This page contains downloadable resources for more than a dozen novels, memoirs, and plays commonly taught in high school English classes. If you are looking for ideas about how to teach a research paper, check out the Research Paper Guide. For materials on writing a literary response paper, check out the Literary Response Paper Guide. If you want to incorporate Socratic Seminars or Book Talk Projects, check out those specific pages. For more general strategies, check out READING, WRITING, etc.
Also, for more sample curriculum unit overview maps, unit plans, and lesson plans, check out the Templates for Lessons & Units page.
If you teach anything by Toni Morrison, here's a recent interview with her on NPR.
If you teach Animal Farm by George Orwell, here's a free YouTube audiobook that your students can listen to. (Thanks to Roman Usatin for this link!)
Below is a list of common high school texts for which the TLC offers instructional resources. Go to the DOWNLOAD ZONE for all of the files (including introductory strategies, comprehension questions, quizzes, and various projects). NOTE: Asterisked items could possibly be used in 8th grade.
Also, for questions of text selection, see Selected Texts for Grades 4-12 ELA.
- 1984—George Orwell
- A Doll’s House—Henrik Ibsen
- A Hope in the Unseen—Ron Suskind
- An Island Like You--Judith Ortiz Cofer*
- Animal Farm--George Orwell [Also see note above.]
- Black Boy—Richard Wright*
- Fahrenheit 451—Ray Bradbury*
- Hamlet—William Shakespeare [incl. samples of differentiated text for scaffolded paraphrasing]... Consider working with students on basic idioms (see TLC Idiom Power page), then move to "135 Phrases Coined by Shakespeare."
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings—Maya Angelou
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl--Harriet Jacobs
- Julius Caesar—William Shakespeare
- Lord of the Flies—William Golding
- Love Letters—A.R. Gurney
- Native Son—Richard Wright
- Song of Solomon—Toni Morrison [See note above.]
- The Great Gatsby—F. Scott Fitzgerald [Check out Flapper by Joshua Zeitz, a tremendous resource!]
- The Handmaid’s Tale—Margaret Atwood
- The Kite Runner—Khaled Hosseini
- The Street—Ann Petry
- Their Eyes Were Watching God—Zora Neale Hurston
- To Kill a Mockingbird--Harper Lee --See also this new guide from Facing History and Ourselves on Teaching Mockingbird. (Thanks to Antonio Berdecia at QCACS for this lead!) The Media Literacy Clearinghouse also has some phenomenal resources, including a "film study guide" on To Kill a Mockingbird. Also, see Harper Lee's obituary in The New York Times.
- When I Was Puerto Rican—Esmeralda Santiago