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Course Offerings


E1 and 2 - Freshman Year

As do all English courses, E1 and E2 include study and activities in composition, literature, language and speech.  This course is a double period reading and writing workshop. The literary icons studied in the 9th grade are Oedipus Rex and Romeo and Juliet. The focus is aligned with the New York State and the New York City English Language Arts Standards of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.  Emphasis is placed on vocabulary enrichment and reading comprehension.



E3 and E4 - Sophomore Year

E3 and E4 include study and activities in composition, literature, language, and speech. Some essential thematic questions explored are: How does humankind impact society, and how does society shape us? How can we explore ideals about society and concepts of dystopia? How do we see archetypes within literature? Texts may include works by Shakespeare, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and various short stories from renowned American authors. Culminating tasks are: text analysis response and argumentative writing.


Thematic Questions: How does humankind impact society, and how does society shape us? How can we explore ideals about society and concepts of dystopia? How do we see archetypes within literature?


Anchor Texts: works by Shakespeare, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and various short stories from renowned American authors.



Assessments: text analysis response and argumentative writing.


E5 and 6 - Junior Year 

This course is specifically designed to prepare students for the Regents examination in January.  The emphasis in grade 11 is to ensure that students are proficient in skills required to meet New York State’s learning standards for English Language Arts.  The literary focus of this course is on American Literature. As do all English courses, English 5 and English 6 include studies and activities in composition, literature, language, and speech.  The literary icons for the 11th grade are A Raisin in the Sun and Death of a Salesman.  



E7 and 8 - Senior Year


E7 - is the first term of Senior year and the emphasis on writing the College Essay/ Personal Essay is paramount. The writing and revision process allows the student to consider their personal direction after High School and weave their individual histories into their writing.  Literary texts used will model the fundamental aspects of persuasive narration so that students might maximize their appeal to post secondary institutions. 


Thematic Questions: What profound incidents / situations have I faced that has in some way  shaped me as an individual? Where do I want to see myself in the future? How can I get there?

Anchor Texts: May include various Personal Narratives, Malcolm X, “Yellow Woman” 


Assessments: Completion of the Personal Essay

E8 - is the second term of Senior year. Offers students opportunities to study literature that shows individual choices as a reaction to societal norms.  Themes of self awareness within social decay and philosophical revolution to stimulate cultural progress will be discussed, debated and researched.  These post secondary complexities of an individual’s relationship to their larger society will be viewed through the less of literature and film so as to provide students with multiple entry points of thematic access.


Advanced Placement (AP) English —This course is a college-level course focusing upon English, American and World Literature.  Placement in this course is by teacher recommendation and an average of at least 90 in English 6.  Students in this class take the AP English Literature and Composition exam in May.  A grade of 3 or better on this exam may be used toward fulfilling the English requirement in most colleges and universities.



Film as Literature:

Students will learn to “read” film by analyzing its narrative structure, literary elements, genre conventions, technical and artistic factors, and purpose. The emphasis will be on the various language/sign systems and the spectrum of techniques, both visual and literary, used by filmmakers to communicate a message. In addition, students will examine how film has become a primary medium for reflecting on and conveying the history and conditions of society, as well as sometimes shaping its very attitudes and values. At the end of the course, students should be able to recognize the role editing, cinematography, art direction, and sound play in a well-crafted film as it relates to literary genres.


Genres studied are:

  • MYTHOLOGY GENRE – How does mythology reflect the culture of the people and offer a rational explanation of natural and scientific phenomena?

  • FAIRY TALE GENRE– How do fairy tales evoke a sense of wonder and enchantment while exhibiting a struggle between good and evil and offering a moral lesson?

  • HORROR GENRE – How do horror films speak to the basic human condition by pushing the limits of societal conventions to shock and scare the audience?

  • SCIENCE FICTION GENRE – How do science fiction movies address the impact of science and technology on people and the future of humanity?

  • UTOPIA and DYSTOPIA GENRE – How do we explore the social and political structures and the impact on humanity in Utopian and Dystopian societies?

  • DETECTIVE GENRE – How do Detective films challenge an audience to solve the crime by the clues provided before the detective reveals the answer at the end of the film?

  • CRIME GENRE – How does the crime film genre function as a platform to voice concerns over attaining the American Dream?

  • HISTORICAL FICTION – Can historical fiction films teach us about history without compromising truth or accuracy?

  • SUSPENSE / THRILLER – How do suspense and thriller movies create and maintain an emotional bond with the viewer, by manipulating and exploiting their emotions, and creating and maintaining suspense?

  • FANTASY – What role do fantasy films play in today’s society?

  • WESTERNS – How does the importance of law and order in an untamed American frontier create the concept of the archetypal American hero?

  • SATIRE - How does satire affect our perceptions of the subjects it ridicules?

Theatre Arts:

Students will explore and demonstrate acting techniques including Stanislavsky Method, as well as staging, speech, body movement, and the history and traits of theatre disciplines from around the world. Class activities include improvisation, mime, monologue, scene study and performance collaboration, action choreography, play-writing, and directing. If time and resources permit, students may work together on an end-of-the-year culminating project. Students must be recommended or accepted into the class by a teacher, but no audition is required.


Multicultural Perspectives in Literature:


This advanced level English elective course gives students exposure to an array of culturally-focused representative works, both in written and film form. Students have the unique opportunity to expand their worldview by stepping outside of their own cultural frame of reference in order to gain essential understandings of those cultures of which they might lack familiarity, as well as reflect on cultures that a student might identify with within the context of a larger society. Students are challenged through structured class discussion with attention to inquiry regarding the cultures studied, and must engage in written reflection activities, as well as extended writing tasks, in order to better deconstruct their ideas, and further advance their own unique experience within the context of our dynamic, pluralistic world. 


Example Texts include: Roots, Sold, Iqbal, The Kite Runner, Persepolis, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents