Course Descriptions

Advanced Placement English Language & Composition:  This course provides students with the opportunity to read rigorous texts from various eras and in different genres, analyzing the big ideas of rhetorical situation, claims/evidence, reasoning/organization, and style. Students use given texts to reach the goal of effective writing and analysis: they will read and annotate texts from a critical perspective in order to craft well-reasoned essays and personal reflections in response. The course is structured both thematically and chronologically, based on district requirements and College Board’s unit guide. The overarching theme for the course is that of Black Social Justice. The primary textbook, The Language of Composition, will be used to assist with the development of skills; however, the texts being read and engaged with in class will be provided as described below. Additional readings come from such varied sources as Project Gutenberg, current events, national publications, and any other resources that seem likely to provide for rigor, depth, and high interest.

Critical Text Analysis: This course is designed to assist students with the foundational skills you need to develop your reading and writing. In this course, they are expected to learn the functions of grammar and practice those skills by composing analytical and creative responses as well as editing their works produced in class and those of their peers. If the course is used to the best of its ability, this will enhance your capabilities to read and comprehend in all genres (math, social studies, science, in addition to language arts). By the end of this course, you should be able to read and write critically and efficiently.

9th Grade English (English I and II): A pre-requisite to Advanced Placement courses, in which students will engage in the theme of Coming of Age through the exposure of different literary texts focused on the theme. Students will focus on the essential building blocks of English Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking through the development of the elements of voice. Students will read and engage in a plethora of rigorous texts and explore how the Coming of Age process is essential to the academic, social and cognitive development of a person. Students in the 9th Grade will read: To Kill a Mockingbird, Coming of Age in Mississippi, The Other Wes Moore and Anthem; in addition to other poems, short stories and plays presented in the Spring Board 9th Grade Consumable Text.

10th Grade English (English III and IV): A pre-requisite to Advanced Placement courses, focuses on the theme of Culture and how it influences the development of a person. In exploring this theme,  students will build on their expression of their and other cultures through the form of argument and creative writing. Students will build on their knowledge of the elements of voice by exploring the author’s uses of literary elements to express complex ideas. Students will engage in an array of rigorous texts that explores different cultures, such as: The Joy Luck Club, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Things Fall Apart, A Doll’s House and Best American Essays.

11th Grade English (English V and VI): Students will explore the concept of the American Dream. Students will read foundational U.S. documents such as Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and The Declaration of Independence, essays by Thoreau and Emerson, poetry by Hughes and Whitman, Arthur Miller’s drama The Crucible, and Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. These texts will help students gather evidence to incorporate in an informative essay; defining what it means to be an American and a synthesis essay that argues whether or not America still provides access to the American Dream. Students will compare both print and film versions of The Crucible, and study various features of news outlets while working collaboratively to create their own news outlet.

12th Grade English (English VII and VIII): The study and practices of literary theory;  moving beyond reader response, to apply multiple perspectives to complex texts. You will encounter Baldwin's "Stranger in The Village," Orwell's "Shooting an Elephant," Shakespeare's Othello, and Shaw's Pygmalion. Throughout the level, you will learn and apply the theories of Archetypal, Marxist, Feminist, Historical, Cultural, and Reader Response Criticism. Rigorous reading and writing tasks synthesize your learning throughout this course. Research and film texts go hand in hand in your study of Shakespeare. You will research and analyze the ways in which historical contexts have influenced performances of Othello and compare multiple film versions of the drama.