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English

Course Titles and DescriptionsEnglish 12 Electives

The Shaker English Department offers students multiple pathways for fulfilling New York State’ s required four years of coursework in English Language Arts. Students in grades 9-11 may take Common Core aligned courses at the basic, regents, or honors level. Juniors who qualify may enroll in Advanced Language and Composition. Seniors may select two semester long courses from a varied array of elective courses, or may choose to enroll in a University in the High School English course, a Syracuse University Project Advance course, or an Advanced Placement offering. All students are required to pass the Common Core English Regents, a skills-based exam offered during junior year.

Course Titles and Descriptions

011 English 9H (P)012 English 9R014 English 9R Basic (P)021 English 10H (P)022 English 10R (P)024 English 10R Basic (P)055 AP Language and Composition (P)031 English 11H (P)032 English 11R (P)034 English 11R Basic (P)941R/941A English AIS Lab 

011 English 9H (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: Recommendation of the 8th grade English teacher and acceptable performance on the ELA placement test. Performance on NYS Grade 8 ELA Assessment will also be reviewed. 

This course further develops the skills taught in English 8E by providing students with a comprehensive experience in close reading informational and literary texts, writing from sources, and building academic vocabulary. Success in this course requires that the student read and write at an advanced level, and have the ability to complete long-term assignments. As the year progresses, the scaffold of text complexity will challenge students, bringing them to a new interpretive and analytical ability level.

012 English 9R

Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is designed to teach skills in reading comprehension, interpretation of literature, composition, grammar, usage, mechanics of language, and vocabulary. The curriculum includes analysis of classical and contemporary literature. In addition to full-length novels and dramatic works, students will study poetry, short stories, and essays. Vocabulary development is achieved through the study of literature-based words with a focus on academic vocabulary. Reading instruction emphasizes close reading of texts to form evidence-based analyses. Writing instruction includes an emphasis on using evidence from a variety of sources to formulate an argument. Speaking and listening skills are emphasized in rigorous evidence-based conversations about texts. The final examination is departmental and focused on reading texts closely and utilizing textual evidence to support claims.

014 English 9R Basic (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: Recommendation of the 8th grade English teacher (based on results of standardized testing and class performance).

This course is for selected students who are reading significantly below grade level. The focus is on improving reading and writing skills, with a balance of informational and literary texts.  Instruction is provided in a smaller class setting, with specific attention to learning academic vocabulary, writing from sources, and preparing for the Common Core English Regents Exam (to be taken in 11th grade).

021 English 10H (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 9H with a Final School Mark of 85; English 9R with a Final School Mark of 95 teacher recommendation.

This course emphasizes a close reading of British and other world literature including fiction, drama, poetry and the essay. Students conduct independent research based on literary criticism, engage in rich and rigorous evidence-based conversations about text, and analyze and respond to literature through sophisticated writing activities in preparation for the Common Core English Regents Exam administered during junior year.

022 English 10R (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 9

This course is a survey of World Literature and emphasizes close reading of fiction, drama, poetry, and informational texts. Vocabulary and grammar are studied formally and within the context of the literature. Students conduct independent research, participate in rich and rigorous evidence-based conversations about texts, and respond to literature through various writing activities. Writing emphasizes use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument in preparation for the Common Core English Regents Exam administered during junior year. The final examination is departmental and focuses on critical reading and writing.

024 English 10R Basic (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 9

The course is a continuation of the 9th grade program. Students work to improve reading comprehension through various close reading activities and using a variety of literature. Genres studied include: short stories, plays, research, essays, novels and historical nonfiction. Students will encounter a true balance of informational and literary texts. Students will also engage in rich and rigorous evidence-based conversations about texts. Student writing will emphasize the use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument. Standard grammar and contextual vocabulary will be taught throughout the duration of the year. Students are given preparation for the Common Core English Regents Exam administered during junior year.

055 AP Language and Composition (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is open to students in grades 11 and 12.

Prerequisite: English 10H or 11H with a Final School Mark of 85 and teacher recommendation. English 10R or 11R with a Final School Mark of 95 and teacher recommendation.

The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their argument. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze rhetorical elements and their effects in nonfiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historic periods.  This course is open to students in grades 11 and 12.  Juniors enrolled in this class are required to take the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Exam as well as the Common Core English Regents Exam.

031 English 11H (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 10H with a Final School Mark of 85; English 10R with a Final School Mark of 95 and teacher recommendation. 

This course combines a survey of American literature with instruction in advanced writing and reading skills. Students are expected to read extensively and to undertake close readings of short stories, poems, essays, plays, and novels. Students will also regularly participate in rich and rigorous evidence-based conversations. Writing focuses on all forms of exposition by emphasizing literary analysis. Students will conduct research projects using evidence from fiction and nonfiction sources to analyze and evaluate a literary text. The final examination for this course is the Common Core English Regents Exam, which is a graduation requirement.

032 English 11R (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 10R

This course offers a comprehensive study of reading and writing skills focusing on American texts in the forms of novels, dramas, short stories, essays, and poetry. Students will be able to identify and analyze key ideas and details in a wide range of complex and challenging literary and nonfiction works. Teachers will assist students in paying close attention to author’s craft and its influence on the structure of texts. Developing and sustaining an academic vocabulary to discuss writing, the students’ study will also be reflected in their own writing. Using a variety of evidence from multiple sources, the students will also conduct a research project. The final examination for this course is the Common Core English Regents Exam, which is a graduation requirement.

034 English 11R Basic (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 10

This course builds on the foundational reading and writing skills established in ninth and tenth grade English. We will read fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, with a focus on both informational and literary texts. Students will learn to be more critical in analyzing how the author has used elements and techniques to create meaning. In class discussions, students will engage in rich and rigorous evidence-based conversations about the texts we read, and we will write in order to analyze and reflect on the ideas we generate. The final examination for this course is the Common Core English Regents Exam, which is a graduation requirement.

941R/941A English AIS Lab

No credit

Academic intervention services in English are offered through this remedial lab. Students who have failed the Common Core English Regents Exam are required to take the lab until they achieve success on the Regents exam. Students who are in danger of failing the Common Core English Regents Exam are also scheduled for this lab in order to better prepare for this test.

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English 12 Electives

044 Sports in Literature050 Nonfiction Writing041 WRT 114: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction (P)047 Science Fiction and Fantasy049 Modern Media Studies040 Creative Writing062 Film Criticism069 Public Speaking048 Journalism052 Exploring Cultures through Literature080 Understanding Human Rights in the 21st Century051 Reading Literature087 Introduction to Philosophical Problems053 AP English Literature and Composition (P)055 AP Language and Composition (P)

It is the philosophy of the English Department that the senior year provides a unique opportunity for the students to select specific English Language Arts content that interests or intrigues them. All of the electives are designed to further prepare students for college and career readiness in alignment with the Common Core reading and writing standards.

The students are grouped heterogeneously in most of the electives courses.  It is the belief of the English Department faculty that students benefit from interaction with a variety of their peers and that the range of ability levels that are represented enriches the courses.

Seniors may take one or more additional semester courses to earn elective credit or complete a five-year sequence in English.  Juniors may enroll in English electives to earn credit where class size will permit.  The selection of English electives in the junior year is not intended as a substitute for English 11 or as a substitute for the senior year English requirement.

044 Sports in Literature

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

This semester-long course uses literature, poetry, essays, journalism, and films to illuminate and refine our understanding of the impact of sports on our personal and social lives. Title IX legislation, Propositions 16 & 48, and the role sports play in defining values are the central issues studied. Weekly seminar discussions on current controversial issues in sports, based on research students complete, require student participation. Students who enroll in this course must demonstrate a serious interest in reading and must be willing to contribute regularly to weekly discussions.

050 Nonfiction Writing

First Semester – 1/2 Unit

This first-semester course provides instruction in the types of writing usually required of college freshmen such as analysis, persuasion, and research. Diction, style, and rhetoric are also stressed throughout the course. Writing activities compliment the work on longer themes. Emphasis is on process writing and sharing papers with members of the class for discussion and criticism.

041 WRT 114: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction (P)

First Semester – 1/2 Unit

Prerequisite: English 11H or a Final School Mark of 85 in English 11R and teacher recommendation.

This one-semester, college-level course provides an introduction to creative nonfiction (CNF), a genre that encompasses many kinds of prose: flash nonfiction/prose poetry, narrative/lyric essay, culture essay, to name a few. CNF writers almost always—in some way or other—focus on the tensions that emerge between individuals and the world around them. Thus, this course requires writing about oneself and others in the context of a broader culture. Students will have the freedom to explore a wide range of topics and experiment broadly with voice, style, form, the use of research, and elaborate revision. This is an intensive writing class in which students engage in writing workshops in class, including brainstorming and freewriting activities, and structured peer to peer critiques. Additionally, students are required to complete frequent readings related to craft as well as published exemplars of the genre. Fee required to receive 3 course credits through Syracuse University’s Project Advance.

047 Science Fiction and Fantasy

Full Year – 1 Unit

This full-year English course involves reading and writing centered on Science Fiction and Fantasy. This course will prepare students for college-level reading and writing while exploring themes and concepts in the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres. This course will be structured similarly to traditional college-level introductory courses in literature and composition. The course covers writing topics such as the college essay, creative writing, expository composition, and research writing. These topics are all taught within the traditional structure and support typical of Shaker’s high school level classrooms. Students with strong interests in either Fantasy or Science Fiction are highly encouraged to take this course.

049 Modern Media Studies

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

This one-semester course is a study of the modern genres of media and their impact on contemporary society. The course will foster critical thinking skills as it teaches the student how to be both a thoughtful, perceptive consumer of contemporary mass media and a critic of the media’s impact. Coursework includes participation in online class discussion, essay writing for a public audience, presentations, and critical analysis of graphic novels, social media, television and cinema, advertising, and narrative nonfiction. Students should enroll in this course with the understanding that online and in-class participation are key components.

040 Creative Writing

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

The aim of this first- or second-semester course is to assist students in writing personal narratives, short stories, drama, and (or) poetry. The craft of writing is practiced and studied. Students choosing this course should be prepared to share their own pieces for discussion and criticism frequently and to write regularly for Visions, Shaker’s award- winning literary magazine.

062 Film Criticism

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

This one-semester course is an introduction to the art of film. Significant American films are used to study the techniques of filmmaking and film genre. Students are expected to read some film criticism and react to it in class discussion and through their writing. Several short papers are required.

069 Public Speaking

Second Semester – 1/2 Unit

This second-semester course is designed to help students develop introductory-level mastery of major modes of speech and communication. Students learn to conduct themselves in one-to-one communication, during an interview, and informal group presentations. They prepare speeches taking into account topic, purpose, audience, organization, and outlining. Practical research and critical thinking skills are emphasized throughout this course. Students are required to give several speeches.

048 Journalism

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

This writing course is designed to introduce students to the terminology and writing technique employed by professional journalists. Students will study the characteristics of news, feature, and in-depth articles, as well as opinion pieces. Most student articles will be written, shared, revised, and published in The Bison.

052 Exploring Cultures through Literature

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

This first- or second-semester course is a survey of non-Western literature. Areas of emphasis will be Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. This class will also look at the United States from a multicultural perspective, examining Native American literature and the immigrant experience. The class will study various fiction, nonfiction, and cinematic works as cultural products reflective of embedded cultural values. The study of these works will also allow the class to explore issues arising from the experience of living in a multicultural nation and an increasingly global world.

080 Understanding Human Rights in the 21st Century

Either Semester – 1/2 Unit

Using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its centerpiece, students in this class will examine this document and the issues surrounding human rights from both a historic and contemporary perspective. The class will use both history and literature to gain a deeper understanding of those who have fought so bravely for the rights of those without power or a voice. Students will also examine what kinds of conditions exist in a society so that those who violate human rights are in a position to do so. Students will do an in-depth examination of a human rights defender. In the end, each student will be required to select a human rights issue of concern to him or her, and develop an advocacy project to support and problem solve for those suffering due to this issue.

051 Reading Literature

Either Semester – 1/2 unit

Prerequisite: Final school mark of 80 in English 11H or Final School Mark of 85 in English 11R.

This one-semester, college-level course provides an introduction to reading literature, with emphasis on developing critical skills and reading strategies through the study of a variety of genres, themes, historical periods, and national literatures. Students can earn three State University of New York credits upon successful completion of this course.

087 Introduction to Philosophical Problems

Either Semester – 1/2 unit

Thinking philosophically involves pursuing reasons for our most deeply held beliefs and using argument to answer our most fundamental questions about ourselves and the world around us. This course will introduce students to philosophical thinking and philosophical thought through investigation of philosophical method and the classic problems of philosophy. These problems include: What is the nature of knowledge? What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Are we free? What are our moral obligations? What does it mean to live a meaningful life? As we pursue these questions, we will come to understand what it means to think, read, and write carefully, openly, and honestly about our lives. Students can earn three State University of New York credits upon successful completion of the course.

053 AP English Literature and Composition (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

Prerequisite: English 11H or AP Language with a Final School Mark of 85 and teacher recommendation.

Enrollment in this full-year course is restricted to students who have demonstrated extraordinary ability and achievement in their high school English courses. Extensive reading, intensive study of literary works, and concentration on critical and analytical writing skills should prepare the serious English student for the Advanced Placement Examination. The Advanced Placement Examination is required of all students taking this course. Students who do not take the exam will not receive AP course credit. A fee is charged by the College Board and must be paid or the student may be removed from the course.

055 AP Language and Composition (P)

Full Year – 1 Unit

This course is open to students in grades 11 and 12.

Prerequisite: English 10H or 11H with a Final School Mark of 85 and teacher recommendation. English 10R or 11R with a Final School Mark of 95 and teacher recommendation.

The AP English Language and Composition course aligns to an introductory college-level rhetoric and writing curriculum, which requires students to develop evidence-based analytic and argumentative essays that proceed through several stages or drafts. Students evaluate, synthesize, and cite research to support their argument. Throughout the course, students develop a personal style by making appropriate grammatical choices. Additionally, students read and analyze rhetorical elements and their effects in nonfiction texts, including graphic images as forms of text, from many disciplines and historic periods.  This course is open to students in grades 11 and 12.  Juniors enrolled in this class are required to take the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Exam as well as the Common Core English Regents Exam.

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