English

The English Department strives to incorporate positive moral and spiritual values through the teaching of all areas of communication: reading, writing, listening, visual literacy, and oral communication. Unlike any academic field, the study of literature and composition provides the unique opportunity to explore values, choices, and the human condition in light of the Gospel and the philosophy of Ursuline High School. The department strives to develop important analytical and composition skills, as well as an appreciation of literature.

 

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Literature & Composition

GRADE 9 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit
The required English program in ninth grade emphasizes the study of composition and literature. Other skills such as critical and creative thinking, information processing, vocabulary development, speaking, listening and reading will be developed primarily through the examination of literature and the teaching of composition. Students will be introduced to the major genres of literature for examination and critical analysis. The teaching of composition will focus on the multi-paragraph theme developed through exposition, argumentation, narration and description.

 

Honors Literature & Composition

GRADE 9 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit

Students who exhibit superior reading, vocabulary and language skills as evidenced on the High School Placement Test and through past performance will be invited by the department into Honors Literature and Composition. PREREQUISITE: 85th percentile or better on the READING and LANGUAGE sections of the Ursuline Placement Test

 

American Literature & Composition

GRADE 10 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit
The major focus of the tenth grade program will be to read, discuss and analyze selections of American Literature from the Native American period through the Twentieth Century. The major genres of literature will be studied chronologically by period to trace the historical and cultural development of the United States as reflected in its literature. Composition skills will include creative writing, development of the multi-paragraph expository composition and the introduction of the multi-paragraph essay on a literary topic. Creative and critical thinking, information retrieval and information processing, listening, reading and speaking skills will continue to be developed through the study of literature.

 

Honors American Literature & Composition

GRADE 9 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit

Students with superior skills in reading, vocabulary, composition and literary analysis will be invited by the English department into Honors Literature and Composition. The research paper is introduced and required in this course. PREREQUISITE: “B” or better in Honors Literature & Composition; “A” average in Introduction to Literature and Composition and passing grade on the Honors English entry exam.

 

British Literature & Composition

GRADE 11 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit
The required course for all juniors is a survey course of British Literature from the Anglo-Saxon Period to the Twentieth Century. It traces the historical and cultural development of Great Britain as reflected in literature. The course is primarily designed to meet the needs of the college-bound student and emphasizes the development of composition skills and literary analysis. The research paper is introduced and required in this course.

 

Honors British Literature & Composition

GRADE 11 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit

Students who are identified by the English Department as having superior skills in reading, vocabulary, literary analysis and composition will be invited into Honors British Literature and Composition. Students will continue to develop research skills and apply them in producing a required research paper. PREREQUISITE: “B” or better in Honors American Literature & Composition; “A” average in American Literature and Composition and passing grade on the Honors English entry exam.

 

World Literature & Composition

GRADE 12 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit
All seniors are required a survey English course in World Literature from its beginning in the ancient East through the twentieth century. Literary selections are representative of various historical periods, various cultural traditions and various literary genres. The course is primarily designed to meet the needs of the college bound student and emphasizes the development of composition skills, literary analysis and critical thinking. Students will continue to develop research skills and apply them in producing a required research paper that focuses on argumentation.

 

Film Study

GRADES 11-12 (ELECTIVE) – 1/2 credit
Film Study is a one semester elective, open to juniors and seniors. Students will be introduced to the technical, historical and theoretical aspects of filmmaking. Units to be covered include the following: Cinematography and Image, Movement, Editing, Sound, Acting, The Documentary, The Director, Film Criticism and Contemporary Issues in Film. This course also meets the criteria for a Fine Arts requirement.

 

Developmental Reading

GRADES 9-12 (ELECTIVE) – 1/2 credit
This course is designed for students who experience difficulty in reading. Students will concentrate on building vocabulary and comprehension skills. The students’ current textbooks will be part of the reading material used. Because the course is individualized to meet the needs of students, the course can be repeated for credit multiple times. STUDENTS WHO HAVE SCORED BELOW THE 25TH PERCENTILE ON THE 9TH GRADE PLACEMENT TEST WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ASSIGNED TO THIS CLASS

 

Vocabulary/Grammar for the ACT/SAT

GRADES 11-12 (ELECTIVE) – 1/2 credit
This course is designed for students who would like to enhance their vocabulary in preparation for college admission tests such as the ACT and SAT.

 

AP Literature & Composition

GRADE 12 (REQUIRED) – 1 credit

Students who are identified by members of the English Department as having superior skills in reading, vocabulary, literary analysis and writing will be invited into AP Literature and Composition which prepares students for the Advanced Placement test in English Literature and Composition. PREREQUISITE: “B” or better in Honors British Literature & Composition; “A” average in British Literature and passing grade on the Advanced Placement entry exam.

 

AP English Language and Composition

GRADE 12 (ELECTIVE) – 1 credit
Students learn to understand and analyze complex works by a variety of authors. They explore the richness of language, including syntax, imitation, word choice, and tone. They also learn about their own composition style and process, starting with exploration, planning, and writing, and continuing through editing, peer review, rewriting, polishing, and applying what they learn to academic, personal, and professional contexts. In this equivalent of an introductory college-level survey class, students prepare for the AP Exam and for further study in communications, creative writing, journalism, literature, and composition. This is an online/independent study course.