English/Language Arts 7-12 - Cardinal Newman Society

English/Language Arts 7-12



Literature and the arts are also, in their own way, of great importance to the life of the Church. They strive to make known the proper nature of man, his problems and his experiences in trying to know and perfect both himself and the world. They have much to do with revealing man’s place in history and in the world; with illustrating the miseries and joys, the needs and strengths of man and with foreshadowing a better life for him. Thus they are able to elevate human life, expressed in multifold forms according to various times and regions.

 Gaudium et Spes, 1965, #62

General Standards
CS ELA.712 GS1 Analyze literature that reflects the transmission of a Catholic culture and worldview.
CS ELA.712 GS2 Analyze works of fiction and non-fiction to uncover authentic Truth.
CS ELA.712 GS3 Analyze carefully chosen selections to uncover the proper nature of man, his problems, and his experiences in trying to know and perfect both himself and the world.
CS ELA.712 GS4 Share how literature can contribute to strengthening one’s moral character.
Intellectual Standards
CS ELA.712 IS1 Identify how literature interprets the human condition, human behaviors, and human actions in its redeemed and unredeemed state.
CS ELA.712 IS2 Describe how the rich spiritual knowledge communicated through fairy tales, fables, myths, parables, and other stories is a reflection on the truth and development of a moral imagination and the mystery, danger, and wonder of human experience.
CS ELA.712 IS3 Describe the importance of thinking with images informed by classic Christian and Western symbols and archetypes, including their important role in understanding the battle between good and evil and their role in making visible realities that are complex, invisible, and spiritual.
CS ELA.712 IS4 Explain from a Catholic perspective how literature addresses critical questions related to man, such as: How ought men live in community with each other? What are an individual’s rights, duties, freedoms, and restraints?  What are a society’s? What is the relationship between man and God? Between man and the physical world? What is the nature of human dignity and the human spirit? What is love? What is the good life?
CS ELA.712 IS5 Describe how poets and writers use language to convey truths that are universal and transcendent.
CS ELA.712 IS6 Analyze critical values presented in literature and the degree to which they are in accord or discord with Catholic norms.
CS ELA.712 IS7 Use imagination to create dialogue between the reader and fictional characters by entering into the lives of the characters and uncovering deeper meanings, inferences, and relationships between the characters, nature, and God.
CS ELA.712 IS8 Explain how literature assists in transcending the limited horizon of human reality.
CS ELA.712 IS9 Evaluate complex literary selections for all that is implied in the concept of “person”[2] as defined from a Catholic perspective.
CS ELA.712 IS10 Analyze how literature helps identify, interpret, and assimilate the cultural patrimony handed down from previous generations.
CS ELA.712 IS11 Summarize how literature can reflect the historical and sociological culture of the time period in which it was written and help better understand ourselves and other cultures and times.
CS ELA.712 IS12 Demonstrate cultural literacy and familiarity with the great works and authors of the world and in particular the Western canon.
CS ELA.712 IS13 Explain how the powerful role of poetic knowledge, the moral imagination, connotative language, and artistic creativity explore difficult and unwieldy elements of the human condition, which is not always explainable with technical linguistic analysis or scientific rationalism.
CS ELA.712 IS14 Analyze the author’s reasoning and discover the author’s intent.
CS ELA.712 IS15 Describe how the gratuitousness of literary and artistic creation reflects the divine prerogative. Explain the role of man as “maker”—as artist, poet, and creator—and how the use of language to create is reflective of our being made in the image and likeness of God.
Writing Standards
CS ELA.712 WS1 Explain how language can be used as a bridge for communion with others for the betterment of all involved.
CS ELA.712 WS2 Write in various ways to naturally order thoughts to the truth with an accurate expression of intent, knowledge, and feelings.
CS ELA.712 WS3 Use grammar as a means of signifying concepts and the relationship to reason.
CS ELA.712 WS4 Demonstrate the use of effective rhetorical skills in the service and pursuit of truth.
Dispositional Standards
CS ELA.712 DS1 Share how literature fosters both prudence and sound judgment in the human person.
CS ELA.712 DS2 Develop empathy, care, and compassion for a character’s crisis or choice in order to transcend oneself, build virtue, and better understand one’s own disposition and humanity.
CS ELA.712 DS3 Display the virtues and values evident within stories that involve an ideal and take a stand for love, faith, courage, fidelity, truth, beauty, goodness, and all virtues.
CS ELA.712 DS4 Identify with beautifully told and well-crafted works, especially those with elements of unity, harmony, and radiance of form.
CS ELA.712 DS5 Share how literature ignites the creative imagination by presenting in rich context amazing lives and situations told by humanity’s best storytellers and most alive intellects.
CS ELA.712 DS6 Display a sense of the “good” by examining the degree in which characters significantly possess or lack the perfections proper to a) their nature as human persons, b) their proper role in society as understood in their own culture or the world of the text, c) the terms of contemporary culture, and d) the terms of Catholic tradition and moral norms.
CS ELA.712 DS7 Delight and wonder through the reading of creative, sound, and healthy stories, plays and poems.

[1] See Appendix C for English Language Arts resources and a recommended reading list for Catholic schools in the United States.[2] A “person” includes concepts of intelligence and will, freedom and feelings, the capacity to be an active and creative agent, a being endowed with both rights and duties, capable of interpersonal relationships, called to a specific mission in the world.