Grade 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters; Honors Section Available
This core course fulfills the senior literature survey requirement. This course introduces students to a variety of cultures and to the themes and values that preoccupy their writers. Voices from Greece, Italy, France, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Russia, China, South Africa, South America, and the U.S. are represented in this course. Special emphasis is given to British writers. The written and oral assignments emphasize critical thinking, reading, and writing, as well as the use of the MLA format. Vocabulary and literary terminology are studied as adjuncts to the readings.
The honors level of this course covers a greater number of reading and writing assignments than the non-honors sections. Enrollment in the honors section is limited to students who have shown high aptitude in English, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.
Grade 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters
This advanced placement honors level course is offered to seniors who have a proven background in the study of English and who wish to work at the college level. The course is focused thematically and includes the study of genre, language, meaning, and gender through a diverse array of texts. The course stresses a close reading approach to the study of literature, precision and economy in the written analysis of texts, and the knowledge of terms and strategies needed for the AP English Literature Test. Enrollment is limited to students who have shown high aptitude in other English honors courses, have departmental approval, and have approval of the Placement Committee.
Grades 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Fall Semester
A semester elective, this course will cover the study and practice of various forms of creative writing. Students will compose assignments in short fiction, poetry, drama, and creative non-fiction. Assignments will be assessed for both style and content; for the purposes of grading, the originality of students’ ideas will be considered, but so too will their ability to master the form of expression. We will begin each unit by reading models of published works. Course readings will include mostly contemporary examples of short fiction, poetry, personal essays, plays, and film and television scripts. Students’ final grades will be determined by assessments of the readings and a portfolio of their best creative work.
No one composes a masterpiece in a first draft. Successful pieces will be those that abide by each step of the writing process, from the initial reflection to the final proofread. Students will be expected to revise, edit, and rewrite assignments with the goal of submitting polished, completed drafts. Once they have reached that point, students will be encouraged to pursue publication of their work through various channels, such as writing contests, the school literary magazine, and professional publications that accept this kind of work.
Grades 11, 12; 1/2 Credit - Spring Semester
A semester elective, this course offers a range of educational opportunities including reporting, interviewing, writing and editing. Students in the course are introduced to the journalistic styles including news, editorial, feature, column, and review, with complete assignments in each type. In addition, elements of layout design, photography, art/cartooning, computer use and desktop publishing are taught. The class emphasizes the development of critical reading skills, problem solving, social awareness, interpersonal relationships, responsibility, objectivity, and a willingness to deal with timely and/or controversial topics. At the same time, the course demands a practical approach to "on-the-spot" writing and the continued use of good grammar and punctuation. Enrollment preference will be given to students who already serve the school community as editors and contributors to school publications.