This course focuses on developing the skills of close reading, analysis, argument, and research-based writing. Units include the classical epic, introduction to argument, perspectives on society, introduction to research, Shakespearean drama, and literature as a mirror for society. Cornerstone texts include The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Animal Farm, and Night. Additional novels, short stories, and essays support the core skills. Students will demonstrate their knowledge through formal and informal writing, research, collaborative work, and independent projects.


    The tenth grade English curriculum celebrates a multicultural exploration of literature and incorporates the concepts of discrimination, identity, non-conformity, censorship, tragedy, and loss. Units incorporate literary genres including novels, short stories, fiction and non-fiction essays, poetry, and drama. Modern writers and traditional canonical authors are explored. In writing, students use the process approach to strengthening thesis development, textual support, focus, clarity, organization, style, and the conventions of Standard English. Reading selections include but are not limited to the following: Macbeth, Julius Caesar and/or Taming of the Shrew, Oedipus and/or Antigone, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Chocolate War, Death Watch, Fahrenheit 451, Lizzy Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Ethan Frome, Hawthorne’s Short Stories (Rappaccini’s Daughter, The Birthmark), The Scarlett Letter, Of Mice and Men, Grapes of Wrath, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Good Earth.


    This course develops students’ understanding of what makes a work distinctively American. Students engage in critical analysis of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry as they strengthen their critical thinking through collaborative discussion, reflective writing, formal essay writing, and individual and group presentations. Students develop their ability to communicate for diverse purposes and audiences. Thematic units include the personal journey and individual identity, the American dream, inequality, war, and the power of voice. Cornerstone texts include The Great Gatsby, The Things They Carried, American Romanticism, and contemporary American literature. Additional novels, short stories, and essays support the core skills. Major assessments include argument essay, persuasive speech, group and individual presentations, and analytical and reflective writing.


    Upon entering the twelfth grade, students will read and discuss European literary classics across the major genres. Students will focus on European literature from the Middle Ages to the present: from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Units are arranged thematically; students will consider prominent themes for each time period, and students will see how earlier works influence later works and how forms and ideas have evolved. Writing assignments include essays and research papers. By the end of twelfth grade, students will have become familiar with some of the major works and ideas of European literature, honed their skills of literary analysis and effectively write a research paper.