English

COURSE SELECTION BREAKDOWN

 

Grade 9

Students must take English Grade 9.

English Grade 9

Introduction to High School Literature: Fundamental Skills of Reading, Writing, and Analysis

This course begins the four-year English Language Arts curriculum aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for English Language Arts and Literacy. Students experience a broad range of literature, including non-fiction informational texts, fiction, drama, and poetry with an emphasis on critical thinking and analysis. Each unit is anchored by a text that allows students to learn critical reading and various writing modes to establish a foundation for success in all subsequent years. Students will be expected to participate in class discussion, respond to daily, in-class writing-to-learn activities, and deliver frequent oral presentations. MCAS close reading sets and test taking strategies are embedded into the curriculum and students will complete a series of common formative and summative assessments throughout the year.


Grade 10

Students must take English Grade 10. They may also choose to add Horror Literature or English Language Arts Seminar as an elective.

English Grade 10

Everything’s An Argument: Analysis, Rhetoric and Persuasion

This course deepens student focus on acquiring the reasoning and analytic skills associated with literature and rhetoric, and the course will continue to focus on helping students making connections between literary and thematic elements and text-based support established in freshmen year. Anchor and linking texts span long and short fiction, drama, and nonfiction. Synthesis of multiple texts will be integral to the curriculum, and students will complete classroom activities along with formative and summative assessments requiring synthesis throughout the year. Students will complete a series of common formative and summative assessments throughout the year.

English Electives (Gr 10)

Horror Literature

This course examines classic, modern, and contemporary short stories and novels, from Edgar Allan Poe to Stephen King, and from folklore to today’s up-and-coming authors. There will be an emphasis on the development of the horror genre and archetypes of form and meaning. Attention will be given to supernatural, psychological, and allegorical themes and tropes in such fiction, as well as relevant social and historical background information. The course will center on written fiction, with occasional reference to horror in films and other media. Whole text and selections will include Dracula, The Shining, Carrie, Coraline, The Haunting of Hill House, It, The Troop as well as Lore podcast and selected short stories from Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allan Poe.

English Language Arts Seminar

This course is designed to help students successfully learn critical reading and writing skills that they will encounter in various courses. Students will learn Writing With Colors and how to write 8- and 12-sentence open responses along with using color-coding to improve the quality of their long composition writing. Students will also learn skills for writing powerful sentences through sentence-composing activities. Students will gain guided experience handling synthesis items that require them to analyze multiple texts. A variety of test-taking strategies will be presented to give students the tools required to successfully complete various types of assessments including district-wide and standardized tests. At the beginning of the year, an individualized plan based on diagnostic assessments will be designed for each student with ongoing benchmark measures to monitor student progress.


Grade 11

Students must take English Grade 11 or Advanced Placement in English Language and Composition. They may also choose to add an elective from the grade 11 electives listed below.

English Grade 11

America Through Stylistic, Historical, Social, and Critical Lenses

This course examines American literature—fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama from multiple perspectives. Students will analyze texts through stylistic, social, economic, historical, and critical lenses. The emphasis of this course is evaluating the relationship between form and content in a literary work, and then analyzing how both the author’s intent and reader’s perspective illuminate the meaning of the text. Students will produce short narratives, dramatic scenes, oral presentations, and analytical essays.

Advanced Placement in English Language and Composition

In the A.P. English Language and Composition course—the rhetoric course—students learn how to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate nonfiction texts, including essays, biographies and autobiographies, speeches, sermons, and passages from writings in the arts, history, social science, politics, science, and other areas of study. Students learn to evaluate and construct arguments drawn from articles in newspapers, magazines, and online “‘zines” and “blogs.” The course cannot help but be interdisciplinary, immersing students in a variety of sources. Students are expected to take the College Board A.P. English Language and Composition Exam in May. College credit may be applied with a score of three or higher on the College Board exam. (Exam is scored from 1 – 5.)

English Electives (Gr 11)

Creative Writing

This course examines the various forms of creative writing that include, but are not limited to, short stories, poetry, memoirs, flash fiction, and literary non-fiction. The students will be asked to produce their own creative works that mimic the forms studied. The course will also require the students to have their pieces of writing workshopped with other students in the class in order to receive feedback and suggestions. By the end of the year, students will be required to produce a collection of their work as well as reflections on their writing process, inspirations, and work completed. Students are eligible to take this course junior or senior year, but not both.

Perspectives in Literature

This course is a multicultural literature course that concentrates on various minority groups’ experiences in dealing with American culture. Literature will include works from ethnic groups from the Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American cultures as well as groups such as women, persons with disabilities, or GLBTQ. The class will not only explore the literature but the stereotypes and concrete ways in which these groups are marginalized. Students will write analytical essays and give oral presentation on a related piece of literature. Selections will come from: Black Boy, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Awakening, The Joy Luck Club, Luna, along with selections from Malcolm X, Gary Soto, David Sedaris, Studs Terkel, Gloria Naylor, Louise Erdrich, Jamaica Kincaid, Langston Hughes, and Maya Angelou.

Dramatic Literature I

This is a foundational course designed as an introduction to the genre of dramatic literature. Students will explore comedy, tragedy, and tragicomedy over the course of three trimesters. Titles to be studied include, but are not limited to: The Thurber Carnival (James Thurber), You Can’t Take It With You (George S. Kaufman), All in the Timing (David Ives), The Tempest (Shakespeare), Salem’s Daughters (Wendy Lement), Antigone (Sophocles), and Fences (August Wilson). Students will view live, televised, or filmed productions and stage scenes from plays or scripts. Classwork will allow students to develop skills in critical listening and thinking. Students will demonstrate their understanding of material through writing, speaking, and performing in the form of reading plays aloud as a class and in small groups. Writing assignments will include research-based writing on genre and style, creative journaling, and monologue and scene writing.


Grade 12

Students must take English Grade 12 or Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition. They may also choose to add an elective from the grade 12 electives listed below.

English Grade 12

Understanding the Modern World through Critical Thinking, Analysis, and Research

This course focuses on a variety of literary and informational texts that include the Western cultural philosophies of nihilism, modernism, idealism, existentialism, and magical realism, including rigorous practice in research, informational writing, and personal narrative. Students will identify critical lenses, recognize multiple themes, analyze in concrete and abstract perspectives, and evaluate multiple interpretations from secondary sources. Students will draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support their analysis, reflection, and research. Essays and discussions will relate the work to its historical circumstances, trace a symbol through a work or works, or consider a moral or philosophical question. The major works and ideas of Western literature will be addressed.

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

In the A.P. English Literature and Composition course, students engage in becoming skilled readers of prose and poetry written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Through critical analysis and focused writing, students learn the interactions among a writer’s purposes, audience expectations, and subjects, as well as the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. The course follows A.P. curricular guidelines and prepares students for the A.P. test, given in the spring. Students should expect challenging college-level content and a workload requiring nightly preparation and independent study. The accelerated pace of A.P. coursework is designed to parallel an introductory college semester course. Students are expected to take the College Board A.P. English Language and Composition Exam in May. College credit may be applied with a score of three or higher on the College Board exam. (Exam is scored from 1 – 5.)

English Electives (Gr 12)

Creative Writing

This course examines the various forms of creative writing that include, but are not limited to, short stories, poetry, memoirs, flash fiction, and literary non-fiction. The students will be asked to produce their own creative works that mimic the forms studied. The course will also require the students to have their pieces of writing workshopped with other students in the class in order to receive feedback and suggestions. By the end of the year, students will be required to produce a collection of their work as well as reflections on their writing process, inspirations, and work completed. Students are eligible to take this course junior or senior year, but not both.

Film and Literature

This course focuses on the analysis and evaluation of works of literature and their film version. Students will receive a background on filmography and storyboarding to assess the adaptation of a literary work into a film. Besides comparing and contrasting the two genres, the class will eventually design its own means of evaluating a novel to film adaptation. Students will conduct close readings of literary works and film criticism, brief literary analyses, screenwriting, short oral reports analyzing a scene, the storyboarding of a scene from a written work, and an evaluative essay on a film adaptation. The summative assessment will have both a written and spoken component related to individual works chosen by the student in which the student will analyze the literary work, craft a storyboard for a scene, create a casting call, evaluate the adaptation, and then give a presentation. The student will also present an evaluation using a clip from the film. Whole text and selections from the written and film versions will include: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Apocalypse Now, Jaws, The Godfather, Great Expectations, True Grit, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird, “Soldier’s Home,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “In a Grove,” The Shawshank Redemption, Rear Window, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Natural, A River Runs Through It, and Much Ado About Nothing or A Midsummer Night’s Dream.