English I provides the fundamental skills needed to prepare scholars for success in later English courses. Scholars strengthen their abilities to write clearly, concisely and grammatically following the Schaffer Method to create effective paragraphs and short essays. In the process they learn to write thesis statements and topic sentences and provide support for both. Writing tasks include giving helpful descriptions, telling true stories and making good arguments. Scholars learn to give oral presentations. Daily emphasis is placed on frequent short writing of notes and paragraphs that provide material for discussions, presentations and writing projects.
Scholars read and respond to a variety of literature inside different genres with engaging themes helpful to their learning, language and culture. Scholars analyze literary elements, themes and historical contexts of literature in English from around the world and begin to read Shakespeare. Readings assist scholars in developing a broader vocabulary and writing and speaking more fluently.
Honors English I
Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation
Honors English I is an accelerated English class designed to challenge the highly-motivated scholar who demonstrates advanced skills in critical reading and writing. The components of English I exist inside the class, with an added higher level reading requirement, focusing on sophisticated essay skills to help scholars prepare for future AP classes. Scholars must meet established criteria to enroll in Honors English I.
Prerequisite: The successful completion of English I
English II is required for 10th grade scholars and is one of the four credits of English required to graduate. Reading centers around a variety of authors and genres, including but not limited to a variety of fiction, non-fiction and Shakespeare. Major authors and works include Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and the works of Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. Additional pieces of literature may be added at the teacher’s discretion based upon scholar interest. Through this study, scholars gain an understanding of how all literature relates to modern audiences. They explore how human emotions transcend time, place, socio-economic status, race, gender, etc. Ultimately, scholars gain a deeper understanding of how texts are important tools for understanding societies and cultures of all varieties.
In addition to the reading, scholars explore a variety of writing styles by writing various types of essays (narrative, informative and argument). English II introduces scholars to the research process and requires scholars to write short multiple essays that follow the Schaffer Method and conform to MLA in-text documentation and formatting.
Honors English II
Prerequisite: The successful completion of English I
In addition to English II requirements, Honors English II is the preparatory course for both AP English III and IV. The components of English II exist inside the class, with an added higher level reading requirement. The focus is on composition, grammar, literature and rhetoric. Scholars read, write and discuss significant and challenging poetry, fiction and drama at an advanced level. Scholars use various resources to develop skills, including sophisticated use of literary elements and terminology, close readings of various texts, creating, drafting and editing advance-level essays, preparing and writing timed essays and advanced use and mastery of standard English.
Prerequisite: The successful completion of English I and English II
English III provides the fundamental skills needed to prepare scholars for success in English IV. Scholars continue working toward the mastery of the Schaffer Method to effectively draft, narrate, argue, inform and explain thoughts and ideas through the written process. Using a collection of American texts, scholars comprehend, evaluate and analyze works of literature to make connections to the historical context of the work and to society as it is today. In addition to understanding and comparing American works of literature like The Crucible, The Great Gatsby and a compilation of non-fiction, scholars use a number of literary devices to evaluate points of view and perspectives of the most prominent authors and poets in American history. While expanding their academic vocabulary, scholars continue to develop effective listening and speaking skills through a variety of individual and group presentations, multimedia presentations and classroom discussions. Scholars independently complete a research project using multiple types of resources. Throughout the research process, scholars master how to recognize credible sources and cite sources using proper formatting skills.
Prerequisite: The successful completion of English I, English II and English III
English IV increases and refines communication skills by using the writing process to plan, draft and compile regularly written compositions. Scholars edit papers for clarity, engaging language and the correct mechanics of written English, all necessary for final, error-free drafts. At the end of the year, scholars complete a senior research paper using the writing process and the Schaffer Method to complete a college level essay.
Scholars read extensively, deeply and carefully from a variety of texts, genres and time periods in English literature, including the Anglo-Saxon, Medieval and Renaissance period. They examine culturally significant literature (such as Beowulf, The Green Knight, The Canterbury Tales and Macbeth) as a reflection of history, culture and ideas.