In this introductory foundation, course students begin learning the skills that they will refine throughout their time at NSHAHS. They examine the thematic issue of Heroes and Heroism through their readings and study of classic and contemporary epic, drama, and novel. Students begin their analysis of writing as a multi-level thinking process and become familiar with the standard rhetorical patterns as well as other strategies used in good writing. Grammar and vocabulary culled from works studied are integrated into the curriculum as weekly features of instruction. All texts are coordinated with the materials presented in the ninth grade writing course. Both accelerated and skills level classes will be available in addition to the grade level course.. Placement is based on student performance.
This second-year foundation course focuses on issues of self-identity through a study of novel, drama, memoir, poetry and short story. Students do an intensive unit on writing the academic research paper, learning techniques of topic formation, note taking, outlining, as well as organizing and writing the paper. The focus is on primary sources. Documentation issues are thoroughly addressed. Students write for self-expression as well, using different genres. Grammar and vocabulary study are integrated into the curriculum as weekly features of instruction. Based on teacher and administrative input, students may be placed in sections that are specialized in order to address their needs for enrichment or remediation.
In this course, 11th grade students trace the roots of American Literature from the 16th century to the present. A major project involves them in putting a noteworthy but somewhat controversial literary work “on trial.” Public performances by the winning teams are viewed by the entire school and invited guests. Academic research is extended to secondary sources. Students also read and write about news articles on current events that connect to curriculum as well as poetry that connects to texts. Vocabulary is culled from works studied and incorporated into writing. Supplementary poetry, short fiction and non-fiction essays are also addressed. In this year, students are encouraged both to explore special interests in reading and writing and to address any deficits in their English language skills. An accelerated section will highlight rhetorical strategies and stylistic techniques that authors use in order to create their messages. Students who choose to do so will be prepared to take the AP English Language and Composition exam in May. A skills section will also be available to those students who will benefit from assistance with writing tasks and reading comprehension. Placement will be based on department approval with input from administration.
This twelfth grade course is a preparatory course for the Advanced Placement Examination in English Literature and Composition. Students must read widely and reflect on their reading through extensive discussion, writing and rewriting. The primary focus is on the close reading and both verbal and written critical analysis of imaginative literature in terms of the individual work’s structure, style, theme and its use of smaller scale elements such as diction, irony, figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. Students must become extremely familiar with a few chosen works of recognized literary merit and must also develop the skill to analyze pieces they have never seen before. The underlying philosophy of the course is summed up in the concept that language creates meaning. Primarily, this is a skills development course. Students are not evaluated on the basis of their mastery of specific texts they have already studied. Instead, they are required to demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate works that are new to them. In all tasks, provisions are made for the students to practice the four tasks of the English classroom: listening, speaking, reading and writing. An intensive study of poetry from 1600 to the present is also a component of the course. Teacher recommendation and administrative approval are required for enrollment.
Our seniors who do not elect to take AP English may take this course which is structured to prepare them for their freshman year in college, while fostering in them an appreciation for the nuances of language. In this course, the students investigate three thematic modules through reading, writing, speaking and listening. Every kind of communication—print, digital, video, oral, pictorial—is considered to be a text. The texts for use in each module are based on three themes: The Devil’s Trick—A Study of Evil ; And Justice for All; Surprise, Surprise.
Our seniors who do not elect to take AP English may take this course which is structured to prepare them for their freshman year in college, while fostering in them an appreciation for the nuances of language. In this course we accomplish this goal by an intensive study of writers who have elected to make their points using literary short forms. These include narrative, dramatic and lyrical poetry and the short story, from flash fiction to the novella. Students will be engaged in group study of these forms, but also independent study of poetry and short prose works on a theme they identify, e.g., women, adolescence, poverty, injustice, power struggles, unrequited relationships, etc.
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