English

The English department seeks to provide an environment for each student to become a mature, critically thinking, and a contributing member of society, and to develop the ability to communicate effectively in the spoken and written word. Through the study of literature, students will explore, reflect on, and respond to the complexities of the human condition. Through the practice of writing and study of rhetoric, students will be able to analyze, evaluate, and communicate complex ideas.

Course Descriptions

English I (High Honors)

This challenging course consists of study skills, freshman and sophomore grammar, literature, poetry and drama. In addition to papers utilizing the basic methods of organization, students will write several closely reasoned, well substantiated papers on poems, novels, and classic literature. College vocabulary is studied throughout the year. 21st Century literacies are integrated throughout the curriculum.

English I (Honors)

The core units of the curriculum (grammar, composition, short stories, a Shakespearean play and communication) are treated in depth at the Honors level. More is expected of the student in each of the units than would be expected at the College Prep level. Outside reading assignments are geared toward challenging books as well as toward in-depth evaluations of these works. Vocabulary is at the college level and 21st Century literacies are integrated throughout the curriculum.

English I (College Prep 1)

The course covers basic oral, written and literary skills. Written skills are given attention through grammar and composition. The fundamentals of grammar – parts of speech, parts of the sentence, phrases and clauses – are covered; the fundamentals of composition – the structure of sentences and paragraphs, according to the various purposes and methods of organization – are introduced. Vocabulary is on the college level and focuses on the SAT and ACT. Literary techniques are studied in a short story unit consisting of a selection of short stories with an emphasis on the four basic elements – plot, setting, theme, and characters. Novels are also assigned for outside reading, complementing the literary skills program. 21st Century Technology as well as presentation skills will be integrated throughout the curriculum.

English I (College Prep 2)

This course develops existing writing and reading skills. Primary attention is given to organizational skills in the classroom, creative written and oral expression and academic responses across all content areas. College level vocabulary is assigned on a weekly basis, along with fundamental grammar exercises. Literary techniques will be identified through the works of authors such as: Shakespeare, London, Steinbeck and Holmes. Students will actively participate in the study of characterization, conflict, theme and other aspects of author’s craft in order to develop greater reading comprehension in a variety of genres. Lastly, students will be expected to set personal goals in reading, writing and oral expression and to conference with the teacher each quarter to assess progress and set new goals.

AP British Literature (English 2 - High Honors)

This course will focus on the rich literary traditions of the Great Britain and those places influenced by the British Empire in order to develop critical reading and analytical writing skills. We will take a mostly chronological survey approach to British literature with forays into additional novels and dramas. Our study of literature will require a close, active, and engaged reading of a variety of texts and be supported by a study of the historical and social context associated with each piece. We will examine how literature reflects and shapes culture, how it offers insights into the human condition, and discuss the qualities of good writing. The writing assignments in this course are designed to help students experience, interpret, and evaluate literature. A workshop and portfolio based approach to writing will allow students the opportunity to become intimately involved in the writing process as they, write, revise, and discuss their work. Students will work on developing ideas, constructing arguments and interpretations, using evidence, as well as critically reading and revising student work.

English II (College Prep and Honors)

This course centers on several major units. After a brief review of basic grammar skills, the class concentrates on usage and composition techniques, such as parallelism and reduction for conciseness. These lessons are applied to a variety of composition assignments focusing on methods of development such as: description, persuasion, and comparison-contrast. Students will also write a research-based persuasive essay. The vocabulary unit consists of regular assignments and frequent quizzes. A poetry unit explores various types of poems and poetic techniques to prepare students for later in-depth poetry study. Drama history and representative plays from early Greece to the twentieth century are studied with emphasis on major playwrights such as Sophocles and Shakespeare.

English 2 (College Prep 2)

This sophomore class further develops academic momentum for core reading and writing responses in the English classroom. Vocabulary on the college level will be assigned along with regular reviews of traditional and structural grammar. Creative writing and poetry will cover literary devices and public speaking skills. Dramas to be read include those by Sophocles, Shakespeare and Hansberry; most will require literary analysis in order to identify central ideas, themes and interpretations. Students will also read, write, and present essays throughout the year that employ description, persuasion, and compare/contrast techniques.

English 3 – American Literature (All Levels)

This course is a chronological survey course in American Literature from Native American legends to modern times. Appropriate American novels will accompany this course. Writing assignments highlighting the Collins writing program will also be incorporated. Vocabulary, critical reading skills and techniques of testing are reviewed in preparation for the PSAT, SAT & ACT. In conjunction with American history, a research paper using citations and a bibliography is required.

English IV – Humanities

This course is a broad-based study of Western Civilization through a variety of poetry, prose, drama, philosophy, visual arts, architecture, music and dance. Emphasis is placed on some of the early notions and classical contributions in these areas which form the foundations of Western civilization. Units of study include storytelling, mythology and the origins of the species, the ancient world, the Anglo-Saxon world and the Celtic legacy, the influence of the Church and the cultures of the European Middle Ages, Baroque world and Renaissance. These seminal periods and developments inform the historical background for some of the significant thought, aesthetics and revolution of the 20th- and 21st-centuries.

Readings include a wide selection from our texts and many outside readings provided as handouts. What does it mean to be human? Whatever we are reading, discussing or pondering, this question serves as the fundamental touchstone.


English IV-Honors

This course will provide an intensive study of how language is used to create meaning in a context and for a purpose. The first semester will focus on reading a diverse selection of non-fiction while the second will be grounded in literature. We will explore the art and craft of memoir and personal narrative during the first quarter before embarking on the study of rhetoric during the second. The second semester will be a thematic study of British literature with one quarter devoted to “The Head and the Heart” and the other to “Love and Death.” Students will write regularly, keep a digital writing portfolio, and produce at least eight formal, revised papers. These writing assignments will cover a variety of purposes, including memoir, argument, analysis, and reader-response.

English IV (College Prep)

This course will provide an intensive study of how language is used to create meaning in a context and for a purpose. The first semester will focus on reading a diverse selection of non-fiction while the second will be grounded in literature. We will explore the art and craft of memoir and personal narrative during the first quarter before embarking on the study of rhetoric during the second. The second semester will be a thematic study of British literature with one quarter devoted to “The Head and the Heart” and the other to “Love and Death.” Students will write regularly, keep a digital writing portfolio, and produce at least eight formal, revised papers. These writing assignments will cover a variety of purposes, including memoir, argument, analysis, and reader-response.

Seminar in Academic Writing (UConn Early College Experience)

This course will provide an intensive study of how language is used to create meaning in a context and for a purpose. In a series of thematic units, students will read clusters of nonfiction essays that will be complemented by selections of poetry and fiction. While the primary reading focus of the course will be a variety of multi-cultural and nonfiction texts, students will also read highlights of British literature. The course will begin with close reading and analysis before moving to argumentation and synthesis. Students will write regularly, keep a writing portfolio, and produce at least eight formal, revised papers.

Creative Writing

The course begins with thought, reading, on-line discussion and writing about why people write and why people bother to do imaginative writing when the can just turn on TVs or access the Internet. Along the way, we'll try to decide: What is the fundamental impulse behind poems and stories? How are they constructed, and what techniques do particular writers use effectively? What kinds of work do we most admire and why? How can a poem or a piece of fiction speak to us across,years, genders, and cultures? This is a half year, on-line course.

Advanced Placement Exams
Advanced Placement Exams are offered to students who complete the AP British Literature classes.