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English AP


Course Outline


English 9 Honors:

Course Description:

English 9 Honors is a one term course with a focus on various genres of literature with a central theme of "The Individual and Society." Students will be reading and studying novels, expository texts, short stories, autobiographies, drama, and poetry. Honor students will be expected to possess independent critical thinking skills and to function at a faster pace, as more works of literature will be covered. Students will be challenged and given the opportunity for continued growth in their practical language skills through meaningful class discussions, journal prompts, essay writing, creative projects, oral presentations, and theater arts. Students will continue to use and practice grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary skills. With an understanding of the fundamentals of literary analysis, students will be able to construct a multi-paragraph essay as well as experiment with other essay forms and modes. The writing focus is designed to prepare students for the SAT, CAHSEE, and college level writing requirements. Students will develop critical thinking skills based on teacher modeling and will apply them to assignments independently and in cooperative, learning groups.

NOTE: Homework frequently includes reading and often writing. Homework lengths will differ according to the student's reading level and writing proficiency.

Necessary skills:

Upon entering the course, students should possess the following skills:

• Thorough comprehension & critical analysis of grade-level text

• Critiquing non-fiction & expository text

 • Writing critical analysis essays

• Develop main ideas with supporting concrete evidence

• Construct a thesis that presents an educated argument and connects thematic ideas

• Use parallelism to present items in a series

• Logically support perspectives & judgments with convincing evidence

• Deliver well-planned presentations with sophisticated use of varied sentence types

• Consistent use of parallelism to present items in a series

• Consistent use of subordination, coordination, apposition to indicate relationship between ideas

• Consistent use of standard punctuation, spelling, and capitalization

Description of a 9th Grade Honors Student:

• Curricular area is his/her gift or passion – strong, experienced, avid reader

• Interests lie in careers related to curricular area

• Exceptional work ethic, self-motivated

• Masters concepts quickly; requires fast-paced, rigorous curriculum Loves the challenges of complex, critical-thinking problems; can solve them without assistance and can often take them to a higher level without being asked; thrives on “non-routine” problems

• Is inquiry-driven in particular curricular area; asks “Why?” and “What if…?”; wants to know or figure out the theory behind the concept

• Divergent thinker may come up with own problem-solving methods in subject area

• Seeks competitive classroom environment as a medium for critical reading, intensive writing, and thought-provoking discussion of literature

• Keeps a well-organized notebook, takes detailed notes, and works well in cooperative learning groups


Performance Objectives:

Students will be able to demonstrate mastery in the following areas:

  • Comprehension & analysis of grade-level text (fiction and non-fiction material)

  • Creating clear and coherent writing (clearly stated thesis, presentation of argument, develop of main ideas with appropriate evidence, synthetic conclusion)

  • Evaluating the credibility of an author's argument

  • Blending quotations & textual evidence within their work

  • Timed Writing of On-Demand essays

  • Creating multi-media presentations, using a wide variety of technology


Workload Expectations for a 9th Grade Honors English Student:

(NOTE: Individual work depends on the length and involvement of the assignment, project, essay, group project, etc.)

• 4-6 major literary works (i.e. novels, autobiographies) or units (i.e. poetry, short stories)—being assigned 30-50 pages of reading for each class period (note: when work is being studied/so not every night.)

• 2-4 pages of written response to the literary works/units

• 2 or more multi-draft essays -- research, process pieces, and in-class / take home drafts; timed writings or in-class writings (including essay tests and practice for the SAT/CAHSEE); projects (group or individual) • 4-8 timed writings (including essay tests)

• 1-2 projects (group or individual)


Works Typically Read:

  • Anthology (short stories / poetry)

  • Lord of the Flies

  • Black Boy

  • Of Mice and Men

  • Romeo and Juliet

  • The Odyssey (full text)

  • Antigone

  • A Tale of Two Cities


Sample Essay Prompt:

The Odyssey: Odysseus is frequently described in the epic poem as “the man who is never at a loss.” Discuss how his ability to think his way through adversity is symbolic of man’s intellectual dominance. Concentrate on how his life can be seen as a symbolic representation of mankind’s urge to know, understand, and rule the universe.


English 10 Honors:

Course Description:

The English 10 Honors course includes engaging and interactive instruction about reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and language, with a focus on exploring a wide variety of genres and their elements. Students learn how to carefully read, interpret, and analyze literature and nonfiction works of cultural or historical significance appropriate to Grade 10. Throughout the course, students practice narrative, informative, and argument writing. Students also develop and deliver presentations and participate in discussions with their peers.

This course includes all the topics in Summit English 10, as well as an independent honors project in each semester.


Prerequisite:  Literary Analysis and Composition I (or equivalent)

Course Outline:


  • Unit 1: Narrative Techniques and Structure

  • Unit 2: Theme and Characters

  • Unit 3: How Important Ideas Are Expressed

  • Unit 4: Medium and Message

  • Unit 5: The Power of Language

  • Unit 6: Night

  • Unit 7: Honors Project: Literary Analysis Essay



  • Unit 1: Literature with a Purpose

  • Unit 2: Symbols and Imagery

  • Unit 3: Cry, the Beloved Country

  • Unit 4: Macbeth

  • Unit 5: Informational Works

  • Unit 6: Writers on Writing

  • Unit 7: Honors Project: Read Frankenstein


English 11 Honors:

Welcome to English 11 Honors! Eleventh grade English is designed to study various genres of literature, primarily related to the American Experience. The English 11 course will focus upon literature from distinct cultural entities within American literature, written by diverse authors. The course is multifaceted, focusing upon literary analysis and mastery, vocabulary expansion, research and technology implementation, and significant writing and speaking development and improvement, through cooperative and individualistic aspects and efforts. The 11th grade curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards. Students will further develop a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of literature as they examine American and world literature of various genres. In addition, they have the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary studies by studying history, culture, and art alongside the literature their reading. Students will focus on writing argumentative, analytical, and expository essays in addition to various creative assignments. Students will also learn important research skills as they write literary and informative research reports.

Pre and Post Assessments, as well as quarterly benchmarks, will be used to measure growth and serve as a reflection of students' understanding of the writing process.

Each unit within the curriculum will be supported through the identification of contextual vocabulary and the use of essential questions and common core target skills along with benchmark writing assignments.

Course Overview:


In this year-long course, students study American and world literature, including fiction, nonfiction (including informational texts) drama, and poetry from the 17th century to the present. Students will gain a rich understanding of developments and themes which enhance their understanding of American history and culture. They will improve their critical thinking skills as they further develop reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills as well as strong inquiry strategies. By writing an extended research paper, students will focus on writing as a process that requires drafting, revision, and editing. Finally, students in this course will prepare extensively for the Common Core English exam.


Units Of Study:



The following materials will be used at my discretion to achieve the previously stated objectives:

  • The American Experience:  Prentice Hall Anthology as well as stories from the Collections anthology

  • The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien (summer reading)

  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

  • The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel

  • The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

  • 19 Minutes by Jodie Picoult (independent reading)

  • Poetry

  • Short Stories

  • Nonfiction informational text (editorials, essays, articles, speeches)


Writing Units:

a. Argumentative essay on a contemporary, debatable issue

b. Literary Analysis writing

c. Literary and/or informative research report following MLA guidelines

d. Creative Writing

e. Expository/Informative writing


Other Units:

a. Grammar and conventions

b. Vocabulary in context

c. Speeches and Presentations


English 12 Honors:

Course Description:


The Honors English curriculum is designed for students who are planning to take their education beyond high school and wanting to gain added college preparation in English. Many of the course materials that will be used will challenge students’ ability to read, analyze, interpret, and evaluate information. In addition, students will have higher expectations placed upon them regarding composition, creativity, and an ability to work effectively, not only independently, but also collaboratively with other members of the class in the completion of group tasks.

Students in the Honors courses have demonstrated their ability to write and read with proficiency; therefore, in order to advance the curriculum, a limited amount of time will be devoted to reviewing grammatical concepts of parts of speech, sentence parts, punctuation, and capitalization. Students needing remediation in these areas will receive instruction on an “as needed” basis.

The Honors English curriculum will have both a literary and composition focus. Students will be expected to read selected novels and complete assignments in the summer prior to their senior year of high school. During the school year, students will receive advanced instruction in writing and literature. As with all senior English classes, more attention will be paid to British literature although a variety of literature will be used in the class.

The major project completed during all students’ senior year is the Culminating Educational Experience (C.E.E.) or, The Senior Project. As a part of the research for the Senior Project, students will continue to develop their skills in writing literature reviews for their topic research.

Finally, students will receive some instruction on standardized test-taking such as the SAT. Vocabulary will be a part of this instruction, as will sentence construction. Students will also work on standardized sample testing as it relates to the English curriculum.

Course Materials:


Novel Options currently available:

  • Cry the Beloved Country

  • The Complete Plays of Sophocles

  • The Canterbury Tales

  • Mythology

  • The Iliad

  • The Aeneid

  • The Oresteia

  • The Prince

  • Eaters of the Dead

  • Beowulf



  • Othello

  • King Lear

  • Macbeth

  • Shakespearean Sonnets


Short Stories:

  • Stories from online sources

  • Stories from Teacher Literature Resources


Multicultural Literature:

  • Us and Them

  • Holt/Rinehart/Winston: African American Literature


Literature Resource Materials:

  • Prentice Hall: Literature: World Masterpieces

  • Ginn: English Literature

  • Prentice Hall: Literature: The British Tradition

  • Noble and Noble: Insight: English Literature

  • Holt/Rinehart/Winston: Elements of Literature

  • Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Adventures in English Literature

  • Norton Anthology of English Literature

  • Themes in Literature

  • Literature and the Language Arts

  • Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing

  • Western Literature


Curriculum summary Outline

Following is a brief outline of the various parts of the Senior Honors English curriculum.


I.                    Paragraph Structure Review

A.     Topic Sentences

B.     Supporting Detail

C.     Closing or Transition Sentences

D.     Paragraph Outlining (Prewriting)


II.                 Composition Process (multiple paragraph)

A.     Topic, Mode, Form, Audience

B.     Planning for the Whole Paper

C.     Pre-writing (may include outlining, charting, graphing, etc.)

D.     Intro Paragraph

1.      General to Specific Organization

2.      Three Prong Thesis Sentence

E.      Body Paragraphs

1.      Order of Importance for Paragraph Arrangement

2.      Smooth Transitions from Paragraph to Paragraph

3.      Focus on Building Emphasis

F.      Closing Paragraph

1.      Reconnection to Thesis

2.      Types of Paper Endings

G.     Revision (Change) Process

H.     Editing (Polishing) Process

I.        Writing Sample (focus on organization, mechanics, fluency, unity and coherence, voice, etc.)


III.               Writing Modes:

A.     Exposition

B.     Narration

C.     Description

D.     Cause and Effect

E.      Compare/Contrast

F.      Persuasion

G.     Problem/Solution

H.     Research Writing


IV.              Grammar and Composition:

Senior Honors English students are expected to know and understand the

elements of grammar and mechanics as they apply to their writing; therefore, a brief, but ongoing review of these concepts will be applied throughout the year.  In addition, students will continue to improve their writing skills through continual planning, practice, and publishing throughout the year.


Brief Grammar Reviews:

A.     Parts of Speech

B.     Phrase and Clause Structure

C.     Sentence Parts/Structure

D.     Punctuation

E.      Capitalization

F.      Usage




V.                 Novels and Readings:

A minimum of three classroom novels will be read during the year (see list above).  These readings will begin during the summer prior to students’ senior year of high school, and they will take place throughout each semester.  Assignments, discussions, literary analysis, and testing for each novel read will be a part of the overall student assessment.  In addition, students will choose novels to read on their own, and assignments will include respective individual or collaborative work.  Several shorter readings will also be completed along with greater exposure to various types and styles of writing such as poetry, journalism, great writers, and speakers, etc.  Students will continue to receive instruction in the elements of literature and figurative language as well.


VI.              Communication:

Communication will primarily involve presentations on various readings or topics as both informal and formal presentation skills.  Discussions may include current events, literature, interviewing skills, communication in the workplace, etc.  Listening skills will also be incorporated and evaluated throughout the course.


VII.             Journal Writing:

Journal writing, primarily related to the literature being read for class, will be consistently used by students in the areas of comprehension, analysis, and synthesis.


VIII.         Collaborative Work:

As both an expectation in working independently as well as collaboratively, students are placed into groups where they will complete a variety of collaborative assignments.  Students are still graded independently; however, the collaboration process and students’ ability to work together effectively in teams is an important goal of the honors class.  Learning to garner information, not only from what students read or from the teacher, but also from interaction with one another is a critical skill for individual success after graduation, regardless of the educational or career path a student takes.


IX.              Poetry:

The Poetry unit for seniors will focus on poets in the British tradition and will introduce students to a variety of poetry styles.  Students will be given continued instruction on poetry terminology and figurative language elements that are used not only in poetry, but also in all modes and types of writing.


X.                 Employability Skills:

Employability skills will make up 10 percent of the total grade of each grading period.  Employability skills will be applied exactly as shown in the Liberty High School Student Handbook.

AP Literature and Composition:

Course Description:

AP English Literature and Composition is a rigorous course that includes intensive writing, study of a variety of literary genres and works, and careful and deliberate reading for multiple levels of meaning. We will be examining forms of literature from poetry and short stories to drama and novels of greater length. Many of the works in the class will fall under the World Literature category in compliance with the district standards for senior English. The expectation of this course is that the students will dig deeper, look closer, and ask questions as they read and examine literature. While we learn how to be precise readers, we will also learn to be concise and illuminating writers.

The AP Course and Exam:

All students taking AP Literature and Composition should be willing to take on the challenge of a rigorous course and need to be prepared for intensive study. However, we will not limit any student who has the desire to take AP Literature from taking this course. Each member of the class is expected to take the cumulative AP Literature Exam in May. Highly competitive colleges and universities look for AP scores and will expect that a student who takes an AP course has also taken the AP test that concurs with that course. A passing score on the AP exam is a 3. All students, whether they take the test or not, will be prepared to take the exam after taking the course.

The AP exam consists of 2 parts: Multiple choice and Essays.

  • 45% of the test is multiple choice. The passages consist of both prose and poetry and test on elements such as point of view, character, symbolism, style, diction, syntax, tone, theme, figurative language, and irony. The number of questions generally ranges between 52 and 60. 60 minutes are allotted for this section.

  • 55% of the test is essay. There are three analytical essay prompts given. One will most likely consist of a comparison and contrast, one will be a response to a passage, and a third is an open-ended question. The open-ended question can be answered using evidence from any number of works of literary merit. It is this question that demands AP Literature students read several novels, plays, short stories, and poems. 120 minutes are allotted for this section.



  • Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

  • Toni Morrison, Beloved

  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

  • Richard Wright, Native Son

  • Alice Walker, The Color Purple

School year:

  • Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis

  • Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

  • Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales

  • Albert Camus, The Stranger 3

  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

  • Dante, The Inferno

  • Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

  • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

  • William Shakespeare, Hamlet/ Macbeth

CLASS TEXT: (provided)

  • The Norton Introduction to Literature

  • Poetry-as selected from Norton and various electronic sources

  • Short stories- as selected from Norton and various electronic sources

  • Critical essays and literary criticism- as selected from various sources such as the Cambridge Companion to Dante and the Bedford Companion to Shakespeare.

Course Outline of Assignments (Scope and Sequence):

With every novel we study, you will be expected to complete writing assignments that will analyze the novels in one of three ways: for style (syntax, diction, mechanics, figurative language), for meaning, and for the social and historical aspects the work embodies. We will look at literature through a variety of literary lenses, or theories. We will also extensively review rhetorical and literary devices that we will encounter in literature. Some of these writing assignments will be informal as a part of your reading journal, and some will be formal, extensive papers. Along with literary analysis, there are also opportunities built in for creative writing and functional writing to prepare you for college.

Writing Assignments:

All formal written assignments NOT completed in class must be submitted to to receive credit. Information about the class ID and password will be given out prior to the first written assignment’s due date. The following is subject to change at the instructor’s discretion.

Quarter 1:

  • Your first major writing assignment is a personal essay you will be creating to assist with your college application preparation.

  • Your second major writing assignment is a timed response paper on your summer reading novel of choice. You will be analyzing these novels for examples of figurative language, diction, and syntax, and how the author’s use of the language contributes to themes of the novels, namely the creation of voice and character.

  • You will be writing an in-class timed prose essay using past AP Literature Exam prompts.

Major Reading Assignments:

  • Unit 1: Finding Voice, Weeks 1-5

  1. Multicultural summer reading novels, poetry, and short stories and essays. We will analyze the relationships in the novels, the clash of cultures, the figurative language and styles the summer reading authors use for each of their narrators, and the symbolism that infiltrates the novels.

  2. Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis. This novella will serve as an introductory piece to study literary theory, AP-level close reading of passage, literary analysis in writing through practice, and incorporating the themes of the quarter.

  • Unit 2: When identity is challenged, weeks 6-10

  1. Herman Hesse, Siddhartha. This novella will examine similar themes and issues as Kingsolver’s Poisonwood, and Ellison’s Invisible so we study them concurrently. We will look personal identity as a struggle for individuals throughout history and literature. The novels are from different cultures, yet all have similar conflicts and consequences. This novel also encompasses the essential question.

  2. Alternate/additional text: Albert Camus, The Stranger. This piece works with the existentialist philosophy of Metamorphosis. Each of these novels is short and clearly written for ease of reading. The ideology within is what makes them complicated and complex texts.


Quarter 2:

  • The major writing assignment for the quarter is a poetry evaluation essay. You will be choosing a poem that we have studied or one that you find to be interesting, warranting literary merit. You will examine the poem for various elements of poetic style, from rhyme scheme and rhythm to metaphor and personification, for example. You must focus your essay around a precise thesis but will want to showcase your knowledge of poetry by including numerous examples of poetic elements in your essay. Elements such as imagery, symbolism, and tone should be taken into consideration while writing this paper

  • You will have 3 in-class timed essays using past AP Literature Exam prompts.

  • The informal responses for this quarter are to be included in your reading journal and will respond to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. There are 3 journals with multiple reflections in each. Your journal reflections will either look for textual details that support a given theme or tone, an explanation of annotated quotations, or a free response to a topic or issue that arises from the text.

  • You will be writing a creative piece replicating the style and structure of Dante’s Inferno in response to reading this text. You will use the elements of poetry, such as imagery and allusion, that Dante incorporates, as well as put a creative and modern spin on the content of his classic novel. A satirical approach is acceptable.

Major Reading Assignments:

  • Unit 3: The search for identity through the journey; the battle between good and evil, weeks 1-4

  1. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness. This novel is challenging and dense, but full of rich imagery and symbolism. It deals with a personal journey that results in a moral journey. While reading, we will incorporate discussion of the cultural significance of imperialism and how it still reverberates today. We will look at structure, theme, and narration as well.

  2. Dante, The Inferno from The Divine Comedy, weeks 5-9. We will examine the elements of satire and compare the work with modern forms of satire. Dante’s Divine Comedy is a highlight of the semester, allowing the class to travel into the pits of the Inferno. (A euphemism, of course, yet not a metaphor for your senior year second semester.) The class will examine the rhyme scheme of terza rima and the various uses of figurative language found throughout the text. We will use these examples to analyze Dante’s style and tone, as well as his theme. This is the beginning of satire.

Quarter 3:

  • Your major writing assignment is a researched literary analysis on your outside reading novels. This analysis requires that you develop a thesis, find evidence within the text to support your thesis, and then research literary criticisms to find secondary source evidence to support your thesis. Therefore, you will learn to structure an argument in your essay with supporting evidence from reliable sources that either refute or support your own ideas.

  • Along with the two major writing assignments, you will have 4 in-class timed essays using past AP Literature Exam prompts.

  • The informal responses for this quarter are to be included in your reading journal and will respond to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. There are five reflections included in this assignment. The reflections will be brought into Socratic Seminars held in class where everyone will be expected to participate and share their answers. Coming to class prepared is essential.

Major Reading Assignments:

  • Unit 4: Satire, weeks 1-6

  1. Various modern satirical works, by authors such as Tom Stoppard and Ray Bradbury, as well as popular sources such as television and The Onion (online). We will compare and contrast the themes and styles as well as the various literary techniques used in the genre.

  2. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. We will once again examine the satirical elements of irony, sarcasm, and understatement but will go further into our examination and exploration of the themes and topics found in modern satire. We will learn about the Eugenics movement and how it gave birth to racism and even genocide. We will discuss modern technology as seen through the novel Brave New World and discuss various themes that go along with the ever changing and improving science of genetics.

  3. Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, weeks 7-9. We will study the social impact of satirical portraits of the society. We will look a Juvenalian and Horatian satirical elements and compare the satire of Earnest to the satire of Canterbury and Brave New World.

  4. Along with this study, each student will be working on their individual research paper, which includes reading a variety of literary criticism on each individual’s author and novels. This is the outside reading requirement for second and third quarters.

Quarter 4:

  • Your first major writing assignment of the quarter is a Hamlet analysis, which will be structured as a comparison or contrast between two themes within Hamlet, between Hamlet and another work by William Shakespeare, or between Hamlet and a modern literary work containing similar or contrasting themes, characters, plots, or settings.

  • Along with the major writing assignments, you will be writing 5 in-class timed essays to prepare for the AP exam. These will be sample open-ended prompts from previous AP Literature Exams and will aid you in reviewing novels you will be prepared to write about on the actual AP Literature Exam.

  • Your informal responses will continue this quarter and will focus on AP Prompt dissection as well as a Hamlet reading journal with personal responses and free write responses to thought prompts.

  • Quarter 4 also includes your major senior project presentation for class and for the community if you choose to participate in our senior showcase. This is a multimedia presentation incorporating reflection on your senior project, background information on your topic and inspiration, and a connection to your future. As you leave high school, we want you to realize the impact you have made, but also the impact we have made on you.

Major Reading Assignments:

  • Unit 5: Drama and tragedy in English Literature, weeks 1-7

  1. William Shakespeare, Hamlet. Hamlet encompasses many different aspects of modern literature, from the concept of a tragedy to the language used today. We will look closely at Hamlet and will study the figurative language used in the play as well as the structure of iambic pentameter. Being that Shakespeare is the founder of the modern use of the language, we will examine the cultural and historical values of the work as well as its impact on us today. We will answer questions about human emotion, motivation, and power as well look at how we see these themes in our world today.

  2. Various Renaissance poems by William Shakespeare, Ben Johnson, and Christopher Marlowe. The sonnet form and function. Modern drama to accompany Hamlet from the Norton Introduction to Literature.

  3. Alternate Text: Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire An example of modern drama exploring the issues of gender and identity roles; and the conflicts that stem from relationships and hardships.

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