SSL Certificate

English

The primary goal of the English program is to produce reflective, critical, and creative thinkers through reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. The curriculum allows students with various learning styles to engage in activities that offer them real world skills necessary for the 21st century.

We seek to teach students how to:

  • read effectively,
  • think critically,
  • challenge held assumptions,
  • provide methods of interpretation and research,
  • look at texts from various angles, and
  • write with clarity and coherence.

Through their study of literature, students become aware of other people, other values and moral conflicts not yet encountered. By using digital tools and resources, the staff supports student success and innovation.

The major purpose of all reading is to construct meaning from texts, while the study skills component helps students become more efficient with their schoolwork organization.

In grades 10 - 12, all students are required to write literary research papers using MLA format. Juniors and seniors may take Creative Writing as an elective.

English 6

The sixth grade Language Arts program captures the student’s writing voice. Through literary genres, students examine and imitate the style of published authors. For instance, after reading Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, last year's sixth grade not only explored the Great Depression through the eyes of an Oklahoma farm family, but they also wrote verse chapters that could be included in the novel itself. After using the Internet to observe and explore the 1930's Dust Storms in America's Panhandle, students wrote narratives about the causes of the storms and their devastating impact on the land's inhabitants. From students' written work comes instruction in grammar and vocabulary. 

Available to grade 6; Full Year

English 7

The seventh grade English curriculum is a literature-based program aimed at enhancing writing skills, vocabulary development, and, most important, instilling the joy of reading. Quarterly independent projects require that students choose their own books to read, which they share with one another in written, creative, and oral formats. Through these projects, students are encouraged to make their favorite books come alive. Additionally, the entire class throughout the year studies books by authors such as Cynthia Voigt and S. E. Hinton. Students also use the Internet to study these authors and to learn about historical influences that may aid in their understanding of these novels. A conscious effort is made to teach specified units of the curriculum in collaboration with other departments in the school.

Available to grade 7; Full Year

English 8

Students are encouraged to interact and share their experiences with one another. In order to do this effectively, they must be able to listen, to read, to discuss, and to write. The study of literature brings new and perceptive voices into the classroom and adds to the students' store of experience. Students gain deeper awareness of reality and the language that helps shape it. A wide range of writing experiences is offered, culminating in the crafting of the five-paragraph essay, and the necessary skills are stressed so that students are enabled to write with coherence, simplicity, clarity and freshness.  

Available to grade 8; Full Year

English 9

Students develop skill in literary analysis, grammar and writing, vocabulary, and oral and dramatic presentation by immersing themselves in the study of literature and other media, such as film and newspaper and magazine articles. Students learn to read for content and meaning, for expressive style — and for the sheer joy of it! Works are drawn from a wide scope of genres, including short story, novel, essay, drama, and poetry. Selections include the classics and compelling contemporary adolescent fiction. Emphasis is placed on writing, including the development of a thesis statement and its clear exposition. Students develop the capacity to edit their own work. They use the Internet to enhance curriculum and learning as well as to research, quote, and cite sources.

Available to grade 9: Full Year

English 9H

English 9 Honors offers a cornucopia of genres for study, reflection, and writing. Short stories are examined for content and style; novels are read, analytically discussed and written about; poetry is composed; plays are dramatized and non-fiction pieces are imitated for sentence structure and style. Students become "meaning makers" who respond in journals to what they have read. Writing prompts become motivators for trying all types of writing forms. An author, student chosen and teacher directed, is explored for a year and a final Author Study is produced in June. Students are encouraged to enter their writing into contests, to become part of the school's newspaper staff and to submit work to the school's literary magazine Pegasus. The Smartboard and laptops allow students to do research, make revisions, and produce final written pieces of their work.

Available to grade 9 students in the Honors Program; Full year

English 10

Through studying literature and writing, students learn to think critically and to develop expansive perspectives. In analyzing the novel, short story, drama, poetry and the essay, the true power of language is emphasized. Works examined and enjoyed include The Catcher in the Rye, A Separate Peace, Macbeth, and Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” as well as several short stories and poems. Vocabulary emanates from the literature and provides a solid preparation for PSAT and SAT exams. In addition, the focus on written expression encompasses grammar reviews and techniques involved in literary research. Students attend a live theatrical production whenever an appropriate one is available. In these several forms, the power of effective communication--both oral and written--is studied and appreciated. Students will use the Internet to enhance the curriculum.

Available to grade 10; Full Year

English 10H

World literature, its historical context and literary traditions, is the focus of sophomore Honors English. Works as varied as the Epic of Gilgamesh, excerpts from Plato and Homer, medieval romances and modern novels are analyzed closely for literary techniques and merit. Writing clear English prose in analytical essays is an important part of the course; a research paper on a major work is assigned second semester. Vocabulary preparation for the PSAT and SAT is also part of the course. Students will use the Internet to enhance the curriculum. Students are required to submit work through Turnitin.com.

Available to grade 10 ; Full Year 

English 11

English 11 is a survey of American literature from colonial times to the 20th century, with a focus on its historical and cultural contexts. Students will read a wide variety of authors and genres as they continue to work on the close reading and critical analysis skills that are necessary for college preparation. Students will write several analytical essays and a formal research paper on a literary topic. The course also includes vocabulary study that, in combination with reading and writing activities, prepares students for ACT and SAT exams.

Available to grade 11; Full Year

English 11H

English 11 Honors is a survey of American literature from colonial times to the 20th century, with a focus on its historical and cultural contexts. . As they gain an appreciation for the literary history of the United States, students will read a wide variety of authors and genres as they continue to develop the close reading and critical analysis skills that are important for college preparation. Compared to the work in English 11, the work in English 11H will require more challenging reading, more in-depth analysis, more abstract thinking, and the development of a more polished writing style. Students will write several analytical essays as well as a research paper on a literary topic. The course also includes regular vocabulary study that, in combination with the reading and writing activities, prepares students for ACT and SAT exams.

Available to grade 11; Full Year

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition

AP English Language and Composition is a college-level English course that engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts, and in becoming flexible, fluent writers who compose for a variety of purposes. The reading and writing for the course are challenging; students will become more aware of the interactions among a writer's purposes, audience expectations, and subjects as well as the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Like a college composition course, this course emphasizes the expository, analytical, and argumentative writing that forms the basis of academic and professional communication. In response to reading and understanding complex texts, students will write in a variety of formal and informal contexts—including a research paper—and focus on the process of composing to become more aware of themselves as writers and of the techniques employed by the writers they read. The very nature of the coursework provides excellent preparation for SAT and ACT examinations. In May, students are required to take the Advanced Placement Language and Composition Exam. Students are also required to submit work through TurnItIn.com.

Available to grade 11; Full Year

English 12

English 12 is a survey of the major periods and writers of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twentieth century. In learning about what is perhaps the greatest literary tradition in the world, students will read a wide variety of authors and genres as they sharpen their critical and analytical reading, thinking, and writing skills in preparation for college. Students will write several analytical essays as well as a formal research paper on a literary topic.
 

Available to grade 12;  Full Year

English 12H

English 12 Honors is a survey of the major periods and writers of British literature from the Anglo-Saxon period to the twentieth century. In learning about what is perhaps the greatest literary tradition in the world, students will read a wide variety of authors and genres as they sharpen their critical and analytical reading, thinking, and writing skills in preparation for college. Compared to the work in English 12, the work in English 12H will require more challenging reading, more in-depth analysis, more abstract thinking, and the development of a more polished writing style. Students will write several analytical essays as well as a formal research paper on a literary topic.

Available to grade 12; Full Year

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

Advanced Placement English is a college level English course. Students read approximately eight major works of literature (novels and plays) and a variety of short stories and poems. They are introduced to some of the critical literature that relates to the works studied. In addition, they will sharpen their skills of literary analysis through objective and essay work on a variety of literary passages. In composition, the primary focus is literary analysis and the research paper, which is written on a literary topic. At the end of the year, students are required to take the Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition Exam. Students will use the Internet to enhance the curriculum. Students are required to submit work through Turnitin.com.

Available to grade 12; Full Year

Creative Writing

If you like to write, this elective course is for you! Current literary works, major films, and YouTube music videos all become sources for creative writing. For instance, the novel Sold by Patricia McCormick was read after seeing and writing a movie review for Taken. Each of these genres focuses on the issue of the world-wide ramifications of sex-trafficking. Every Friday, students are required to read pieces out loud since the class is a community of writers helping each other revise and produce. Students are encouraged to enter contests and to submit work to school or local publications.

Available to grades 11-12; Semester

 

"Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life; they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again." Anne Lamott

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THE URSULINE SCHOOL   |   1354 NORTH AVENUE   |   NEW ROCHELLE, NY 10804-2192 © 2013
A Catholic, college preparatory school for girls, grades 6 through 12
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