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Teaching & Learning: Curriculum - English Language Arts


Course Descriptions - Grade 12


Course Description: In this full year Senior Course, students read, consider and discuss masterworks from the classical and contemporary canon starting with Beowulf and ending in the modern world of Joyce, Ellison, Anaya, Kesey and Alexie. Students reflect on the dilemmas of the classic and contemporary hero as well as ethical quagmires encountered on the important journeys and quests in literature and in life. A variety of genres are taught including the epic, satire, novel, short story, and poetry. Students examine the breadth of structured and free verse as they study the sonnet and ballad and they appreciate the free verse of T.S. Eliot and Cummings. As students prepare for the final administration of the SAT, vocabulary building continues. Far less a survey course than a course in deep reading and thinking, the central objective of the course is to foster appreciation for the humanities. The complexity of the human experience is encountered through completion of literary and creative projects, collaboration with classmates, composition of a personal college essay and an in-depth individual research project which will ultimately prepare the student for post secondary study, college or work. This project, called the Senior Paper, is an essential component of the course; it is framed by the student and the teacher following specific departmental guidelines during the fall semester.

Essential Question:

  • What is the nature of good and evil?
  • How does experience influence and shape one's perspectives, visions and values?

Learn more about the Grade 12 English Language Arts Curriculum.


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