7th Grade English/Language Arts
This class is designed to improve students' writing and speaking skills. Basic grammar is essential for anyone to be able to write and converse with others. To make this class more interesting, the students do a variety of writing projects including short stories, essays, and research papers. The students also do presentations to help them get up in front of an audience and relay their researched information to others.
8th Grade English/Language Arts
During 8th grade English, students will continue to do more writing but new units are added to the curriculum. Poetry has become a challenging but fun addition. Learning to close read newspapers, articles, and stories has become a focus as the eighth graders prepare for high school.
9th Grade Choice: English I
This year long course focuses on the
fundamentals of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Units of study will
incorporate the mechanics of writing, the process of writing, technical reading
and writing, study skills, career building skills, critical thinking skills,
group discussion, and analysis of literature.
Materials of study: To Kill a Mockingbird, Shakespeare, Of
Mice and Men, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Secret Life of Bees, and The
Old Man and the Sea, and works by Edgar Allan Poe.
10th Grade Choice: English II
This year long course takes a more intensive
look into the elements of writing and reading. Students will use literature as
a focus for their writing, learning MLA and APA citations in accordance with
reading and analyzing literature. They will also explore different outlets and
modes of writing such as blogging and creating nonfiction.
Materials of study: The Book
Thief, The Importance of Being Earnest, Socratic Seminars and
nonfiction materials for blogging and online media.
11th Grade Choice: English III
This course covers the verbal and nonverbal
elements of communication. The focus of study will cover the basics of
communication skills in a multitude of communicative platforms. Students will
write cover letters, business proposals, college applications, professional
emails, etc. Literary analysis will center on student perspective and character
development as it pertains to their lives and relatability. Students will be
able to individualize their learning by catering to the specific field in which
they wish to pursue upon graduation.
of study: The Great Gatsby,
personality and character tests, supplementary materials related to their
Electives: These courses can be taken junior year with instructor approval or can be taken to fulfill senior year English requirements.
This course covers the foundations of understanding language.
Topics include an in-depth study of linguistics, an introduction to phonetics,
sociolinguistics, and cultural elements of language. The study includes the
context of language in which we use it, for example humor, performance and
Survey of the Humanities in Literature
This course would be an introductory study of humans with an
English Language Arts emphasis; this course would mirror an academic approach
similar to sociology courses. The students will be exposed to many units such
as the understanding of human nature, understanding human roles and behaviors,
and understanding the human ideal.
This course will focus on the style and technique of nonfiction
writing. Students will learn how to read a variety of nonfiction materials from
memoirs and autobiographies to instructional manuals and informational texts.
They will be aware of reading for a process and how to decode and breakdown
information from any nonfiction resource. This course will assist with other
classes such as science, technology and work-related content.
Materials of study: Student’s choice according to personal interests and post-graduation path.
This course will primarily focus on giving
students a skill set to tap into their own creativity in both fiction and
nonfiction. Students will be given opportunities to explore their creative
strengths, develop a vocabulary with which to discuss their own creativity, and
experiment with the craft and adventure of their own writing.
The focus of this course will be reading novels in the
contemporary era, discussing the themes and characters of each novel and how
they pertain and relate to the themes of our everyday lives.
Materials of study: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Night by Elie
Wiesel, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli and The Glass Castle by
Film and Literature Analysis
Using elements of both film and literature, students will analyze
plot, theme, character development and other literary devices necessary to the
point and purpose of analyzing and reviewing the connections between film and
literature. Students will also explore how film has evolved over time and how
it relates to modern film technology and storytelling.
Materials of study: Life of Pi (film and novel), The Help (film and
novel), independent film choices such as Casablanca, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Godfather.
Survey of Global Literature
After students have taken Humanities I as a prerequisite, students
will explore a more global perspective of human nature, ideals, roles and
behaviors. Compare and contrast the ideals and beliefs of Eastern and Western
culture. Explore all elements of art and their influence on the human race and
cultural expression. Understand how historical background influences the
progression of global perspective.
This course is dedicated to our beloved British Romantic writers
such as Percy and Mary Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth,
Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Lord Byron, and John
Keats. Students will be able to recognize the styles and voices of each writer
and how they reflect the style of Romantic era and movement. They will analyze
poems and prose, learning the literary devices pertaining to poetry as well as
reading the novel Frankenstein.
The purpose of this course would be for students to gain an
understanding and appreciation of cultural values and perspectives as expressed
in literature. Voice and tone will be focal points of discussion as we read and
explore different types of prose and poetry from each culture different from
Materials of study: Works of fiction from Native American culture, African American
culture, Asian American culture, as well as, fiction related to gender and
Non-English Credit Elective: Yearbook and Media
This course is per teacher recommendation only and offered as an
ADDITIONAL elective/credit to grades 10-12. Students will be creating and
designing the yearbook and will have a staff role that is set for the entirety
of the school year.
College Level English Courses:
These courses are college level courses that
are dual credit, meaning a student will receive a high school credit and
Composition 1 (Taught at MHS by Professor
Written communication using various rhetorical
Composition 2 (Taught at MHS by Professor
A study of written communication emphasizing
argumentation, persuasion, investigation, and the research paper.
Public Speaking (Taught at Iowa Valley
Community College by Professor Armstrong)
Principles of speech communication;
preparation, delivery and adjustment to the audience; informative and
persuasive speaking. Emphasis on both speaking and listening.
*HS credit given in English