English Division Course Offerings and Descriptions

TRANSITIONAL ENGLISH

The English Division offers two courses to incoming freshmen whose test scores do not meet the standards of the college preparatory English program. These courses offer students the opportunity to enter the college preparatory program at the beginning of the sophomore year. The English Division believes that students will be more prepared for all of their academic courses if they first receive fundamental instruction in reading and writing.  Sophomore and junior year transitional courses mirror the college preparatory program while adding an intensive focus on reading strategies. Sophomores and juniors who successfully complete transitional courses are strongly encouraged to move to the college preparatory program.

112, 1127 English T

Open to qualified freshmen approved for the transition program.
2 semesters; 2 credits
This one-year course of transitional English for freshmen emphasizes writing, grammar, and literature. The literature units for both semesters include short stories, poetry, short novels, and drama.  The pre-writing, writing, and revising process in the development of sentences and paragraphs is emphasized throughout the year.  Grammar, mechanics, spelling, and vocabulary are studied both semesters.  English T and Elements of Reading prepare students for the second year of core English.

122 English Literature, Reading Connections

Open to sophomores
Prerequisite: English, Essentials of English, or teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
Second year of college preparatory English co-taught by an English teacher and a reading teacher. Thematic approach to the study of literature. Each thematic unit includes a variety of texts and builds to the study of a major work of English literature. Literature instruction emphasizes making inferences in reading literature. Reading   instruction emphasizes text structure analysis, graphic organization of concepts, critical thinking skills, active reading, vocabulary development, and story mapping. Writing instruction focuses on building skills in organization, use of evidence, and development of ideas and on grammar and direct instruction in writing. Students produce creative writing and themes of literary analysis.

132 American Literature, Reading Connections

Open to juniors
Prerequisite: English Literature,
    Reading Connections; or teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
Third year of college preparatory English. A chronological sampling of important American literature. In the second semester, modern literature by types: short story, poetry, essay, drama, novel. Reading strategies emphasis: text structure analysis, graphic organization of concepts, critical thinking skills, active reading, vocabulary development, and story mapping. Writing, mainly but not exclusively expository, is required in each unit throughout the year. Grammar and direct instruction in writing. Extensive use of pre-writing, writing, and revising process. An investigative theme based on a variety of library resources is required during the second semester.

148 RHETORIC & COMPOSITION 99: COLLEGE READING AND WRITING

Open to juniors and seniors
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
This course will focus on writing and reading as related skills by practicing reading comprehension and essay writing in the context of a world where housing and freedoms are governed by official and unofficial policy. Students will develop critical thinking skills and the ability to write clear, focused, developed, organized paragraphs and essays about both fiction and nonfiction sources discussing the advantages, disadvantages, and consequences of living in a world of social and ligation-enforced barriers. Dual credit through Triton College may be available.

149 RHETORIC & COMPOSITION 101

Open to seniors
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
This course emphasizes logical, coherent writing skills for competency in any school or professional writing situation. Dual credit through Triton College may be available.

COLLEGE PREPARATORY ENGLISH                                      

The first year of the college preparatory English program brings students together with teachers who offer guided practice and instruction in the areas of reading comprehension and composition. Using critical thinking skills, students explore and write about the literature that they read. Active class participation in collaborative learning tasks is required. Students can expect to become more effective readers and writers through daily, structured homework assignments.

113, 1138, 1134/1136 English

Open to qualified freshmen approved for the college preparatory program
2 semesters; 2 credits
The first year of college preparatory English is a study of culturally diverse literature centered around literary themes. Through direct instruction students will improve as critical and creative readers, writers, and thinkers.  Independent reading and library research projects are included, along with appropriate composition assignments suggested by the reading.

12eX world studies immersion/literacy support (also see history division & academic support course offerings)

Open to qualified freshmen approved for the transition program
2 semesters; 2 credits
World Studies Immersion combines English, Literacy and History curricula and integrates the disciplines to expand the student’s experience.  As a part of the three period World Studies Immersion course, students are enrolled in WSI English, WSI History and WSI Literacy Seminar. WSI Literacy Seminar provides intensive, direct reading instruction to increase vocabulary, reading comprehension, word study, and reading rate. By immersing the reading strategies and instruction into the World Studies class, students will benefit from the reinforcement and practice of applying their skills. 

125E World Studies (Also see History Division Course Offerings)

Open to freshmen
2 semesters; 4 credits
This course is an introduction to both the English and history curricula at the high school and is taught cooperatively by an English teacher and a history teacher. The course is designed to integrate the disciplines and expand the experience that would otherwise be gained in the English and World History courses, thus earning the student two credits in English and two credits in world history. Fundamentals in reading skills, writing skills, and critical thinking skills are emphasized.

144, 1237, 1238, 1234/1236 English Literature

Open to sophomores
Prerequisite: English or Essentials of English
2 semesters; 2 credits
The second year of college preparatory English uses a thematic approach to the study of literature in which each thematic unit includes a variety of texts and builds to the study of a major work of English literature. Literature instruction emphasizes making inferences in reading literature, while writing instruction focuses on building skills in organization, use of evidence, and development of ideas. Students produce creative writing and themes of literary analysis.

133, 1337, 1338, 1334/1336 American Literature

Open to juniors
Prerequisite: English Literature or English Literature, Reading Connections
2 semesters; 2 credits
The third year of college preparatory English is a chronological sampling of important American literature by types, including the short story, poetry, essay, drama, and the novel. Writing, mainly but not exclusively expository, is required in each unit throughout the year.

134E American Studies (Also see History Division Course Offerings)

Open to juniors and seniors
Prerequisite: World History or its equivalent and
English Literature
2 semesters; 4 credits
The third year of college preparatory English meets ten periods a week over one school year to earn four credits, two in American literature and two in American history. This integrated course is taught cooperatively by an English teacher and a history teacher and emphasizes the development of American culture, including political, economic, and social history, American literature, and American art, music, and architecture. Fundamentals in reading and writing skills are emphasized.

HONORS ENGLISH

The first year of the honors English program is designed for students who enter high school prepared to be independent learners able to complete a variety of complex long?term and short?term reading and writing assignments simultaneously. Their advanced verbal and analytical reasoning skills allow them to maintain the accelerated pace demanded by a curriculum that addresses the topics of both freshman and sophomore years of the college preparatory English program in one year. Students are expected to participate actively in daily discussion and in collaborative learning tasks.

115 English A

Open to qualified freshmen approved for the honors program
2 semesters; 2 credits
The first year of honors English explores recurring images, character types, symbols, and narrative patterns evident in traditional and modern literature from diverse cultures. Composition topics and class discussions encourage students to relate these literary motifs and patterns to events in their own lives. Instruction in composition emphasizes pre-writing, writing, and revising that includes attention to effective structuring of the sentence and the paragraph.

136 English Literature A

Open to sophomores in the honors program
Prerequisite: English A or teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
The second year of honors English uses a thematic approach to the study of literature in which each thematic unit includes a variety of texts and builds to the study of a major work of English literature. Literature instruction emphasizes making inferences in close textual analysis. Class discussion requires substantial preparation. Writing instruction focuses on building skills in organization, use of evidence, and development of complex and sophisticated ideas. Students produce creative writing and themes of literary analysis.

137 English Literature A/J

Open to sophomores in the honors program
Prerequisite: English A or teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
This course is the publications-oriented option for the second year of honors English. Students will encounter a wide range of classic English literature, including parts of the Arthurian legend, Beowulf, works by Shakespeare, Swift, Pope, Dickens, Bronte, Chaucer, Shaw, and more. They also will work with important journalism skills and areas of knowledge, including news and magazine article writing, interviewing, ethics, expression rights and laws, and newspaper production and design.

129 ap english language and composition

Open to juniors in the honors program
Prerequisite: English Literature A or teacher recommendation
2 semesters; 2 credits
The third year of honors English is a chronological survey of important American literature. The course includes a significant component that prepares students for the Advanced Placement English Language and Composition exam. In addition to its traditional emphasis on the study of literature by period and type, the course prepares students for the AP test by focusing specifically on the rhetorical analysis of non-fiction texts. Both expository and imaginative writing is required throughout the year. An investigative theme based on library research is required, usually during the second semester.

145 AP English Literature and Composition

Open to seniors in the honors program
Prerequisite: three years of successful course work in honors English
2 semesters; 2 credits
This Advanced Placement course includes reading and writing assignments that are comparable to those of a freshman college English course. In reading, emphasis is on the evaluation of a work of literature selected from a variety of centuries and cultures in respect to its aesthetic qualities, its selective and critical reflection of human experience, and its essential truth. In composition, emphasis is on key phases of the composing process, including gathering and analyzing data, organizing, drafting, revising, editing. Triton College dual credit may be available.

HONORS ELECTIVES

The English Division also offers four senior honors electives, described below With the junior teacher’s recommendation, any of these courses may be taken in addition to or in place of AP College English. They may also be taken in combination with other senior electives (see English Electives below). Junior students will meet with their teachers to decide on the appropriate registration for senior year. These electives afford honors credit on the GPA to those students earning an A or B grade.

154/2  African American Literature A

Open to seniors in the honors program
Open to seniors in the college preparatory program whose reading, writing, and critical thinking skills have advanced to honors level
Prerequisite: teacher recommendation
1 semester; 1 credit
Challenging senior-level elective course in the study of representative African American authors, both female and male, contemporary and classic. Exploration of ideas that shape and influence the tradition of African American literature. Critical reading of texts with attention to a variety of genres. Review of current literary criticism of primary sources. Study of related art and music. The class includes a substantial writing component that incorporates rhetorical strategies such as argumentation, comparison-contrast, and definition. Emphasis on literary analysis and research. Students are expected to maintain a rigorous pace of assigned reading and to address complex writing assignments.

164/2, 1644/1646 Humanities A

Open to seniors in the honors program
Open to seniors in the college preparatory program whose reading, writing, and critical thinking skills have advanced to honors level
Prerequisite: teacher recommendation
1 semester; 1 credit
Challenging senior-level elective course in the study of literature, film, and music. Explores a variety of texts in order to understand more comprehensively the universal human experience and its aesthetic expression by great composers, dramatists, film directors, and storytellers. Students are expected to propose potential answers to some of humanity’s most crucial and persistent universal questions. The class includes meaningful and pleasurable student dialogue as well as a substantial number of written critical essays that incorporate classical rhetorical strategies such as argumentation, comparison-contrast, definition, and illustration. Analysis and synthesis are required.

177/2 LIT: The Work of One Author: WILLIAM Shakespeare A

See below for course description.

179/2 LIT: WOMEN'S LITERATURE A

See below for course description.

ENGLISH ELECTIVES

In consultation with their English teacher, students may choose from a variety of one-semester senior electives to complete four years of English. The Creative Writing and Journalism electives are open to juniors also.

151/2, 1518, 1514/1516 Creative Writing

Open to juniors and seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
This elective explores the craft of poetry, prose, and drama writing. It provides for the exchange of students’ creative writing while establishing criteria for literary criticism. Works by established authors are read and discussed as models for student writing. Assigned writings include poems, short stories, essays, and reviews.

153/2, 1534/1536 Journal Writing

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
Students keep an extensive personal journal and write on a variety of specialized assignments. Class purpose is to explore inner experiences (past and present), imaginings, emotions, thoughts, and dreams. Writing skills are improved and creative insight is sharpened through writings that focus on personal discovery.

146, 1467 Contemporary Literature and Composition B

Open to recommended seniors whose reading and writing achievements do not meet the division standards
2 semesters; 2 credits
This elective is for seniors who want to improve their basic language skills and read good literature including autobiography, nonfiction, the detective novel, love stories, drama, poetry. The course focuses on deriving pleasure from reading, writing, reflection, and discussion. Provides practice in writing. Develops students’ critical judgment about life and literature with emphasis on self-discovery and knowledge of self in relation to others.

147, 1478, 1474/1476 Contemporary Literature and Composition

Open to seniors
2 semesters; 2 credits
This elective is for seniors who want to read good literature including autobiography, nonfiction, the detective novel, love stories, drama, poetry. The course focuses on deriving pleasure from reading, writing, reflection, and discussion. Provides practice in writing. Develops students’ critical judgment about life and literature with an emphasis on self-discovery and knowledge of self in relation to others.

150/2 Expository Writing

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
This elective is an extensive review of and practice in the principles of rhetoric. Comparable to a freshman composition course in college. Emphasis is on key phases of the composing process, including gathering and analyzing data, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing. Types of compositions assigned are personal experience narration, process analysis, argumentation, extended definition, and literary analysis.

1522 Journalism

Open to juniors and seniors
Semester 2 only; 1 credit
Students will develop skills needed to write and report articles appropriate for freelancing to publications of their choice. An emphasis will be placed on understanding the different requirements for various print publications, considering the cultural and technological developments affecting the field, and students will practice writing in various styles. A general understanding of ethics will be discussed and applied as students prepare articles for possible publication with the goal of being published in Trapeze or another publication by semester's end.

LITERARY IDEAS AND TOPICS (LIT)

Literary Ideas and Topics (LIT) is a collection of semester-long senior elective offerings organized around an engaging literary idea or topic.  Each year several variations will be offered.  Each variation assigns challenging literature and includes a substantial composition component, calling upon and developing students’ creative, analytical, and research skills.  Specific offerings in any year will depend on student interest as indicated through a survey conducted among juniors during the previous fall semester. Course descriptions of the LIT variations appear below.

170/2 LIT: Novels into Film

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
Students explore two forms of storytelling--novels and movies--and learn what happens when a distinguished filmmaker adapts a distinguished novel to film. Students compare 6 to 8 novels or shorter fictions with movie versions of each, analyzing the narrative and artistic decisions of the writers and directors to understand better the art of storytelling and its purposes. Students gain a more sophisticated understanding of their society and its cultural products by considering such oppositions as art and commerce, individual creativity and collaborative fabrication, culture and mass culture, and the verbal and the visual.

171/2 LIT: Popular Fiction

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
Students read examples of several types of popular fiction, including mystery, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, and
romance. They also read theories about what makes certain types of literature popular and critical reviews of the texts and genres studied. By the end of this course, students are able to draw on their exposure to both popular literature and literary theory to explain the appeal of specific texts.

172/2 LIT: Experiments in Reading Literature and the World

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
This course focuses on self, leadership, social relationships, community, voice, access, equity, justice, and cultural literacy through the study of English. The course examines texts and uses writing and oral expression to explore how students can deepen their connection to themselves, their classmates, and their community. Project-based learning measurements include an oral history project, a documentary project, a community-based exhibition, and a final project in which students will develop their own unique forms of expression. Students should be motivated to merge their real life with their academic life.

174/2 LIT: Science Fiction and 20th Century American Culture

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
Students explore how science fiction has influenced and reflected 20th century American culture. Students critically read a series of science fiction texts, including novels, short stories, and comic books, and watch film adaptations. Texts cover a wide range of sub-genres and include women writers and writers of color. The course has a substantial writing component, calling upon the students’ creative, critical, and research skills.

175/2 LIT: Sports and Literature

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
Students read the literature of sport as it appears in various forms, including novels, biographies, poetry, short stories, drama, film, and magazine and newspaper journalism. The world of sports is a microcosm of the human condition, and some of the finest authors in the world have written literature about sports, displaying the best and worst of human behavior under the most dramatic of situations.

1771/1772 LIT: The Work of One Author: William Shakespeare

Open to seniors
1 or 2 semesters; 1 or 2 credits
Course may be taken for honors or non-honors credit
Two one-semester courses are offered; either semester may be taken independently of the other. This semester-long class will focus on works of William Shakespeare for a better understanding of the human condition. Students will utilize various lenses such as that of the actor, director, and critical theorist to examine works to learn how themes such as love, lust, greed, jealousy, and revenge play on us as people. The class is student centered (and often student led) and will also examine Shakespeare's continuing influence on film. Students will study, watch, analyze, act, and/or direct Shakespeare's plays. Students opting for honors credit will complete additional coursework. The first 2 weeks of the semester will be used as a trial period in which students can sample both the honors and the CP work to make an informed decision about which level they would like to take.

178/2 LIT: War and Literature

Open to seniors
1 semester; 1 credit
War is a human phenomenon and a necessary part of academic study. Teachers can humanize this phenomenon through a study of historical literature that offers a lens through which a reader can examine a multitude of perspectives. By studying the literature of war, students explore soldiers’ dilemmas, personal responsibility versus taking orders, the aims and consequences of imperialism, and what happens to an individual in combat.

1791/1792 LIT: Women’s Literature

Open to seniors
1 or 2 semesters; 1 or 2 credits
Course may be taken for honors or non-honors credit
Two one-semester courses are offered; either semester may be taken independently of the other. Students explore diverse women’s literature using a thematic approach to the study of literature written by multicultural women to explore and analyze women’s struggles, roles, experiences, perspectives, transitions, and contributions in society in their correlating historical and social contexts. Emphasis is placed on close textual analysis, class discussions, collaborative projects, and synthesis of course experiences through oral and written reflection, exposition, persuasion, and narration. Students opting for honors credit will complete additional coursework. The first 2 weeks of the semester will be used as a trial period in which students can sample both the honors and CP work to make an informed decision about which level they would like to take.

PUBLICATIONS

946 Tabula

Open to recommended sophomores, juniors, and seniors
2 semesters; 1 credit per year (maximum of 2 credits may be counted toward graduation)
The school yearbook captures the life of the school year in words and pictures. The staff of writers, photographers, and designers meets for one class period daily. While it offers fun and excitement, this course also demands work and responsibility. Student selection is by application.

947 Trapeze

Open to recommended sophomores, juniors, and seniors
2 semesters; 1 credit per year (maximum of 2 credits may be counted toward graduation)
The student newspaper is published approximately 18 times per year. This course is a cooperative effort among students with a wide variety of skills and interests to produce a publication that provides the school community with interesting, entertaining, and significant material on current happenings and issues. Activities include interviewing and writing; ad solicitation, ad design and publication; art/photo ideas, drafts and proofing, and coordination of material into page layouts. Personal computers are used extensively for word processing and business needs. Student selection is by application.