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English/Language Arts/Humanities Classes

English/Language Arts courses parallel the History/Government/Geography/Business & Economics courses each year for both middle and high school. Students see connections between what they learn in one class with what they do in another. English/Language Arts classes focus primarily on reading and writing, literature, and research. In addition, students have a separate Humanities class that includes public speaking, speeches, debate, mock trial, journaling, creative writing, resume writing, journalism, writing contests, SAT preparation and practice, independent projects, and cross-subject or cross-curricular assignments. We follow the Virginia Department of Education recommendation and guidelines for English/Language Arts. *Topics of study: US & American Literature, World Literature, British Literature, European Literature, Eastern Cultures & Literature, Ancient & Classic Literature, Latin American Literature

American Literature and Critical Thinking

Students will develop their self-expression through critical thinking. They will spend a good deal of time reading classic writings by American authors in a mix of mediums, including poetry, prose, essays and long-form works, to help them learn through observation.They will be expected to write every day, including journaling, academic essays and research papers, to help them learn by practice. In class, they will discuss rhetoric, teach one another, provide peer feedback and generate new work. The capstone project for this course will be a collection of student writings published both as an individual portfolio and as a class literary magazine.

British Literature and Advanced Grammar

Students will develop through self-expression with appropriate grammar and mechanics. They will spend a good deal of time reading classic writings by British authors in a mix of mediums, including poetry, prose, essays and long-form works, to help them learn through observation. They will be expected to write every day, including journaling, academic essays and grammar exercises, to help them learn by practice. In class, students will discuss grammar and mechanics, teach one another, provide peer feedback and generate new essays. The capstone project for this course will be a collection of student writings published both as an individual portfolio and as a class literary magazine.

Language Arts

Language Arts is designed to help students develop their self-expression and empathy through the writing process. Students read many different types of books across many different genres to help them learn through observation. Students write every day, including practicing communication skills, the creative process and academic writing, to help them learn by practice. In class, students work in groups, explore modern media, learn grammar principles and generate new work. The capstone project for this course is producing a school literary magazine as a class as well as keeping an individual reading journal.

Literary Criticism and Creative Writing

Students will develop their self-expression through the creative writing process. They will spend a good deal of time reading the work of successful, contemporary authors in a mix of mediums, including poetry, prose, essays and long-form works, to help them learn through observation. They will be expected to write every day, including journaling, craft essays and creative work, to help them learn by practice. In class, they will discuss writing craft, teach one another, provide peer feedback and generate new creative work. The capstone project for this course will be a collection of student writings published both as an individual portfolio and as a class literary magazine.

Literary Seminar

This course uses the Socratic Method to facilitate cooperative argumentative dialogue among the students, based on asking and answering questions. The goal is to stimulate critical thinking and to draw out ideas and underlying presuppositions. Literature that is discussed in this course will draw from the readings students complete for their specific English classes, and students will come prepared with questions and discussion topics to address in class. Students will use the ideas and concepts discussed in the seminar to write academic essays and creative work.

World Literature and Public Speaking

Students will develop their self-expression through the communication process. They will spend a good deal of time reading the work of successful authors from around the world in a mix of mediums, including poetry, prose, essays and long-form works, to help them learn through observation. They will be expected to write every day, including journaling, academic essays and speaking outlines, to help them learn by practice. In class they will discuss public speaking techniques, teach one another, provide peer feedback and present speeches. The capstone project for this course will be a collection of student writings published both as an individual portfolio and as a class literary magazine.