4.A set of miniplans—that is, brief descriptions of what will happen each day (perhaps two or three per page)
5.Sample assignments or activities: at least one writing assignment described in some detail and one fairly detailed description of a classroom activity
6.A conclusion, in which you evaluate the unit's strengths and weaknesses and comment on the process of creating it
Applebee, Arthur N. Tradition and Reform in the Teaching of English: A History. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1974. A history of the discipline from the 1880s to the 1960s, with a focus on the teaching of literature.
Applebee, Arthur N. Literature in the Secondary School: Studies of Curriculum and Instruction in the United States. NCTE Research Report #25. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1993. Not a book that you will necessarily need to read, but a good resource for facts and figures on the curriculum, especially what textbooks include and English teachers assign.
Bishop, Rudine Sims, and the Multicultural Booklist Committee, eds. Kaleidoscope: A Multicultural Booklist for Grades K-8. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1994. A useful annotated bibliography that lists nonfiction by topic and genres by grade level.
Brinkley, Ellen Henson. Caught off Guard: Teachers Rethinking Censorship and Controversy. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. A broad-based and thoughtful discussion of censorship, focusing on the English classroom but including chapters on science, sexuality education, religion, and values.
Donelson, Kenneth L., and Alleen Pace Nilsen. Literature for Today's Young Adults, 4th edition. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1993. The authoritative textbook on young adult literature, this book describes the history of the genre, discusses categories of young adult literature, and provides ideas for teaching.
Edwards, June. Opposing Censorship in the Public Schools: Religion, Morality, and Literature. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998. Offers arguments and strategies for defending particular texts using the morality and logic to counter the ideas of censors.
English Journal. Periodically, English Journal devotes part of an issue to a particular aspect of the teaching of English. Note the following: “New Voices: The Canon of the Future” (December 1997), “Multicultural Literature” (March 1995), “Censorship” (February 1997), and “Young Adult Literature” (March 1997).
Hirsch, E. D., Jr. Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987. This book has become famous for its list of cultural literacy terms, but there is more to it than that. Hirsch makes the best “conservative” case for a curriculum based on “the classics.” Better than the book is the essay, “Cultural Literacy, ” published in The American Scholar (Spring 1983).
Kaywell, Joan F. Adolescent Literature as a Complement to the Classics, Volumes I and II. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon Publishers, 1993, 1995. A collection of essays, each of which focuses on a frequently taught work (e.g., Great Expectations or The Odyssey) and explores the uses of adolescent literature in the context of teaching the “classic” work.
Phelan, Pamela, et al., eds. High Interest—Easy Reading: An Annotated Booklist for Middle School and Senior High School, 7th edition. Urbana, IL: NCTE, 1996. An annotated list of easy-to-read books with high interest elements: “exciting story, suspenseful action, likable characters, and effective handling of topics, mirroring your everyday concerns.” Twenty-three categories, by topic and genre.