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Introduction to Standard Composition & Standard Survey of Literature
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Prerequisite:  open to all high school students
Level: 9th grade
Credit: 1.0

Course Description

Freshmen English is about giving students exposure to a variety of literature types; Shakespeare, short stories and novels.  Students learn to read critically, recognizing allusions in life to the classics, which help to make up the knowledge base of most people, in turn paving a foundation for communication.
Writing instruction will introduce and focus on the writing process; personal experience writing, persuasive essays, and journal writing will offer students an opportunity to express different voices through writing.  Basic grammar skills will be taught and applied directly to students’ writings.
Emphasis for the writing process will be placed on the ability to cite specific textual information and then offer personal thoughts and reflections in relation to the text.


After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Increase level of vocabulary and widen ability to use it
  • Recognize the use of literary elements and techniques used to convey meaning
  • Recognize and define elements of a novel
  • Recognize and define elements of a short story
  • Interpret and respond to literature in writing and through discussion
  • Understand Shakespearean language and comprehend its meaning
  • Apply knowledge of the writing process
  • Communicate ideas in writing to accomplish a variety of purposes to a variety of audiences
  • Design and present a research project with information acquired from various sources

    Course Outline

    Writing Workshop

  • Use writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing and publishing)
  • Portray knowledge of specific key writing skills: topic sentence, transition words, phrases, and sentences, reflective sentences, concluding sentences.
  • Use prior experience to convey life lesson to audience
  • Focus on elaboration of episodes
  • Express knowledge of author’s intent and relation to background knowledge and/or personal connections

    The Novel—Anthem and And Then There Were None

  • Explore difference and similarities in themes
  • Apply universal thematic concepts
  • Analyze literary techniques
  • Describe relationships between author’s style and intended effect on the reader
  • Short Stories

  • Explore differences and similarities in themes
  • Explain relationships between and among literary elements including character, plot, setting, theme, conflict and resolution and their influence on a literary piece
  • Discuss plot development
  • Discuss characterization methods and the author’s intent

    Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”

  • Explore Shakespeare’s background
  • Explore and understand Shakespearean language
  • Discuss use of literary techniques
  • Write character diaries
  • Write response journal entries
  • Identify and apply universal themes
  • Teaching Methods

    Freshmen English is taught through lecture, class discussion, individual conferences, projects, videos and oral readings.  Students are asked to work together on selected assignments.  They are also given notes and handouts for each unit.


  • Reading comprehension may be evaluated through discussion, pop and announced quizzes
  • Cooperative group presentation to be evaluated by teacher and/or peers according to rubric detailed with various desirable behaviors that contribute to a quality product
  • Successful writing sills will be evaluated by the teacher as students adhere to the conventions of written language as well as demonstrate the use of writing as a tool for communicating universal concepts
  • Successful group discussion behavior will be evaluated by the teacher according to demonstration of skillful paraphrasing and intelligent questioning
  • Selected Resources

    Writer’s Inc. School to Work   
       Great Source Education Group
    Ayn Rand
    And Then There Were None
    Agatha Christie
    “Romeo and Juliet”  
    William Shakespeare
    Edith Hamilton
    “The Monkey’s Paw”
    W. W. Jacobs
    “The Lottery” 
    Shirley Jackson
    “The Most Dangerous Game” 
    Richard Connell
    “The Gift of the Magi” 
    Painless Grammar 
    Rebecca Elliot
    Vocabulary Builder
    Merriam Webster

      In addition to these resources, students will be required to read two books of their choice per semester.

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