English 9/10, 1st Year

Honors Section Available: Yes

Brief Course Description:

This yearlong course focuses primarily on writing and reading with accompanied vocabulary, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Students will explore a variety of novels, plays, and short stories drawn from selected reading lists that have challenging but clear-cut themes. The selections are designed to introduce the student to themes, imagery, and other complex issues in literature and to bring the student into an awareness of the relationship between literature and contemporary historical and philosophical thought.

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:

Through exercises that review solid paragraph structure and lead into the building of a well structured five-paragraph essay, students learn how to develop a good introduction, thesis, topic sentence, supporting examples and details, and conclusion. They learn how to use transitions to produce an essay with a flowing, coherent, and convincing train of thought. Using readings from literature, students learn to write analytically and with content on subjects of theme, conflict, character, tone, and other literary elements. Finally, students will build vocabulary, grammar skills, and style through weekly expository, narrative, descriptive, persuasive, reflective, and creative writings.

Key Assignments:

Student writings will be graded for structure, evidence of higher order thinking skills, content, clarity of thought, coherence, 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 literature profiles (showing theme, character, setting, plot, etc.). Class participation is graded by monitoring literary discussions.

Prerequisites: English proficiency

How the honors course is different from the standard course:

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, a requirement that principally addresses writing structure. Students will be required to understand and to analyze literary works more critically than non-Honors 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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