English II Pre-AP: Mrs. Brannon-Reese & Ms. Fischer
This course includes a study of advanced grammar, American literature— 1900, world literature selections, multicultural selections, and college-preparatory composition and research. Speaking, listening, and viewing skills are central to English studies.
English III (AP Language & Composition): Mrs. Harris
This course can earn you college-level credit for the Intro. to Composition course that is a mandatory prerequisite for all of your college courses. This course will focus on the skills necessary for your success on the AP© Collegeboard exam: English Language and Composition. This course will cover several major works of both British and American Literature spanning several genres and literary movements. In addition, students will further develop their own writing skills to address specific audiences and address critical thinking objectives. Writing assignments will include expository, analytical and argumentative works as well as comprehensive synthesis papers. This course will prepare students for the analytical and writing demands of college courses. Students will further develop their own writing styles while achieving a variety of writing objectives. Critical thinking, self-motivation, and creativity will be paramount in the success of this course. In addition, this course will prepare students to take and pass the AP English Language and Composition exam.
English IV (AP Literature & Composition): Ms. Casperson & Mr. Parker
This is a rigorous course with quality standards established by the AP Program, the College Board, and Educational Testing Service (ETS). AP examination credit that often satisfies (and replaces) or represents a year’s college level work, although specifies may vary from college to college. British, American, and World literature of recognized literary writers from various periods and genres will be studied, discussed, and analyzed in written form. Students will write a literary analysis research paper. Speaking, listening, and viewing are taught with an emphasis on analysis. Writing will be precise and correct and should show signs of stylistic materialization characterized by: a wide-ranging vocabulary, a variety of sentence structures, logical and organized, and a balance of generalization with specific illustrative details. Some of the course writing and reading will involve research, perhaps negotiating different critics and schools of literature.
Texas Performance Standards Project: Mrs. Hill
This course, based on the Exit Level Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) for gifted/talented (G/T) students, offers a non-traditional learning experience to those students who have the ability to create innovative products or performances. Students will develop a product proposal, compile a portfolio, conduct in-depth research, be matched with a mentor from the business or professional community, and prepare for a public presentation of their product or performance at the end of the school year to be evaluated by an audience that includes experts in the field. Students work with their mentor to create a product related to their topic; the product is required to have real-world application and tangible documentation. Students focus their study on a topic of their choice. They develop a research portfolio that has a collection of sources including interviews and observations with people who work in their chosen topic field. Students improve time management, communication, goal setting, and presentation skills. Students work with mentors on a regular basis to gain "real world" experience. Students give progressively longer speech presentations and will give a formal presentation of their product and yearlong experiences at the end of the year.
Elective courses offered by demand:
Literary Genre - Film Analysis
Students today are predominately visual learners, and teaching skills like theme, conflict, and characterization through film will have a much stronger impact then sticking to one medium such as novels. Breaking down films, or "reading" films as Lastiri would say, for an extensive analysis will help strengthen students' synthesis and evaluation skills not to mention critical thinking skills necessary in the classroom and in real life. The class would cover the same skills and objectives covered when teaching and studying a novel such as plot and character development, theme, allusions, conflict, determining audience, archetypes, point of view, rhetorical shift, setting, styles, tone, and mood. By analyzing the director's use of color, lighting, camera direction, costume, soundtrack, and other elements, students will have the chance to approach concepts studied only in literature in a new visual format. Essentially, the students will learn how to deconstruct the film to help critical and independent thinking. The course could be organized by theme or another literary element like archetypes, but would also use films from all genres and periods, both domestic and international.
This course is an elective course that covers the stylistic characteristics of the horror literary genre. This course is taught as a full-year course and covers the origin of the genre (with early Gothic literature) and spans through early American notables (like Poe & Lovecraft) to modern day horror contemporaries (like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, etc.). Students will learn to appreciate the sensory descriptions and psychological twists of the horror genre and be able to emulate the stylistic techniques in their own writing. Students will also explore this evolution of this genre through various forms of media:literature, film, graphic novels, etc.
Creative Writing (Honors)
The course will nurture and push your writing through the study of various established authors (mentor texts), books on craft, and a variety of writing activities that will break down important elements of storytelling. The aim of the course is to provide you with strategies that will hone your technique in order to help strengthen your writing voice, as well as create new types of writing. This is a workshop-based course, meaning you will work with a small group throughout the year to help each other develop a sense of voice and style that creates engaging texts. By the end of each semester, each student will have a writing portfolio that exhibits a range in writing forms and genres covered, including but not limited to, flash fiction, novel writing, 10-minute play writing, screenwriting, memoir, various forms of poetry, and genre writing (sci-fi, mystery, dystopia, etc.).