ELA (English Language Arts)

English Language Arts Department    

Teachers: Sofia Apostolidis, Robert Budnick, Albert Colón, Julie Hoffman, Samantha Schisler, Aida Muskaj

All students must complete 4 years of English. The Regents exam is taken at the end of the third year. 

English: (Grade 9) In this year long course students will be introduced to a variety of authors and writing styles through a humanities curriculum answering the essential questions, “What makes us human?  How do we share our stories?”  Texts studied will include play(s) by Sophocles, the study of Greek and Roman mythology, and Beowulf.  There is on-going writing instruction, which concentrates on the structure of the paragraph, as well as a strong focus on the incorporation of literary elements and the controlling idea in a paragraph structure (ELA Regents preparation).  In addition, there is instruction on vocabulary, grammar, literary elements, critical thinking and analysis of text, test taking and study strategies, note-taking skills, organizational skills, and an introduction to basic research skills.  Each freshman student is directed on engaging in and completing a mythology project in the fall and a creative writing project in the spring.

English: (Grade 10) Students will be exposed to world literature, which may include Frankenstein, Macbeth, Kaffir Boy, 1984, and Metamorphosis, in addition to the mandated texts, A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen and Night, by Elie Wiesel.  Students in their sophomore year will answer the essential question, “How is one’s identity influenced by society?”  Through the writing process students will be instructed on how to write, re-write, edit, and publish a critical lens essay (ELA Regents preparation.)  Instruction includes vocabulary, grammar, research skills, citing works to create a bibliography using the MLA format, critical thinking and analysis of text, and poetry.  Each sophomore student is directed on engaging in and completing projects entitled, “The Creative Exploration of Identity Project” in the fall and “The Memoir Project” in the spring.  The projects will incorporate writing, public speaking, technology, student creativity, and research.

English: (Grade 11) This course covers American literature from Native American folk tales to World War II.  Students will answer the essential questions, “What is justice?” and “What is the American Dream?”  Texts read include The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter or The Crucible, and The Great Gatsby as well as works by Hawthorne, Emerson, Whitman, and Steinbeck.  Through the writing process, students will learn how to write a comparative and thematic essay in addition to a strong focus on the critical lens essay, in preparation for the English Language Arts Regents, which they will take in January.  Instruction continues to include vocabulary, grammar, research skills, citing works to create a bibliography using the MLA format, critical thinking and analysis of text, and poetry.  Each junior student is directed on engaging in and completing a comparative essay and/or a thematic essay in the fall and a personal essay in the spring.  The personal essay is a part of the College Application Process Unit, which also includes instruction from guidance in creating a bio page in preparation for the student resume.

English: (Grade 12) Students are exposed to a myriad of writers, poets, essayists and playwrights.  Texts studied by all students include Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Shakespeare’s Othello or Hamlet, and The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.  Students will begin the fall semester by focusing on perfecting their personal essay and their college resume for their college applications.  Students will answer the essential questions, “How do we discover ourselves through literature?” while exploring the themes of “Waking up to the reality of the world we live in,” and “The Quest and Journey.”  In addition, each student will complete a Pre-College Research Paper; the process for this will begin in the late fall and end in late spring.

AP English: (Grade 12) This is a survey course meant to deepen the appreciation a student has for literature, as well as prepare them for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Exam.  The yearlong course covers literature from the 11th century to the 21st century, mostly from Great Britain.  Works and authors that may be covered include Geoffrey Chaucer’s, The Canterbury Tales; William Shakespeare’s, Hamlet; Virginia Woolf’s, Mrs. Dalloway; James Joyce’s, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, as well as works of the Metaphysical, Romantic, and Victorian poets.  **

Journalism: (Grade 12) Students will study the fundamental principles of gathering, writing, reporting, and editing the news.  They will also acquire advertising and publish four editions of Frank Sinatra School of the Art’s newspaper, The Bennett.

**All Senior English Classes will continue to work on essay writing and creative writing.  They will also complete the College Application Process Unit, which focuses on the completion of the personal essay and the student resume.

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