ENGLISH COURSE DESCRIPTIONS8th grade English
The curriculum follows the state frameworks and standards. Frequent rehearsals of skill applications are given to incorporate reading comprehension, literary analysis and writing skills into their knowledge base. Note-taking skills and productive study habits will be consistently reinforced. Vocabulary and grammar may be presented in a variety of ways as to reflect the varied skill levels of the college preparatory student. Instructional methods may include small and large group discussions, cooperative learning, lecture, oral presentations, and independent reading/writing.
English I Honors
This course is for the highly motivated independent learner who possesses strong comprehension skills, well organized note-taking skills, productive study habits, and demonstrates strong analytical skills. The curriculum reflects the recommended state standards in the Language Arts Framework document. Students are introduced to all genres of literature as well as extensive exposure to vocabulary and grammar. Literary analysis essays are based on the elements of literature. This level offers the college-bound student rigorous units of study. Class format emphasizes small and large group discussion, oral presentations, lecture, writing partnerships, and independent reading/writing.
English I College Prep 2
The curriculum follows the state frameworks and standards. More frequent rehearsals of skill applications are given to incorporate reading comprehension, literary analysis and writing skills into their knowledge base. Note-taking skills and productive study habits will be consistently reinforced. Vocabulary and grammar may be presented in a variety of ways as to reflect the varied skill levels of the college preparatory student. Instructional methods may include small and large group discussions, cooperative learning, lecture, oral presentations, and independent reading/writing.
English I College Prep 1
This course is designed to follow the state recommended Language Arts Frameworks at a pace and through instructional methods that suit students’ needs to develop language art skills. The relationship between reading and writing is stressed using some adapted titles from the freshman curriculum, supplemental titles, and by modifying the District’s writing program. Instructional methods include reinforcement of acceptable behavior as well as the instruction and rehearsal of the necessary language arts skills via small group discussions and the use of audiovisual related resources. In an effort to implement auditory, visual, and kinesthetic stimuli, the course hopes to develop those channels of communication infrequently and/or ineffectively used by the College Preparatory 1 students.
English II Honors
Honors English II reflects the state recommended standards in the English Language Arts Frameworks document. Tenth grade students will complete the state mandated MCAS battery in the spring of their sophomore year. Results from these tests will become a part of their permanent file. By state mandate, these tests must be passed to graduate. Students in this honors level course should be highly motivated and possess skills necessary to understand, analyze, and appreciate literature. The honor students’ attitude and performance reflect the dispositions of independent learners. They are conscientious in attending to all assignments within the units of study and responsible in meeting all class expectations. Major units of study reflect extensive vocabulary skills and effective language manipulation through writing, speaking, and performance. The texts read and studied include state recommended classical literature as well as young adolescent literature. While the core curriculum is the same for all levels, the students in the honors level course do more in-depth study of works, may do more independent reading, writing and research, and do so at a brisk intellectual pace.
English II College Prep 2
The curriculum for this course follows the state frameworks and prepares students to pass the MCAS Exam. Students will be expected to further develop their reading comprehension, reading analysis, composition, and study skills. A variety of instructional methods are used to meet the objectives of the course and attend to the varied ability levels of the CP2 students in the class.
English II College Prep 1
This course will attend to the same objectives presented in the English language arts curriculum for all tenth-grade students. However, titles may be adaptations and activities and instructional methods may reflect the varied learning styles and abilities of the CP1 student. More group/class reading response activities may be done for assessment. Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling skills, and basic composition skills will be stressed. As tenth graders, CP1 students will also be expected to take the state competency test (MCAS) in the spring of their sophomore year. Class time will be spent practicing skills that will be needed to complete the test. Results of these tests will become part of their permanent academic file. By state mandate, these tests must be passed to graduate.
Advanced Placement Language and Composition
The AP English Language and Composition course is designed to help students become skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. This class focuses on composition and reading for composition style rather than literary analysis. Students will be identifying, examining, and emulating writing styles. Both their writing and their reading should make students aware of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Course content is designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet college level expectations as well as to deal successfully with the questions of the Advanced Placement examination. Students are expected to be independent learners and to take initiative in class discussion. After registering for the course, students must attend a meeting in which summer preparatory work will be explained. The summer writing assignments will be due August 15. All students are required to take the AP exam.
English III Honors
At a reasonably brisk pace, students will study and write about the development of American philosophies and writing styles from the seventeenth through the twentieth century. The works of major American writers will be studied in depth. The writing required in this class is designed for the mature writer who has demonstrated a mastery of essay writing skills, is self-motivated, and able to respond positively to constructive criticism. The course emphasizes two areas: developing a strong personal voice and improving literary analysis skills. Students are expected to be active participants in peer editing activities and class discussion. In addition to the regularly assigned literary compositions, students will complete a research paper and the college placement essay folder.
English III College Prep 2
This course utilizes previous ELA instruction with an emphasis on American Literature. Students are expected to be proficient in literary analysis skills, reading comprehension skills, and composition skills. Students are expected to be prepared for each class and assume a positive attitude toward learning. Students will be expected to work independently as well as in cooperative study groups. Students complete both a research paper and the college placement essay folder.
English III College Prep 1
This course offers a structured approach to the language arts objectives in the junior English curriculum. Emphasis is placed on basic reading comprehension skills, vocabulary and spelling, basic composition skills, introductory literary analysis skills, group discussion skills, and cooperative task group skills. A variety of methodologies may be used to meet the varied learning styles and abilities of the college preparatory level 1 students in the class. Strong emphasis will be placed on attitudes, behaviors, and skills that will assist the students’ future academic courses or the world of work.
Senior English Requirement for Graduation: choose ONE full year of Advanced Placement English OR ONE full year of Senior English.
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
This course is designed for the mature student who has already demonstrated an aptitude for interpreting literature and for written and oral expression. Course content is designed to help students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet college level expectations as well as to deal successfully with the questions of the Advanced Placement examination. Readings for the course are drawn from a variety of genres, styles, periods and countries; writing assignments focus on literary analysis. Students are expected to be independent learners and to take initiative in class discussion. After registering for the course, students must attend a meeting in which summer preparatory work will be explained. Students are required to complete summer reading from an AP summer reading list and a writing assignment that will be due August 15th. All students are required to take the AP exam.
English IV Honors
This world literature course is an examination of diverse cultures. Students will have superior independent reading and comprehension skills, above-average writing skills, strong discussion and participation skills, and a consistently productive work ethic. The college application process will be reviewed in the fall, with an emphasis on the common application and the college essay. A research project and a senior project will also be completed.
English IV College Prep 2
This world literature course examines the themes of family and self-discovery. Students will have average to superior independent reading and comprehension skills, effective discussion and participation skills, and a consistent and productive work ethic. The college application process will be reviewed in the fall, with an emphasis on the common application and the college essay. A research project and a senior project will also be completed.
English IV College Prep 1
This course emphasizes the basic elements of English language arts: reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and listening and speaking, through the use of short stories, fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and drama. It builds on those skills developed in English I, II, and III. Special attention is given to reading comprehension, writing and discussion skills, and the positive productive behaviors and attitudes necessary for success in the world of work or in academic studies after graduation. The college application process will be reviewed in the fall; a college application essay may be assigned. Methods of instruction vary to suit the different learning styles and interests of the students in the class. A research and senior project will also be completed. .
Drama & Theatre Arts Honors or College Prep 2
This course is an introduction to the nature and genre of drama, treating plays as literary and theatrical texts. The course will provide students with a general introduction to the structure, varieties, and evaluation of drama, theatre etiquette and how to evaluate a play, and the basic elements and processes involved in the production of a theatrical presentation. The class will involve reading, research, writing about drama, and active participation including performance. Projects may include the study of improvisation, pantomime, storytelling, and American musical theatre, the relationship between art and culture, and the dramatization of scenes. A performance poetry project will culminate in an in-house field trip during the first semester, and a musical theatre project will culminate in an in-house field trip during the second semester. In addition, because a play is only completely realized when performed, this course aims to consider questions of performance that open up the texts in special ways. Therefore, a field trip each semester to see and review a professional production of a play is an important part of the course curriculum. Writing assignments comprise a major portion of the course work.
Asian Literature/Studies Honors or College Prep 2
What do chess, fiber optics, kung fu, anime, the seismograph, and the number zero all have in common? Or bonsai, plastic surgery, the compass, and the kite? All originated in Asia, in India, China, or Japan. In this interdisciplinary course students will explore the history and contributions of Asian countries. Students will gain an understanding of Asian literature, arts, economics, religions and philosophies, as well as the changing dynamics of modern Asia. Learning activities will include research, independent reading, guest speakers, films, and discussions.
British Literature Honors or College Prep 2
This survey course provides an overview of British literature from Beowulf through contemporary works. Students will have average to superior independent reading and comprehension skills, average to above-average writing skills, effective to strong discussion and participation skills, and a productive to consistently productive work ethic. The college application process will be reviewed in the fall, with an emphasis on the common application and the college essay. A research project and a senior project will also be completed.
Shakespeare Honors or College Prep 2
In this course, the classroom becomes a theatre and students discover Shakespeare by exploring the plays through performance. Students will also learn to identify and explain elements of Shakespearean drama, literary and poetic devices, methods of characterization, and the historical context and themes of the plays. Shakespeare students are also involved in some way, either in front of the curtain or behind it, in the Drama Club’s annual Shakespeare production. The writing curriculum also includes the college essay and persuasive and literary essays. In addition, students will write reviews of the plays we see, film analysis, creative essays, and a longer (10-page) research paper in the spring. Because seeing the plays performed makes Shakespeare come alive as no other experience can, we try to take two trips per year to see Shakespeare performed on stage.
Creative Writing Honors or College Prep 2
This is a course for students with demonstrable skills in writing creatively and an interest in literature of all genres. The desire to write creatively is expected. The course includes analysis of the works of professional writers, modeling a variety of styles, a study of different writing techniques and genres, as well as practice in writing essays, poetry, letters and short stories. Students must be willing to write daily, to share writing with others and to accept constructive criticism on their work from peers as well as the teacher. Instructional methods include the use of journals and writers’ notebooks, peer editing, readings on writing, and working with peers, in small and large groups. Each student must submit a work to the class culminating in a class book. A major literary analysis paper is also required. In addition to writing for class, students are required to submit two pieces of their work for publication in Kaleidoscope, the school’s literary magazine. Students are encouraged to work with or as part of the magazine’s staff as well. The college essay will be a component of the fall semester.
Understanding Diversity Honors or College Prep 2This class will allow students to investigate the building of relationships. The readings will allow students to know they are not alone in their experiences. Students will analyze literature through discussion and writing. Some of the larger topics discussed include tolerance, diversity, and human rights. Students will visit underclassman classes and work with various peer groups to discuss the topics raised in class, helping them with identity development and understanding of adolescent culture as a whole.
Yearbook Honors or College Prep 2
Yearbook is a full-year, in-school business responsible for the production of the Barnacle, Barnstable High School’s official yearbook. In this course, students learn about many aspects of business management, from organizing, advertising, and, running sales campaigns; constructing and living within a budget; rising to the challenge of meeting intractable deadlines; and trouble-shooting and problem-solving. The yearbook students use and develop their creative, journalistic, and computer skills to design a comprehensive, imaginative record of the year at Barnstable High School. Because students are responsible for the design, layout, and content of the yearbook, they draw upon the artistic skills they have developed over their careers as students in areas as writing, photography, art and graphic design. Students interested in taking Yearbook should be, above all, self-motivated and possessed of a superior work ethic. Any other skills needed to do well as a member of the staff can be learned. This class does not fulfill the senior graduation requirement for English.
Newspaper and Journalism Studies Honors or College Prep 2
This yearlong, hands–on course is designed to introduce students to the field of journalism and enable them to write for and produce Insight, the school’s student newspaper. Students will learn how to write and edit a variety of stories while learning first-hand about the newspaper industry, including journalism ethics and freedom of the press. With the oversight of the instructor, students will publish Insight and are fully responsible for the newspaper’s content, design, advertising, and photography. Students will use Adobe InDesign, a computer-based design program, to publish the newspaper. The course will also include participation in the New England Scholastic Press Association’s annual conference and awards ceremony at Boston University. Students with an interest and demonstrated proficiency in writing, photography, graphic design and business management are encouraged to apply. This class does not fulfill the senior graduation requirement for English.