High SCHOOL HUMANITIES
English I: Inner Space
Students learn to take notes as they read, looking for evidence that supports their own personal interpretations of a text. Later in class, students will explore the many possible interpretations of the same text, learning, as they hear other points of view, to expand upon, support, or even change their ideas of textual meaning.
By writing summaries of their ideas, and learning to organize their arguments into longer, cohesive essays as the year progresses, students gain a gradual knowledge of clear, focused, essay-writing skills.
Readings in this class spur explorations of hidden motivations and the function of secret worlds, as adolescents navigate the way to becoming young adults. Novels include: The Outsiders, The Alchemist or The Awakening, and Fahrenheit 451 or Wuthering Heights. Short Stories are taken from two anthologies: Perrine’s Story and Structure, and Wayside Publishing’s Little Worlds.
English I students also write a research paper on a topic of personal significance to their lives. By learning how to sort information and select valid sources, both from print media and from the internet, students begin to understand the significance of honest, thorough research. Students also learn interview techniques to use as they pursue their search for information from primary and expert sources.
Along with analytical essay-writing in English I, students begin to explore writing fiction. By working on fiction pieces and on poetry, students discover that their developing skills of organization, logic, and grammatical usage are as essential to creative writing as they are to literature analysis.
In addition to SAT-prep vocabulary, English I students will spend significant time on grammar skills, including identifying grammatical errors in writing, and diagramming sentences.
English I is a full-year course. Students meet two days per week for 90 minutes each day.
We believe that a slow, integrated, steady development of AP (college-level) skills is best begun in middle school, when academic habits are still forming.