The sixth grade English course is a balanced combination of reading and writing; it includes analysis of and development of writing skills in different formats. Students will read novels, poetry, short stories, and myths. Selected texts include The London Eye Mystery, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and Seedfolks. Our in-depth study of these texts will include vocabulary development and the study of authors’ use of language. Students will use all steps of the writing process to create pieces in a variety of genres, including personal narratives, poetry, and persuasive essays. Lessons on grammar and writing mechanics will be incorporated throughout the curriculum.
Welcome to 7th grade English! Over the course of the year we will be focusing on humanity and answering the question of whether or not humans are inherently good or evil. In our first unit, we will be using our summer reading book, Lord of the Flies, to build up our literary analysis skills, focusing on how authors effectively use literary devices such as imagery, symbolism, and allegory to convey universal themes. We will be practicing these skills through a variety of strategies including close reading, annotation, debate, and quickwrites. This literary analysis for the first unit will culminate in a final argumentative essay in early October. Students will participate in a peer editing and revision process to ensure their final writing is the strongest example of their mastery of the learning targets.
The eighth grade English course builds on the skills developed in English 7 and prepares students for the material and rigor of the high school curriculum. Critical thinking, reading strategies, and understanding of literary elements are enhanced through sophisticated core texts. The curriculum is also supplemented with essays, short stories, and poetry throughout the year. Through these works, students explore their own identities and the nature of the society they live in, and they are challenged to examine society from different perspectives. Vocabulary is enhanced through etymology, and grammar is reinforced with regular study and practice through composition. Students develop greater proficiency with the five-paragraph essay, producing persuasive, narrative, and expository essays throughout the year. Students take their creative writing to new heights with a deeper understanding of literary devices and the elements of a story.
Ancient World Literature
Students in this course will explore a selection of literature from various world cultures in order to facilitate an understanding of the real and perceived differences between cultures as well as the universal themes that connect them to each other. Several of our texts will be viewed through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. Key works will include material from Homer, Sappho, Sun Tsu, Lisa See, Shakespeare, Chinua Achebe, and others. Throughout the year, students will be asked to make and support assertions about all of the readings and to make extensions to related ideas. Key concepts will include perspective, point of view, empathy, and effective use of imagery. We will highlight performance, vocabulary development, grammar, and digital and media literacy. In all our endeavors, becoming more thoughtful readers and more effective writers will be our ultimate goal.
Modern World Literature
Modern World Literature is a rigorous course designed to continue preparation for college. The curriculum is supported by the Holt Elements of Literature anthology (Fourth Course) with an emphasis on international authors. Students will read and compare a variety of full-length works including novels, dramas, poetry, essays, short stories, and nonfiction from authors such as Albert Camus, George Orwell, Bannana Yosimoto, Marjane Satrapi, and William Shakespeare. Literature assignments focus on the further development of comprehension and fluency, as well as analysis of literary devices, themes, and critical thinking. Some units will explore the relationship of Literature and historic events. Students continue to develop their language skills through the study of grammar and syntax, vocabulary development, listening and speaking, and regular writing practice. A research project is required using the MLA format. Other writings include journal entries as well as autobiographical, reflective, analytical, and persuasive essays.
Students in this course will explore a selection of British literature in order to become more deeply grounded in foundational texts that have shaped modern writing and thought. We will examine ancient epic poetry as well as works by Jane Austen, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, George Orwell, Zadie Smith, Neil Gaiman, and William Shakespeare. Our focus will be on gender and social constructs that have been highlighted, shaped and/or altered by these works. Emphasis will also be placed on examining how authors adopt specific styles to complete social and political agendas. Key concepts will include author and purpose, critical analysis, and revision tools for writing. Emphasis will also be placed on how language and its connotations impact how we structure and attack our writing projects. Performance, vocabulary development, grammar, and digital and media literacy will all be regular features of class. In all our endeavors, becoming more thoughtful readers and more effective writers will be our ultimate goal.
High School Creative Writing
This course builds substantially on the foundations and principles of creative writing, which are explored in the Middle School Creative Writing course. In addition to workshopping and critiquing their own original fiction, drama, and poetry, student-writers will also do scholarly examinations of a variety of writers, with an eye toward learning their craft. The question "How do great writers do what they do?" is a central thread, as we will be developing a vocabulary to discuss the writing craft as working writers. Creating subtext, managing release of information, and developing our own unique writing style are among the topics that will be emphasized. While the class will regularly read and discuss outside texts, the primary goal of the class is for each student-writer to develop his/her own voice. Frequent feedback from classmates and the instructor will be given in service of intensive revision efforts.
AP Literature and Composition
Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition is, in essence, a college level English class offered on a high school campus. The reading and writing experiences are similar to those commonly found in entry-level English classes in colleges and universities. Student will examine poetry, novels, short stories and play from a wide variety of authors including Jane Austin, Oscar Wilde, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Jennifer Egan, August Wilson, Leo Tolstoy, and Mary Shelly. Coursework focuses on literary movements from the 17th century to modern times. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition exam given by the College Board in May. Scores on the exam are reported to colleges and may earn students units and/or course exemptions based on the policies of the individual institutions. Students enrolled in AP English Literature and Composition are expected to make a commitment to a rigorous curriculum of literary analysis and composition. Essays assignments will focus on critical lenses, poetry explication, prose close reading, and theme recognition across genres.Approval of the English department is required. Students enrolled in this course are required to participate in the AP exam.
Advanced English Literature
The Advanced English Literature course is designed to develop the academic skills required for successful matriculation into American university classes. The curriculum emphasizes recognition of literary genre, tone, theme, and style. Students will read a selection of novels, short stories, articles, and online materials written in a variety of rhetorical modes. Using these resources, students are challenged to write papers demanding research, analysis, and synthesis.
This course is designed primarily to develop the listening and speaking strategies and skills required for academic tasks. The skills include the ability to take notes on simulated academic lectures by recognizing listening cues, organizational patterns, main ideas, and supporting details. In addition, the course expands students’ listening and speaking ability for the comprehension of broadcast media and of conversational speech.
University Prep Communications
The UP Communications course combines skill and content-based curricula. You develop social and academic skills, especially critical thinking skills and metacognition strategies, to a level needed for successful study in American university classes. These skills include active listening, comprehension of native-to-native speech, informal conversation and discussion skills, and formal presentation skills. You hone these skills while exploring cross-cultural issues, aspects of American culture, as well as various high interest current themes.