MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

Language Arts

Middle School English

In this class, students will gain practice in narrative, expository, poetry writing as well as formal academic writing. They also will investigate the elements of literature as they enjoy great, age-appropriate literature and excerpts from literature.The classes will follow a reading schedule to complete several novels and one biography or autobiography as well as selections of short stories and poems from an anthology. This class will work as a great companion to Grammar Usage and Mechanics; however, minimal grammar worksheets will be assigned weekly for this class as well.

Using Following Narnia: Lion’s Song IEW, students will read three classic books from the Narnia series and use excerpts of the book to fine-tune writing skills. In addition to the books required below, the teacher will use library books that are not written by CS Lewis. Topics Covered:

Concepts related to literature: Graphing a plot line  l  Author studies l  Metaphor  l Simile l Analogies I  Personification l  Foreshadowing,  

Concepts related to composition:

  • Creating a setting with mood
  • Characterization
  • Colorful writing with use of 4 senses and emotion
  • Descriptive writing
  • Topics and conclusions
  • Developing an outline
  • Research writing

Prerequisites:

  • Students must have the following skills to succeed in this class:
  • Reading at a 7th grade level
  • Computer - must have basic word processing skills (MS Word or similar) and the ability to print assignments
  • Basic writing skills - must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc.
  • Attitude - must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class
  • All students in either class will need an adult editor to edit their papers with them.
  • Please note: This class doesn’t offer much grammar instruction it is a great compliment to any grammar class.

 

Reading List: Please Note- Students who have read the Narnia books multiple times will be given an alternative booklist.

  • Reserved for the students as part of a book club with MCPL Redbridge branch
  • Booklist- The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy. Elijah of Buxton (Curtis), The Mysterious Benedict Society (Stewart) among others.
  • A biography or autobiography chosen by the student (with teacher approval)

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English 1

In this class, students will gain practice in formal academic writing. They also will investigate the elements of literature as they enjoy great, age-appropriate literature and excerpts from literature.The classes will follow a reading schedule to complete several novels and one biography or autobiography as well as selections of short stories and poems from an anthology.

Although this class contains minimal grammar instruction, the students will have simple grammar worksheets to complete weekly. It is intended to complement a grammar program and will fit nicely with Grammar usage and Mechanics (1st period). For those who test out of Grammar Usage and Mechanics, a small grammar worksheet will be assigned weekly for the sake of drilling skills. This is a solid high school preparatory writing curriculum that focuses on fluent writing with structure and style. We will start the year with both formal outlining and Key Word outlining. Then we will write expository essays from primary sources. We will conclude with writing some short stories and poetry. In addition to the books required below, the teacher will use IEW method utilizing World History-Based Writing Lessons Volume 1: by Vestergen, Outlining and Note Taking and Report Writing Skills by Hayes, and Writing Strategies by Zaner-Bloser. Topics Covered:

Concepts related to literature

  • Graphing a plot line  l  Author studies l  Metaphor  l Simile l Analogies I Personification l  Foreshadowing,  
  • Concepts related to composition
  • Writing with Strong Diction and Syntax
  • Writing a strong thesis
  • Narrative, Descriptive and Poetry Composition
  • Expository essays
  • Developing an outline
  • Research writing

Prerequisites:

  • Students must have the following skills to succeed in this class:
  • Reading at a 8th grade level
  • Computer - must have basic word processing skills (MS Word or similar) and the ability to print assignments
  • Basic writing skills - must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc.
  • Attitude - must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class
  • All students in either class will need an adult editor to edit their papers with them.
  • Please note: This class provides very minimal grammar instruction it is intended to be great compliment to any grammar class.

 

Reading List:

  • Reserved for the students as part of a book club with MCPL Redbridge branch
  • Booklist- The Ides of April by Ray, A Single Shard by Park,  Adam of the Road by Gray,  and Hittite Warrior by Williamson.
  • A biography or autobiography chosen by the student (with teacher approval)

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Grammar Usage and Mechanics (7th-10th)

Grammar Usage and Mechanics is a year-long English course geared for 8-11th graders, who need solid grammar instruction in preparation for writing later in their high school studies. This is an excellent refresher for those students who either learned grade school grammar and struggled to retain its concepts, or for those students who encountered barriers to learning. This class will review the basics of 4th and 6th grade grammar in order to quickly determine gaps in comprehension.  Using the Shurley Grammar method of study, we will quickly dissect sentence structure, using audio and verbal tools. Then we will learn diagramming techniques in order to reach the tactile learner. By December, the class will move on to high school grammar concepts.  Finally, using review and repetitive concept rotation, the student will gain mastery of English grammar. This class is a catch up class intended to prepare students for success in high school.

Prerequisites:

  • 7th grade reading level or above.
  • Working knowledge of grammar -- must be familiar with common descriptors such as nouns and verbs.
  • Basic writing skills -- must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc.
  • Time commitment -- most students will need to commit to 30 minutes a day 4 times a week to complete this homework.  (Depending on student's speed.)
  • Attitude -- must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class.
  • Placement test

Related Classes: Good combination class. You can combine with MS English, English 1, Creative Writing, or Comp 1. These courses are not dependent on each other, but should complement each other as long as the student has enough time in their day to accomplish up to 45 minutes- 1 hour of English/ 3 days a week outside of class times.

You don't need to purchase these books, but you might be interested in the material we'll be using:

  • Shurley Grammar 8
  • Language C- ABEKA books
  • Outlining and Note Taking Skills (Hayes)

Topics:

  • main parts of speech   |   clauses   |   complex vs compound sentences l  punctuation l
  • punctuation of quotes l quotes within quotes l  simile l metaphor l  idiom l  verb conjugation
  • irregular verbs l verbals and participles l  infinitives l  much more...

Composition I (9th-11th)

This is a year-long writing course geared for 9th-11th graders who need foundational instruction to prepare them for more advanced writing requirements later in their high-school studies. In this class we will review classic outlining skills as well as learn several other creative forms of outlining and writing preparation. Once we ensure these basic skills are in place, we will begin strengthening paragraph order and clarity. We will also explore various genres as we learn to master narratives and essays.  Using Pudwa's method of fusing outlines:  We will write several essays using multiple sources each, and then start the new semester with a research report (complete with parenthetical documentation and works cited--MLA 8 format).  We will end the year with instruction in various sentence openings, clauses and their punctuation and, finally, strengthening persuasive essays with strong proofs and documentation. Your student should emerge from this class confidently prepared for any high-school level writing assignment. Students will gain 1 high-school credit from this course. Students should be prepared to dedicate an hour per day to homework outside of class.

Prerequisites:

  • Must be quick on the keys-most final drafts will be typed.
  • Computer - must have basic word processing skills (MS Word or similar) and the ability to print assignments
  • Working knowledge of grammar - must be familiar with common descriptors such as nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunction, etc.
  • Basic writing skills - must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc.
  • Attitude - must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class, Students must have the following skills to succeed in this class:
  • Typing- all drafts must be typed.

All students enrolled in this class will need an adult editor, who is willing to edit one paper a week. ( Usually on the weekend.) This class will be largely ineffective without this support role.

Books and Methods Used:

You don't need to purchase these books, but you might be interested in the material I'll be using:

  • Writer's Guide to Powerful Paragraphs (Pellegrino)
  • The Elegant Essay (Myers)
  • Writing Strategies (Zaner-Bloser)
  • Outlining and Note Taking Skills (Hayes)

Topics Covered:

  • classic outlining   |   drafting   |   paragraph formation   |   adding "dress-ups"
  • transitions and transitional words   |   passive voice vs. active voice
  • fused outlining   |   essays   |   research reports   |   MLA documentation
  • narrative writing   |   timed essays

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American Literature w/Composition (10th-11th)

This course is designed to meet the needs of students who will enter college, the workforce or other post-secondary education after high school. The course includes a survey of American literature, vocabulary development, and correction of writing problems. Writing assignments will include journal entries, essay answers, and analyses. Each of the six major periods (movements) in English language literature will be introduced, reviewed and discussed. Intensive independent reading from selected works including novels is required, as well as several short analysis and persuasive papers. Group discussion of novels will be utilized in this course which is 1 high-school credit. Students should be prepared to dedicate an hour and a quarter per day three times a week to homework outside of class. (Slower readers may need more time.)

Students must have the following skills to succeed in this class:

  • Typing- All final drafts must be typed.
  • Computer -- must have basic word processing skills (MS Word, ,Google docs, or similar) and the ability to print assignments.
  • Internet access for research is needed.
  • Basic writing skills -- must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc. *Students need to know how to create a topic and conclusion.
  • Attitude -- must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class.

Prerequisites:

        Composition 1

Reading List:

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  • 1 student choice book (details TBA)
  • Other excerpts,  poems,  and shorter works from the text will be read,  additionally.

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Creative Writing/Journalism  (9th-12th)

(description coming soon)

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Composition 2 – Composition with Grammar (11th-12th)

Please note: Students who take this course may opt to take AP Composition as an after school class.

 This course is offered as a college-preparatory grammar and composition course. Vocabulary and grammar will be interwoven in this course in order to reinforce and strengthen spelling and syntax. This class is 1 high-school credit. Students will write research reports in both MLA and APA format.  The instruction will empower students for success in all genre’s of writing, focusing primarily on strongly supported persuasive essays and analysis. Most students will be prepared for all college-level English expectations in this one-year course. Students should be prepared to dedicate an hour and a quarter per day of homework outside of class.

Teacher will utilize Warriner's English Grammar and Composition, and The Elegant  Classical Rhetoric through Structure and Style by Muller.

 

Students must have the following skills to succeed in this class:

  • Typing- All final drafts must be typed.
  • Computer - must have basic word processing skills (MS Word, Google docs, or similar) and the ability to print assignments.
  • Internet access for research is needed.
  • Basic writing skills -- must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc. *Students need to know how to create a topic and conclusion.
  • Attitude - must be respectful, teachable, and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class.

Prerequisite:

  • English 1
  • Composition 1

Books and Methods Used:

You don't need to purchase these books, but you might be interested in the material the instructor will use:

  • Writer's Guide to Powerful Paragraphs (Pellegrino)
  • The Elegant Essay (Myers)
  • Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition, Complete Course Grade 12 (Warriner)

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British Literature - Advanced (11th-12th)        

Please note: Students who take this course may opt to take AP Composition as an after school class. 

British Literature is a rhetorical level class which means that it is content-driven and requires higher level thinking. Students will be expected to read in excess of 200 pages per week.  This is why the curriculum suggests, and I highly recommend, that many of the larger works be read over the summer. Once the assigned reading is completed, they will use analysis in order to understand and discuss elements of excellent writing. These analytical writings will be used to create  a notebook of literary times, authors, books and writings so that,  by the end of the year, their three- ring-binder will be a testimony of their study.  This class requires writing proficiency and teaches written analysis. The final project will include the student's  corrected essays, literary reviews, famous quotes, and author biographies as well as vocabulary.

The author of this curriculum, James Stobaugh, has a very strong opinion of  critical thinking and its importance to our young people in preparation for college. In this curriculum, I will attempt to sharpen critical thinking and inspire students to be “culture creators.”

This class offers one (1) full credit in Literature  and  ½ credit in worldview  (can be documented as humanities, sociology, or philosophy)

Prerequisites:

  • Students must have the following skills to succeed in this class:
  • Typing- must be quick on the keys-most final drafts will be typed.
  • Computer -- must have basic word processing skills (MS Word, ,Google docs,  or similar) and the ability to print assignments must have internet access for research on philosophy examples as well as author’s backgrounds.
  • Basic writing skills -- must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc.
  • Time commitment -- must be prepared to dedicate an hour and a half per day to homework outside of class
  • Attitude -- must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class
  • All students enrolled in this class will need to purchase or borrow 5 books to be read over the summer and have a working Mid-Continent Public Library card.

Topics Covered:

  • literary periods  |   genres   |   theme  |   characterization
  • symbolism   |  antithesis l  intensive vocabulary study
  • worldviews  | belief systems   |   ethics   |  cultures l morals
  • narratives  |   historical writings  l   poetry l   sacred works l epics

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AP English Composition (11th-12th)

Offered with either Comp 2 or British Lit

In this course, students will be trained to write a powerful English essay for the AP exam in the spring. The admin team will be working with those who sign up to find a time after school or as an early-bird class, in order to offer a this class for those students who want to study for the exam. The book, 5 Steps to a 5: Writing the AP English Essay, features an effective, 5-step plan to guide students to success and help build the skills, knowledge, and test-taking confidence a student needs to succeed. Features include:

  • Strategies for planning, prewriting, writing, and reviewing essays
  • Rhetorical strategies and techniques for good essay writing
  • Guidance on exactly how AP essay graders evaluate the essays

Prerequisites:

  • Eng. 11 Comp/Grammar
  • Typing and Computer – Must have basic word processing skills (MS Word or similar) and the ability to print assignments.
  • Working knowledge of grammar – We will use grammar to teach composition. All students applying for this class must take a placement test.
  • Basic writing skills – Must write cohesively, in complete sentences with capitals, periods, etc.
  • Time commitment outside of class is 1 hour of homework, 4 times a week
  • Attitude –Must be respectful, teachable and able to interact responsibly in a classroom setting without interrupting the class.
  • Take an English placement test provided

**AP Exam: Students need to sign up to take the AP English comp. exam.  It will cost around $100. Taking this class is no guarantee that your student will score high enough to gain Freshman English credit. But usually a score of 4 or above will be accepted by U.S. colleges. Students may opt to take this course without taking the AP exam.