ENGLISH

Philosophy

We believe that writing, reading, and speaking English is critical to success in academics and in life. The English department offers classes in world literature, American literature, British literature and two AP classes - AP Language and Composition, the study of rhetoric and argumentation, and AP Literature and Composition, the study and analysis of advanced literary works.  We work to build strong composition skills by offering instruction in different modes of writing, such as narrative, expository, argumentative, and persuasive. We also teach basic speech skills that are needed in all walks of life and all occupations. The St. Mary's research standard is MLA which is introduced during the freshman year and practiced through all four grades.

FRESHMAN YEAR - required

210 ENGLISH I / COLLEGE PREP LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Grade: Freshman
Prerequisite: None
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
English I is designed to give 9th grade students the opportunity to develop their vocabulary, writing and critical thinking skills. Grammar and basic writing skills are studied. Students study the various elements of literary genres including short story, novel, poetry, nonfiction, classical literature, and Shakespearean and modern drama. Strong emphasis is placed on writing in all areas of the course. Students may be assigned summer reading to complete before entering English I.

Novels and Plays:
Homer. The Odyssey
Orwell, George. Animal Farm
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird

211 ENGLISH IA (Honors) / PRE-AP LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Grade: Freshman
Prerequisite: B+ or above in Middle School English, Writing Sample, Test Scores, and Admissions Committee Recommendation
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
Advanced English I is designed to give 9th grade students with excellent basic English skills the opportunity to develop their writing and critical thinking skills, further expand their vocabularies, and increase their appreciation of literature. More extensive writing is done in English I Advanced than in English I. English I Advanced is a Pre-Advanced Placement Class, which, with English II Advanced, prepares students for AP English courses. Students are required to complete summer reading.

Novels and Plays:
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies
Sophocles. Antigone

SOPHOMORE YEAR - required

220 ENGLISH II / COLLEGE PREP AMERICAN LITERATURE
Grade: Sophomore
Prerequisite: English I (210)
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
Students engage in the reading of works from a variety of places, time periods, and perspectives. Through the use of a variety of texts and supplemental works (novels, short stories, poems, articles, etc.), students further develop their ability to interpret and analyze literary and informational selections. Students continue to develop more precise writing skills. Students will write literary 16 analyses, arguments, and narrative pieces, focusing on the skills of topic development, organization, diction/syntax, and the use of textual evidence. Grammar is reviewed to emphasize the finer points of mechanics and usage, and vocabulary is drawn from both readings and from other sources. A research paper will be required; lessons to prepare students for this cumulative project will emphasize selecting strong sources, organizing information, and citing sources correctly. Summer reading is assigned.

Novels and Plays:
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451
Gaines, Ernest J. A Lesson Before Dying
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Sophocles. Oedipus the King

221 ENGLISH IIA (Honors) / PRE-AP AMERICAN LITERATURE
Grade: Sophomore
Prerequisite: B+ or above in English IA or A in English I, Department Approval, and Test scores
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
The content of this honors’ level course is based on world literature by a variety of writers from different time periods in history. World history lessons are integrated to provide a contextual framework to the literature covered. Students gain practice in writing and organizing ideas logically; the emphasis is on strong sentences, paragraphs, and essays to better prepare students for year. Essay types include persuasive, cause and effect, description, comparison and contrast, narrative, and expository. Vocabulary and grammar lessons are emphasized to enhance students’ writing. A research paper will be required; lessons to prepare students for this cumulative project will emphasize selecting strong sources, organizing information, and citing sources correctly. Summer reading is assigned..

Novels and Plays:
Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
Knowles, John. A Separate Peace
Macchiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince
Martel, Yann. Life of Pi
Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman
Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Sophocles. Oedipus the King
Tan, Amy. The Joy Luck Club
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit

JUNIOR YEAR - required

230 ENGLISH III / COLLEGE PREP BRITISH LITERATURE
Grade: Junior
Prerequisite: English II (220)
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
As a survey of American literature, this course introduces the student to the inherent personalities and philosophies of American literature. Other areas of study include vocabulary and grammar review as well as a variety of literary genres. Composition and literary analysis compose the writing aspect of junior English. This course assumes a solid foundation from the first two years of English and expands those skills. Students are assigned summer reading.

Novels and Plays:
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men
Vonnegut, Kurt. Cat’s Cradle

231 AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION
Grade: Junior
Prerequisite: B+ or above in English II(A) (221) or A in English II (220), Test Scores, and Department Approval
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
AP English Language and Composition is a rigorous writing class designed to further develop the student’s skills in analyzing the rhetoric of non-fiction prose in both formal and informal essays. Writing style is emphasized in skill demonstration including the use of low, middle and high style language; sentence variety – by length and type, introductory clauses and phrases, and more sophisticated structure, including compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to analyze and write about non-fiction passages. Students who take the College Board’s AP English Language and Composition Exam (a skills based exam) can earn three to six hours of college credit. An AP English Language and Composition Practice Exam is taken in late summer and another in late April to prepare students for the rigors of the real exam, usually scheduled on the second or third Wednesday of May. Students must complete the summer reading assignment.

Novels, Plays and Memoirs:
Miller, Arthur. The Crucible
O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried
Orwell, George. 1984
Twain, Mark. Huckleberry Finn
Wiesel, Elie. Night

SENIOR YEAR - required

240 ENGLISH IV / COLLEGE PREP WORLD LITERATURE
Grade: Senior
Prerequisite: English III (230)
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
This course is designed to prepare seniors for college level English classes.

Novels and Plays:
Anonymous. Beowulf
Huxley, Aldous. Brave New World
Marlowe, Christopher. Dr. Faustus
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein

241 AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
Grade: Senior
Prerequisite: B+ or above in AP Language and Composition (231) or A in American Literature (230), Test Scores, and Department Approval
Length: Full Year
Credit: 1.0
This course emphasizes the development of skills in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Students will engage in an intensive, college-level study of literary works spanning several genres and periods and should be prepared to devote time and energy required to complete a rigorous and demanding course. Students will produce written responses based on the experience, interpretation, and evaluation of selected works of recognized literary merit. Through the close reading of these selected texts, students will deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide a profound meaning beyond the superficial. Students who take the College Board’s AP Literature & Composition exam may receive three to six semester hours of college credit. Students are required to complete a summer reading assignment.

Novels, Plays and Memoirs:
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness / The Secret Sharer
Faulkner, William. Intruder in the Dust
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun
Hemingway, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God
Morrison, Toni. Beloved
Shakespeare, William. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet with Related Readings
Shakespeare, William. King Lear with Related Readings
Shakespeare, William. Othello
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Wharton, Edith. Ethan Frome
Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest

ENGLISH ELECTIVES

233 CREATIVE WRITING
Grade: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: None. Taken as an additional elective and cannot replace an English credit.
Length: Semester
Credit: 0.5
Creative Writing will explore several different genres of writing: journaling, poetry, and short story.  The students will study examples of great literature by known authors. Each student will create an in-depth writing portfolio while the class compiles and publishes a literary magazine based on the works created in the class.

Text: Bird by Bird: Some Instructions of Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

234 FILM AS LITERATURE
Grade: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: None. Taken as an additional elective and cannot replace an English credit.
Length: Semester
Credit: 0.5
Film as a medium is very popular with students in our current world.  It is therefore important for them to understand that high-quality film, like written literature, can be studied in similar ways.  Film as Literature is a very academic course that allows students to discover the intricacies of character development, symbolism, plot development, rhetorical devices, and cinematography as they create meaning in film.  We will watch significant films that come from literature (such as Last of the Mohicans and Master and Commander) as well as original screenplays (Finding Neverland and Dr. Strangelove).  Each film will have a preliminary lesson and either an essay or test to follow up the learning experience.  Students will be required to have a permission form filled out for R rated movies.

235 CHILDREN'S LITERATURE
Grade: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: None. Taken as an additional elective and cannot replace an English credit.
Length: Semester
Credit: 0.5

238 THE BIBLE AS LITERATURE
Grade: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: None. Taken as an additional elective and cannot replace an English credit.
Length: Semester
Credit: 0.5

950 COMPETITIVE SPEECH AND DEBATE
Grade: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior
Prerequisite: None. Taken as an additional elective and cannot replace an English credit.
Length: Semester
Credit: 0.5

FACULTY

St. Mary's High School Robin Knoepke pic

Mrs. Robin Knoepke

Department Chair and Teacher

rknoepke@smhscs.org

About Me

St. Mary's High School Katie Ghent pic

Mrs. Katie Ghent

St. Mary's High School Mary Anne Kavanaugh pic

Mrs. Mary Anne Kavanaugh