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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. 

Materials of study: The Great Gatsby, personality and character tests, supplementary materials related to their post-secondary plans. 

English Electives:
These courses can be taken junior year with instructor approval or can be taken to fulfill senior year English requirements.

Oral Communications

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 public speaking.

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.

Creative Writing

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.

Contemporary Novel

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 Jeannette Walls.

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.

British Literature

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.

Multicultural Literature

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 our own.

Materials of study: Works of fiction from Native American culture, African American culture, Asian American culture, as well as, fiction related to gender and social constructs.

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 college credits. 

Composition 1 (Taught at MHS by Professor Armstrong)*

Written communication using various rhetorical methods.

Composition 2 (Taught at MHS by Professor Armstrong)*

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 

Montezuma Community Schools
504 N. 4th Street
Montezuma, IA 50171
P: 641-623-5121
F: 641-623-5733
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