The English Department offers two levels of English; standard college preparatory English and honors English. Emphasizing book reading and expository writing, teachers at both levels prepare students to succeed in any college course requiring interpretive and composition skills. Honors English, a four year sequence, also prepares students to write the College Board’s Advanced Placement examination in literature and composition. In honors English, students read more books, more difficult books, and write essays that demand the part-whole analysis typically required on Advanced Placement essay questions.
Graduation requirement: 4 credits, must include English I, II, III, IV
THE HONORS ENGLISH PROGRAM
This four year program provides a challenge for students who wish to advance their English skills at a more accelerated rate than that offered by the standard college preparatory program. Students should have an avid interest in literature, a sound grasp of the fundamentals of formal grammar, and the ability to write well-organized, clear formal essays. Students read approximately twice as much literature as those in the non-honors program and write more challenging essays. In addition, students prepare for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition exam. Vocabulary and grammar remain an integral part of the program. Prerequisite: Admission into the Honors Program is considered throughout the academic year. Only those students who have their English teachers’ approval may be added to an honors roster. To qualify for approval, students must, in the opinion of their teachers, have both the work ethic and interpretive skills needed to succeed in Honors English.
HONORS ENGLISH I
HONORS ENGLISH II: WORLD LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
HONORS ENGLISH III: AMERICAN LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
HONORS ENGLISH IV: ADVANCED PLACEMENT
The focus of this course is an introduction to the literary genres of short story, poetry, novel, and drama as well as a comprehensive grammar review. Students study mythology, etymology, and composition writing.
ENGLISH II: WORLD LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Students focus primarily on world literature interpretation and composition skills. They expand, practice and refine interpretation skills learned in Freshman year and also learn to create, write and revise compositions. Students learn how to research and write a short research paper. Students continue learning new vocabulary and improving usage.
ENGLISH III: AMERICAN LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Students read and interpret American literature from the colonial period to the present. During the second semester, students refine their research and writing skills as they compose a longer research paper. Students focus on developing writing style, and they continue their study of grammar and vocabulary. Successful completion of the research paper is required to pass the second semester.
ENGLISH IV: BRITISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Students study British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present. Students continue reading various types of literature and writing critical analysis papers. Students learn and practice finer points of grammar and writing style, and they continue expanding their vocabulary. The writing assignments will vary, but will include expository, argumentative, analytical, and creative writing.
HONORS ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH IV: BRITISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Students study British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present. This course focuses on critical reading and analytical writing as designed by the AP English Course Description. In both reading and writing, students will consider elements such as structure, style, and theme as well as such smaller-scale elements such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students will also consider the rhetorical situation in terms of reader, writer, and text. The writing assignments will vary, but will include expository, argumentative, analytical, and creative writing. Students will further develop strategies for writing well-organized, clear essay; however, the basics of grammar and style should be grasped prior to taking this course. This course follows the scope and sequence as described by the Advanced Placement program. Upon completion, students have the opportunity to take the AP exam in May.
CREATIVE WRITING 1
This is a one semester course that focuses primarily on poetry, the short story, and the one act play. The course incorporates numerous readings, which are used as models of style and technique. Class discussion and critique are based on students’ own writing samples as well as reading assignments. Although the course has no prerequisite, students are expected to have a strong interest in creative expression and a desire to improve their writing through personal and classmate critique and outside reading.
CREATIVE WRITING II
Creative Writing II is an Independent Study Course offered by invitation only to students who have take Creative Writing I and who have shown the necessary talents, interest, and self-discipline necessary to succeed in a creative yet very disciplined independent effort to further develop their writing skills in the areas of poetry, short story, drama, and the one act play.
Students learn how to interview, write various forms of newspaper articles, edit and layout issues of the school newspaper. Using design software, students produce the newspaper regularly throughout the school year. Students must be responsible and able to thrive in a fast-paced, independent work environment and meet deadlines. Students must be able to handle constructive criticism, initiate and conduct thorough interviews and demonstrate growth as a writer. The class meets two times a week during Zero Hour.
This course includes instruction in the following procedures: designing a layout, cropping pictures, writing copy and captions. It is helpful if students can type and take pictures. (It is not necessary for students to own a camera.) Creativity and artistic talents are useful in developing a yearbook of which to be proud.