English Department

Mrs. Liza Trombley, Director

Phone: 508-841-8831, Email: ltrombley@shrewsbury.k12.ma.us

The English program is designed to meet students’ individual needs and to help them acquire effective communication skills. Students are enrolled in an English class each year and must successfully complete four years in order to meet graduation requirements. Each year’s course offerings build upon skills acquired during previous years. Listening, reading, speaking, thinking, research, and writing skills are emphasized each year; thus, students are challenged to support their opinions with specific details from their reading and observations. There are three levels of English at each grade level. Students are placed at a level most appropriate for them based on teacher recommendation, past and present academic performance, and future goals.

The English Department’s curriculum is developed and continually refined in accordance with the Common Core State Standards’ Ten Guiding Principles for English Language Arts Programs in Massachusetts. The Guiding Principles dictate that an effective English Language Arts and literacy curriculum: draws on literature in order to develop students’ understanding of their literary heritage; draws on informational texts and multimedia in order to build academic vocabulary and strong content knowledge; develops students’ oral language and literacy through appropriately challenging learning; emphasizes writing arguments, explanatory/informative texts, and narratives; holds high expectations for all students; provides explicit skill instruction in reading and writing; builds on language, experiences, knowledge and interests that students bring to school; nurtures students’ sense of their common ground as present or future American citizens and prepares them to participate responsibly in our schools and civic life; reaches out to families and communities in order to sustain a literate society. Throughout the four years of English, the Department collectively strives to meet these goals.

English 9 (9A-1204, 9B-1202, 9 Honors-1207)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 9                                 A, B and Honors

Prerequisite: Past academic performance and teacher recommendation

Ninth grade English is a college preparatory course in which students read, discuss, and write about various literary genres, including such works as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men or The Pearl, and Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street. Students complete a research unit acquire new vocabulary; and in grammar, focus on parts of speech, parts of a sentence, and phrases. Writing encompasses the requirements of the State Frameworks, including analytical writing, persuasive writing, narrative writing, and expository writing. There is an emphasis on providing apt textual references to support ideas in both writing and discussion. Honors level students will be required to produce some lengthier writing assignments. Emphasis will also be placed on non-written communication skills such as speaking and listening.

English 10 (10A-1205, 10B-1203, 10 Honors-1208)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 10                        A, B and Honors

Prerequisite: Past academic performance and teacher recommendation

Tenth grade English is a college preparatory course which reviews and strengthens previously acquired language skills while introducing more sophisticated concepts. Students analyze the elements of fiction in such works as Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar or Twelfth Night and Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The study of multicultural literature continues with numerous poems and nonfiction pieces, as well as novels. . Extensive work on writing effective strategies continues, and there is an emphasis on framing and writing long compositions, which include specific references to literature students have already read. The focus in grammar is on the clause and intensive study of mechanics. Writing focuses on diction (effective, appropriate, rich vocabulary), coherency, organization, and thoughtful commentary about textual evidence.

English 11 (11A-1235, 11 Honors-1236)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 11                          A Level or Honors

Eleventh grade English is a college preparatory course that applies previously learned skills to the study of American Literature. Particular attention will be paid to the historical context in which the work was written and/or set. Students will read and analyze seminal works such as Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Crucible. Students will also read and analyze short stories, poetry, and non-fiction from the American literary canon. Each student will learn the techniques of doing research using both traditional and technological methods and will produce several short research papers and projects. Students will develop critical reading, vocabulary, and writing skills as they prepare for the SAT exam in May. The college essay is introduced through a unit on narrative writing.

English 11: American Studies (11A-1224, 11 Honors-1225)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 11                    A Level or Honors

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation

American Studies combines all of the traditional aspects of eleventh grade English and U. S. History, but emphasizes the relationship between the two courses by studying them together with two teachers. Classes are scheduled during consecutive periods, providing flexibility in grouping students into different combinations. This course provides students with insight into the relationships among our literary, cultural, artistic, philosophical and scientific traditions that have created a diverse but common American heritage since the Civil War. In addition, students will examine themes such as gender roles, racial identity, technological progress, war, and social progress. Class activities will emphasize collaboration, the use of technology, field studies and guest speakers. Each student will learn the techniques of doing research using both traditional and technological methods and will produce several short research papers and projects. The English component will also emphasize developing skills in critical reading, vocabulary development, and writing skills including the argumentative essay as they prepare for the SAT exam in May. Honors level students will be required to complete additional independent assignments and assessments. Students who register for this course must also register for U.S. History II: American Studies at the same level

Advanced Placement English Language (1212)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 11                      Advanced Placement

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation; past academic performance; writing sample; practice test Advanced Placement Language and Composition (11th grade) is a college-level course in effective writing and critical reading. Writing skills are analyzed in a systematic way by studying a variety of nonfiction prose. Students assess prose writing by examining an author's use of diction, syntax, tone, structure, purpose, and meaning. Attention will be centered on developing a personal rhetorical style that cultivates strong persuasive writing skills. Students will analyze writings through close reading drills, and the lessons learned will be transferred to their own writing. Emphasis will be focused on knowing how to select and use appropriate modes of writing. Successful completion of summer work is required. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May.

English 12          (12A-1206, 12H-209)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 12                        A Level or Honors

Prerequisite: Past academic performance and teacher recommendation

Twelfth grade English is a college preparatory course that focuses on elements of British Literature as well as high-interest texts from the Americas and beyond. Literature is analyzed through many lenses, allowing teachers to highlight their areas of expertise, interest, and past teaching experiences. Students are afforded a wide array of focused instruction, and are exposed to literature, (and related writings, art pieces, journalism, and film), focused on the humanities, social issues, women’s studies, and drama, to name a few. The curriculum includes the literary analysis of either Shakespeare’s Macbeth or Hamlet, among other typically anthologized works; it also includes more contemporary pieces. The interpretive aspects of symbolism, theme, figurative language, and style are emphasized. Students are encouraged to make connections to their own lives and the world they live in today. In writing, students produce progressively longer and more sophisticated expository writing, with explicit instruction around transitions, tone, and rhetorical strategies such as repetition, understatement, and varied syntax. Work on the research paper and research project is continued. During the first semester, the personal narrative is an area of focus. Vocabulary study continues, and the study of grammar culminates with a focus on usage.

Advanced Placement English Literature (1211)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Required               Full Year                Grade: 12                      Advanced Placement

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation; past academic performance; writing sample; practice test This is a college-level course for students in their last year of high school who have an interest in English and are recommended by their Grade 11 English teachers. The course combines lectures, seminars, and critical papers based on readings from major American, British, and world authors. Emphasis is placed on critical reading, class discussion, and analytical writing with the goal of increasing students' ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. Successful completion of summer work is required. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May.

Introduction to World Mythology (1258)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Elective              Semester                   Grades 10-12                       A Level or Honors

This introduction to world mythology course will examine the beliefs, cultural norms, and historical context behind various ancient myths and legends, emphasizing the ways in which these ancient myths and legends continue to give insight into human relationships, the human condition, the nature and perception of reality. As a survey course, students will analyze and explore the basic origins of Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and Celtic myths and legends, reinforcing an understanding of common and notable gods and goddesses, analyzing the purpose, function, and cross-cultural connections of mythology, as well as the various themes, narratives, and mythical elements that provide a lasting impact to the modern world. Open to grades 10-12, Honor or A level credit options.

Creative Writing (1213)

Meets Expectations for Student Learning: 1,2,3,4,6,7

Elective                  Semester                  Grades 10-12                        A Level or Honors

The purpose of this course is to expose students to various types of non-technical writing, such as poetry, drama, and short fictional and nonfictional narratives. We will study famous pieces, and students will also practice their own creative writing skills through daily journal prompts, specific technique exercises, and writing workshops that walk them through pre-writing activities, drafting, editing, and feedback. Grades will be based on completion of imitation assignments, progress made between drafts, participation, and self-reflective pieces. The semester will culminate in a portfolio submission, which will include the full process of several major works as well as a reflection of the student’s writing experiences. Open to grades 10-12, Honor or A level credit options.

 

 

 

 

 

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