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 rigorous freshman English course seeks to further develop a strong foundation for the kinds of  personal and academic writing students will be required to do throughout their high school and college careers.  The curriculum will focus on how authors use language to explore ideas, develop characters, and tell stories. Writing assignments will challenge students to see themselves as writers as they develop strong personal and academic voices. Students will fashion narratives, analyze complex texts, and synthesize sources.  Students will read a variety of classic and contemporary nonfiction, short stories, novels, drama, and poetry. Assignments will guide students through all stages of the writing process and require them to write and revise over time. The course is pre-AP and will help students prepare for AP British Literature.


English 1 (Honors, College Prep 1, College Prep 2)

The freshman curriculum seeks to establish a strong foundation for the kinds of  personal and academic writing students will be required to do throughout their high school career.  The curriculum will focus on how authors use language to explore ideas, develop characters, and tell stories.  Writing assignments will challenge students to see themselves as writers as they develop a strong personal voice through reflective, narrative, and expository writing.  Students will read a variety of nonfiction, short stories, novels, drama, and poetry.  Students will strengthen their writing skills on the sentence level and be expected to master paragraph and short essay writing.  Assignments will guide students through all stages of the writing process and require them to write and revise over time.

 

 


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)

The Sophomore English program will continue developing engaged readers and writers.  Students will read selections of literature and nonfiction arranged in thematic clusters.  They will engage with themes such as identity, ambition, ethics, and culture through daily work, class discussions, and writing workshops.  Students will write in a variety of modes with a special emphasis placed on constructing an argument and incorporating research. Students will also work to develop a robust academic vocabulary and review grammatical and stylistic conventions. 

 


English 2 (College Prep 2)

The Sophomore English program will continue developing engaged readers and writers.  Students will read selections of literature and nonfiction arranged in thematic clusters.  They will engage with themes such as identity, ambition, ethics, and culture through daily work, class discussions, and writing workshops.  Students will write in a variety of modes with a special emphasis placed on constructing an argument and incorporating research. Students will also work to develop a robust academic vocabulary and review grammatical and stylistic conventions.


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 (Seminar in Academic Writing)

Honors English 4 (Seminar in Academic Writing) seeks to prepare students for college-level reading, writing, and discussion through an exploration of identity.  The acts of writing and reading create spaces for us to consider how identity is constructed and revealed. This is one of the reasons why writing can be so compelling. Childhood experiences, internal conflicts that arise in adolescence and continue through life, choices that we make that signal who we are, and the developing relationship between the individual and society all make for compelling reading and occasions for writing.  As we explore how authors use the language to explore identity through prose, poetry, and drama, students will use the writing process to examine and respond to their texts. Students will write regularly, keep a writing journal, develop a writing portfolio, and produce at least thirty pages of revised writing.. These writing assignments will cover a variety of purposes, including memoir, argument, analysis, research, and reader-response.

Some students may take this as a UConn Early College Experience class for college credit.



English IV (College Prep)

English 4 will explore the theme of identity and employ close reading and rhetorical analysis to engage student writers.   As students explore how authors use language to explore identity through prose, poetry, and drama, they will use the writing process to examine and respond to their texts. Students will write regularly, keep a writing journal, work on all elements of the writing process as they prepare for college-level writing. These writing assignments will cover a variety of purposes, including memoir, argument, analysis, research, and reader-response. 


Race in Film and Literature

The goal of this course is to explore the social construct of race in America via films, literature, and current events.  The course tackles questions like: What is Race? How was this concept created? How has race affected/altered/impacted America? What are the remedies of this conflict in micro and macro settings?  Through a wide variety of modern films and novels we hope to research and reflect upon where we have been, where we are now, and where our country is headed through the ever-present lens of race.
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.