The Lovett School Upper School English Curriculum
The Lovett School Vision for Learning Lovett offers experiences that inspire our students to love learning. We encourage them to think critically, communicate effectively, engage creatively, and collaborate purposefully. We provide the opportunities and resources that help our students develop independence and self-direction and extend their learning beyond the walls of the classroom as they grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, aesthetically, morally, and spiritually.
Department-Wide Practices Writing Requirements: Students will write at least ten essays during the school year. (Grade 11 students will write eight essays and an interdisciplinary research paper.) Below are the minimum requirements for all grades: ● Four analytical, thesis-based papers ● One in-class paper per semester (handwritten) ● At least two papers per semester should follow the complete writing process: rough draft, peer review, final draft, and revisions A journal notebook responding to literature and to issues discussed in class may be substituted for one essay per semester. The "rules" of organizing and writing a formal composition do not necessarily apply here. Journals, which give students extra practice in thinking and writing, are graded on content only. Hence, each entry must be a sincere, authentic, substantive response to the topic. All formal papers are to be word-processed, using MLA format. Reading: We encourage students to be critical readers. (See below for core required texts per course.) Writing Folders: Each student will have a writing folder in which s/he keeps all significant writing. Students will have the opportunity for self-evaluation, reflecting on their growth as writers and setting goals for the future. They will use one folder for grades 9 and 10 and one for grades 11 and 12. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that major papers are kept in the appropriate folders. Ninth and eleventh grade teachers will start new folders for their students to pass on to tenth and twelfth grade teachers. At the end of the senior year, students will be given both the 9/10 folder and the 11/12 folder. Vocabulary: Whether through a vocabulary workbook or through lists compiled through literature, students should work to expand their vocabularies and thus improve their reading comprehension and written expression.
Word Processing Skills: As part of the school’s Certification of Computing Skills, the English department will be responsible for teaching and reinforcing the following computer skills: ● Formatting word-processed documents such as line spacing, centering text, font, margins, etc. ● Creating a header with page number code ● Formatting an academic paper, including a bibliography using MLA format ● Running a spell-check program ● Converting files
All teachers should hold students accountable to these expectations and reinforce these skills when necessary. PSAT/SAT Preparation: 10th and 11th grade teachers are expected to help students prepare for the PSAT by providing approximately 15 minutes of PSAT practice / instruction per class, in the two weeks prior to testing in mid-October. 11th grade teachers are expected to spend a couple of days teaching students to write the SAT-type essay and have them practice at least one in the appropriate timed situation. This should occur before spring break, at the very latest. (Consult SAT practice packet compiled by the dean of academic affairs.)
101 - English 9 and 103 - English 9 Honors Course Descriptions: The ninth grade English curriculum features well-known literary masterpieces, such as Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Homer’s The Odyssey. Students will also read Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and other texts related to the theme of coming of age. While learning to think critically about the characters they meet, we also encourage students to reflect on their personal journeys. Writing assignments include a narrative about the ninth grade SING experience and other autobiographical pieces, and several thesis-based literary papers using textual support. Emphasis is placed on developing the thesis, transitions, and grammatical correctness. The ninth grade honors course is designed to afford the capable student a greater challenge, both in the literature and in writing assignments. Students read the core English 9 texts as well as more challenging texts, such as Twelfth Night and selections of satire. In addition, the students will compose their own creative satire. With correctness of expression an expectation, the students are encouraged to find ways to make their writing come alive in their essays and analyses. Essential Questions: ● How do we reflect on self and communicate ideas through coherent writing? ● How do we develop basic competencies in writing? ● How do I use the text to defend a thesis? ● How can we use the structures of language to express our ideas in varied, interesting, and intentional ways? ● How do we interpret literature on multiple levels and support those interpretations? ● What is the responsibility of the individual in the community? ● What are the qualities of a hero and what does that reveal about the community in which s/he lives? ● What are the qualities of a true leader? ● What are the qualities of a true friend? ● How does literature help us to “stand in someone else’s shoes”? ● What does literature reveal about the challenges of coming of age? ● How do we as a society deal with injustice, with unfairness, and with misfortune? Additionally, when are mercy and grace appropriate? Writing: Students in the ninth grade should develop their skills in writing the formal, cohesive thesis-based essay. Teachers will emphasize form and mechanics, guiding students to articulate their ideas clearly in writing. Of the ten required essays, the following types of writing must be included: ● SING narrative essay ● Four thesis-based essays using literary analysis with textual support ● Autobiographical essay ● Creative writing assignment
Composition Benchmarks: By the end of the year, students will: ● Utilize effective openings in their writing. ● Avoid plot summary. ● Present a debatable thesis. ● Create effective topic sentences. ● Provide details and examples within paragraphs. ● Include effective transitions, both internally and between paragraphs. ● Provide parenthetical documentation of a primary source. ● Utilize correct punctuation of incorporated quotations, including block quotations. ● Use present tense when discussing literature. Grammar Benchmarks: By the end of the year, students will: ● Recognize parts of speech, conjunctive adverbs, subordinating conjunctions, and coordinating conjunctions, and utilize them correctly in their writing. ● Recognize and know how to correct fragments, run-ons, and comma splices in their writing. ● Identify types of sentences (simple, compound, complex, compound/complex) as well as how to vary them in their writing. ● Receive introduction to the various types of clauses and phrases. ● Maintain agreement in subjects and verbs and pronouns and antecedents. ● Demonstrate competency in the use of quotation marks and apostrophes. ● Recognize and correct reference errors. ● Demonstrate competency in the application of comma usage rules. Research Benchmarks: All ninth grade students should receive an orientation to the library during the fall semester. Students should conduct research in the library using a variety of sources at least one time each semester. Public Speaking: One assignment per semester will require an oral component. For example, English 9 Honors students create a collaborative project on T welfth Night, involving a presentation to the class as well as an essay. English 9 students collaboratively teach chapters and/or lessons taken from a text. Summer Reading: English 9 - Outcasts United English 9 Honors - English 9 book AND The Book Thief Reading List: Students will read selected texts from the following list: * - Required in all classes # - Required in honors classes Vocabulary from Workshop E * (not honors)
Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots # The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian* (not honors) A Midsummer Night's Dream * (not honors) Twelfth Night # Lord of the Flies # Of Mice and Men SING reading selections Waging a Living documentary * The Odyssey * Catcher in the Rye * A River Runs Through It Gulliver’s Travels Pride and Prejudice The Forever King The Bean Trees The Chosen Bless Me, Ultima The Book Thief Great Expectations The Long Walk Ender’s Game The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Independent selections
105 - English 10 and 107 - English 10 Honors Course Descriptions: The English 10 curriculum exposes students to literature of world cultures, including such classics as Sophocles’ Oedipus and Shakespeare’s M acbeth or Othello. Students also read contemporary works including Yann Martel’s L ife of Pi and Sandra Cisneros’ T he House on Mango Street. English 10 students are given the opportunity to ask perceptive questions, analyze and synthesize ideas, and apply that knowledge in novel and varied ways. They prepare and present their ideas in a variety of written, oral, and visual formats. The ten required writing assignments vary greatly in their direction and scope, including literary analysis, personal narratives, and creative pieces. Skill in sentence variety, mastery of the fundamentals of punctuation, and use of the MLA style of documentation are emphasized. All English 10 Honors students read additional challenging texts, such as George Orwell’s 1984, Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, and Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Other modern global selections such as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Marjane Satrapi’s P ersepolis may also be included. The focus of the writing in English 10H is the development of individual voice, as well as practice in critical thinking about the literature. English 10H students learn to speak effectively by presenting their ideas in the classroom setting. They will also complete a semester-long project in the spring requiring them to find, analyze, and compare sources from a variety of genres. Essential Questions: ● What are the particulars and the commonalities of literature of different cultures? ● What does the world look like from the eyes of someone from another culture? ● How do we use writing to communicate our own views on text and life? ● How can we use the structures of language to express our ideas in varied, interesting, and intentional ways? ● How do we respond personally and analytically during the process of reading? ● How does our need for survival inform our values and choices? ● How does one maintain one’s individuality in the face of pressures to conform? ● How does literature inform our understanding of truth and beauty? ● How do we look inwardly and externally to use writing to communicate understanding and meaning? ● What perspective do we gain by reading literary works from around the world? Writing: The tenth-grade writing program reinforces the skills taught in the ninth grade and helps students to broaden their approach. Of the ten required essays, the following must be included: ● Essay analyzing poetry ● Formal essay that responds to literary criticism ● Narrative, autobiographical, or reflective essay ● Creative writing assignment
Thesis-based essays using literary analysis with textual support
Beyond these essays, students will also work collaboratively on projects and assignments and supplement the required texts with independent reading choices. Composition Benchmarks: Building on the composition benchmarks from 9th grade, students will (by the end of the year): ● Demonstrate effective parenthetical documentation of a secondary source. ● Employ sentence variety. ● Utilize effective sentence beginnings. ● Incorporate quotations in a fluid manner. ● Include effective transitions, both internally and between paragraphs. Grammar Benchmarks: Building on the grammar benchmarks from 9th grade, students will (by the end of the year): ● Demonstrate consistency of tense, mood, voice, tone, style, and perspective. ● Demonstrate competency in use of the following punctuation marks: colon, dash, and ellipsis. ● Incorporate the use of a variety of clauses (adjective, adverbial, noun) into their writing. ● Incorporate the use of a variety of verbals (participles, gerunds, infinitives) into their writing. ● Demonstrate the understanding of parallel structure in writing. ● Recognize and correct misplaced parts and dangling modifiers. ● Recognize and correct reference errors. ● Demonstrate competency in comma usage with specific emphasis on punctuating restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses. Research Benchmarks: Tenth grade students will write a research paper in Modern Global History or AP European History. To complement the teaching of the research process, tenth grade teachers should introduce the following skills: ● Locating an article based on its format. ● Locating and using literary criticism. ● Using a computer database to locate an article in a news magazine or newspaper. Tenth grade English classes should complete a research-based assignment one time during the year. Public Speaking: One assignment per semester will require an oral component, which might include teaching a text to the class, taking part in a classroom performance, or delivering a memorized piece of literature. Summer Reading:
English 10 - A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier English 10 Honors - English 10 book AND 1984 Reading List: Students will read selected texts from the following list: * - Required in all classes # - Required in honors classes Vocabulary Workshop F * Things Fall Apart A Tale of Two Cities # The Metamorphosis # Life of Pi * (not honors) Oedipus * A Doll's House The House on Mango Street * (not honors) A River Sutra Macbeth or Othello * Jane Eyre Death of Ivan Ilych Accidental Death of an Anarchist Antigone The Good Earth A Passage to India Rashomon Pilgrim’s Progress In the Time of Butterflies The Merchant of Venice All Quiet on the Western Front Purple Hibiscus Frankenstein Persepolis Waiting for Godot Woman Warrior Independent Selections
109 - American Studies English and 135 - American Studies English Honors Course Descriptions: This course combines a traditional American literature class and U.S. history survey into an interdisciplinary examination of the American experience. While history and literature anchor the course, art, music, and other aspects of American culture will be examined. The course takes place during two class periods and is taught by two teachers, one from the history department and one from the English department. Joint assessments, including tests, projects, and exams, contribute to the interdisciplinary nature of the course. In this survey of the American story, students will have daily opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom by reflecting on the degree to which their individual experience as an American relates to our larger collective American experience. Students will evaluate how their values, beliefs, opinions, ideals, standards, and expectations reflect America’s influence. To grow as critical thinkers, students will explore information from a variety of perspectives, evaluate the merits and credibility of that information, and forge an original perspective that they have e arned through careful consideration of that information. To foster communication skills, writing and speechmaking in American Studies focuses on the fundamentals of argumentation, including how to formulate an interpretation, organize it, sustain it, and support it. To stimulate creative problem solving, the curriculum requires students to apply core information to new contexts. To foster collaboration, students participate in daily classwide discussion and regularly gather in small groups in order to forge what Benjamin Franklin calls a Junto club: a group aimed at “mutual improvement” through common intellectual inquiry. Honors American Studies combines traditional American literature and U.S. history surveys into an advanced interdisciplinary examination of the American experience. While history and literature anchor the course, we examine art, music, and other aspects of American culture as well. The course takes place during two class periods and is taught by two teachers, one from the history department and one from the English department. Honors students should expect not only heightened expectations, but also more in-depth treatments of the intersections between America’s history and its cultural productions. Essential Questions: 1. What is an American? How do we define American identity at various times in our history? 2. How do literature, art, and music reflect the historical and cultural context of the time? 3. Which beliefs, ideals, and values characterize the zeitgeist of the American people during various time periods in its history? 4. How do seven fundamental themes (American Dream, Individualism, Frontier, City Upon a Hill, Nature, Melting Pot, and the Other) evolve throughout America’s past? 5. How do today’s American beliefs, values, and ideals compare and contrast with those of America’s past? 6. How does your experience as an American connect to o ur collective story?
Assessments: * Interdisciplinary Unit Tests covering objective material from History and English and an essay requiring students to synthesize information from both classes * Fall semester comprehensive interdisciplinary exam w/ cumulative essay * Spring Semester-long Research Paper assignment (5-8 pages) * Reading and Vocabulary Quizzes * Formal Art Presentations * Year-End iMovie project in which students connect their individual American experience with the collective American experience Skill Benchmarks: *Students will analyze a variety of written, visual, and musical texts and identify the relationship between the texts and their historical period. * Students will synthesize information from a variety of sources and forge an original interpretation of that information. * Students will progress with the fundamentals of argumentative writing: developing an original interpretation and expressing it as an argument, organizing the argument, and supporting the argument with interdisciplinary evidence. * Students will progress with the elements of public speaking: projection, inflection, enunciation, eye contact, pacing, and body language. * Students will show their ability to connect their individual experiences as an American with the larger American narrative. Units: 1. Colonialism 2. Rationalism 3. Romanticism 4. Civil War and Emancipation 5. Realism 6. Modernism 7. Postmodernism Textbooks: The American Tradition in Literature, Perkins and Perkins â€‹orâ€‹ â€‹Conversations in American Literature, Aufses et al. The American Pageant (Honors only) Interdisciplinary Work: The approach to the presentation of material in the eleventh grade is interdisciplinary. Teaching pairs will plan each unit as a team and guide students to make relevant connections that lead to a comprehensive understanding of the American experience. American Studies teachers follow
the guidelines set in the American Studies Faculty Guidelines, compiled by the American Studies Coordinator(s). At a minimum, each American Studies team will meet the following expectations: 1. Fall Semester a. Students will follow the full writing process through at least three essays with an interdisciplinary topic, very likely as part of a two-period test. The grade for these essays will count as a major grade for both teachers. b. The Fall Semester Exam will be a two-hour interdisciplinary exam. 2. Spring Semester a. Students will complete the interdisciplinary research paper. Both teachers will work with students as they research, develop a thesis, draft and revise these essays.This major paper will count 20% of the grade in each American Studies class. b. Students will write at least one joint in-class essay on an interdisciplinary topic in the spring. The grade for this essay will count as a major grade for both teachers.
Writing: The eleventh-grade writing program will teach students to explore topics of an interdisciplinary nature, frequently incorporating historical context and information into the analysis. Because of the magnitude of the interdisciplinary research project, students will write a total of eight compositions, which must include the following: ● Interdisciplinary research paper of 5-7 pages [Honors 6-8] (graded at each stage of the research process) ● Narrative, autobiographical, or reflective essay ● Analysis of art and music ● Thesis-based essays using literary analysis with textual support Composition Benchmarks: Building on the composition benchmarks from 9th and 10th grades, students will (by the end of the year): ● Move smoothly from text to quotation (the use of SEQUOIA) ● Draft effective introductory and concluding paragraphs ● Organize a significant amount of research and maintain the focus of an argument ● Craft effective transitions, both internal and between paragraphs Grammar Benchmarks: By the end of the year, students will be more adept at: ● Incorporating parallel sentence structure in their writing ● Avoiding misplaced and dangling modifiers ● Recognizing and avoiding vague, general, or unclear pronoun references. ● Consistently incorporating active voice in order to make their writing concise, direct, and clear.
Research Benchmarks: By the end of the year, eleventh-grade students will have experience ● Finding primary resources using a subject or chronological approach ● Identifying scholarly resources outside of the Vasser Woolley Library ● Identifying and evaluating reliable and useful Internet sources. ● Following the research process: invention/query, research, thesis, MLA documentation, outline, annotated bibliography, first draft, revision, and final draft Public Speaking: One assignment each semester will require students to create and deliver an original piece. Summer Reading: Into the Wild The Crucible # Reading List: Students will read selected texts from the following list: * - Required in all classes # - Required in honors classes A General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles * Of Plymouth Plantation # The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin * (excerpts) The Declaration of Independence * Nature * (excerpts) Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Written by Himself * The Scarlet Letter Walden and/or Resistance to Civil Government * Song of Myself or other Whitman texts # Up From Slavery * (excerpts) The Souls of Black Folk (excerpts) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn * The Open Boat * The Great Gatsby * Harlem Renaissance Poetry * The Things They Carried * The Awakening # The Yellow Wallpaper * Their Eyes were Watching God Death of a Salesman The Glass Menagerie or Streetcar Named Desire
113 - British Literature and Senior Spring Electives 116 - AP English 12: Literature and Composition The twelfth grade curriculum is divided into two parts. In the fall semester, seniors take 113 British Literature or AP English 12 (for the whole year). In the spring, seniors choose an elective course focusing on a particular area of interest. Electives for the 2016-17 school year include 131 - Creative Writing, 132 - Modern Argument, 133 - Stories of “What If?” and 128 Paradoxes. Students taking 116 - AP English follow a different year-long course of study. Fall Course Descriptions: 113 - British Literature - The first semester of 12th grade English (non-AP) emphasizes, but is not limited to, British literature. Students will trace the evolution of British literature and the English language through Beowulf, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Hamlet, and selected British poetry. The class will delve into these texts’ universal themes and think critically about their contemporary significance. They will write personal, analytical, and creative compositions; complete collaborative projects; and be given direct instruction in crafting a college essay. 116 - AP English 12: Literature and Composition (full year)- English AP is a demanding, college-level course in advanced composition and literary analysis, with works drawn both from within and from outside the British literary tradition. The course, which includes the reading of poetry, plays, novels, essays, and satire, is designed for students who enjoy in-depth literary analysis and close examination of poetry and prose passages. The class will learn to think critically regarding how authors convey purpose. Students will frequently be challenged to communicate both orally and in writing at the college level. Students enrolled in this course take the AP Literature exam in the spring, which is given as the spring semester final exam.
Spring Elective Course Descriptions: 128 - Paradoxes - In losing we find, in the dark we see light, in just wanting to have fun we find meaningful substance, in not knowing where we are going we find where we need to be. Yearning for power, Macbeth finds despair and death. Being lost at sea, Pi Patel finds his life. Reading a variety of literature, we will meet characters who struggle to understand the value of vicissitudes in their lives and examine the significance of these paradoxes in both their lives and ours. Students will be challenged to rethink their existing opinions as well as develop informed and thoughtful opinions on certain issues. They will write reflective essays, keep a journal, and develop a group presentation. 131 - Creative Writing - Creative Writing focuses on the study of fiction writing. Class meetings consist of activities designed to help students produce original stories. Students will examine the techniques used by published authors, complete written exercises aimed at developing
storytelling skills, and participate in workshops in which they present their work for peer review and critique. As they study the craft of storytelling, students will have daily opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom as they recognize narrative structure and its applicability to their lives: when we see our lives as an unfolding story, life gains greater meaning and value. To grow as critical thinkers, students will explore narrative design in both their stories and the stories of others. To foster communication skills, students will prepare written critiques of their classmates’ stories and participate in workshops in which they offer oral feedback to their peers. To stimulate creative problem solving, the curriculum requires students apply storytelling techniques to new contexts every time they compose a new story or even a new draft. To foster collaboration, almost daily students participate in group workshops in which they assess each other’s writing. 132 - Modern Argument - Students in this course will sharpen their ability to recognize and analyze forms of argument in everyday life and in media, and to make their own effective written and oral arguments for any occasion using both formal and informal logic. We will examine rhetorical formats that convince, persuade, inform, explore, and help us make decisions. Readings will be short, global, contemporary non-fiction articles, essays and speeches, along with a few fictional pieces. We will also analyze image as text through art, advertising, social media, and film. We will also learn to make our own valid claims, avoiding logical and ethical fallacies. 133 - Stories of “What If?” - In this course we will immerse ourselves in works of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and magical realism, as well as in non-fiction pieces exploring life on the edge. These writers ask: What are the benefits and perils of technology? What are the powers and limits of human emotion and intelligence? What is the line between our greatest dreams and worst nightmares? And they do it with apocalypses, cloning, androids, war, space exploration, the internet, time travel, memory loss, and very old men with wings. Our sources will be novels, short stories, films, essays, articles, podcasts, and TED talks. We will write and create things inspired by the patterns and paradoxes that we discover. For a final project, students will collaborate to build their own units around a theme. At the heart of it all will be the question: What if? General English 12 Essential Questions: ● How does narrative voice influence the story? ● How do we write effectively for various purposes and audiences? ● How does culture shape literature? ● How do we discover our human experience through literature? ● How do we learn to enjoy literature? ● How and why has/does language change(d) over time? ● How did the language spoken by small Germanic tribes develop into the world's preeminent language? Writing:
Throughout the year students will experiment with a variety of voices, styles, and genres as they develop a unique writer’s voice. Students will be assessed on how well they devise and support an original argument that communicates a purposeful message to an audience. Of the t en required essays, the following must be included: ● College application essay (fall semester) ● Thesis-based essays of varying lengths, with at least one 4-5 page paper per semester ● Essay involving outside research and/or literary criticism (at least one per semester) ● Poetry analysis (fall semester) Composition Benchmarks: Students will develop proficiency in composition and grammar. While teachers reinforce technical competency, students will experiment with a variety of voices, styles, and genres as they develop their own style and a unique writer’s voice. Research Benchmarks Twelfth-grade students will incorporate research skills in independent research projects. Students will use library research at least once per semester in preparation for college. Public Speaking Benchmarks: One assignment per semester will require an oral component. For example, students in English 12 will collaborate in researching and teaching one of T he Canterbury Tales. Similarly, students in AP English may complete a poetry project, culminating in an oral presentation for which they will be assessed on their critical analysis and skill of delivery. Additionally, AP students collaborate in small groups and teach a short story of significant literary merit to their classmates; the lesson must include an engaging creative component. Summer Reading: English 12: British Literature - Me Before You AP English 12- Wuthering Heights and A ll the Pretty Horses Reading Lists: British Literature (Fall only) Beowulf * The Canterbury Tales * Hamlet * Selections of British poetry * AP English 12 Beloved * Wuthering Heights * All The Pretty Horses * Beowulf *
The Canterbury Tales* Hamlet * Reading Poetry: An Anthology of Poems * Heart of Darkness* As I Lay Dying Madame Bovary Frankenstein Grendel No Exit Never Let Me Go Catch-22 The Namesake Interpreter of Maladies Paradoxes 1984 The Kite Runner The Hotel Rwanda (film) Other poetry, stories, and art Creative Writing This course is run like a college writing workshop so the bulk of the texts that students critique are written by the students themselves. Modern Argument 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology Everything's an Argument Other non-fiction pieces as selected by the instructor What If? The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction Magical Realist Fiction The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories Non-fiction pieces, podcasts, films, and poetry.
Upper School English Department Curriculum, 2013-14