Grade 11 ELA Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1

High School Graduation

In this first lesson of the unit and module, students are introduced to chapter 1 of W.E.B. Du Bois’s seminal compilation of essays, The Souls of Black Folk. Students begin their exploration of the chapter entitled "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," by considering the effect created by the author’s choice of epigraph. Students will return to this epigraph in Lesson 16, as they draw upon their understanding of the text in its entirety to build upon their initial analysis. After listening to a masterful reading of the chapter, students analyze the first paragraph of "Of Our Spiritual Strivings" (from "Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question" to "I answer seldom a word"). In this passage, Du Bois describes the "unasked question" that lies between him and "others" (par. 1).

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Common Core Learning Standards

CCLS State Standard
RL.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and...
W.11-12.9.b Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the...
L.11-12.4.a Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence, paragraph, or text; a word’s position or...

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