English I Unit Proficiencies


Students will be able to…


Quarter I




Unit I: Short Stories

  1. Define the short story as a genre.
  2. Define and recognize the elements of a short story.
  3. Analyze a variety of short stories, each with an emphasis on a different element.
  4. Identify common literary devices such as irony, foreshadowing and symbolism.
  5. Practice critical and active reading strategies in order to improve student comprehension.
  6. Discuss the themes of the short stories in light of Catholic Christian values.
  7. Draw conclusions regarding tone and purpose.


Unit II: To Kill a Mockingbird

  1. Read and analyze To Kill a Mockingbird, focusing on identifying the major themes of the novel.
  2. Articulate the differences between the structure of the novel and the structure of the short story.
  3. Recognize the role of racism and poverty in the society as it relates to the setting of the novel.
  4. Evaluate the themes as they relate to Catholic Christian values.
  5. Evaluate the mockingbird as a symbol.
  6. Trace Scout’s rite-of-passage through the story.
  7. Parallel the fictional trial of Tom Robinson to the historical trial of the Scottsboro boys.
  8. Examine the author’s use of language in the novel.
  9. Determine the author’s attitude toward the educational institutions in Alabama at the time.
  10. Examine the use of irony to communicate tone.
  11. Discuss the author’s tone toward the racism present in Maycomb County.
  12. Evaluate Scout as a narrator.



  1. Write an introductory paragraph.
  2. Understand the function of the thesis statement and its importance to the essay as a whole.
  3. Identify the overview, the background information, and the organizing statement.
  4. Practice responding to a writing prompt by taking a position and defending it.



  1. Identify the part of speech and their definitions.
  2. Identify parts of speech of unit vocabulary words.
  3. Memorize a list of commonly used prepositions and linking verbs.
  4. Recognize what makes up a prepositional phrase and be able to identify the phrases within a sentence.


Quarter II




Unit I: Nonfiction

  1. Identify the characteristics of an essay.
  2. Differentiate between several types of essay including narrative, expository, descriptive and persuasive.
  3. Read a selection of personal essays to determine the relationship between content and purpose.
  4. Identify the characteristics of the speech.
  5. Read speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and examine the rhetorical and persuasive strategies employed in the writing of the speeches.
  6. Evaluate the effective ways of delivering a speech.
  7. Write and deliver a speech in front of the class.


Unit II: Mythology and The Odyssey

  1. Discuss the function of mythology in cultures, both past and present.
  2. Identify the gods and goddesses included in the selections.
  3. Examine the characteristics of an epic.
  4. Examine the Greek’s views on qualities such as loyalty and hospitality.
  5. Identify the epic hero and the qualities that make him an epic hero.
  6. Make connections between the ancient Greek epic hero and modern day heroes.



  1. Practice writing and editing introductory paragraphs for an analytical essay.
  2. Write effective topic sentences.
  3. Select appropriate quotations to support the thesis statement.
  4. Practice responding to a writing prompt by taking a position and defending it.



  1. Syntax: Identify the use of words in a sentence. Identify the subject, predicate, subject complements, direct and indirect objects and objects of prepositions.
  2. Identify the syntax of vocabulary words in context.



Quarter III




Unit I: Poetry

  1. Identify what poetry is and the structure of different types of poems such as the sonnet, the haiku, and the limerick.
  2. Analyze a variety of poems.
  3. Recognize and use effective imagery.
  4. Identify the different types of figurative language in the selection of poems.
  5. Discuss how a poet effectively uses sound devices.


Unit II: Romeo and Juliet

  1. Discuss Shakespearean drama and theatre.
  2. Examine the structure of a Shakespearean drama. 
  3. Examine the characteristics of a Shakespearean tragedy.
  4. Practice reading the language of Shakespeare.
  5. Memorize the prologue to Romeo and Juliet.
  6. Identify a variety of literary terms such as the pun, the aside, the soliloquy, etc.
  7. Compare and contrast characters in order to identify foils and their function.
  8. Discuss the themes communicated by the play.



  1. Write the introductory and body paragraphs of an analytical essay.
  2. Select quality quotations for incorporation into the body of an essay.
  3. Write a simple conclusion.
  4. Practice responding to a writing prompt by taking a position and defending it.



  1. Memorize and apply the rules for proper agreement of subject and verb.
  2. Incorporate vocabulary words in sample sentences.


Quarter IV




Unit I: The Good Earth

  1. Research the Chinese culture during the early 1900’s, focusing on the role and treatment of women in the society.
  2. Read The Good Earth and apply their knowledge of Chinese customs to the novel.
  3. Examine the characters and the roles they play, and analyze how the culture shapes their role in society.
  4. Identify the major theme of the novel and examine the different ways in which wealth corrupts.
  5. Discuss the universality of the novel’s theme.
  6. Assess how the author’s gender and nationality shaped the perspective of the novel.
  7. Examine Wang Lung as a protagonist.
  8. Discuss the morality of the main character as it relates to Catholic Christian values.


Unit II: The Pearl

  1. Read and identify a new type of literature – the novella.
  2. Discuss the plight of the native people.
  3. Compare and contrast the major characters in The Good Earth and The Pearl.          
  4. Compare and contrast the major themes in The Good Earth and The Pearl.
  5. Examine the complex relationship between people and the society in which they live.



Write a complete analytical essay.

Practice responding to a writing prompt by taking a position and defending it.



  1. Classify pronouns according to case.
  2. Determine the case needed in a particular sentence based on the function of the word in that sentence.