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Salem Academy English Curriculum

 

 

English I                Grade 9                Year-long course

English I is a comprehensive study of British literature from early Anglo-Saxon epics to contemporary British drama, poetry, and fiction. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills and also broaden their vocabularies through the study of words found in the literature they read. Grammar review of parts of speech, phrases, clauses, and sentence constructions leads to practice in careful editing but is aimed at understanding and practicing writing, reading, speaking, and listening with clarity. Writing strong expository paragraphs with focused topic sentences leads to practice in longer academic essays. The process of writing is emphasized through consistent opportunities to practice prewriting and revision skills. MLA formatting and citation guidelines are introduced.


 

Honors English I            Grade 9                Year-long course

Honors English I is an accelerated survey of British literature from early Anglo-Saxon epics to contemporary British drama, poetry, and fiction. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills and also broaden their vocabularies through the study of words found in the literature they read. Grammar review of parts of speech, phrases, clauses, and sentence constructions leads to practice in careful editing but is aimed at understanding and practicing writing, reading, speaking, and listening with clarity. Writing strong expository paragraphs with focused topic sentences leads to practice in longer academic essays. The process of writing is emphasized through consistent opportunities to practice prewriting and revision skills. MLA formatting and citation guidelines are introduced. Placement in this course is determined by middle school English/Language Arts grades and scores on the reading comprehension and verbal sections of the SSAT.

 

English II                 Grade 10                Year-long course

English Il consists of a broad survey of literature from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Texts studied cover a variety of eras and literary genres, including novels, plays, poetry, short stories, and selected nonfiction works. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. The literature also serves as the foundation for broadening vocabulary in preparation for the SAT through independent vocabulary journals; additional key literary terms and other vocabulary is studied throughout the year. In addition, the writing process is extensively studied, from formal academic writing with body paragraphs, in-class essays, and long essays, to more creative writing, including memoirs and creative fiction. Grammar concepts are also studied over the course of the year, from commonly misused words to comma rules to sentence variety and structure.


 

Honors English II            Grade 10                Year-long course

English II Honors consists of an accelerated survey of literature from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Studied texts cover a variety of eras and literary genres, including novels, plays, poetry, short stories, and selected nonfiction works. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. The literature also serves as the foundation for broadening vocabulary in preparation for the SAT through independent vocabulary journals; additional key literary terms and other vocabulary is studied throughout the year. In addition, the writing process is extensively studied, from formal academic writing with body paragraphs, in-class essays, and long essays, to more creative writing, including memoirs and creative fiction. Students qualify for this class based on grades in previous Salem Academy English courses, teacher recommendation, and PSAT scores.


 

English III                 Grade 11                Year-long course

This course consists of a broad survey of American literature, beginning with works published in the seventeenth century and culminating with writing published within the last twenty years. Students read selected novels as well as short stories, poems, plays, and essays from the Norton Anthology of American Literature. Students closely analyze and discuss these literary works to further develop their reading comprehension and critical thinking skills and also to broaden their vocabularies through the study of words found in the literature. Writing is also a central component of the class; students write for a variety of purposes and audiences and take pieces through each stage of the writing process. A primary focus of second semester in English III is the research paper. Students develop a topic, gather resources, complete an outline, and then write a first and final draft, following MLA formatting guidelines.

 

AP English Language and Composition     Grade 11            Year-long course

AP English Language is a year-long college level course developed around the study of rhetoric and persuasive writing skills. The course focuses on argumentation and the analysis of argument. Students learn to effectively examine the nature and history of the English essay, to read broadly among a variety of authors, rhetorical purposes, and eras, and to employ the fundamentals of sound argumentation. Students develop these skills through a study of expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative works from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students study essays, letters, speeches, and visual media, including photographs, films, advertisements, and comic strips, with an eye for rhetorical and logical strategies. Through both reading and writing, students increase their awareness of the ways that the interaction between a writer’s purpose, audience, and subject contribute to effective writing. Students qualify for this class based on grades in previous Salem Academy English courses, teacher recommendation, and PSAT scores.


 

English IV                 Grade 12                Year-long course

English IV is offered in two single semester classes, and both classes are required.  In addition to a unique literary focus, students write a research paper in the fall semester and prepare a Chapel Talk script that they present to the student body in the spring semester.

 

English IV: Appalachian Literature

This semester-long course will introduce students to the literature of Southern Appalachia. While the focus will be on close reading of individual texts, students will also explore how history and culture and place interact with literature. Sharing ideas through writing and class discussion will be an important part of this course. Focus will also be given to the craft techniques employed by the authors to create their works.

 

English IV: Renaissance Literature

English IV: Renaissance Literature explores the theatre, poetry, and prose of early modern England between 1520 and 1670.  Starting with the origins of the English sonnet, students will move through the dangerous intrigue of the courts of Henry VIII, Elizabeth, and James, exploring the short verse of Wyatt, Howard, Sidney, Spenser, and Donne.  Turning to the English experience of the Reformation and early colonization, students will look at Spenser’s epic Fairie Queene and Milton’s Puritan return to epic with Paradise Lost.  Students will explore the origins of the Renaissance public stage with Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy, before moving into later Elizabethan and Jacobean plays by Marlowe, Shakespeare, Middleton and Dekker.

 

Honors English IV/Salem College English 221    Grade 12          Year-long course

The advanced level of senior English is offered in two single semester classes, and both classes are required. In addition to a unique literary focus each semester, students write a research paper in the fall semester and prepare a Chapel Talk script that they present to the student body in the spring semester. Students qualify for this class based on grades in previous Salem Academy English courses, teacher recommendation, and PSAT scores.

 

Honors English IV: Women’s Literature

Honors English IV focuses on prominent modern and contemporary women writers from around the world. The works are studied in the context of the author’s life, the time period in which the work was published, and the time period in which the work is set. Particular focus is given to the relationship between the themes expressed by the author in her work (the meaning) and to the techniques used by the author to create the work (the craft). These techniques range from figurative language to diction and syntax to tone and irony. Primary course texts include Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, as well as various short stories, poetry, and nonfiction writing from the course anthology.

 

Salem College English 221: Man, Morality, and Madness

This course is taught at Salem Academy as a college-level literature course. Upon completion, students will receive credit from Salem Academy as well as three credit hours from Salem College. As a special topics course, the course focuses exclusively on the theme of Man, Morality, and Madness. Analysis of texts consider individual morality and how this fits within the morals and laws of a larger community, the definition and experience of madness within specific societies, and the relation of violence towards both morality and madness. Course texts include Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. The end of semester exam is required of all students.


 

College Essay Writing        Grade 12                One semester course

College Essay Writing is a semester-long course that meets one period each week in the fall semester.  This course is designed to provide students with hands-on, step-by-step guidance for writing a well-crafted college admissions essay. Students will learn strategies for creating a dynamic personal profile that smoothly translates into a specific, engaging essay that allows admissions committees to read and “hear” Salem students’ authentic, unique voices. Students will maintain a Digital Writing Portfolio capturing their writing process from beginning to final draft, and each student will receive a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory upon completion of the course.

 

Yearbook                 Grades 9, 10, 11, 12            .5 credit course

Yearbook is a year-long course designed to provide students with journalism expertise and the ability to apply those skills to the actual production of Salem Academy’s yearbook, Quill Pen. The curriculum will consist of interactive lessons covering all aspects of creating a yearbook. Units of study will include staff management through team building, design principles, the art of interviewing, storytelling, copywriting, photojournalism, strategic marketing, editing, AP Style Rules, and Yearbooks and the Law. This course will meet for two periods each week, and students will receive a letter grade in the course.

 

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