Independent Study

In our remaining 15 class days together, you are responsible for driving your own learning. You will propose your own project, execute, present, and reflect your project.  Your project should answer the essential questions from this course  or any from the individual units of study we conducted over the course of the year:

  • How does literature give us insight into the shared human experience?
  • How does reading literature shape and provide insight in our own identity?
  • How can the act of close reading enable one to arrive at an understanding of a text’s various themes?
  • What is literature?  What is its role in our personal lives and our culture?
  • What is criticism?  What is its role and function?
  • What should we consider when we write critically and analytically about literature?
  • What is poetry? What is the human impulse to use words to create patterns of sound, meaning, and visual aesthetics?
  • How does poetry force us to think and look differently at the world?
  • How does poetry deepen our understanding of the ways that writers use poetic language, techniques, and devices to construct meaning while also providing pleasure?
  • What are some of the distinctive features of different poetry movements including style, structure, and theme?  How do these features help to shape meaning?
  • Why do humans tell stories?
  • How do writers create texts to explore the social and political issues of their time?
  • What role does satire play in society?
  • How do authors and artists reveal their attitudes toward their subject matter?
  • What parallels can we draw between these societies and ours?
  • How do we define our individual identities? What is the relationship between nature and nurture?
  • What is the ethical relationship between creator and creation?
  • How does one find fulfillment in life?
  • What is our responsibility to ourselves, our parents, and society?
  • Where is the line between sanity and madness?
  • What causes us act? What causes us to delay or be inert?
  • What is the nature of revenge? What is the nature of justice? Are they the same thing?
  • How does corruption infect the individual and society? How do we rid ourselves of corruption?

There are a variety of ways that you can explore and answer these questions; your project does not necessarily have to involve the study of particular literature or texts.  However, your project must attempt to answer one of these questions.


  • Proposal
    • You wills submit a proposed course of study that addresses one or more of the essential questions.  This proposal should include why you are interested in this course of study, a timeline, an outcome/final product, and a description of how you will know if your course of study is a success or not.  This is a proposal, so things may change over the course of study, but you should have a plan going into it.
  • Midway conference on progress (Thurs 5/26 and Friday 5/27)
  • Final product
  • Final presentation with reflection about learning


Mon 5/16 & Tues 5/17
Brainstorming and writing proposals

Wed 5/18
Proposal submitted for approval

Thurs 5/19-Wed 5/25
Independent learning

Thurs 5/26 & Friday 5/27
Midway conferences

Tues 5/31 & Wed 6/1
In class work day

*I’m out scoring the Sophomore Writing Portfolios on Wednesday, so if there’s anything you need from me, be sure to ask/see me on Tuesday

Thurs 6/2
Senior Service Day

Fri 6/3
In-class work day–I’m out at a conference at UConn.  Be in touch if you need anything

Mon 6/6 & Tues 6/7
Final in-class work days

Wed 6/8





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