Discipline: ELA

Grade Level: Sophomore

Course: English II

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Existentialism and Kafka
  • Background to Share With Students
    • Existentialism is a philosophical and cultural movement that believes the beginning of philosophical thinking lies with the individual and the experiences of the individual. Existential thought continues to influence philosophy, literature, and the arts today.

  • Task/Text
    • Teaching Task


      “Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”

      ― Kurt Vonnegut

      After researching essays and articles on existentialism, write a report that defines existentialism and explains its impact on Franz Kafka’s work The Metamorphosis. Support your discussion with evidence from your research.

      Reading Texts
      • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
      • Student-selected texts regarding existentialism, Kafka, and The Metamorphosis
      • Good Reasons Contemporary Arguments: Chapter 3 Definition Arguments 5th edition Lester Faigley, Jack Selzer
      Extension (Optional)

      Students will create a visual presentation of their paper using a digital media tool such as Prezi or Popplet.

  • Reading Standards for Informational
    • "Built-In" Reading Standards
      • 1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
      • 2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
      • 4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
      • 6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
      • 10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • Writing Standards for Informational
    • "Built-In" Writing Standards
      • 2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
      • 4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • 5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • 9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
      • 10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.
  • Scoring Rubric
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