English 

 

All students must take and complete four English credits in order to graduate. Listed below are descriptions for the courses students may take as they progress from freshman to senior year.

During freshman year, students are introduced to various types of literature (novel, short story, play, poem and essay) and develop writing, thinking and speaking skills. Students develop writing skills through vocabulary and grammar study. Writing assignments include: composition, character and theme analysis, creative writing and research papers.

 
Enrollment in an honors course requires a “B” average in the preceding English course or permission of the Guidance Department.

 

161 ENGLISH I - COLLEGE  (1 credit)

The central goal of the first semester is to develop writing and critical thinking skills. Students consistently use the Writing Process, with an emphasis on revising. This prepares students to write effectively in all subject areas. Students will write clear and concise sentences, develop well-thought-out thesis statements and thought provoking conclusions, which will be demonstrated through expository, persuasive, narrative and descriptive essays. Grammar and vocabulary are stressed.

During the second semester, the focus is literature. Students are introduced to major literary concepts that build on composition skills, focusing on analysis, personal response and evaluation. Students will read a multiplicity of classical and contemporary texts, including novels, short stories, plays, poems and essays.

162 ENGLISH I - HONORS (1 credit)

First semester develops writings and critical thinking skills. Students consistently use the Writing Process, with an emphasis on revising. This prepares students to write effectively in all subject areas. Students will write clear and concise sentences, develop well-thought-out thesis statements and thought provoking conclusions, which will be demonstrated through expository, persuasive, narrative and descriptive essays. Grammar and vocabulary are stressed.

During the second semester, the focus is literature. Students are introduced to major literary concepts that build on composition skills, focusing on analysis, personal response and evaluation. Students will read a multiplicity of classical and contemporary texts, including novels, short stories, plays, poems and essays. This course requires students to read intensely and widely and to write focused and ordered compositions.

163 ENGLISH II - COLLEGE (1 credit)

The thematic concepts of romance, tragedy, irony and comedy are explored through close readings of the text. Vocabulary and composition skills are further developed. Various techniques of expository writing are introduced including abstracts of articles, speculative and critical essays, and the use of evidence to support a thesis. Considerable emphasis is placed on the components of fiction and poetry. A five to seven page research paper is required. This course is designed for students requiring a more deliberate pace of study and places particular importance on reading for comprehension.

 

164 ENGLISH II - HONORS (1 credit) 

The Honors Program continues to focus on reading, writing and speaking skills. Students read a variety of works across literary genres and respond to readings through response journals, creative pieces and formal essays. While students' responses to the literature drive class discussions, the teacher supplements these discussions with lessons about traditional interpretive frameworks to assist students in their search to create meaning from the text. Students participate in writing process activities. Throughout the year, students learn strategies to increase their vocabularies, to vary their reading, writing and speaking for different purposes, and to think explicitly about their own learning styles. During the second semester, students complete a research paper and learn the basic methods and strategies of performing literary research.

 

165 ENGLISH III AMERICAN LITERATURE - COLLEGE  (1 credit)

The college preparatory junior English curriculum focuses on American literature as a means to further develop expository and critical thinking skills. Students examine the American Literary movements through a chronological survey of major writers such as Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, Dickinson and Fitzgerald as well as more contemporary writers. Due to the significance of Shakespeare’s works, students also read selected pieces from his collection. Essay writing further develops the use of direct evidence to support critical thinking. Vocabulary, grammar and SAT prep continue.

166 ENGLISH III AMERICAN LITERATURE - HONORS (1 credit)

This course focuses on selections from assorted genres by major American writers. Because of the significance of Shakespeare’s works, students read selected pieces from his oeuvre. Students read a variety of American novels, short stories, plays and poems. Writing assignments are frequent. Creative writing, critical essays and analytical essays are the focus of writing assignments. They include, but are not limited to commentary and criticism of the literary works read. Vocabulary is stressed and independent reading is assigned regularly. Students are expected to read extensively in this course.

167 ENGLISH IV - COLLEGE  (1 credit)

The goal of this course is to prepare students for writing and communicating their ideas in a college classroom. Students master reading comprehension skills by reading essays, short stories, poetry, drama and novels. The course also includes a review of proper English conventions and the continued study of college-level vocabulary. Students write extensively with teacher support, sampling a variety of expository styles. Reading assignments focus on themes in British literature before moving into a study of social justice issues. The course culminates with a senior presentation that incorporates research, writing and reflection in a formal school presentation.

168 ENGLISH IV - HONORS  (1 credit)

English IV is a course for advanced students to master writing and communicating their ideas in a college classroom. Students demonstrate reading comprehension skills by reading essays, short stories, poetry, drama and novels; the majority of reading is done outside of class. It is assumed that enrolled students have mastered the basics of English language conventions and regularly use a college-level vocabulary. The entire first quarter is dedicated to mastering college-level writing with papers assigned every week. Reading assignments focus on themes in British literature before moving into a study of social justice issues. The course culminates with a senior presentation that incorporates research, writing and reflection in a formal school presentation.

131 AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION - ADVANCED PLACEMENT (1 credit)

*Offered in 2016-17

(This course is open to qualified students in both grades 11 and 12. It rotates in the schedule with AP English Literature and Composition---students with a particular strength and interest in the study of English should plan to take both courses over two years. Students might also consider AP English as a junior and take English IV Honors without an interruption of material.)

This course helps students become independent readers, creative and mature writers, and effective speakers. Readings range across disciplines, genres and styles, including both British and American works, with an emphasis on non-fiction and current events. Students focus on three formal aspects of language: grammar, rhetoric and logic. In keeping with the AP course description, the class time will be a cooperative venture between students and the teacher; students should assume considerable responsibility for the amount of reading and writing they do. It is assumed that students have not only a high level of reading comprehension, vocabulary and writing skills, but a love for the subject matter and a desire to push themselves beyond the boundary of a typical classroom. Writing and speaking skills are further developed in a collaborative workshop format, as well as in one-on-one coaching with the instructor. A major thesis paper is required based on the individualized interests and needs of each student.

132 AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION - ADVANCED PLACEMENT (1 credit)

(This course is open to qualified students in both grades 11 and 12. It rotates in our schedule with AP English Language and Composition; students with a particular strength and interest in the study of English could plan to take both courses over two years. Students might also consider AP English as a junior and take an English IV Honors without interruption of material.)


This course is designed for students with a love of literature and language to immerse themselves in an exploration of the power of the written word. Both British and American literature will be examined as the basis for exploration, and students will have the opportunity for free-choice reading with the goal of stretching their reading skills to a new level. In keeping with the AP course description, the class time will be a cooperative venture between students and the teacher; students should assume considerable responsibility for the amount of reading and writing they do. It is assumed that students have not only a high level of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills, but also a love for the subject matter and a desire to push themselves beyond the boundary of a typical classroom. Writing and speaking skills will be developed in a collaborative, workshop format, as well as in one-on-one coaching with the instructor. A major thesis paper is required based on the individualized interests and needs of each student.