Honors English

10th Grade Honors English Curriculum

Each week we cover a different writing concept or technique, including analysis of a reading from Interpretations of Literature as an example or as a basis for a writing exercise, lecture and/or writing workshop. Tests include weekly quizzes covering textual content and vocabulary for the week's reading, and midterm and final exams that include sentence corrections on the SAT model, identifications based on class readings, and short essay questions.

The 10th grade focuses on the workshop process in writing and the Socratic method in literary critique, through which students learn to find their own voices through dialogue. At this level, we also emphasize the place of texts in history by studying major literary movements (Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Magical Realism, genre fiction).
Assigned Readings
Short Fiction [Fall]
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Pit and the Pendulum"
Howard Phillips Lovecraft, "The Shadow over Innsmouth"
O. Henry, "Friends in San Rosario"
Max Brand, "Wine on the Desert"
Ambrose Bierce, "Chickamauga"
Julio Cortazar, "Axolotl"
Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Ambitious Guest"

Poetry [early Winter]
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Concord Hymn"
Anne Bradstreet, "The Author to her Book"
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Blight"
Walt Whitman, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd"
William Cullen Bryant, "The Snow Shower"
Robert Frost, "Birches"
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Bells"
Emily Dickinson, "A Narrow Fellow in the Grass"

Novel [Winter]
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

Drama [early Spring]
Saul Levitt, The Andersonville Trial

Non-fiction [late Spring]
Charles Lindbergh, "An Indepedent Policy"
Dorothy Thompson, "Hitler's Plans for Canada and the U.S."
Margaret Mead, "One Vote for this Age of Anxiety"
E. B. White, "The Age of Dust"
The students write 2-3 page writing assignments tailored to test the particular skills covered that week, quarterly creative writing assignments (three short stories and one poem) and a 5 page term paper. All of these assignments must show continued improvement of the student's mastery of critical analysis, the language and conventions of literary criticism and the techniques of persuasive writing covered in class.

Types of Fear in Poe
Choice of topic (theme trace: the uncanny, rationalism, or degeneration) on "The Shadow over Innsmouth"
Choice of topic (theme: friendship or use of irony and foreshadowing) on O. Henry and Brand
Perspective in Bierce and/or Cortazar
Natural Realism in Hawthorne
Choice of topic (metaphor, theme or rhythm) comparing two poems
Isolationism vs. Interventionism (Lindbergh/Thompson debate)
Choice of topic (symbolism: darkness and light, theme: imperialism, mythic characterization) on Heart of Darkness
Three five-page short stories and one poem
Choice of topic (theme: science and Romanticism, theme: friends and family, formation of the person) on Frankenstein [TERM PAPER]