English IV

Instructor: Jack Kaulfus

Class Description: English IV’s focus is on fictional literary works. Students will read and carefully analyze a broad and challenging range of literary selections, including poems, music lyrics, novels, plays, creative nonfiction, short stories, and experimental fictional media.

Selected American literature and World literature representative of various cultures, philosophies, and time periods will be read and examined for comparative reasons.  Students will learn, through close reading, to analyze literary devices, diction, tone, narrative structure, theme, point of view, and poetic devices.  They will then practice communicating their ideas through various modes of academic and creative writing.

The most important part of this class involves the recognition of symbol and structure in literature as a direct reflection of the lives we live. Once those patterns become recognizable to us, the world begins to feel more connected and accessible.


English IV units include:

  • Passing and American Literary Movements: Harlem Renaissance and Modernism
  • The Buddha in the Attic: Julie Otsuka’s multi-award winning book about the lives of Japanese Picture Brides and the American Dream
  • Cultural Mythology: Popular mythmaking and sacred texts
  • There There: Cheyenne and Arapaho author Tommy Orange’s Pen/Hemingway Award-winning masterpiece about family, belonging, resilience, and identity
  • Jane Eyre: This English classic is the focus of a student inquiry-driven annotated bibliography and creative endeavor
  • The Metamorphosis: Existentialism, Free Will and finding purpose in human life