analyze Toni Morrison’s novel Song of Solomon, as they continue to build the skills required to craft strong informative essays and participate effectively in group discussions. Students identify and trace the development of central ideas and motifs in Morrison’s complex narrative of a young African-American man’s journey towards independence and acceptance, engaging with the interrelated concepts of identity, community, love, mercy, freedom, flight, naming, storytelling, and the supernatural. This module is structured around a gradual release of responsibility to students for their learning, which fosters students’ independent thinking and writing capacities. As the module progresses, scaffolds in key text analysis lessons are strategically removed.

Song of Solomon, which is already used in some high school classrooms, includes some mature themes and may use some language that is outside of a student’s particular cultural experience. As with any curriculum module or text, the NYSED encourages a local school district review prior to using in the classroom.

Downloadable Resources

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Common Core Learning Standards

CCLS State Standard
RL.11-12.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the...
RL.11-12.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story...
RL.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and...