English and Literature

English and Literature courses promote effective written and oral communication, critical thinking, and a broad appreciation of literature. The curriculum addresses correct form, content, creative application of concepts, and analysis of the written word. Selected course materials promote age-appropriate interest in reading, interdisciplinary connections, and acquaintance with the most respected authors and themes of classic and contemporary literature.

Students in Middle School study vocabulary, grammar, sentence diagramming, and composition, in addition to literature. Within the course of the academic year, students read from six to ten works (novels, plays, poetry collections, biographies, short stories) together in class and write about them through journals and short essays. They also read at least eight novels outside of class from the summer through the school year. Course literature illustrates specific themes, such as coming of age, and exemplifies multiple genres such as mystery, fantasy, historical fiction, biography, epic, and science fiction. Students learn how the research process becomes more complex, using topics and connections in literature as prompts for research in a sophisticated library. They practice writing constantly, informally in journals or formally in essays and research-based projects. They learn and practice formal MLA documentation of sources.