Students will be introduced to the idea that literature encourages understanding the complexities of the world and our places in it. Moreover, students will learn that literature is a conduit to diverse human perspectives, experiences, and institutions. This will be accomplished through the introduction and development of rhetorical and literary techniques and vocabulary in English courses. The goals of the English department are to inspire and teach a love and understanding of words and how they work, and to form critical thinkers, eloquent speakers, strong and effective writers, and close readers.
English 9 introduces students to foundational skills in speaking, writing, and reading. This is accomplished through reading and analyzing stories from a variety of genres and also through written exercises and assignments. Instruction will focus on grammar, mechanics, effective use of technology, and critical reading and writing.
This section of English 9 introduces students to foundational skills in reading, writing and speaking, emphasizing individual improvement in these areas. Incoming 9th graders will be placed in this class based on test scores, recommendations and past performance. The teacher will work individually with students to hone their skills in reading comprehension and writing and to help develop specific strategies that can be applied across disciplines. This course will cover the reading and writing skills required in College Prep English 9, and will allow for more individualized, in-depth instruction in these areas. Students will read the same texts as College Prep English 9 as well as other choice texts during Silent Sustained Reading, which will take place both within and outside of class every day.
The focus of English 10 is language and communication. Students are introduced to formal speaking and communication techniques and are provided a more developed understanding of how the English language works and creates meaning. Students will read and analyze a variety of genres that will prepare them for reading canonical literature in English 11 and English 12.
This American literature course emphasizes the diversity and complexity of the American experience. Students will examine how authorial choices impact the audience and outcomes. These understandings will be applied to their own expository and narrative writing. Students will improve their skills in grammar and mechanics through direct instruction and class essays.
English 12 is a course that explores classic literary texts from antiquity and more contemporary works of literature. It is global and historical in its scope. This course also prepares students for college essay writing. A review of grammar and mechanics, the sentence, and the paragraph occurs as needed. A formal research paper and a college application essay are written.
Honors English 9 focuses on improving students’ skills in reading, writing, and speaking. This will be accomplished through reading and analyzing stories from a variety of genres and through written exercises and assignments. Instruction will focus on grammar, mechanics, effective use of technology, and critical reading and writing. Honors English 9 is faster-paced and more rigorous than College Prep English 9. To continue into Honors English 10, a student must maintain a semester grade of B or better.
Prerequisite: Although this course is self-selected, it is highly recommended that students score 75 percent or higher on the Verbal Ability, Reading, and Language sections of the DeLaSalle Entrance Exam (or show high achievement on comparable national exams). Students who enroll in this course should be intellectually curious and prepared for its rigor. Summer reading is required.
Honors English 10 course content and skills are the same as College Prep English 10; however, the pace is accelerated, more challenging, and has increased writing assignments.
Prerequisites: An A in English 9 or a B or above in Honors English 9 and teacher approval. The teacher’s approval will consider test scores, work ethic, consistency of performance, and intellectual curiosity. Summer reading will be assigned.
Qualified students will develop higher-level thinking and writing skills through rhetorical analysis, reading response journals and narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. They will analyze and evaluate all forms of text and articulate criticism through mature discussion and effective writing. Students are encouraged to develop a personal style. Students will practice public speaking and larger discussion skills through presentations, debates, and seminars. College credit may be available through the Program for Advanced College Credit (PACC) at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Examination. Students in AP classes are required to take the AP exam in May.
Prerequisites: A grade of A in English 10 or a grade of B or above in Honors English 10 and teacher approval. The teacher’s approval will take into consideration test scores, work ethic, consistency of performance, and intellectual curiosity. Summer reading will be assigned prior to the start of 11th grade and assessed the first week of school.
A continuation of AP Language and Composition, this course concentrates on developing skills of literary interpretation and sophisticated writing, using a variety of types and styles of literature (poetry, essays, fiction, drama), and concentrating the writing assignments on themes explored in the readings. College credit is available through the PACC program and AP Exam. Students in AP classes are required to take the AP exam in May.
Prerequisites: A grade of A in English 11 or a grade of B or above in AP English 11 and teacher approval, which will take into consideration test scores, work ethic, consistency of performance and intellectual curiosity. Summer reading will be assigned.
Student writers will deepen their understanding of the art and craft of literary genres such as poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, and drama. Using mentor texts and a Writer’s Workshop model of instruction, students will create their own literary works. Additionally, students will receive instruction in writing techniques and grammar.
Prerequisite: Open to 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.
This course is an introduction to the study of people of African descent in the United States and in the broader African diaspora. We will explore why they have occupied an oppressed position in the U.S. and globally, how their resistance to this oppression has created social change, and how race, gender, and class have shaped their lives. As a College in the Schools course, students will be eligible to earn three University of Minnesota credits for a modest tuition fee. A limited number of seats will be available to students who opt to take the class for high school credit only.
Prerequisites: Open to 11th and 12th grade students with teacher approval. The approval will take into consideration work ethic, consistency of academic performance, and intellectual curiosity.