English Language Arts
English Language Arts (ELA) Program Overview - Grades 9-12
ELA courses help students develop comprehensive literacy skills to succeed in the world. Students are asked to engage with texts, process and use information, and express their thoughts in writing.
English Language Arts courses focus on enhancing students’ reading comprehension, their skill in expressing themselves through writing, and their ability to think critically and interact with others. Students are tasked with reading a diversity of texts – from poetry to plays to news; writing in a wide range of genres – from narrative to expository to persuasive; expressing themselves and interacting in varied formats, and always sharpening their power to think critically and engage with information.
ENGLISH I (FRESHMEN)
Students create "This I Believe" essays with narrative and persuasive elements; produce expository papers with bibliographies and in-text citations; and participate in debates to reinforce elements of persuasion.
Students read texts including Romeo and Juliet; A House on Mango Street; To Kill a Mockingbird; Fist, Stick, Knife, Gun; Persepolis; Monster (Dean Myers); and The Cellar (Preston).
ENGLISH II (SOPHOMORES)
Students produce memoirs while reading mentor texts; conduct research and produce a paper with in-text citations and a bibliography; and structure and engage in debates to produce persuasive essays.
Students read texts including Men We Reaped (Jesmyn Ward); Their Eyes Were Watching God; Fences; For Colored Girls . . . (Shange); Fahrenheit 451; Slaughterhouse-Five; Kindred; and "Sonny's Blues."
ENGLISH III (JUNIORS)
Students write creation myths; produce creative dialogues emphasizing conversation and dramatic elements; craft research questions and then produce papers and presentations in response; and write multiple argumentative papers and literary critiques of texts.
Students read texts including Beloved; The Crucible; Black Boy; Macbeth; Into the Wild (Krakauer); Civil Disobedience and Walden (excerpts); "The Devil and Tom Walker."
ENGLISH IV (SENIORS)
Students craft personal statements for college; craft research questions and then produce persuasive papers and presentations in response; and write multiple literary critiques and rhetorical analyses of texts.
Students read texts including A Streetcar Named Desire; In Cold Blood; City of Thieves; Metamorphosis; "Ain't I a Woman"; "This is Water" (Foster Wallace); "A Worn Path" (Welty); and "Black Men In Public Spaces" (Staples).