Tappan Zee High School

English

The English Department requires demonstrated competency for all ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students.  As part of the high school graduation requirements, a student must complete at least four (4) credits of English (not including electives) and pass the English Regents.

English 9
Full Year, 1 credit
This course begins the four-year English sequence, which includes the New York State Common Core English Regents Exam at the end of the junior year.  This course requires students to read, discuss, and write about literature.  English 9 incorporates a humanities approach to each quarter’s work. These projects are related to the novels studied each quarter, and the components of these activities will address the skills required to write research papers.

Literature: Literature will be connected to the following themes: Choices and Consequences; Power: Use and Abuse; Relationships; and Justice and Freedom.  In addition to independent reading projects, students will read a wide selection of short stories and poems. At least three of the following works will be read and analyzed in class: To Kill a Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, Twelve Angry Men, and Devil at My Heels.

Composition: A major objective of this course is the development of expository writing skills. Paragraphs and essays will be assigned frequently. By the end of the course, students will be expected to write well-structured, evidence-based argument  essays. Other curriculum areas will include vocabulary development, grammar, listening and speaking. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

English 9 Honors
Full Year, 1 credit
In addition to the requirements of English 9, this class expects students to conduct mature, in-depth exploration and analysis of literature. Students will also develop analytical, persuasive argument-based writing skills. Directed research and problem solving throughout this course will be used to guide students through the learning process.

Literature:  In addition to the texts for English 9, students will read and analyze Jane Eyre, Oedipus the King, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and The Odyssey. In addition, students may also be required to read independent full-length works.

Composition: In addition to composition requirements for English 9, students in English 9 Honors will follow more independent writing prompts, conduct research on topics related to the literature covered in class, and compose properly formatted research papers regarding these topics. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

English 10
Full Year, 1 credit
English 10 is designed to give students a broad background in literature from multiple perspectives. The course, which will prepare students for the Common Core English Regents Exam, focuses on literary response, persuasive argument-based writing, and further development of communication skills.

Literature:  Students will read novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and nonfiction.  At least two of the following full length works will be read and analyzed: Julius Caesar, Fahrenheit 451, The Secret Life of Bees, The Color of Water, This Boy’s Life, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, and A Separate Peace. Students will also self-select independent reading texts.

Composition:  A major objective of this course is the continued development of expository writing skills, with particular emphasis on persuasive/argument-based writing.  Paragraphs and essays will be assigned frequently, and a research project will be required.  Other curricular areas will include vocabulary development, grammar, listening, and speaking.  Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

English 10 Honors
Full Year, 1 credit
This course is designed to give students a broad background in multicultural literature from multiple perspectives.  The course focuses on four themes: Identity, Perspectives, Culture and Diversity, and Journeys. Students will be required to do extensive reading and writing.  Since this course helps prepare students for the Common Core English Regents Exam, a major emphasis will be placed on the development of analytical, persuasive, argument-based writing skills as well as personal response.  Students will learn to read critically and develop skills in literary analysis. Major literary works to be analyzed may include: The Stranger, A Doll’s House, The Bluest Eye, Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein, Fahrenheit 451, Animal Farm, The Grass Dancer, and various works of poetry.  Students will complete one major research project.  Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

Eligibility: Students who intend to take English 10 Honors should meet the following criteria: 92 first semester average from English 9/86 from English 9 Honors and/or recommendation from current English teacher.

English 11
Full Year, 1 credit
This course is designed to give students an understanding of the American Literary tradition. Major works to be studied may include: The Crucible, The Great Gatsby, The Color Purple, Death of a Salesman, Macbeth, The Scarlet Letter, The Catcher in the Rye, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Last Lecture, and The Glass Castle. Poetry, short stories, and nonfiction selections are studied in conjunction with the major works of literature. Essays and journal entries focused on literary analysis will be assigned regularly, along with continued work on the evidence-based argument essay and a research paper. Students are required to take the Common Core English Regents Exam in June. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

English 11 Honors
Full Year, 1 credit
This course is designed to give students a broad background in the American literary tradition.  Major works to be analyzed may include: The Crucible, The Scarlet Letter, Huckleberry Finn, The Awakening, The Great Gatsby, Death of a Salesman, The Catcher in the Rye, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Color Purple, A Farewell to Arms, and Macbeth. Poetry, nonfiction, and short stories are studied in conjunction with the major works of literature. Essays and journal entries focused on literary analysis will be assigned regularly. In addition to continuing to work on evidence-based argument essays, a research paper will also be required. Students registering for this course should have demonstrated strong ability in literary interpretation, writing skills, and independent research. Students will take the Common Core English Regents Exam in January and complete an honors-level final exam project in June. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

Eligibility: Students in English 10 who intend to take English 11 Honors should meet the following criteria: 92 first semester average from English 10R/86 from English 10 Honors and/or recommendation from current English teacher.

English 12
Full Year, 1 credit
English 12 will provide the student with opportunities to become a more effective writer and critical reader through the development of a writing portfolio.  Literature will be primarily non-fiction focusing on the themes of “Challenges” and “Reflections.” Reading selections include: The Body, Night, A Streetcar Named Desire, Othello, and Into the Wild among others. Shorter works will also be studied. In addition, students will examine different aspects of culture (television shows, radio, movies, advertisements, newspapers, and magazines). While examining works from various eras, students will critically analyze the ways in which different genres convey similar themes. This class will begin with personal essay writing and also include class discussions/debates, journal entries, response papers, research papers, presentations, and a writing portfolio project. Students enrolled in English 12 have the option of registering to earn college credit through SUNY New Paltz. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

English 12 Honors
Full Year, 1 credit
English 12 Honors is designed to give students a broad background in literature. The difference between this class and English 12 will be in the complexity of both the selected literature and the work assigned to and expected from the students. Major works to be analyzed may include: The Canterbury Tales, Into the Wild, Twelfth Night, The Kite Runner, The Body, Othello, The Tempest, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Night. Poetry and short literary pieces will also be assigned. In addition, students will examine different aspects of culture (television shows, radio, movies, advertisements, newspapers, and magazines). While examining works from various eras, students will critically analyze the ways in which different genres convey similar themes. This will involve class discussions/debates, research papers, journal entries, response papers, and presentations. The first quarter will include a unit of study on writing strategies for personal essays. Essays requiring in-depth literary analysis will be assigned regularly, and a writing portfolio project will be required. Students enrolled in English 12 also have the option of registering to earn college credit through SUNY New Paltz. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

English 12/Senior Seminar
Full Year, 1 credit
Click here to view a student-produced video about Senior Seminar
English 12 will provide the student with opportunities to become a more effective writer and critical reader through the development of a writing portfolio.  Literature will be primarily non-fiction focusing on the themes of “Challenges” and “Reflections.” Reading selections include The Body, Night, and Into the Wild among others. Shorter works will also be studied. This class will begin with the college entrance essay and also include class discussions/debates, journal entries, response papers, research papers, presentations, persuasive/argument-based essays and a writing portfolio project. Students enrolled in English 12 have the option of registering to earn college credit through SUNY New Paltz. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

The Senior Seminar portion of the course is offered in conjunction with Participation in Government III. In the spring, students will intern or work with a mentor from the community to explore a career opportunity and/or personal interest.  In addition, students will be required to write a research paper, keep a journal, and give a presentation reflecting on their program experiences.

English 12 Honors/Senior Seminar
Full Year, 1 credit
Click here to view a student-produced video about Senior Seminar
English 12 Honors is designed to give students a broad background in literature. The difference between this class and English 12 will be in the complexity of both the selected literature and the work assigned to and expected from the students. Major works to be analyzed may include:  The IIiad, The Canterbury Tales, Into the Wild, 1984, The Body, Othello, The Tempest, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Night. Poetry and short literary pieces will also be assigned. In addition, students will examine different aspects of culture (television shows, radio, movies, advertisements, newspapers, and magazines). While examining works from various eras, students will critically analyze the ways in which different genres convey similar themes. This will involve class discussions/debates, research papers, journal entries, response papers, and presentations. The first quarter will include a unit of study on writing strategies for the college essay. Persuasive, argument-based essays and essays requiring in-depth literary analysis will be assigned regularly, and a writing portfolio project will be required. Students enrolled in English 12 also have the option of registering to earn college credit through SUNY New Paltz. Class participation and homework = 20% of the student’s grade.

The Senior Seminar portion of the course is offered in conjunction with Participation in Government III. In the spring, students will work with a member of the community or their teacher to develop projects that explore a career opportunity and/or personal interest.  In addition, students will be required to write a research paper, keep a journal, and give a presentation reflecting on their program experiences.

Eligibility: Students who intend to take English 12 Honors or English 12 Honors/Senior Seminar should meet the following criteria: 92 first semester average from English 11; 86 from English 11 Honors and/or recommendation from current English teacher.

Grade 12 Advanced Placement: English Literature and Composition
Full Year, 1 credit
Candidates for this course must have demonstrated high ability in both literature interpretation and essay writing skills. This course is of college-level difficulty. Students engage in intensive analytical study of many classic works of drama, fiction, and poetry, with frequent writing assignments. A research project is also required.

Works are selected from among:

  • Drama: Enemy of the People, Othello
  • Novels: Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, Heart of Darkness, Catch-22,  As I Lay Dying, The Joy Luck Club, Bless Me, Ultima,  and The Things They Carried

The regularly assigned papers, both timed and untimed, will involve questions similar to those required on the Advanced Placement Exam. Additional emphasis will be placed on more extensive persuasive/argument-based writing assignments. Students enrolled in AP English Literature and Composition also have the option of registering to earn college credit through SUNY New Paltz. Active class participation (20% of the course grade) is essential.

Eligibility: Students who intend to take AP English Literature should meet the following criteria: current average of at least 90 from English 11 Honors and/or recommendation from current English teacher.

Creative Writing (10, 11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
Creative Writing is a seminar intended for students who wish to explore writing creatively. Students will complete assignments in poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. Various literary readings will be discussed in class in an effort to acquaint the writer with recent creative and artistic trends.  Students will be required to submit their work to TONES, the high school literary magazine. Class participation = 25% of the student’s grade. This course can be taken multiple times.

Public Speaking (10, 11, 12)
One Semester, 1/2 credit
The goal of Public Speaking is to make the student an effective speaker anytime, anywhere.  It will teach the student how to deliver speeches that inform and persuade, and how to deliver speeches of introduction and welcome. Stage fright and nervousness will be addressed.  Other areas that will be emphasized are: understanding the audience, using the voice effectively, studying non-verbal communication, and using visual aids. Students will be expected to use presentation tools.

Journalism (9, 10, 11, 12)
Full Year, cycled 1/2 credit
This elective is designed for students who have an interest in journalism. Each aspect of putting a newspaper together will be covered from coming up with ideas for articles to layout and publication. The course will involve writing a variety of articles and assisting in the publication of Tapress on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Students will learn how to write editorials, features, news stories, sports articles, reviews, and conduct interviews. Other topics will include advertising, the ethical duties and responsibilities of a journalist, the difference between a high school newspaper and a privately owned commercial newspaper or magazine, and whether a journalist actually has the right to keep his/her sources confidential. Class participation will be worth a minimum of 20% of the student’s grade. This course can be taken multiple times.

Law and Literature (10, 11, 12)
Full Year, 1 credit
Taught jointly by an English and a Social Studies teacher, this course will teach students how to argue effectively both orally and in writing by examining legal issues through Supreme Court decisions, classic opening/closing arguments from landmark trials, plays, novels, short stories and actual case files (with the names omitted) that have been reproduced for use in this class.  Students will learn how to analyze complex legal issues and prepare extensive legal arguments while considering audience, subject matter, and tone. These skills will be put to the test during mock trials throughout the year. Students who successfully complete the course will receive 1/2 credit for English and 1/2 credit for Social Studies.  Students must register for this course under both English and Social Studies.

The following semester courses are also available through Virtual High School (VHS):
Blogs, Wikis and Web Tools
Contemporary Irish Literature
Cultural Identity Through Literature
Folklore & Literature of Myth, Magic & Ritual
Honor, Mystery and Science Fiction Literature
Literacy Skills for the 21st Century
Mythology: Stories from Around the World
Shakespeare in Films
Twentieth Century Women Authors
Writing and Telecommunications

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