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Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

English

Required English

English is required in each year of high school: English 1 in the freshman year, English 2 in the sophomore year, English 3 or AP Language and Composition in the junior year, and Heroes and Monsters: Classic British Literature, Modern and Contemporary Literature, Reading and Writing Non-Fiction or AP Literature and Composition in the senior year. All courses include work in vocabulary, reading, grammar, writing, speaking, and listening. The completion of multiple guaranteed writing experiences-one of which is a research paper-is a requirement of each of these courses. A minimum of 1 credit of English is required each year with a minimum of .5 credit of English each semester.

The English Department faculty recommends that students consider the differences between Honors and College Preparatory courses before final course selection. Courses labeled H (Honors) require students to hone their reading and writing skills with a higher degree of independence and with increasing complex texts and tasks.

All year-long literature courses include a required summer reading component. The rationale is as follows:

  • Reading should not happen only during the school year. Reading should truly be a part of every student's daily life.
  • Reading improves writing, cognitive, and vocabulary skills.
  • Summer provides a time for students to enjoy uninterrupted reading.
  • Books selected for summer reading not only contribute to students' literary repertoires but also provide opportunities for personal enrichment.

Students should be prepared both to write about summer and reading selections and to discuss these texts in class.

English 1

  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 9
  • Course Number: 01010202

This course explores how story and language are impacted by social, cultural, and historic context and highlights a responsibility to advocate for oneself and for others. Student experiences are balanced between reading and writing, showing how writing can support and advance thinking; the two are recursive. Writing as an act of thinking is a core tenet of the course, and students develop independence in writing through actively engaging in the writing process. Additionally, students articulate their ideas in a variety of forums to hone voice and claims. A course aim is for students to improve their writing rather than merely completing assignments. The class provides an exposure to a variety of genres—in the process sometimes challenging genre definitions. In addition, the texts offer varied authorial and cultural experiences, which enable students to gain insight into their role and responsibilities within "a community" in local and global contexts. Students examine how stories—through a variety of interpretations—reflect and shape communities. Additionally, the course encourages students to impact the societies in which they live through writing, reading, speaking, listening, and reflecting.

English 1 H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 9
  • Course number: 01010303

This course explores how story and language are impacted by social, cultural, and historic context and highlights a responsibility to advocate for oneself and for others. Student experiences are balanced between reading and writing, showing how writing can support and advance thinking; the two are recursive. Writing as an act of thinking is a core tenet of the course, and students develop independence in writing through actively engaging in the writing process. Additionally, students articulate their ideas in a variety of forums to hone voice and claims. A course aim is for students to improve their writing rather than merely completing assignments. The class provides an exposure to a variety of genres—in the process sometimes challenging genre definitions. In addition, the texts offer varied authorial and cultural experiences, which enable students to gain insight into their role and responsibilities within "a community" in local and global contexts. Students examine how stories—through a variety of interpretations—reflect and shape communities. Additionally, the course encourages students to impact the societies in which they live through writing, reading, speaking, listening, and reflecting. At the honors level, a high degree of inferencing is required. Due to the demands of reading and writing independently, students should have strong motivation, highly developed organization and study skills, and the maturity to discuss literature on an abstract, figurative, and critical level.

English 2

  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 10
  • Course Number: 01020202

This course continues to enrich students' language skills in vocabulary, sentence structure, and selected topics in grammar and usage. The composition program consists of literary analysis, synthesis, creative pieces, and persuasive writings and oral presentations and has an emphasis on developing analytical and stylistic skills in exposition. Literature study includes selections from various genres and periods.

English 2 H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 10
  • Course Number: 01020303

This course is designed for students with a strong academic background. This course continues to enrich students' language skills in vocabulary, sentence structure, and selected topics in grammar and usage. The composition program consists of literary analysis, synthesis, creative pieces, and persuasive writings and oral presentations and has an emphasis on developing analytical and stylistic skills in exposition. Literature study includes selections from various genres and periods. Students should have strong motivation, highly developed organizational and study skills, and the maturity to discuss literature on an abstract, figurative, and critical level. Students should be prepared for in-depth study, both independently and cooperatively.

English 3

  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11
  • Course Number: 01030202

This course, which focuses on both the study of 19th and 20th century American literature and the rhetorical analysis of non-fiction texts, teaches students to become skilled readers and writers. Their writing and reading experiences in this course make students aware of a writer's purposes and audience expectations, as well as, the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Writing requirements include rhetorical analysis, synthesis, creative pieces, and argumentative assignments. Grammar studies are integrated into writing lessons.

English 3 H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that interested students have grades of "A" or "B" in English 2 H or an "A" in English 2
  • Course Number: 01030303

This course, which focuses on both the study of 19th and 20th century American literature and the rhetorical analysis of non-fiction texts, teaches students to become skilled readers and writers. Their writing and reading experiences in this course make students aware of a writer's purposes and audience expectations, as well as, the way genre conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Writing requirements include rhetorical analysis, synthesis, creative pieces, and argumentative assignments. Grammar studies are integrated into writing lessons. This course is designed for students with a strong academic background who have exhibited exceptional performance in written and oral expression, critical thinking, and inference skills. Students should have strong motivation, highly developed organizational and study skills, and the maturity to discuss literature on an abstract, figurative, and critical level.

AP English Language and Composition

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that interested students have grades of "A" or "B" previous English Honors courses and the recommendation of tenth grade teacher.
  • Course Number: 01030404

Advanced Placement Language and Composition uses close analysis of language, rhetorical strategy, and literary method to elevate reading and writing to a level expected in many first-year college courses. The curriculum examines prose from diverse periods and contexts and helps students grow in their understanding of the interplay between audience, purpose, and the resources of language and argument. The reading focuses mostly on nonfiction prose but does include analysis of literary and visual texts. Students write for diverse purposes, with increased attention to the role of research and synthesis in composing arguments. Timed in-class writing is a prominent but not a controlling aspect of the class. Students must be highly motivated and self-directed learners who are able to navigate complexity and to infer meaning with independence. Finally, the course assumes that students have control of standard written grammar, usage, and stylistic norms; this foundation is necessary for the advanced study of language that can help students progress towards stylistic maturity in their prose.

Heroes and Monsters: Classic British Literature or Heroes and Monsters: Classic British Literature H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisite for Honors: It is recommended that interested students have grades of "A" or "B" in English 3 H or an "A" in English 3.
  • Course Number: 01049102
  • Course Number: 01049103

This course explores British literature's most profound, timeless, and engaging texts. Students analyze and discuss how heroes experience both courage and weakness when tested by external and internal "monsters." Students also examine cultural and historical influences on authors as well as trace the development of the English language over time. The journey begins in the 11th century and ends in contemporary times. The course challenges students to
read and write critically and to pursue their personal curiosity through inquiry.

Modern and Contemporary Literature or Modern and Contemporary Literature H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisite for Honors: It is recommended that interested students have grades of "A" or "B" in English 3 H or an "A" in English 3.
  • Course Number: 01040222
  • Course Number: 01040223

This course examines modern, worldwide literary texts to gain insight into the role of literature as an expression of a society's values or as a challenge to the status quo. In addition to the major works covered, the course includes units on poetry, the short story, and independent reading. The teaching of writing is
incorporated into the content.

Reading and Writing Non-Fiction or Reading and Writing Non-Fiction H

Honors Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Prerequisite for Honors: It is recommended that interested students have grades of "A" or "B" in English 3 H or an "A" in English 3.
  • Course Number: 01040232
  • Course Number: 01040233

Students in this course read and carefully analyze a challenging range of nonfiction prose selections, as well as, digital and visual texts to deepen their awareness of rhetoric, argument, and linguistics. Specific genres studied include memoir, literary nonfiction, social commentary and extended argument, and audiovisual documentaries. Through close reading and writing in diverse modes, including a research project, students develop their ability to understand texts with a greater awareness of audience, purpose, and strategy, while strengthening their own composition skills. Students learn to apply these strategies to visual and digital texts. In light of the documentary unit included in this course, it is recommended, although not required, that students consider taking a one-semester Art elective in either Film/Photography or Communication Design. Both courses will support the creation of more
sophisticated documentaries.

AP English Literature and Composition

AP Course Symbol
  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit
  • Grade: 11, 12
  • Prerequisite: It is recommended that interested students have grades of "A" or "B" in all previous 9th, 10th, 11th grade English Honors or a grade of "A" or "B" in previous AP courses and a recommendation from the sending teacher.
  • Course Number: 01040404

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition engages students in the careful, deliberate reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and stylistic appreciation. Students examine style, structure, and themes, as well as, the use of figurative language and inferences leading to interpretive conclusions about a work's meaning and value. Writing is an integral part of the course, and students focus on the critical analysis of literature including expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. The goal of writing in AP is to increase a student's ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. This course is taught at the college level and is designed to give students a critical and scholarly perspective in the analysis of challenging literature. Advanced Placement English Literature examines concurrent themes in a selection of American, British, and European literature as determined
by the AP canon. Timed in-class writing is a prominent but not controlling aspect of the class.