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Learning Recommendations:  Students considering this course should have a solid interest in studying the progression of human nature through the lens of a survey of English literature. This is a rigorous, college-preparatory course, and its design and delivery expects students to have excellent study habits, time management skills, and an interest in reading and writing about challenging texts. Read the entire course description carefully before enrolling.

General Description:  This rigorous, college-preparatory literature course provides an opportunity for students to study the historical context of the values and traditions that have shaped western culture. The course takes students on an exploratory journey through of major periods of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present. Students review historical periods and evaluate author’s purpose throughout to analyze the human experience through a literary lens. Reading consists of a variety of full-length texts (primarily fiction and drama) together with shorter informational texts that explore significant aspects of the historical, social, and cultural context. The challenging literature and analytical writing assignments along with the critical thinking and collaborative learning in this course prepare students for college-level literary analysis and composition courses.

Content:  The Washington State Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for reading, writing, and discussing drive the course content. Skills include but are not limited to:

  • Reading Skills
    • using and analyzing literary devices
    • analyzing multiple complex texts including expository, informational, narrative
    • understanding an author’s universal message/s
    • interpreting dramatic pieces
    • making predictions and inferences
    • researching and synthesizing meaning from historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts while pursuing multiple themes
  • Writing Skills
    • self-reflecting and developing personal narrative
    • selecting strategies for timed and long-term writing
    • developing and editing multiple drafts
    • offering and implementing peer evaluation and feedback
    • writing to varied audiences, voices, forms, and genres
    • using organizational structures
    • synthesizing multiple sources
    • stylistic precision
  • Speaking and Listening Skills
    • driving socratic seminars
    • contributing effectively and actively listening during discussion
    • creating and presenting multi-media with specific audience purpose

Strategies:  Students will learn through a combination of:

  • direct instruction, including lecture and note-taking
  • individual and shared reading
  • large and small group discussions
  • group project development and presentation
  • presentations
  • independently directed note-taking, reading, and analysis
  • journal writing, both structured and unstructured
  • multiple draft writing
  • peer review, evaluation, and feedback

Homework:  This is a college-preparatory class that will require at-home reading and writing over periods of time. The units of study are often divided into smaller content chunks with due dates, and students complete the homework over time. Students who already possess strong time management skills and relative strength in language arts will likely complete outside work within 1-2 hours a week, though there are individual variances. There will also be times when daily homework expectations must be managed. Weekend homework can occur, but as a rule, students will be given time off from homework during scheduled school breaks.

Course Fee / Materials:  Composition notebooks: college ruled, 100 sheets

Note:  English Credit for Seniors only. Elective for 11th Grade.