English 11/12, 2nd Year—British Literature

Honors Section Available: Yes

Brief Course Description:

This yearlong course includes instruction primarily in reading and writing. The instruction will develop higher order thinking skills of analysis, assessment, interpretation, synthesis, and evaluation. The reading in this course will be a survey of British literature emphasizing important writers and writings of the Anglo-Saxon Period, the Medieval Period, the Elizabethan Age, the Seventeenth Century, the Age of Reason, the Romantic Era, the Victorian Age, and the Modern Era. The literature will be related to the history of ideas. Along with the genres typically studied—poetry, drama, novels, and short stories—the students will also study essays.

In order to develop proficiency in the writing process, the writing component of this course will provide regular and frequent opportunities to develop the skills of organizing writings. Students will write essays of various types with attention to correct grammatical usage, sentence development, and paragraph development. Students will learn formal research writing, including outlining and note taking. Regular work in the development of vocabulary will be done.

Course Goals and/or Major Student Outcomes:

  • Students will demonstrate their ability to write proficiently through various genres including essays, research papers, poetry, etc.
  • Student will effectively interpret and analyze literature for the purpose of enriching their lives, preparing them in future schooling, and fostering a love for reading and writing in general.
  • Students will accumulate a broad understanding of literature from different time periods, genres, cultures, etc.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to discuss ideas, present information in a meaningful way, and perform plays and literature in front of an audience
  • Students will develop interpersonal skills through group assignments and discussions
  • Students will become informed about the world around them and become sensitive, responsible citizens.

Course Objectives:

  • Students will be able to study, comprehend, and respond to rich, complex, classical texts through close readings
  • Students should be able to identify and analyze literary elements such as theme, conflict, character, tone, etc.
  • Students will develop skills of organizing writings with a thesis statement, a well-developed introduction, topic sentences in all paragraphs, supporting examples and details, coherency, expansion, and a conclusion.
  • Students will be able to write essays of various types: expository, persuasive, narrative and descriptive.
  • Students will learn formal research writing including outlining and note taking.
  • Students will develop their vocabulary to enrich their reading, writing, and overall communication skills.

Key Assignments:

Student writings will be assessed for structure, content, clarity of thought, elegance of style, mechanics, and grammar. The writing process is evaluated by teacher-, peer-, and self-editing of outlines, drafts, revisions, and final copies. Periodic self-evaluation and reflection of collected writing is done through a writing portfolio program. Grammar and vocabulary are assessed through regular quizzes and tests. Literature units are graded by unit and semester exams, as well as by daily reading logs, in-context vocabulary lists, and essays written about the works read. Class participation is graded by monitoring literary discussions. There is a semester exam that covers writing skills, vocabulary, literature, and grammar.


English 9 and 10; English proficiency

How the honors course is different from the standard course:

Honors level students are required to read additional short works that pair with the major works being studied, writing comparative and analytical essays on content and style. They must write with virtually no spelling or grammar mistakes and will develop a flowing and even elegant prose writing style that represents fullness of thought. This requirement goes beyond that expected of the parallel non-honors course. Students will be required to understand and to analyze literary works more critically than non-honors students in terms of literary devices and methods. They will also be required to evaluate and respond to the current philosophies of the appropriate time periods in which literary works are written.

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