English Language Arts (ELA) Curriculum – High School English Courses

The English Department strives to fulfill New York State’s charge that all students work toward college and career readiness, as defined by the new Common Core Learning Standards. The literacy expectations of the CCLS focus on student achievement in English Language Arts pertaining to developing reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills. 

Guilderland students study a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Through reading, writing, and discussion, all students will develop broader perspectives, reconcile multiple textual interpretations, and become more critically aware of language and literature’s aesthetic qualities. Students at each grade level will have the opportunity to engage with challenging texts in order to expand their literacy skills, deepen their understanding and critical thinking, and discover an appreciation for the role that literature plays in our lives. Additionally, students will study the structure of argument and become more skilled at presenting their ideas in a thoughtful and effective manner through writing and speaking.

0101 English 9 Honors 

Students will complete the 9th grade Regents ELA curriculum. In addition, this course emphasizes a progressive increase in text complexity, rigourous evidence-based conversation and analysis of text, emphasis on close reading engagement, advanced application of academic literary vocabulary, concepts, and skills, and reflective writing for individual and peer growth. 

0102 English 9 Regents 

Through reading and writing in a variety of genres, students will study the role of language and the implications of audience, purpose and context. Direct instruction in writing research reports, reviews, literary essays and original literary texts will be provided, along with a formal speaking opportunity. Students will use journals or writing notebooks to keep track of their learning.

0130 English/Global History 9 – Aligned 

This English course is aligned with Global History 9. It helps students to develop an awareness of various cultures ranging from 10,000 B.C.E. to 1750. Students will explore the art and literature of early civilization through readings, presentations, creative writing and research projects. *This course may be taken for Honors credit if the student demonstrates mastery of designated performance standards. 

0132 English/Global History 10 – Aligned 

This English course is aligned with Global History 10. It explores the relationship between literature and history. Students examine social studies units in depth, using fiction, poetry and non-fiction to deepen their understanding of the units. Students will develop an awareness of various historical events ranging from 1750 to the present. *This course may be taken for Honors credit if the student demonstrates mastery of designated performance standards 

0211 English 10 Honors 

Students will complete the 10th grade Regents ELA curriculum. In addition, this course emphasizes a progressive increase in text complexity, rigourous evidence-based conversation and analysis of text, emphasis on close reading engagement, advanced application of academic literary vocabulary, concepts, and skills, and reflective writing for individual and peer growth. 

0212 English 10 Regents 

Through reading and writing in a variety of genres, students will study how genre, form and technique shape a text and its ideas. Direct instruction in writing feature articles, persuasive multiple source papers, editorials, literary essays and original literary texts will be provided. Students will use journals or writing notebooks to keep track of their learning 

0213 English 10 Focus Regents 

Emphasis in this course is placed on reading, writing and thinking with plenty of practice in all three. Classic literature and popular young adult titles will be studied. Consideration is provided for individual learning styles, in a small, supportive environment. 

0301 English 11 Honors 

Students will complete the Grade 11 Regents ELA curriculum. In addition, this course emphasizes a progressive increase in text complexity, rigourous evidence-based conversation  and analysis of text, emphasis on close reading engagement, advanced application of academic literary vocabulary, concepts, and skills, and reflective writing for individual and peer growth. This course will prepare students for the Common Core ELA Regents Exam in June. 

0302 English 11 Regents 

Through reading and writing in a variety of genres, students will study how writers use their language and craft to shape a text. Direct instruction in writing multiple source papers using primary and secondary sources, literary analysis essays, resumes and letters of application and thoughtful personal reflections (which may be the basis for college application essays) will be provided. This course will prepare students for the Common Core ELA Regents Exam in June. 

0312 English 11 Focus Regents 

A multimedia approach to reading, writing and thinking using newspapers, novels, television and magazines. Students will write in a variety of genres and will read a variety of literature, all with an eye toward successful completion of the Common Core ELA Regents Exam in June. 

English/U.S. History & Government 11 – Aligned 

This aligned course centers on the cooperative discovery of the history and literature of the United States. Focused on the societal perception of “The American Dream,” students will explore how this concept has evolved over time. There is great emphasis on independent reading, projects and presentations. Students will be asked to complete a summer project to prepare for the course. *This course may be taken for Honors credit if the student demonstrates mastery of designated performance standards. Students will take the Common Core ELA Regents exam in June. 

0331 English 11AP – Language & Composition 

Students will study how our language works and engage in rhetorical analysis. There is a focus on the ways writers use language to shape a reader’s reaction. Students will read a variety of challenging nonfiction texts from a variety of genres and historical periods. This course is designed to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Language and Composition exam in May as well as the Common Core ELA Regents Exam in June. Students will complete a summer reading project to prepare for this course. 

0402 English 12 Focus 

Reading and writing skills are further developed in a small class with a structured, supportive atmosphere. Attention is given to individual choice in reading and writing, with an emphasis on developing appreciation for and skill in both activities. Critical thinking activities are promoted through the use of movies, music, and literature of several genres. Skills necessary for individual post-high school plans are developed. 

0403 English 12 Core 

This course extends growth in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will be involved in a variety of experiences and activities which will further their appreciation of reading and their effectiveness as writers. Attention is given to individual choice in reading and writing. Journal writing, as a tool to extend and enrich thinking about literature and life, is included as a part of this course. 

0415 College Writing (SCCC) 

This course provides a foundation in academic discourse by developing effective communication skills with an emphasis on expository writing; an oral presentation is required. This course is based on ENG 123: College Composition at SCCC. Students may earn three college credit hours upon successful completion of this class. 

0416 College Literature & Writing (SCCC) 

This course encourages students to use writing to explore the ways in which literature functions as an art form. Writing and research techniques introduced in College Writing and AP Language & Composition are strengthened and refined. This course is is based on ENG 124: Literature & Writing at SCCC. Students may earn three college credit hours upon successful completion of this class. 

0422 The Holocaust through Literature 

This is a reading-intensive course in which students will study the Holocaust through a variety of lenses. Students will study the Holocaust as it relates to victims, perpetrators, bystanders, resisters, and rescuers. Issues will be examined through literature, writing, research, and guest speakers. 

0502 Creative Writing 

Class activities in this half-year course include posting to a blog as well as intensive work on completing finished pieces in a variety of genres, but with primary emphasis on poetry, short fiction and long fiction. Students share their work with others in the class. 

0512 Cinema as Literature 

Much of today’s information and entertainment is provided through the medium of film. This course is devoted to the study of movies and how they communicate. Comparison of literary and cinematic versions of stories is a part of this course. A significant amount of reading and writing is required as well as class time viewing, discussing, and creating movies 

0522 Digital Broadcasting: News & Sports 

Students will work to produce a daily newscast, The GHS Reporter, that runs during our Homeroom period. In addition to generating story ideas relating to the school and community, students will learn how to write interview questions, write a news story using several sources, determine visuals that will enhance the story for the television audience, and use digital technology to pull it all together. Students will also learn to write effective news stories to be read from the anchor desk, taking advantage of print and digital sources to fill our Headlines, Sports, Local News and Entertainment segments. 

0532 Screenwriting 

Students study the format, style and techniques of writing screenplays for feature films. Students will study several exemplary films; they will read and critique four full-length screenplays. Students will use what they have learned to write their own original full-length screenplay 

0542 Sports Composition and Literature 

This course is designed to use composition and literature – fiction, poetry, essays, biographies, autobiographies, journalism, and films – to illuminate and refine our understanding of the impact of sports on our personal and social lives. Some of the issues to be examined are: the nature of sport itself, the role of sports in defining values, the effects of competition, and racism/sexism in sports. 

0552 Ethics of Digital Citizenship 

This course would be a semester course that would explore the process of establishing a productive and positive online presence. Although our current students are considered “digital natives,” they are faced with increasingly complicated ethical and philosophical considerations as they shape their online presence and participate in digital citizenship. This course would explore some of those issues, including (but not limited to): blogging, plagiarism, effective online forum participation, cyberbullying, social media as a force for political/ social change/engagement, empathy and the web, online activism and vigilantism (i.e. Anonymous and Wikileaks) and the Internet as a democratizing force. 

0603 Journalism 

In this course sequence, students will study scholastic and professional media publications to inform their creation of work for Guilderland High School publications. Specifically, students will practice, develop and apply a number of literacy skills. In reading and writing, students will work with news, feature, sports, column, editorial, commentary, and creative writing forms. In addition, students will be exposed to skills that support understanding of narrative through the practice of multimedia storytelling, including recording and editing audio interviews, creating photographic stories, and capturing video footage. Throughout this process students will practice the verbal communication and cooperative leadership skills essential to individual and organizational success of professional publications. 

0702 Public Speaking 

This course helps students overcome self-consciousness, think clearly and logically, listen critically, and learn to speak formally with effectiveness and integrity. Students will speak frequently on a wide variety of topics and for many purposes. 

0722 Shakespeare 

Students in this course engage in the study of Shakespeare’s work by playing with moments and scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. No acting experience is necessary! Through playing a Shakespearean role, students learn how to speak Shakespeare’s English, how to understand his characters, and how to help an audience feel the power of his ideas. Students submit periodic written reflections about their process of making sense of Elizabethan language, of making sense of the Shakespearean characters they are playing, and of making sense of Shakespeare’s themes not only in his plays, but also in the hallways of Guilderland High School and wherever else they see his themes being lived out today. 

0712 Literature of Social Injustice 

This is a writing-intensive, experience-based course in which students will study several groups of oppressed people. Students will explore aspects of diversity and tolerance through a variety of activities. Issues will be examined through literature, writing, field trips, research, and guest speakers. Topics such as poverty, disabilities, and gender will be explored. 

0801 Syracuse University Project Advance English 

SUPA is Syracuse University Project Advance, in which  Syracuse University classes are taught by adjunct professors on high school campuses. SUPA English is a full-year course (6 SU credits) consisting of two semester-long courses: WRT 105: Practices of Academic Writing and ETS 181: Class and Literary Texts. Practices of Academic Writing is a studio course focusing on the aims, strategies, and conventions of academic prose, especially analysis and argument, and involves the study and practice of writing processes, including critical reading, collaboration, revision, editing, and the use of technology. We write as a mode of thinking, to make an argument, to communicate, and to wrestle with issues of power, history, difference and community, especially as played out in contemporary culture. In Class and Literary Texts, questions of social class have long been a focus of novelists’, poets’ and essayists’ work. Parallel to the ways that writers affect and engage social class, critical readers can engage with the concepts of social class as they read. Concerned with the social divisions of privilege, wealth, power and status, these concepts provide a set of lenses through which to read the world of work, home and community in a range of literary and other texts. This course provides an introduction to these concepts and exposes students to key texts in literature, film and other media as a way of fostering critical engagement and developing richer social responsibility through textual interpretation. Both courses employ a portfolio model, where students collect and evaluate work over time. Hence, there is no exam associated with the course. 

0811 English 12AP Literature & Composition 

AP is a course emphasizing critical reading in literature and writing about literature and related ideas. It is for students capable of doing college-level work in English while they are in high school, who are willing to devote the energy necessary to complete a rigorous and demanding course designed for the college-bound student. The short-term goal is to enable students to demonstrate their achievement in college-level work by taking the Advanced Placement English Examination in Literature and Composition. The more important long-term goals of the course are to enable students to learn at a rate commensurate with their ability; to deal with material that intellectually mature students find engaging; to refine reading and writing skills important for success, not only in college but also in the business and professional world; and to cultivate habits of reading, writing, and thinking that characterize lifelong learning and enjoyment. It is expected that students will sit for the AP exam in May. Students will complete a summer project to prepare for this course. 

 

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