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Massachusetts Curriculum Framework

English Language Arts
Adopted February 1997

Appendix A: A Suggested List of Authors, Illustrators, or Works Reflecting Our Common Literary and Cultural Heritage

All American students must acquire knowledge of a range of literary works reflecting our common literary heritage. It is a heritage that goes back thousands of years to the ancient world. In addition, all students should become familiar with some of the outstanding works in the rich body of literature that is their particular heritage in the English-speaking world. This includes a literature that was created just for children because its authors saw childhood as a special period in life. It was also the first literature in the world created for them.

The suggestions below constitute a core list of those authors and illustrators or works that comprise the literary and intellectual capital drawn on by those who write in English, whether for novels, poems, newspapers, or public speeches, in this country or elsewhere. A knowledge of these authors, illustrators, and works in their original, adapted, or revised editions will contribute significantly to a student's ability to understand literary allusions and participate effectively in our common civic culture. Many more suggested contemporary authors, illustrators, and works from around the world are included in Appendix B. This list includes the many excellent writers and illustrators of children's books of the last thirty years.

A curriculum drawing on these suggested lists will also provide significant support for the major reason statewide learning standards were developed--to ensure equity and high academic expectations for all students. A literature curriculum should include works drawn from this list, contemporary works of similar quality that reflect the diversity of American life today, and works from cultures around the world from many historical periods. It is then possible to assure parents and other citizens that all students will be expected to read at a high level of reading difficulty. By themselves, even the most carefully crafted learning standards cannot guarantee that expectation for all students.

Effective English language arts teachers teach all students to comprehend and analyze a variety of significant literature. To ensure that all students read challenging material, teachers may choose to present excerpts of longer works, or vary the amount of class time devoted to a specific work or cluster of works. As all English teachers know, some authors have written many works, not all of which are of equally high quality. We expect teachers to use their literary judgment as they make selections.

In planning a curriculum, it is important to balance depth with breadth. As teachers in schools and districts work with this curriculum framework to develop literature units, they will often combine works from the two lists into thematic units. Exemplary curriculum is always evolving--we urge districts to take initiative to create programs meeting the needs of their students.

The suggested lists of Appendices A and B are organized by the grade-span levels of PreK-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Certain key works or authors are repeated in adjoining grade-spans, giving teachers the option to match individual students with the books that suit their interests and developmental levels. The decision to present a Grades 9-12 list (as opposed to Grades 9-10 and 11-12) stems from the recognition that teachers should be free to choose selections that challenge, but do not overwhelm, their students.

Appendix A: A Suggested List of Authors, Illustrators, or Works Reflecting Our Common Literary and Cultural Heritage

PreK-2: For reading, listening, and viewing*

Mother Goose nursery rhymes
Aesop's fables
Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
Selected Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales
Selected French fairy tales

The Bible as literature: Tales including Jonah and the whale, Daniel and lion's den, Noah and the Ark, Moses and the burning bush, the story of Ruth, David and Goliath

At least one work or selection from each of the following picture book authors and illustrators:
Ludwig Bemelmans, Margaret Wise Brown, John Burningham, Virginia Lee Burton, Randolph Caldecott, Edgar Parin and Ingri D'Aulaire, William Pène du Bois, Wanda Gág, Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Kate Greenaway, Shirley Hughes, Crockett Johnson, Robert Lawson, Munro Leaf, Robert McCloskey, A. A. Milne, William Nicholson, Maud and Miska Petersham, Alice and Martin Provensen, Beatrix Potter, H. A. and Margaret Rey, Maurice Sendak,Vera Williams

At least one poem by each of the following poets:
John Ciardi, Rachel Field, David McCord, A. A. Milne, Laura Richards

Grades 3-4: In addition to the PreK-2 list, for reading, listening, and viewing*

The Bible as literature: Tales listed above and: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, David and Jonathan,
the Prodigal Son, the visit of the Magi, well-known psalms (e.g., 23, 24, 46, 92, 121, and 150)
Greek, Roman, or Norse myths; Native American myths and legends; North American folktales and legends; stories about King Arthur and Robin Hood

At least one work, excerpt, or selection from each of the following British authors:
Frances Burnett, Lewis Carroll, Kenneth Grahame, Dick King-Smith, Edith Nesbit, Mary Norton, Margery Sharp, Robert Louis Stevenson, P. L. Travers

At least one work, excerpt, or selection from each of the following American authors and illustrators:
L. Frank Baum, Beverly Cleary, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Mary Mapes Dodge, Elizabeth Enright, Eleanor Estes, Jean George, Sterling North, Howard Pyle, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Carl Sandburg, George Selden, Louis Slobodkin, E. B. White, Laura Ingalls Wilder

At least one poem by the following poets: Stephen Vincent and Rosemarie Carr Benét, Lewis Carroll, John Ciardi, Rachel Field, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edward Lear, Myra Cohn Livingston, David McCord, A. A. Milne, Laura Richards

*Selections were reviewed by the editors of Horn Book Magazine.

Appendix A: A Suggested List of Authors, Illustrators, or Works Reflecting Our Common Literary and Cultural Heritage

Grades 5-8

In addition to the PreK-4 Selections:

Selections from:
Grimm's fairy tales
French fairy tales
Tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Rudyard Kipling
Examples of Aesop's fables
Greek, Roman, or Norse myths
Native American myths and legends
North and South American folktales and legends
Asian and African folktales and legends
Stories about King Arthur, Robin Hood, Beowulf and Grendel, St. George and the Dragon

The Bible as literature:
Old Testament: Genesis, Ten Commandments, Psalms and Proverbs
New Testament: Sermon on the Mount; Parables

At least one work, excerpt, or selection from the each of the following British and European authors or illustrators:
James Barrie, Frances Burnett, Lucy Boston, Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Daniel Defoe, Leon Garfield, Kenneth Grahame, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, Edith Nesbit, Mary Norton, Philippa Pearce, Arthur Rackham, Anna Sewell, William Shakespeare, Johanna Spyri, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jonathan Swift, J. R. R. Tolkien, P. L. Travers, T.H.White

At least one work, excerpt, or selection from each of the following American authors or illustrators:
Louisa May Alcott, Lloyd Alexander, Natalie Babbitt, L.Frank Baum, Nathaniel Benchley, Carol Ryrie Brink, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Esther Forbes, Paula Fox, Jean George, Virginia Hamilton, Bret Harte, Irene Hunt, Washington Irving, Sterling North, Scott O'Dell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle, Edgar Allan Poe, Ellen Raskin, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Elizabeth Speare, Anna Sewell, Booth Tarkington, Mark Twain, James Thurber, E. B. White, Laura Ingalls Wilder, N. C. Wyeth

At least one poem by each of the following poets: Stephen Vincent and Rosemarie Carr Benét, Lewis Carroll, John Ciardi, Rachel Field, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Edward Lear, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, David McCord, Ogden Nash

*Selections were reviewed by the editors of Horn Book Magazine.

Appendix A: A Suggested List of Authors, Illustrators, or Works Reflecting Our Common Literary and Cultural Heritage

Grades 9-12

In addition to the PreK-8 Selections:
American Literature

Historical documents of literary and philosophical significance:
Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg address
The Declaration of Independence
Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" or his
"I Have a Dream" speech
John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech
William Faulkner's Nobel Prize Lecture

At least one work, excerpt, or selection by each of these major writers of the 18th and 19th centuries:
James Fenimore Cooper, Stephen Crane, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, Thomas Jefferson, Herman Melville, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman

At least one work, excerpt, or selection by each of these major writers of the 20th century:
Henry Adams, James Baldwin, Arna Bontemps, Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Countee Cullen, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Jessie Fauset, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charlotte Gilman, James Weldon Johnson, Ernest Hemingway, O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Sarah Orne Jewett, Flannery O'Connor, Ayn Rand, Gertrude Stein, John Steinbeck, James Thurber, Jean Toomer, Booker T. Washington, Edith Wharton, Richard Wright

At least one play by each of the following playwrights:
Lorraine Hansberry, Lillian Hellman, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, August Wilson

At least one work by each of the following major poets:
Elizabeth Bishop, e e cummings, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, T. S. Eliot, Robinson Jeffers, Amy Lowell, Robert Lowell, Edgar Lee Masters, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Marianne Moore, Sylvia Plath, Ezra Pound, John Ransom, Edward Arlington Robinson, Theodore Roethke, Wallace Stevens, Alan Tate, Sara Teasdale, William Carlos Williams

At least one work or selection about the European, Asian, Caribbean, Central American and South American immigrant experience, and the experiences of Native Americans (e.g., Ole Rolvaag, Younghill Kang, Abraham Cahan) and slave narratives ( e.g., Harriet Jacobs)

For an annotated bibliography of fiction set in New England, see Robert Slocum, New England in Fiction, 1790-1900 (West Cornwall, CT: Locust Hill Press, 1990).

Appendix A: A Suggested List of Authors, Illustrators, or Works Reflecting Our Common Literary and Cultural Heritage

Grades 9-12, in addition to the PreK-8 Selections:
British and European Literature

The Bible as literature:
Genesis, Ten Commandments, Psalms and Proverbs, Job, Sermon on the Mount, Parables

A higher level rereading of Greek mythology
Selections from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales


At least one substantial selection from Homer's works
At least one substantial selection from epic poetry: Dante and John Milton
At least six sonnets: William Shakespeare, John Milton, Edmund Spenser
At least three examples of metaphysical poetry: John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell
At least six examples from each of the following Romantic poets: William Blake, Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Wordsworth
At least three works of Victorian poetry: Matthew Arnold, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Browning, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alfred Lord Tennyson
At least three works of modern poetry: W. H. Auden, A. E. Housman, Dylan Thomas, William Butler Yeats


At least one classical Greek drama
At least two plays by William Shakespeare
At least one play by Anton Chekhov, Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde


At least four British essays: Joseph Addison, Sir Francis Bacon, Samuel Johnson in "The Rambler," Charles Lamb, George Orwell, Leonard Woolf, Virginia Woolf
At least two selections from the Enlightenment: Voltaire, Diderot and other Encyclopédistes, Jean Jacques Rousseau


At least one selection from an early novel: La Vida de Lazarillo de Tormes, Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews, Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield
A substantial selection from John Bunyan's allegory, Pilgrim's Progress
A substantial work, excerpt, or selection from satire, or mock epic, verse or prose: Lord Byron, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift
At least two 19th century novels: Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Victor Hugo, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy At least one 20th century novel: Albert Camus, André Gide, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, D. H. Lawrence, Jean Paul Sartre, Virginia Woolf

Appendix B: Suggested Lists of Contemporary American Literature and World Literature

All students should be familiar with American authors and illustrators of the present and those who established their reputations after the end of World War II, as well as important writers from around the world, both historical and contemporary. During the last half of the twentieth century, the publishing industry in the United States has devoted increasing resources to children's and young adult literature created by writers and illustrators from a variety of backgrounds. Many newer anthologies and textbooks offer excellent selections of contemporary and world literature.

As they choose works for class reading or suggest books for independent reading, teachers should ensure that their students are both engaged and appropriately challenged by their selections. The lists below are organized by grade-spans PreK-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12, but these divisions are far from rigid, particularly for the elementary and middle grades. Many contemporary authors write stories, poetry, and non-fiction for very young children, for those in the middle grades, and for adults as well. As children become independent readers, they often are eager and ready to read authors that may be listed at a higher level. As suggested earlier in the Literature Strand of this framework, teachers and librarians need to be good matchmakers, capable of getting the right books into a child's hands at the right time.

The suggested lists below are provided as a starting point; they are necessarily incomplete, because excellent new writers appear every year. As all English teachers know, some authors have written many works, not all of which are of equally high quality. We expect teachers to use their literary judgment in selecting any particular work. It is hoped that teachers will find here many authors with whose works they are already familiar, and will be introduced to yet others. A comprehensive literature curriculum balances these authors and illustrators with those found in the suggested list of Appendix A.

Appendix B: Suggested Lists of Contemporary American Literature and World Literature

Contemporary Literature of the United States: PreK-8

(Note: The lists for PreK-8 includes writers and illustrators from other countries whose works are available in the United States.)

PreK-2*: Arnold Adoff, Aliki, Mitsumasa Anno, Edward Ardizzone, Molly Bang, Raymond Briggs, Marc Brown, Marcia Brown, Margaret Wise Brown, Eve Bunting, Ashley Bryan, Eric Carle, Lucille Clifton, Barbara Cooney, Donald Crews, Tomie dePaola, Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, Gail Gibbons, Eloise Greenfield, Ann Grifalconi, Helen Griffith, Donald Hall, Florence Heide, Russell and Lillian Hoban, Tana Hoban, Thacher Hurd, Trina Schart Hyman, Ezra Jack Keats, Steven Kellogg, Leo Lionni, Arnold Lobel, Gerald McDermott, Patricia McKissack, Bill Martin, James Marshall, Else Holmelund Minarik, Robert Munsch, Jerry Pinkney, Jack Prelutsky, Faith Ringgold, Glen Rounds, Cynthia Rylant, Allen Say, Marcia Sewall, Marjorie Sharmat, Peter Spier, William Steig, John Steptoe,Tomi Ungerer, Chris Van Allsburg, Jean van Leeuwen, Judith Viorst, Rosemary Wells, Shigeo Watanabe, Brian Wildsmith, Vera Williams, Ed Young, Margot and Harve Zemach, Charlotte Zolotow

Grades 3-4* In addition to those listed for PreK-2: Judy Blume, Joseph Bruchac, Betsy Byars, Ann Cameron, Eleanor Coerr, Joanna Cole, Paula Danziger, Edward Eager, Walter Farley, John Fitzgerald, Louise Fitzhugh, Sid Fleischman, Jean Fritz, John Reynolds Gardiner, Jamie Gilson, Paul Goble, Edward Gorey, Jacob Lawrence, Patricia Lauber, Jane Langton, Julius Lester, David Macaulay, Patricia MacLachlan, Barry Moser, Emily Neville, Daniel Pinkwater, Alvin Schwartz, John Scieszka, Shel Silverstein, Mildred Taylor, Mildred Pitts Walter, Laurence Yep, Jane Yolen

Grades 5-8* In addition to those listed for PreK-4: Isaac Asimov, Avi, James Berry, Nancy Bond, Ray Bradbury, Bruce Brooks, Alice Childress, Vera and Bill Cleaver, James and Christopher Collier, Susan Cooper, Robert Cormier, Chris Crutcher, Michael Dorris, Paul Fleischman, Russell Freedman, Leon Garfield, Sheila Gordon, Bette Greene, Rosa Guy, Mary Downing Hahn, Joyce Hansen, James Herriot, S.E. Hinton, Felice Holman, Norton Juster, M. E. Kerr, E. L. Konigsburg, Kathryn Lasky, Madeleine L'Engle, Ursula LeGuin, Lois Lowry, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, Margaret Mahy, Milton Meltzer, L. M. Montgomery Walter Dean Myers, Lensey Namioka, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Gary Paulsen, Katherine Paterson, Richard Peck, Robert Newton Peck, Ellen Raskin, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Gary Soto, Theodore Taylor, Yoshiko Uchida, Cynthia Voigt, Yoko Kawashima Watkins, Paul Zindel

*Selections were reviewed by the editors of Horn Book Magazine.

Appendix B: Suggested Lists of Contemporary American Literature and World Literature

Contemporary Literature of the United States: Grades 9-12

In addition to those listed for PreK-8:

Fiction: James Agee, Maya Angelou, Sandra Cisneros, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Saul Bellow, Joan Blos, Rita Mae Brown, Pearl Buck, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Arthur C. Clarke, Don DeLillo, E.L. Doctorow, Louise Erdrich, Nicholas Gage, Ernest K. Gaines, Alex Haley, Joseph Heller, William Hoffman, John Irving, William Kennedy, Ken Kesey, Jamaica Kincaid, Maxine Hong Kingston, Harper Lee, Louis L'Amour, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Paule Marshall, Carson McCullers, Terry McMillan, Toni Morrison, John Nichols, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwin O'Connor, Cynthia Ozick, Americo Paredes, Walker Percy, Chaim Potok, Reynolds Price, Annie Proulx, Ayn Rand, Leo Rosten, Saki, J. D. Salinger, William Saroyan, May Sarton, Betty Smith, Wallace Stegner, Amy Tan, John Kennedy Toole, Anne Tyler, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Alice Walker, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Tobias Wolff

Poetry: Julia Alvarez, A. R. Ammons, Maya Angelou, John Ashberry, Amirai Baraka (LeRoi Jones), Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Bogan, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Hayden Carruth, J. V. Cunningham, Rita Dove, Alan Dugan, Bob Dylan, Richard Eberhart, Martin Espada, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Gluck, John Haines, Robert Hayden, Anthony Hecht, Randall Jarrell, June Jordan, Weldon Kees, X.J. Kennedy, Galway Kinnell, Stanley Kunitz, Philip Levine, Audrey Lord, Amy Lowell, Robert Lowell, Louis MacNeice, William Meredith, James Merrill, Sylvia Plath, Ishmael Reed, Adrienne Rich, Theodore Roethke, Mark Strand, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, Anne Sexton, Karl Shapiro, Robert K. Shaw, Gary Snyder, William Stafford, May Swenson, Margaret Walker, Elinor Wylie, Richard Wilbur, Charles Wright

Essay/nonfiction: (Contemporary and historical) Edward Abbey, Susan B. Anthony, Russell Baker, Jack Beatty, Ambrose Bierce, Carol Bly, Dee Brown, Art Buchwald, Rachel Carson, Margaret Cheney, Stanley Crouch, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, W. E. B. Du Bois, Loren Eiseley, Gretel Ehrlich, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Doris Goodwin, Stephen Jay Gould, John Gunther, John Hersey, Edward Hoagland, Helen Keller, William Least Heat Moon, Barry Lopez, J. Anthony Lukas, Ed McClanahan, Mary McCarthy, John McPhee, William Manchester, N. Scott Momaday, Samuel Eliot Morison, Lance Morrow, Bill Moyers, John Muir, Harry Mark Petrakis, Richard Rodriguez, Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Oliver Sacks, Carl Sagan, Simon Schama, William Shirer, Shelby Steele, I. F. Stone, Lewis Thomas, Lawrence Wechsler, Walter Muir Whitehill, Terry Tempest Williams, Malcolm X

Drama: Edward Albee, Robert Bolt, Truman Capote, Tom Cole, Christopher Durang, DuBose Heyward, Arthur Kopit, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, Archibald MacLeish, David Mamet, Marsha Norman, Terrence Rattigan, Ntozake Shange, Neil Simon, Sam Shepard, Wendy Wasserstein, Orson Welles, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams

Appendix B: Suggested Lists of Contemporary American Literature and World Literature

Historical and Contemporary World Literature: Grades 9-12

Fiction: Chinua Achebe, S. Y. Agnon, Ilse Aichinger, Isabel Allende, Jerzy Andrzejewski, Margaret Atwood, Miriama Ba, Isaac Babel, Julian Barnes, James Berry, Heinrich Boll, Jorge Luis Borges, Mikhail Bulghakov, Dino Buzzati, A. S. Byatt, Italo Calvino, Margarita Canseco del Valle, Karl Capek, Carlo Cassola, Camillo Jose Cela, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Julio Cortazar, Nafissatou Diallo, Isak Dinesen, Margaret Drabble, Buchi Emecheta, Aminata Sow Fall, E. M. Forster, John Fowles, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nikolai Gogol, William Golding, Nadine Gordimer, Robert Graves, Jessica Hagedorn, Lely Hayslip, Bessie Head, Hermann Hesse, Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Aldous Huxley, Kazuo Ishiguro, Yuri Kazakov, Milan Kundera, Camara Laye, Stanislaw Lem, Primo Levi, Jacov Lind, Clarice Lispector, Alberto Moravia, Thomas Mann, Yukio Mishima, Naguib Mahfouz, Vladimir Nabokov, Anna Maria Ortoso, Alan Paton, Cesar Pavese, Santha Rama Rau, Christa Renig, Rainer Maria Rilke, Ru Zhijuan, Salman Rushdie, Ignazio Silone, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Antonio Skarmeta, Alexander Solshenitsyn, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Niccolo Tucci, Mario Vargas-Llosa, Vladimir Voinovich, Elie Wiesel, Emile Zola

Poetry: Bella Akhmadulina, Anna Akhmatova, Rafael Alberti, Yehudi Amichai, Chaim Bialik, Demetrios Antoniou, Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel, Josif Brodsky, Constantine Cavafis, Paul Celan, Odysseus Elytis, Pierre Emmanuel, Zoe Kafelli, Kostas Karlotakis, Federico García Lorca,Seamus Heaney, Philip Larkin, Joseph Majault, Czeslaw Milosz, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, D. Niane, Jacques Prévert, Alexander Pushkin, Juan Ramon Ramirez, Arthur Rimbaud, Yannis Ritsos, Pierre de Ronsard, George Seferis, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Vikram Seth, Wole Soyinka, Marina Tsvetaeva, Paul Verlaine, Andrei Voznesensky, Derek Walcott, Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Essay/nonfiction: Aisin-Gioro P'u Yi, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Steven Hawking, Carl Jung, Arthur Koestler, Margaret Laurence, Doris Lessing, Michel de Montaigne, Shiva Naipaul, Octavio Paz, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Alexis de Tocqueville, Voltaire, Rebecca West, Marguerite Yourcenar

Drama: Jean Anouilh, Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Albert Camus, Jean Cocteau, Athol Fugard, Jean Giraudoux, Eugene Ionesco, Molière, John Mortimer, Sean O'Casey, John Osborne, Harold Pinter, Luigi Pirandello, Jean-Paul Sartre, John Millington Synge

Selections from religious literature: Analects of Confucius, Bhagavad-Gita, the Koran, Tao Te Ching, Book of the Hopi, Zen parables, Buddhist scripture

Appendix C: Sample Literature Units

As teachers plan school and district literature programs for each grade, they should consider how works may be selected and grouped to create coherent curricula. The following literature units are excerpts from current anthologies, and are intended only as guides for ways several works of literature might be put together to form units.

Grade 6: Music and Musicians

"The Nightingale," Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert
"Orpheus With His Lute," William Shakespeare
"The Sound of Flutes," a Native American legend told by Henry Crow Dog
"Broken Bird," from Come Sing, Jimmy Jo, Katherine Paterson
"What is Jazz?" Mary O'Neill
"The Solitary Reaper" William Wordsworth
"The Weary Blues," Langston Hughes
"What Is Music?, " Edward "Duke" Ellington
"Ray and Mr. Pit," from Brother Ray, Ray Charles' Own Story

--a partial list from a unit in the grade six reader, Collections for Young Scholars, Carl Bereiter, Ann Brown, Marlene Scardamalia, Valerie Anderson and Joe Campione, program authors (Open Court Publishing, 1995)

Grades 9-10: Why Do the Righteous Suffer?

"The Story of Job" Job
Excerpt from A Masque of Reason, Robert Frost
"The Prologue in Heaven," H. G. Wells
"Job," Elizabeth Sewell
Excerpt from J. B., Archibald MacLeish
"New Hampshire, February," Richard Eberhart
--from a unit in The Bible as/in Literature (Scott Foresman, 1996)

Grades 11-12: World Literature in the Twentieth Century: Africa and the Middle East

"And We Shall Be Steeped," Léopold Sédar Senghor
"Life is Sweet at Kumansenu," Abiosa Nicol
"The Pig, " Barbara Kimenye
"Telephone Conversation," Wole Soyinka
"Half a Day," Naguib Mahfouz
Excerpt from Kaffir Boy, Mark Matthabane

---a partial list from a unit in World Literature (Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1994)

Last Updated: February 1, 1997
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