Academics
Curriculum

English

DEPARTMENT PHILOSOPHY:

The English curriculum is college preparatory where critical and analytical thinking skills are deliberately developed, with an emphasis on the students’ applying these skills and methods in all classes. The freshman and sophomore level courses provide the fundamentals of literary analysis, beginning writing instruction and grammar review. Junior and senior level courses concentrate on more sophisticated application of these concepts, also offering oral presentation practice.

MEET THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT FACULTY:

ENGLISH DEPARTMENT COURSE OFFERINGS:

List of 14 items.

  • COLLEGE PREP ENGLISH I – 2211 and 2212

    College Prep English I, a foundational course for freshmen, reinforces instruction in Standard English grammar and usage within an integrated college preparatory program that includes reading, writing and speaking. College Prep English I supports the later DSHA English Department curriculum by focusing on building a strong foundation in grammatical and rhetorical conventions, allowing students to begin to use these conventions as effective writers. Students will write compositions to reinforce grammar and usage skills and to develop their voice as writers. Vocabulary development and reading comprehension are also strengthened with a variety of reading assignments.

    9th grade, 2 semesters, required
  • COLLEGE PREP ENGLISH II – 2251 and 2252

    College Prep English II, like College Prep English I, is an introductory foundational course that prepares students for the more complex reading and writing assignments they will receive as upperclasswomen. A survey of American literature, the course introduces students to the various authors and genres of American literature from the Puritan age to the modern and contemporary age. In the context of American literature, students focus on writing skills such as paragraph development, proper use of sources and citations, grammar, sentence structure, thesis development, essay structure and support. Students write three to four formal analytical essays each semester in addition to a number of shorter assignments. An introduction to the research paper is also included in the second semester. A variety of reading assignments in American literature including short stories, novels, poetry, essays and other nonfiction strengthen reading comprehension and vocabulary. Students also receive instruction in delivering formal speeches and by the end of the year, we expect our students to be competent and capable speakers, writers, thinkers and readers.

    10th grade, 2 semesters, required
  • THE FEMALE IDENTITY IN LITERATURE – 2310

    Women’s roles in art and literature reflect the changing values, cultural biases and social mores of society. This course offers students an opportunity to examine female authors’ perspectives involving the impact of women in various spheres of the world. Students will explore contemporary and historically significant women writers from both a feminist perspective and an historical perspective. As a composition-based course, The Female Identity in Literature will require students to write numerous essays of critical analysis derived from discussion and independent analysis and examination. Works will include novels, short stories and nonfiction essays and articles.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • MAJOR BRITISH WRITERS – 2340

    With the exception of Shakespeare, this course centers on the study of prominent British authors and their significant literary contributions. Specific course content is determined by the individual teacher of the class; however, authors studied may include Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Jean Rhys, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and numerous celebrated British poets. This course features demanding but enriching reading material and many opportunities for critical analysis of literature. A variety of works including poetry, short stories, and novels will be both subjects of class discussion and written essays.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • THE WRITING COURSE – 2345

    “The Writing Course” is a pure writing course that will instruct the student in and require her to write the four forms of discourse. However, since ninety to perhaps one hundred percent of the student’s writing assignments in high school and college will involve exposition, we will focus on that form and even write description and narration in terms of having an expository purpose. Based on the assertion from the UW System that students preparing for college need “frequent and effective practice in writing,” all major assessment in the course will necessarily be in the form of writing assignments. During the semester, the students will be required to write eight full length, multiple paragraph, take home compositions (with a minimum of three and a half pages each in the MLA format) and an equal number of impromptu or in-class essays. By the end of the semester, every student will have produced an absolute minimum of 30 printed pages. Given the significance of syntax and vocabulary in every writer’s work, the course will also involve grammar review units, vocabulary units, and sentence style lessons before and after every writing assignment. In fact, whenever we are not discussing a particular writing assignment, we will be working on grammar, vocabulary, and sentence style.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • SHAKESPEARE – 2325

    This course will provide students with a comprehensive view and understanding of the Shakespearean canon through reading and writing about tragedies and comedies. Reading and critical (written) analysis of Shakespeare’s sonnets will also be included. A composition-based course, Shakespeare will require students to demonstrate essential literary criticism skills in class discussion and within numerous papers throughout the semester.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • GREAT BOOKS – 2330

    In Great Books we will critically examine several excellent works of literature. We will study the social, political, and economic institutions embedded in the historical frameworks of the texts we study. An understanding of both the author and the era is crucial to an understanding of characters, theme, and purpose. Active participation in class discussion will be required of all students and will develop students’ critical thinking skills. As a composition-based course, students will write both short analytical essays and longer critical papers throughout the semester. The number and genre of individual works will vary by instructor.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • TOPICS IN LITERATURE – 2365

    In Topics in Literature, we will critically examine various bodies/canons of literature organized around a theme or big idea. In this course, students may delve into detective fiction, the theology of literature, America in the 1990s, gender bias in fiction, science fiction or some other topic. The choices may be endless! As a composition-based writing course, emphasis will be on developing the skills of argumentative writing, close reading, and critical analysis and on thinking about what it means to participate in a community of readers. Please note: the Topics course is not assigned to any one teacher, nor will the topic be decided until the overall number of sections is determined. Students should choose this course with an open mind and a willing spirit; if you need certainty about what you will be reading, this may not be a course for you.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • ENG 263: CONTEMPORARY LITERATURE – 2370**

    ENG 263 will constitute a wide-ranging study of contemporary literature written in English, written roughly between the end of WWII and the present. The class will approach this literature from a variety of thematic, historical, and/or generic vantages. Authors and topics under consideration will vary from class to class, but a focus on understanding the elements of contemporary literature will be our cornerstone. We may include a chronological introduction to the development of contemporary literature, and a consideration of themes, historical events, and aesthetic elements and their effects. Students will be evaluated by means of impromptus, reading check quizzes, essays and a mid-term and final exam.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from UW-Whitewater by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
  • THE SELF IN LITERATURE – 2355

    This course examines how identity is shaped through literature. Whether characters in stories are heroes and heroines or on the outskirts of society, these characters give us insight to who we are and how we shape our identity. This course thus focuses on seeing how characters’ identities/selves are shaped through literature, and how they relate to our own lives. This course will also examine the role of literature in society, and how literature helps us understand our human condition. Because the nature of this course is thematic and literary, students will read a variety of authors, and may include both fiction and nonfiction. This course aligns with national Common Core curriculum standards by holding the following objectives: 1.) A focus on argumentative writing; 2.) Sustained engagement with informative texts that supplement fiction read in class; and 3.) Advanced explanatory writing, and becoming cognizant of a variety of literary texts that address this central enduring topic.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • WORLD LITERATURE – 2360

    This course is a study of representative works of world literature and may include works from antiquity through the contemporary era. The course emphasizes the study and consideration of the literary, cultural, and human significance of selected great works of the Western and non-Western literary traditions, and an important goal of the class is to promote an understanding of the works in their cultural/historical contexts and of the enduring human values which unite the different literary traditions. This course aligns with national Common Core curriculum standards by holding the following objectives: 1.) A focus on argumentative writing; 2.) Sustained engagement with informative texts that supplement fiction read in class; and 3.) Advanced explanatory writing, and becoming cognizant of a variety of literary texts that address global concerns. Furthermore, the course's pedagogy gives special attention to critical thinking and writing within a framework of cultural diversity as well as comparative and interdisciplinary analysis.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
  • AP ENGLISH LITERATURE – 2151 and 2152

    The Advanced Placement English curriculum consists of course numbers 2151 and 2152. The course offers students a composition based curriculum, guaranteeing that every student will be prepared for success as an independent, analytic reader, thinker, and writer. Based on the assumption that every graduate must be capable if not sophisticated in the higher level learning skills of analysis and synthesis, the course presents frequent and effective practice in every aspect of composition, directed toward leading each student to achieve her potential as a high school writer preparing for college. All writing assignments will involve analytic exposition, based on the essay topics created by the College Board for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam. (All writing instruction in the course follows the style and form prescribed by the College Board.) Students will be required to write a minimum of 11 analytic papers and 12 impromptu analytic essays, therefore ensuring that all students will produce 50 pages of expository prose by the end of the year. During the first quarter, the students will study the analysis of poetry; the second quarter will involve drama and prose analysis; the third quarter will focus primarily on the novel, and the fourth quarter will involve a combination of assignments. (Just about every student in the course takes the AP English Literature and Composition Exam given in May by the College Board.)

    11th-12th grade, 2 semesters, prerequisite writing assessment and department recommendation
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
  • EN 215: IRISH LITERATURE - 2260**

    This course will focus on and illuminate the extraordinary voices of Irish writers from 1900 to the present. We will examine a range of Irish fiction, drama, and poetry. Through lectures and discussion, and drawing on a range of historical and theoretical sources, we will explore how Irish writers have responded to the complex history and politics of Ireland in the course of the last century. Various topics may include: the Irish literary revival, Irish modernism, postcolonial dimensions of Irish literature, exile and the Irish writer, emigration and the Irish diaspora, the War of Independence and the Irish Civil War of the 1920s, the “Troubles” and other topics.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from Cardinal Stritch University by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
  • EN 211: ETHNICITY IN AMERICAN LITERATURE - 2265**

    This is a study of American writers of diverse ethnic backgrounds (including, but not limited to, Native, African, Asian, Hispanic and European Americans) and how ethnicity plays a role in the themes, structures, and genres of literature. Various historical periods may be considered. Aesthetic, historical, cultural, and gender issues will be explored.

    11th-12th grade, 1 semester
    Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits from Cardinal Stritch University by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
    Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit offerings here
**Students will be eligible to receive 3 transferable college credits by enrolling in the Concurrent Enrollment dual-credit program.
Learn more about AP & Dual-Credit Offerings Here
The DSHA English Department prides itself upon being a writing-intensive department. In addition to curriculum-based instruction, DSHA students have opportunities to develop and hone their writing and speaking skills both in and outside of their English courses. Discover some of the English-related opportunities below:

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