Here is a partial list of the poems, plays, stories, essays, autobiographies, philosophical works, and historical documents discussed in a typical year. In addition, students examine art ranging from ancient Greece to modern America, sample musical styles, participate in the UW’s Go Big Read program, work on vocabulary, and complete creative and academic writing assignments.
- Poetry: Maya Angelou, William Blake, Anne Bradstreet, Robert Browning, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Emma Lazarus, William Shakespeare, Alice Walker, Phillis Wheatley, Walt Whitman, William Wordsworth, and others
- Fiction: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol; Francisco Jimenez, “The Circuit,” Kate Chopin, “Story of an Hour,”
- Autobiography: Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave; excerpts from The Autobiography of Malcolm X
- Speeches and historical documents: Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence; Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address; Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail and I Have a Dream speech; James Madison, Federalist Paper #10; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Four Freedoms Speech; Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I a Woman?
- Plays: Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun; scenes from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Sophocles’ Antigone, Jeff Stetson’s The Meeting, and August Wilson’s Fences
- Philosophical works: Plato, dialogues from Apology and Crito about Socrates’ teachings, trial, and death; Allegory of the Cave; Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience