English classes at HBA are designed to increase students’ enjoyment of literature and writing. We want to convey that literature explores the larger world and how people interact with the world and with one another. So even when what we read is fiction, we learn about real life. By affecting our thoughts and feelings, literature can also affect our actions as well. So literature not only reflects but helps to shape our world.
A comprehensive study of language arts, our English courses concentrate instruction on a thorough analysis of short stories, novels, nonfiction, poems, and plays. Building on strategies from previous English courses, students will use increasingly sophisticated reading strategies and writing conventions. In addition, students will identify characteristics of these genres and identify elements of fiction and literature including setting, theme, plot, symbolism, point of view, foreshadowing and irony. Students have a variety of writing assignments, both formal and informal. Editing techniques are also included. Reading comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar skills are also incorporated using specific drills and practice exercises to apply these skills to all their assignments.
Writing about literature also has real-world usefulness. It forces us to organize our thoughts and state clearly what we think and believe. It is our goal to learn as we write – to make new discoveries and connections between ideas. When we work through contradictions in our thinking, we can create new lines of thought and ideas. So, while reading literature teaches us about the world, writing about literature teaches us about ourselves.
- English 9 – 12
- AP English Language
- AP English Literature
- Creative Writing