English 9

Prerequisite: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

English 9 provides an introduction to informational and literary genres and lays a foundation of critical reading and analytical writing skills. Through texts that range from essays, speeches, articles and historical documents to a novel, a play, poetry and short stories, students analyze the use of elements of literature and nonfiction. As they develop their writing skills and respond to claims, students learn to formulate arguments and use textual evidence to support their position. To hone their listening and speaking skills, students engage with a variety of media types through which they analyze and synthesize information, discuss material, create presentations, and share their work.

 

English 10

Prerequisite: English I

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

English 10 builds upon students’ foundation of critical reading and analytical writing skills. Through texts that range from investigative journalism, essays, articles and historical documents to a novel, drama, poetry and short stories, students analyze the use of elements of literature and nonfiction. As they develop their writing skills and respond to claims, students learn to refine arguments and organize evidence to support their position. To hone their listening and speaking skills, students engage with a variety of media types through which they analyze and synthesize information, discuss material, create presentations, and share their work.

 

English 11

Prerequisite: English II

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

In the English 11 course, students examine the belief systems, events, and literature that have shaped the United States. They begin by studying the language of independence and the system of government developed by Thomas Jefferson and other enlightened thinkers. Next, they explore how the Romantics and Transcendentalists emphasized the power and responsibility of the individual in both supporting and questioning the government. Students consider whether the American Dream is still achievable and examine the Modernists’ disillusionment with the idea that America is a “land of opportunity.” Reading the words of Frederick Douglass and the text of the Civil Rights Act, students look carefully at the experience of African Americans and their struggle to achieve equal rights. Students explore how individuals cope with the influence of war and cultural tensions while trying to build and secure their own personal identity. Finally, students examine how technology is affecting our contemporary experience of freedom: Will we eventually change our beliefs about what it means to be an independent human being?

In this course, students analyze a wide range of literature, both fiction and nonfiction. They build writing skills by composing analytical essays, persuasive essays, personal narratives, and research papers. In order to develop speaking and listening skills, students participate in discussions and give speeches. Overall, students gain an understanding of the way American literature represents the array of voices contributing to our multicultural identity.

 

English 12

Prerequisite: English II

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

English 12 asks students to delve into the mingled history of British and World literature. It asks students to imagine: Face to face with a human being unlike any you’ve seen before, do you feel fear, awe, or curiosity? Do you look for what you can give, what you can take, or what you can share? Do you find unfamiliar people and customs magical, mysterious, or monstrous? Students explore how humans interact with and influence each other — historically, socially, and otherwise — and examine the complexities of cultural identity in our global and fastchanging world.

 

Creative Writing

Prerequisite: English I

Length: One semester

Credits: 0.5

 

Creative Writing is an English elective course that focuses on the exploration of short fiction and poetry, culminating in a written portfolio that includes one revised short story and three to five polished poems. Students draft, revise, and polish fiction and poetry through writing exercises, developing familiarity with literary terms and facility with the writing process as they study elements of creative writing. Elements of fiction writing explored in this course include attention to specific detail, observation, character development, setting, plot, and point of view. In the poetry units, students learn about the use of sensory details and imagery, figurative language, and sound devices including rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration. They also explore poetic forms ranging from found poems and slam poetry to traditional sonnets and villanelles. In addition to applying literary craft elements in guided creative writing exercises, students engage in critical reading activities designed to emphasize the writing craft of a diverse group of authors. Students study short stories by authors such as Bharati Mukherjee and Edgar Allan Poe, learning how to create believable characters and develop setting and plot. Likewise, students read poetry by canonical greats such as W. B.Yeats and Emily Dickinson, as well as contemporary writers such as Pablo Neruda, Sherman Alexie, and Alice Notley. Studying the writing techniques of a range of authors provides students with models and inspiration as they develop their own voices and refine their understanding of the literary craft.

 

Media Literacy

Prerequisite: None

Length: One semester

Credits: 0.5

 

Media Literacy teaches students how to build the critical thinking, writing, and reading skills required in a media-rich and increasingly technocentric world. In a world saturated with media messages, digital environments, and social networking, concepts of literacy must expand to include all forms of media. Today’s students need to be able to read, comprehend, analyze, and respond to nontraditional media with the same skill level they engage with traditional print sources. A major topic in Media Literacy is nontraditional media reading skills, including how to approach, analyze, and respond to advertisements, blogs, websites, social media, news media, and wikis. Students also engage in a variety of writing activities in nontraditional media genres, such as blogging and podcast scripting. Students consider their own positions as consumers of media and explore ways to use nontraditional media to become more active and thoughtful citizens. Students learn how to ask critical questions about the intended audience and underlying purpose of media messages, and study factors which can contribute to bias and affect credibility.

 

Reading Skills and Strategies

Prerequisite: None

Length: One semester

Credits: 0.5

 

Reading Skills and Strategies is a course is designed to help the struggling reader develop mastery in the areas of reading comprehension, vocabulary building, study skills, and media literacy, which are the course’s primary content strands. Using these strands, the course guides the student through the skills necessary to be successful in the academic world and beyond. The reading comprehension strand focuses on introducing the student to the varied purposes of reading (e.g., for entertainment, for information, to complete a task, or to analyze). In the vocabulary strand, the student learns specific strategies for understanding and remembering new vocabulary. In the study skills strand, the student learns effective study and test-taking strategies. In the media literacy strand, the student learns to recognize and evaluate persuasive techniques, purposes, design choices, and effects of media. The course encourages personal enjoyment in reading with 10 interviews featuring the book choices and reading adventures of students and members of the community.

 

Writing Skills and Strategies

Prerequisite: None

Length: One semester

Credits: 0.5

 

Writing Skills and Strategies develops key language arts skills necessary for high school graduation and success on high stakes exams through a semester of interactive instruction and guided practice in composition fundamentals. The course is divided into ten mini-units of study. The first two are designed to build early success and confidence, orienting students to the writing process and to sentence and paragraph essentials through a series of low-stress, high-interest hook activities. In subsequent units, students review, practice, compose and submit one piece of writing. Four key learning strands are integrated throughout: composition practice, grammar skill building, diction and style awareness, and media and technology exploration. Guided studies emphasize the structure of essential forms of writing encountered in school, in life, and in the work place. Practice in these forms is scaffolded to accommodate learners at different skill levels.

 

AP English Language and Composition

Prerequisite: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0 AP®

 

English Language and Composition invites students to investigate rhetoric and its impact on culture through analysis of notable fiction and nonfiction texts, from pamphlets to speeches to personal essays. The equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, this course prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in communications, creative writing, journalism, literature, and composition. Students explore a variety of textual forms, styles, and genres. By examining all texts through a rhetorical lens, students become skilled readers and analytical thinkers. Focusing specifically on language, purpose, and audience gives them a broad view of the effect of text and its cultural role. Students write expository and narrative texts to hone the effectiveness of their own use of language, and they develop varied, informed arguments through research. Throughout the course, students are evaluated with assessments specifically designed to prepare them for the content, form, and depth of the AP Exam. This course has been authorized by the College Board to use the AP designation.

 

AP English Literature and Composition

Prerequisite: None

Length: Two semesters

Credits: 1.0

 

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition immerses students in novels, plays, poems, and short stories from various periods. Students will read and write daily, using a variety of multimedia and interactive activities, interpretive writing assignments, and class discussions to assess and improve their skills and knowledge. The course places special emphasis on reading comprehension, structural and critical analysis of written works, literary terms, and recognizing and understanding literary devices. The equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, this course prepares students for the AP exam and for further study in creative writing, communications, journalism, literature, and composition.