Literature Exemplars – Grades-9-10

What Are ELA Common Core Text Exemplars?

The most common misconception with novels, plays, poems, non-fiction and other materials chosen as text exemplars for common core standards is that these texts are required reading.  This is not the case.  The following selections have been chosen as examples based on a combination of reading difficulty and subject maturity.  Each teacher must call upon his or her professional competency to select appropriate texts for his or her class.

I will list the example texts as chosen by the common core people and include similar texts that I use or that could be used in without the overseeing eye of federal regulators who think that someone in Vermont should choose what someone in Nevada teaches or vice-versa coming into my classroom and slapping me in chains.

I also include my own selections because–as anyone who’s been in education for more than five years understands–the powers that be come up with a new panacea for our educational woes every 3-4 years and there’s a good chance the common core curriculum will go the way of all the other  magic bullets politicians and lawyers have conjured up to appease an unsympathetic public.  The texts I include, with linked-to study guides, will serve you and your students for years to come regardless of which “miraculous program” someone produces in a few years.

ELA Common Core Text Examples: Grades 9-10

Fiction
The Odyssey by Homer (study guide)
Ovid’s Metamorphoses
Candide, or the Optimist by Voltaire
Turgenev, Ivan. Fathers and Sons.
Henry, O. “The Gift of the Magi.”
Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis
Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath
Bradbury, Ray (study guide). Fahrenheit 451 (teacher’s guide)
Olsen, Tillie. “I Stand Here Ironing.”

Additional Fiction
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies
Card, Orson. Ender’s Game
Stevenson, Robert Louis.  Treasure Island
Connel, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game”
Saki. “The Interlopers”
Hurst, James. “The Scarlet Ibis”
Thurber, James. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Black Cat”
Maupassant. “The Necklace”
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Drama
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House
Williams, Tennessee. The Glass Menagerie
Ionesco, Eugene. Rhinoceros
Fugard, Athol. “Master Harold”

Additional Drama
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare, William. Julius Caesar
Sophocles, Antigone

Poetry
Shakespeare, William. “Sonnet 73.”
Donne, John. “Song.”
Shelley, Percy Bysshe. “Ozymandias.”
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Raven.”
Dickinson, Emily. “We Grow Accustomed to the Dark.”
Houseman, A. E. “Loveliest of Trees.”
Johnson, James Weldon. “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Cullen, Countee. “Yet Do I Marvel.”
Auden, Wystan Hugh. ”Musée des Beaux Arts.”
Walker, Alice. “Women.”
Baca, Jimmy Santiago. “I Am Offering This Poem to You.”

Additional Poetry
Wordsworth, William. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”
Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken”
Frost, Robert. “Stopping by Woods”
Hughes, Langston. “Dreams”
Hughes, Langston. “Dream Deferred”

Informational Texts: English Language Arts
Henry, Patrick. “Speech to the Second Virginia Convention.”
Washington, George. “Farewell Address.”
Lincoln, Abraham. “Gettysburg Address.”
Lincoln, Abraham. “Second Inaugural Address.”
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano. “State of the Union Address.”
Hand, Learned. “I Am an American Day Address.”
Smith, Margaret Chase. “Remarks to the Senate in Support of a Declaration of Conscience.”
King, Jr., Martin Luther. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
King, Jr., Martin Luther. “I Have a Dream: Address Delivered at the March on Washington, D.C., for Civil Rights on August 28, 1963.”
Angelou, Maya. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Wiesel, Elie. “Hope, Despair and Memory.”
Reagan, Ronald. “Address to Students at Moscow State University.”
Quindlen, Anna. “A Quilt of a Country.”
The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution (lesson plan, study guide)

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