Deer Lakes

School District

English Language Arts

A total of four (4) Language Arts credits are required for graduation.  All students are expected to write and conduct research in compliance with MLA standards.  The Modern Language Association (MLA) style is a research format devised by a council of University and College professors.  These established standards specify the protocols for documenting student research products.

All students in grades 9-11 will participate in several scheduled Keystone writing style exercises during the course of the school year.  Student participation at each level is critical to determine your son’s or daughter’s success as a writer as they move through our school.  Our goal is to make them better writers and provide them with the best preparation for the Keystone Exams.

English Application A

 Grade 9 1.00 Credit  Level 1 Course # 1110
This course emphasizes the fundamental language skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, thinking, viewing and presenting. Emphasis on vocabulary and composition skills will be an on-going part of the program. The course includes studies of various literary genres: short story, poetry, novel, drama, and non-fiction. The development of critical reading and writing skills are a major emphasis of the course.  The course is designed to aid students to become stronger readers and writers.

English 9

 Grade 91.00 Credit Level 1 Course # 1111
This course is designed to develop basic abilities in writing, reading, speaking, listening and critical thinking skills. Students will be given an introduction to persuasive and informational forms of writing. Students will be instructed on the core elements of the research paper and MLA format. Journal and creative writing, formal essays, and in-class prompts designed to prepare students for the Keystone Composition test, a state-mandated essay test, will be utilized. Vocabulary will be emphasized through several methods including practical vocabulary lists, standardized vocabulary lists, and vocabulary lists taken from selected readings. Grammar development will take place in conjunction with reading and writing assignments. 

Students will read a variety of selections including a novel, a play, several short stories, and poetry. Reading will be completed both in class and outside of class in the form of homework assignments. In addition, students will practice listening skills by interacting with audio/visual materials including recordings and films.
 

Pre-AP English 9

 Grade 9 1.00 Credit  Level 2 Course # 1112
The purpose of this course is to intensely develop advanced critical thinking skills in the areas of writing, reading, speaking and listening in preparation for college. Students will be required to understand and practice persuasive and informational forms of writing designed to prepare students for writing styles used in various standardized tests.  This will be accomplished on a weekly basis through the rotated use of journal writing, creative writing, formal essays, and in-class prompts.  Students will also be introduced to core elements of MLA-style research writing, such as the thesis statement, the works cited page, and parenthetical documentation, which students must correctly practice by writing a short research paper. Vocabulary development, including recognition of synonyms and antonyms, and grammar development, with an emphasis of subject/verb agreement, active voice, and correct punctuation, will take place in conjunction with reading and writing assignments.

A primary focus of the course will be preparation for the Keystone Literature exam.  Students will read a variety of non-fiction and fiction selections including Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, several short stories and poetry selections. Also, each student will read a teacher-approved novel of his or her choice as a directed independent reading assignment. Some reading will be completed in class, but a focus will be on individual reading outside of class in the form of homework assignments. In addition, students will practice listening skills by interacting with audio/visual materials including recordings and films.  Students are expected to complete a research paper for this course.  
 

English Application B

 Grade 10 1.00 Credit  Level 1  Course # 1120
This is a continuation of Applications A and includes a review of grammar skills, the teaching of intermediate composition skills, and an examination of various literary genres that include the short story, poetry, drama, non-fiction, and novels.  Emphasis will be placed on vocabulary development, composition skills, critical reading, and critical writing skills as well as researching and formal research writing. 
 

English 10

 Grade 10 1.00 Credit  Level 1  Course # 1121
This course involves the study of literature, composition, grammar, and vocabulary. Short stories and novels will be the primary sources of literature, but students will also regularly analyze non-fiction. A poetry unit will explore the works of well-known poets.  Students will be required to write compositions of limited length, along with in-class and persuasive writing. Grammar skills will be developed with units on effective sentence writing, and vocabulary will be chosen from the reading selections. Oral presentations will be given throughout the year.
 

Pre-AP English 10

 Grade 10 1.00 Credit  Level 2 Course # 1122
This course is not equivalent to a traditional honors course; it is a fast-paced preparatory college level course.  Students will be reading, discussing, and writing almost daily while completing various research projects.  Additionally, students will regularly complete only short answer test responses to prove their own ideas.  The primary focus is to help students understand how and why authors compose their pieces.  By taking this course now and enrolling in the AP Language and Composition course next year, students will learn to develop a strategy for reading, writing, and prioritizing their college workload.
 

English 11

 Grade 11 1.00 Credit  Level 1  Course # 1131 
This course is focused primarily on American fiction and nonfiction. Students are required to read a wide variety of literature throughout the year including novels, plays, short stories, poems, essays, and magazine or newspaper articles. Students will vigorously practice various reading strategies on a weekly basis to improve their reading comprehension skills. All literature will be analyzed for tone, mood, theme, and other literary elements. Also, students will consistently relate all literature to current events and real world experiences, and an emphasis will be placed on students’ constantly making inferences about their reading. Additionally, students will regularly respond to their reading with journal writing and essays, requiring students to employ proper conventions, style, and MLA formats. Students will be regularly expected to participate in whole class and small group discussions to enhance their listening skills.
 

Honors English 11

 Grade 11 1.00 Credit  Level 2  Course # 1132
This fast paced course is focused primarily on American fiction and nonfiction and is intended to help prepare students for the rigor of the college level. Students are required to read and critically analyze a wide variety of literature throughout the year including novels, plays, short stories, poems, and essays. All literature will be analyzed for diction, syntax, purpose, and numerous other literary elements, and an emphasis will be placed on studying the occasions of the literature; students will consistently relate all literature to current events and real world experiences. Writing assignments will require students to employ proper conventions, style, and MLA formats. They must continuously make inferences about their reading and will regularly respond to their reading with journal writing and essays. Students will complete work individually but are regularly expected to participate in whole class and small group discussions to enhance their note taking and listening skills.
 

AP Language & Composition

 Grades 11-12 1.00 Credit  Level 3  Course # 1133
AP English Language and Composition is designed to teach the skills you will need to succeed in a college level writing course and will follow the course requirements described in the AP Language and Composition Course Description published by the College Board. We will work together to discuss and critically analyze writing as well as develop your ability to craft an argument, synthesize sources, and conduct research at an advanced level. We will also cultivate media literacy by studying the rhetoric of visual media through art, photos, commercials (print and video), documentary films, and political cartoons. In conjunction with the College Board’s AP English Course Description, our course teaches “students to read primary and secondary sources carefully, to synthesize material from these texts in their own compositions, and to cite sources using conventions recommended by professional organizations such as the Modern Language Association (MLA).”  This course focuses on non-fiction and the art of the argument which will be especially helpful for students pursuing careers in the business or science world.  It will also prepare students for the writing of arguments in AP Literature and Composition in their senior year if they wish to obtain those college credits as well.
 
This course is organized both chronologically and thematically as students will be reading primarily non-fiction works, as well as fiction and poetry from American Literature in an effort to understand how history relates thematically to the world in which we live. We will examine works for author voice and credibility as well as gain expertise in evaluating point of view, argument and rhetoric.


Students will be expected to read and write daily, participating in peer review groups and individual writing conferences during the writing process (drafting, editing, and revision). Students will also complete a yearlong research project, resulting in a 15-20 page paper and presentation to be scheduled at the end of the year.
 
As this is a college level course, you should be proficient and motivated writers. The workload of this course is both challenging and places a high level of expectation on you with regard to performance. Due to the nature of this course and many of the projects and assigned readings, organizing your time is imperative.  Students are required to take the AP Exam in May.
 

English 12

 Grade 12 1.00 Credit  Level 1  Course # 1141
A literary examination into American, British, World, and popular literature through the 21st century.  Students will analyze novels, short stories, fictional, and factual works. Individual response, group interaction, debate, formal and informal essays are utilized on various topics.  In addition, a research paper applying MLA format will be part of the curriculum.
 

Honors English 12

 Grade 12 1.00 Credit  Level 2  Course # 1142
This course is intended as a preparatory course for students who are college bound.  Students will evaluate and analyze American, British, World, and popular literature through the 21st century.  Various novels, short stories, fictional, and factual works will be examined and related to today’s issues and current events.  Individual response, group interaction, debate, formal and informal essays are utilized on various topics.  In addition, a college level research paper applying MLA format will be part of the curriculum.
 

Discovery English

 Grades 11-12 1.00 Credit  Level 1  Course # 1144
Discovery English is a multi-staff taught, non-traditional English course geared for grades 11 and 12 who have scored proficient or advanced on their Keystone exams. It is an inquiry based class where students will conduct sustained inquiry on a self- chosen topic about which they are passionate. The student will define their personal learning goals, develop their own plan for learning, select a topic, write a proposal, complete research, and create a hands on deliverable that will be shared not only with the class, but with the community as well. Students, after creating a timeline and signing a contract, will maintain a portfolio of completed work that will then be assessed and assigned a grade.

Want to start your own business after high school?  You will research demographics, choose locations; create a business plan, and upon completion will present to local leaders to get advice and perhaps opportunities for the future.  Are you a runner who wants to make the perfect running shoe?  You will investigate the physics behind the running shoe, the marketing and cost factors, create a prototype, and present those to local leaders who perhaps can assist you to make that goal into a reality.  Interested in creating structures that do not detract from the natural surroundings?  Create a city that is part of nature.  Design the houses, the streets, and the utilities needed to meet your goal and present to community leaders. That is what discovery English is all about.  You decide what to explore, how to approach it, how to present it.   Analysis, evaluation, self-reflection, research, written and verbal communication are all vital skills needed in life and these skills will be sharpened with Discovery English.
 

AP English Literature & Composition

 Grade 12 1.00 Credit  Level 3  Course # 1143 
AP English Literature is taught on the level of a college freshman English course. Critical analysis of literary selections via a seminar approach where students are often responsible for presenting interpretations both orally and in writing are an essential aspect of the course. The course also provides an intensified college- level SAT vocabulary development program that includes both Greek and Latin derivatives. Classroom lectures also establish advanced note-taking and listening skills in students. Commitment to the proper conventions of spoken and written English at the mastery level is essential for success in this course.

Demanding written assignments often require that a student employs acceptable college level MLA research formats. The course explores the four major areas of English composition. Anticipate that unannounced essays are commonplace.

Literary selections in this course include English literature from 449 to the present, the literature of antiquity, and several modern American novels and essays. Readings are most often coupled to critical literary analysis of what is read. There is a large amount of independent reading done outside of the classroom. Completion of the course and successful performance on the English AP exam at year's end can result in exemption from freshman level English in college. Prospective students should be aware that the demands of this course exceed Advanced Academic English III.  Students are required to take the AP Exam in May.

There is some alternative assessment in the form of creative projects and presentations, but assessments of student performance are most often tied to pencil and paper examinations.

Public Speaking

 Grades 10-12 .50 Credits  Level 1  Course # 1181
Public speaking is a semester course designed for the student with little or no public speaking experience.  The class will begin with short activities targeting various basic speech skills (inflection, enunciation, tone, rate, eye contact, etc.).  Speech vocabulary will also be introduced and studied.  Next, the basic structure of a speech, along with outlining skills, will be introduced.  Following that, students will prepare and give speeches to introduce (themselves).  

The course will continue with the basic styles of speech:  Speeches to Inform, Demonstrate, and Persuade.  Later, students will engage in other speech activities, such as Impromptu speeches, Oral Interpretation of Literature, a Eulogy, and Cross-Examination Debates.  The course will conclude with a Farewell Speech, demonstrating the abilities gained from the course.

Grading will be primarily performance-based.  Students must understand that there will be no “late” speeches; they must give their speech on their designated day (unless they are legally absent) or they will receive no credit on the assignment.  However, there will also be other brief assignments and activities to contribute to a student’s grade.  
 

Creative Writing

 Grades 10-12 .50 Credits  Level 1  Course # 1182
This one semester course is designed for the student with a sincere interest in developing their creative writing skills.  The primary emphasis is to develop the personal voice in the writing of each student.  A variety of writing strategies are presented through an assortment of exercises and assignments.  The first nine weeks is devoted towards factual writing and the second nine weeks focuses on fictional writing.  Students will not only develop their writing skills but also individual and peer group critiquing and editing will be emphasized.  All completed writing assignments will be evaluated using the Pennsylvania Standards for Effective Writing; organization, content, style, focus, and conventions.   
 

Screenwriting

 Grades 9-12 .50 Credit  Level 1  Course # 1183 
Students will identify the elements of dramatic storytelling.  This course will help you understand, critique, and write dramatic stories for modern media including movies, games and television.  Develop skills in creative writing, awareness, collaborative storytelling, and creative self-confidence.  
 

Literature, Pop Culture, & the Mass Media

 Grades 9-12 .50 Credits  Level 1  Course # 1184 
This English elective semester course will examine the symbiotic relationship between literature, the mass media, and pop culture.  Students will develop an awareness and introspection of how these three mediums shape our society.  This portfolio/project based class will encourage a thematic analysis and examination of core motifs through the decades such as: War and Peace, Family, and Futuristic visions through the music, film, television, and advertising that shaped these generations.