English/Language Arts

The English Language Arts Program

The ELA Curriculum provides students with a rigorous academic experience throughout their four years of high school. The curriculum units are carefully designed to ensure skill practice in reading, writing, researching and listening and speaking and to provide rigorous learning experiences aligned to the CT Core Standards. Each unit of study builds on the previous one to ensure that students have acquired the prerequisite skills to move onto the next level of learning. Likewise, each grade level curriculum is designed in light of the previous year’s curriculum to ensure student readiness for the next grade level. The CTHSS English Language Arts Curriculum also supports the development of skills recommended by the 21st Century Learning Standards and Career Technical Education (CTE) Career Ready Practices.

 

English Courses

 

English I (EN110), Honors English I* (EN111) (NCAA Approved Course) (1 credit)

The English I curriculum is comprised of six units of study: Story Elements and Literacy Devices; Close Reading; Thematic Unit: Coming of Age; MLA Style Guide and Evaluating Sources; Writing Informative Essays; Foundations in Research Skills: Annotated Bibliography. Each unit of study builds on the previous one to ensure that students have acquired the prerequisite skills to move onto the next level of learning. The curriculum units are carefully designed to ensure skill practice in reading, writing, researching and listening and speaking and to prepare students for the next grade level. The English I curriculum also supports the development of skills recommended by the 21st Century Learning Standards and CTE Career Ready Practices.

English II (EN210), Honors English II* (EN211) (NCAA Approved Course) (I credit)

The English II curriculum is comprised of six units of study: Thematic Unit: Social Forces; Rhetorical Texts; Writing Argumentative Essays; Evaluation Student Writing: Editing and Revising Workshop; Emerging Research Skills: Synthesizing and Integrating Sources in a Mini-Research Project; Presentation Skills. Each unit of study builds on the previous one to ensure that students have acquired the prerequisite skills to move onto the next level of learning. The curriculum units are carefully designed to ensure skill practice in reading, writing, researching and listening and speaking and to prepare students for the next grade level. The English II Curriculum also supports the development of skills recommended by the 21st Century Learning Standards and CTE Career Ready Practices.

English III (EN310), Honors English III* (EN311) (NCAA Approved Course) (1 credit)

The English III curriculum is comprised of six units of study: Refining Research Skills: Using Primary Sources and Reaching Original Conclusions; Presentation Skills; Thematic Unit: Foundations of American Experience; Assess, Reflect, Reteach; Thematic Unit: The American Journey and Dream; Writing Narrative Essays. Each unit of study builds on the previous one to ensure that students have acquired the prerequisite skills to move onto the next level of learning. The curriculum units are carefully designed to ensure skill practice in reading, writing, researching and listening and speaking and to prepare students for the next grade level. The English III Curriculum also supports the development of skills recommended by the 21st Century Learning Standards and CTE Career Ready Practices.

 

English Senior Seminars

Senior Seminars provide 12th grade students with an in-depth experience with a topic of their choosing in the field of English Language Arts. Schools may offer as few as three or as many as six of the following courses for students to choose from in making their Senior Seminar selection. Seniors who are enrolled in a UConn ECE English course or a College-Career Pathways Community College English course do not have to take a Senior Seminar.

EN450/Honors EN451* Creative and Non-fiction Writing (NCAA Approved Course) (1 credit)

This seminar will provide a multi-genre introduction to the craft of creative writing. In the setting of a writing workshop classroom, students will examine literary conventions as well as the writing techniques and tools essential to effective writing, editing and communication. Students will read and write in the following genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama. Communication skills will be a key component of the course, as sharing work and responding to the work of other students is essential to the workshop process. Students will complete the course with a masterful portfolio full of creative work.

EN452/Honors EN453* Contemporary Literature of Our Lifetime (NCAA Approved Course) (1 credit)

This seminar takes as its focus literature written from the 1940s to present time to explore themes central to our lifetime. Through reading contemporary works, such as J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Toni Morrison's Beloved, Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, students will explore the themes of the meaning of life in a modern world, cultural differences, feminism, post-war responsibility, the plight of the oppressed, living in a time of terror and many more. Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

 

EN454/Honors EN455* Mythology, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literature (NCAA Approved Course) (1 credit)

This seminar focuses on the creative literary subgenres of myth, legend, science-fiction, fantasy and gothic. Students will study ancient legends and cultural mythology, the fantasy enriched worlds of utopia and dystopia and gothic literature to explore such themes as human nature and social forces, faith and belief, fear and hope. Literature may include Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D ’Arthur, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, works by Edgar Allen Poe, Ayn Rand’s Anthem, Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked this Way Comes and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

EN456/Honors EN457* Reading Literature through the Ages (NCAA Approved Course) (1 credit)

This seminar takes students on a millennial-long journey of literature to provide a survey of classic canonical texts through the ages. Through writings of the ancient Greeks, stories from the Bible, works from Shakespeare, poetry from the Romantic period and texts from the Victorian time period, students will explore the cultural impact that each work and writer made in their time period and why each work also stands the test of time to be considered “classic literature.” Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

EN458/Honors EN459* Journalism and Media Awareness (1 credit)

This seminar introduces students to the fundamentals of advertising, marketing, journalism and the 24-hour news cycle. Students will learn about the tools and media used to communicate with the public; the role of newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, internet, social media and television; how advertisements do more than entertain and sell more than just products; and the importance of persuasive communication in a rapidly evolving media environment. Students will write original stories and reports and learn how to use digital tools for storytelling and reporting. Students will also engage in critical, cultural and historical analysis of a wide variety of media including advertisements and news stories. Close reading, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

EN460/Honors EN461* Comedy and Tragedy in Film and Theater (1 credit)

This seminar introduces students to the critical study of theater and film to deepen their understanding of the cinematic and performative experience. The course studies film and theater through the genres of comedy, tragedy, history and romance. Students will learn how directors use setting, sound effects, visual effects and acting techniques to make us laugh and cry, to make us think and wonder. The course may include the study of the following directors and writers: Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, William Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and David Mamet. Close reading and observation, critical thinking, essay writing, researching and speaking skills will be emphasized.

UCONN ECE ENGLISH COURSES

UCONN Early College Experience Courses provide seniors who qualify with an opportunity to take courses on the college level and possibly earn college credit.  Not all schools in the district offer each of the following courses.  Please check with the guidance department of the individual schools.

 

Basic Writing – UCONN ECE (EN601) (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection.

This college-level course is designed to prepare students not yet qualified to take Seminar in Academic Writing and Seminar in Writing through Literature but who would benefit from a preparatory course that carries college credit. The course focuses on the development of reading and writing skills essential to college work. The course includes revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. Students who enroll in the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) program and successfully complete this course are eligible to earn four (4) UCONN college credits for the Basic Writing course, ENGL1004. This course meets graduation requirements for CTHSS English.

Seminar in Academic Writing – UCONN (EN608) (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection.

This college-level course for advanced learners provides instruction in academic writing through interdisciplinary readings. Assignments emphasize interpretation, argumentation and reflection as well as revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. To be successful in this course, students need to be independent, self-motivated and ready to take on the challenge of participating in seminar-style discussions as well as read and write at a college level.

Students who enroll in the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) program and successfully complete this course are eligible to earn four (4) UCONN college credits for the Seminar in Academic Writing course. This course meets graduation requirements for Grade 12 English.

Seminar in Writing through Literature – UCONN (EN609) (1 credit)

Prerequisite: Meet two out of the three criteria for Honors Course Selection.

This college-level course for advanced learners provides instruction in academic writing through literary reading. Assignments emphasize interpretation, argumentation and reflection as well as revision of formal assignments and instruction on grammar, mechanics and style. To be successful in this course, students need to be independent, self-motivated and ready to participate in seminar-style discussions as well as read and write at a college level.

Students who enroll in the UCONN Early College Experience (ECE) program and successfully complete this course are eligible to earn four (4) UCONN college credits for Seminar in Writing through Literature course (ENGL1011). This course meets graduation requirements for Grade 12 English.

Honors Courses

The honors version for each English course will cover the same topic as the core course. The course materials in an honors course will be more rigorous in the following areas:

  • Text selection
  • Length of reading assignments
  • Writing assignment prompts and
  • Assessment types

 

An honors course will expect students to do the following:

  • Comprehend complex texts independently
  • Contribute thoughtful commentary to classroom discussion
  • Write effectively with attention to organization, detailed content, precise analysis and writing conventions
  • Understand the fundamentals of the research process and execute research independently
  • Create and conduct presentations for classmates and take a lead role in classroom discussions

Students seeking admission into an English honors or advanced course should meet at least 2 of the 3 following criteria:

  1. Reading on Grade Level: Students seeking to take an English honors or advanced course should be reading on the same grade level of the course they are seeking entry into as demonstrated by the STAR Reading Diagnostic Test. (Example: Students seeking entry to English II Honors, should be reading on a 10th grade reading level at the time of scheduling the course.)
  2. Current grade in English course:
    1. If student is currently in an English honors course, h/she should have an earned 85% average at the time of scheduling.
    2. If student is currently in a core level English course, h/she should have an earned 90% at the time of scheduling.
  3. Teacher Recommendation: When recommending students, teachers should take into consideration the above bulleted items. 

* Some courses may not be offered at every school.