English Course Offerings
Grade 9 (one quarter)
This course is designed to develop and reinforce student study skills. Instruction will focus on time management, organization, memory techniques, along with reading and comprehension of test questions in order to achieve success in all content area classes. This class strongly promotes student responsibility and accountability.
SAT/PSAT Verbal Prep
Grades 9, 10 (One Quarter)
This SAT/PSAT prep course is designed to help students prepare for the rigors of taking the Verbal section of these standardized tests. The course will focus on the following areas: writing a formal essay, including thesis statement, topic sentences, paragraph development, and supporting examples; vocabulary sentence completion; grammar conventions; sentence corrections; and critical reading consumption. The course will also instruct students to improve vocabulary and comprehension skill.
Grades 9, 10 (One Quarter)
This workshop-style course emphasizes students’ creative writing skills, specifically in the genres of poetry, short story, short drama, and prose. Journaling will also be incorporated into the quarter. Students will read a variety of selections from these genres and then craft their own writings. They will share their writing in class, as well as provide and receive constructive feedback during a number of peer-review sessions. Students will strengthen their writing ability by practicing proper ELA conventions, and they will foster their proofreading, editing, and revision skills. This course will also introduce students to the idea of publishing their writing. Course requires a final portfolio.
Mock Trial: A Study in Jurisprudence and Debate
Grades 9, 10 (One Quarter)
Grades 11, 12 (One Semester)
Mock courtroom drama will commence as students become the players in an array of exciting simulated trials that demonstrate the way that our legal system works. The structure of our court system, the functions of judge and jury, basic trial procedures and strategies that attorneys use to win cases will be analyzed and studied. The course also guides students in developing communication styles to achieve the ability to confidently argue controversial topics effectively in various structures. Different forms of debate are explored as students learn how to put forth a stance on an issue in a logical, well-spoken manner through orderly discourse, from the persuasive speech, to Lincoln-Douglas, Policy, and Public Forum debating, and putting forth bills and laws in a Student Congress setting.
English I - CP
English 1 at the college prep level is a foundation course for future studies of English that offers modifications as an opportunity for all learners to succeed. This course presents extensive work in basic skills. Literature is presented in the format of the five genres: the short story, the epic, non-fiction, drama, the novel and poetry. The values of the Catholic faith provide a foundation for the discussion of the values being transmitted in these works of literature and in how these values pertain to a student’s life. Composition and vocabulary development are supplemented by regular grammar instruction.
English I - ACP
English 1 is a foundation course for all future studies of English. In the first semester, the course focuses on the writing process and fundamental skills in reading comprehension and grammar. Literature is presented in the format of six genres: the short story, the epic, non-fiction, drama, the novel and poetry. The values of the Catholic faith provide a foundation for the discussion of the values being transmitted in these works of literature and in how these values pertain to a student’s life. Comprehension and vocabulary development are correlated with the study of literature. The composition program is designed to be sequential, stressing at this level sentence structure, the topic sentence, and paragraph patterns. The students will also review the rules and uses of correct grammar.
Honors English I
English I explores the various literary genres, including short story, epic poem, nonfiction, drama, novel, and poetry. Writing, comprehension and vocabulary development are correlated with the study of literature, and students will also review the rules and uses of correct grammar. The Honors level course requires students to read more independently, participate in higher level discussions, and demonstrate heavier critical thinking and analytical skills.
American Literature - CP
This course reinforces fundamental skills in reading comprehension, grammar, and composition. Writing skills ranging from effective sentence structure to proper paragraphing are also stressed. Once these fundamentals have been sufficiently grasped and reviewed, students will commence study of the literature textbook, which offers a survey of relevant works coupled with related literary terms and vocabulary. In addition to reading selections from the anthology, students will read three novels. From these novels students will draw on themes, conflicts, and characterization in order to produce various writings. The progress of the students will dictate the pace of the class.
American Literature - ACP
This course is a survey of American Literature, covering approximately the years 1650-1960. Focus is on the literary forms of poem, sermons, speech, autobiography, essay, short story, novel, and play. The course is structured chronologically and builds on the literary forms introduced to the students in Literature I. Also emphasized is vocabulary, covering approximately twelve units of twenty words per unit. Focus of the vocabulary series is on spelling, pronunciation, definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and usage in sentences. Additionally, there is a writing component, tending to build from sentences, paragraphs, thesis statements, topic sentences, and conclusions to essays and long papers of specific design, including persuasive essays, descriptive essays, compare/contrast essays, personal reflection essays, and literary analysis papers (single source and multi-source research papers).
Honors American Literature
This course presents a survey of American literature combined with intensive instruction in the skills required to read and write effectively. The course will stress critical writing and the personal essay, which will be correlated with the study of literature. Grammar, spelling and vocabulary development will be included in the course. Written papers will be required. Honors students will be expected to make critical appraisals of literary works, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of various authors, and demonstrate how the literature studied reflects the moral, social and historical context of the time.
Major British Writers
CP Course #0835
ACP Course #0837
This course is a direct study of significant masterpieces of English literature from the earliest times to the 18th Century with particular attention to the main currents of thought and the major writers of Britain. Through close readings, the course will improve cultural literacy as the student becomes more familiar with several great works of literature. This course addresses an understanding of the history of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and the Restoration. All students will improve their writing and critical thinking skills through frequent quizzes, essays, tests, midterm and final exam.
Speech and Dramatic Literature
This course, designed to prepare students for the future, consists of communication theory, public speaking, and the oral interpretation of literature. Students research, organize and write different types of speeches and learn the craft of interviewing and being interviewed, while growing their vocabulary. Evaluative criteria will include written tests, group projects, class participation, written literary analyses, oral presentations, monologues and scene work.
Honors Major British Writers
Students will develop skills in language, reading, and written and oral expression with the goal of college and career readiness. Students will study selected texts from British Literature in chronological order and will write essays demonstrating ability to analyze and synthesize content. At the Honors level, students are expected to achieve discrimination in choice of diction and syntax patterns in order to produce what is commonly called Academic Writing. Students will develop an appreciation of British culture and the place of the English language in history and in world culture, including modern American culture.
This course reviews the best modern and classic non-fiction that has so dramatically transformed the American literary landscape. Students read, examine, and interpret great non-fiction works including biography, nineteenth-century journalistic exposes, and contemporary Pulitzer Prize winners. Students further develop their writing skills. In addition to regularly submitted written assignments, students keep up-to-date journals and submit an in-depth research paper.
Modern Literature is a course where students read and analyze literature in the short story format. Students read a variety of short form works from American authors, then apply classic literature analysis techniques to each work. Students examine, reflect, relate and write on work reviewed in class. By reading a wide range of works, students use their writing skills to demonstrate their knowledge of the text and the authors who wrote them.
Shakespeare: “The Living Will”
This course provides students a more comprehensive experience with Shakespeare. It eliminates any “fear” of his works and inspires them to nurture or create a love for them instead. The course engages students in activities that will spark creativity and a love of learning. By using an innovative approach, students will read, discuss, analyze and perform scenes from six Shakespearean plays. Students are required to use their creativity to bring Shakespeare’s works to life through acting, debates, games, and projects as well as to draw on the themes, conflicts and characterization to create various analytical writings.
Analysis of Detective Fiction
This course examines the development of detective fiction from the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Conan Doyle to those of the present day including the emergence of Sherlock Holmes in the shorter stories. Twentieth Century emphasis is placed on the classic American works of Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, and Erle Stanley Gardner, as well as varied contemporary authors.
Literature and Media Studies
This course educates students in the areas of journalism, media studies, theater and the modern novel. Students learn to read, interpret and write various types of newspaper stories, and to evaluate what they have written. Media studies include global mass communications, basic rights in print and speech, advertising, public relations, television and film. In film, students learn the mechanics of the field, view movies, and constructively analyze them in writing. Students analyze contemporary novels, write a research paper and continue to develop vocabulary skills.
Honors World Literature and the Fine Arts
This course taught by members of both the English and Art Departments and sketches the history of man through a study of great literature and art. Students discuss selected readings from great literary works from the Bible through both modern and contemporary literature in the light of the development of the fine arts. Critical and informative research papers, and reports are required. The course also includes field trips to enhance the student’s awareness of the interrelationship between literature and the fine arts.
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
*Dual Enrollment Course
Students examine, through close reading, a number of literary works in many genres, by authors ranging in time from ancient Greece (Oedipus the King) to the contemporary period (recent poetry). They learn to appreciate cultural context and the unique voice of an author in that context. Through writing in diverse modes, students develop a feeling for the technical proficiency important in the art and craft of writing as it elicits intellectual, emotional, and imaginative responses in the reader. Students write regularly in short responses to text, in longer analytical essays (comparison or evaluation of poems, analysis of relation of form to meaning, connotations of selected images or figurative language), and in formal papers incorporating research from literary criticism or other works by the same author, but chiefly giving attention to close reading of primary sources. Students are expected to perfect their skills in Academic Writing and demonstrate facility in expression. All students must take the Advanced Placement examination in May.
Study of Children’s Literature
This course offers the student an opportunity to examine some significant genres of children’s literature as well as the origins of these genres. The course also offers a critical view of the books and stories read. Students become analytical interpreters of the works read; they develop critical knowledge and understanding of literary techniques as they are used in the field of children’s literature. This course also teaches the skills involved in creating a book and as a final project in the course students write their own children’s book.
Grades 11, 12 (one semester)
The Writing Process is an introductory writing course where students compose and revise narrative and expository essays and prepare for the study of literature by using writing to analyze texts. Through a writers’ workshop approach, students explore the writing process, respond to a variety of texts and learn to communicate their ideas effectively and confidently in writing.
Introduction to Literature
Grade 12 (one semester)
*Dual Enrollment Course
This course provides an overview of literature for those who love to read and for those who may have been intimidated by other literature courses. Students will learn the terminology of the four major literary genres (poetry, drama, short story, and novel). They will study the literary movements that have shaped these genres from the Classicism of Aristotle to the Anti-Realism of MTV. Students will learn to answer essay questions effectively, write papers for literature courses, and how to study literature more efficiently and effectively.
The Short Story
Grade 12 (one semester)
*Dual Enrollment Course
This course explores the short story as a literary form. Students will examine stories from analytical, social, psychological, historical, political, racial, gender, and artistic perspectives. In class discussions, students will share their insights and improve their skills in expressing them through writing.