English 12: Literature of Justice 2015-16

John Rigney & Dan Osar
Google Classroom Link click HERE

A Period
The Black Family Lecture Hall

“I am cognizant of the interconnectedness of all communities and states… Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

Course Description:
Senior English: Literature of Justice
The Pursuit of Truth

The senior year at Hyde is preparation for a life of growth and impact. This begins with the knowledge of self as an individual of value and is enhanced by our own understanding of how we learn and grow and the positive influence we can have on those around us. Without the basic commitment to our own learning process, we cannot advance to the more demanding commitment to impact the world in which we live. This year we will test our learning attitudes in what we read, what we write and how we actively participate in our, and others’, education.

As seniors, it is not enough to simply stand up and lead. If we are to lead others, we must do so with an understanding of why we lead and to what end our leadership is directed. As learners we will look directly at the role truth plays in directing our learning, and from this, we must ask what role truth plays in developing leaders and the extent to which it guides them to positive action. This year, through literature and composition, we will explore truth in the written form through the texts we read and the essays we write. We will investigate the truths presented by various authors and consider what drives them to assert themselves through their literature. Additionally, we will ask to what end we each wish to lead using the skills of language, while we intentionally seek to understand how truth can be our guide.

Tied very closely to truth is justice. Justice by most definitions is linked to the fulfillment of human laws or standards. Dr. King links justice to moral law and the law of God. In “Letter from Birmingham Jail” Dr. King informs us that we are morally obligated to act in favor of just causes or we risk falling into the white moderate’s trap of inaction.

Truth, justice, and leadership combine into action. Armed with this understanding of the nuances of your own learning, your commitment to lead through action and the recognition of truth in your life, your senior year will provide a testing ground for creating positive change in the world.


Google Classroom Link is HERE (again)
Code to enter class: j335lg

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Current Readings, Handouts and Assignment

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End of Trimester Review Material for Final Exam

I strongly suggest that you download and save a version of the literature review sheets. This sheet provides a solid framework for organizing thoughts on short stories, plays, and novels. Fill in relevant information as a way to review your trimester's work.

Other Rubrics

Readings, Writings, and Links for Dr. King

Interesting Connections

Shackleton and his men prepare for the 800 mile ocean crossing from Elephant Island to South Georgia.

The Endurance before she is crushed by sea ice.

The Trinity of Truth: Keep your eyes fixed on the road. Balance your wheels. Wear your seatbelt.

Old Material

Summer Reading Notice

Dear Class of 2016:

Below is a copy of your Commitment Statement which you reviewed, considered, and signed. For those who chose not to sign, please let Mr. Rigney, Mr. Duethorn, or Mr. Osar know why you chose not to and what your plan is moving forward. This will be the social contract which guides us for the coming year and should not be taken lightly. Your base summer reading assignment is also including in this document. Your senior year has begun. Make good decisions, wear your seat belt, and seek to develop your vision.

Mr. Rigney & Mr. Osar

Summer Homework basics:
English and Ethics Assignment One
Write these three questions and the homework in your book, Why We Can’t Wait, by Martin Luther King, Jr.
  1. Rigor: Why does Dr. King believe in the rigorous development of character?
  2. Synergy: How does the movement require shared leadership?
  3. Conscience: How is Dr. King’s conscience inextricably linked to serving others?

Homework: A minimum two page response to the book and these questions is due via Google Classroom for the first day of English class. Submission should be electronic and in paper format.
Details for submission:
  • Appropriately compose and address and email to Mr. Rigney & Mr. Osar.
  • Email should be sent the day before the first academic day in the fall of 2015. Very earlier and very late submissions will not be accepted.
  • Word document (or Word compatible document) should be arranged as such: Times New Roman, #12 Font, Normal margins, 1.5 spacing.
  • Word document should be attached as a file, NOT inserted into the body of the email.
  • Subject Line and File Name should say: "Last Name, First Name - Summer Response"