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ELA Courses

7/8 Humanities
ELA107,ELA108

This is a two-year program for 7th and 8th graders which integrates English Language Arts and Social Studies. Students learn about important social issues and work as a class to find ways to create a more peaceful and socially just world. We explore social studies through reading, writing, and literature. Students also learn developmentally appropriate language arts skills including expository, research, analytical, and creative writing. Students have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through a variety of arts-based projects, presentations, and performances.

Prerequisites: 

 

7/8 Reading Workshop
STU120

Reading Workshop's primary goal is to support students to improve their grade-level reading. This is done through a combination of poetry discussion, word study, and independent and small-group reading. Student enrollment is based on teacher recommendation and reading assessments.

Prerequisites: Recommendation

African American Literature
HLA100

Students explore the development of African American literature from its roots in Africa and Europe, through the diaspora, to the present time. Students develop familiarity with African American literature and the socio-historic context in which it was created, develop an understanding of the relationship of African American literature to mainstream American literature and acquire an appreciation of the schools, styles, and techniques of African American literature. Students research authors integral to African American literature, write a research paper on their subject and give presentations to the class. In addition, students write a textual analysis of a text using a range of critical perspectives and thematic lenses.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

 

Comparative World Literature & History
HLA129

Let’s figure out what we have in common and what divides us so that we can unravel some of history's major schisms. In this course, students will be introduced to the study of world literature and history by taking a literary voyage to foreign lands. We will read literature from various countries and explore historical contexts. Our primary focus will be on works from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. While we read texts from different countries we will consider how culture, history, individuals, and the words themselves shape “worlds.”

Prerequisites: ELA 10

Creative Writing I
HLA103

This creative writing course includes both the study of short story construction methods and creation of original works. In a structured class environment, students harvest the riches of their own experience, adventures, dreams, and near disasters as the unique sources for a series of well-developed pieces. Students will be expected to read and analyze short fiction; identify and describe literary elements in a variety of academic and creative ways; write original short fiction through a series of drafts; and present their work in print and by reading aloud.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

 

English Language Arts 10
ELA110

This yearlong course builds upon and extends the reading, writing, oral communication and study skills established in 9th grade. The reading component includes novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and non-fiction. Students are expected to read and respond to texts critically, sensitively, and in detail. The course also aims to help students develop their proficiency in writing for different purposes and audiences; to feel confident about expressing their thoughts and feelings effectively in class discussions; and finally, to practice giving formal presentations. We focus on the writing process. In late winter we begin to prepare directly for the spring’s MCAS test, and, at the very end of the year, we engage in a project that culminated the year’s study.

Prerequisites: ELA 9

English Language Arts 9
ELA109

The goal of this course is to gain a deeper understanding not only of literature and writing but also of ourselves as learners and thinkers. We read together often, conduct close analysis, and write about the readings. Assignments include writing in various forms, research, presentations, creative work, quizzes, tests, group and individual projects, and a final assessment. The readings are intended to be challenging, the discussions lead to deep thinking, and the writing requires both time and effort.

Prerequisites: 

 

Foundations of Humanities
ELA006

 

Prerequisites: Recommendation

Playwriting
HLA133

Students learn how to write for character, create and resolve conflict through dialogue, and structure plots to create engaging, well-made plays. Plays written in this class have a chance to performed at PVPA and may be entered into scholarship and award competitions. Past students have had their plays published. This course is writing-intensive, and students should expect to share their work with classmates in a writing lab format.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

 

Poetic Voice
HLA107

This course is an in-depth study of poetry focused around a creative writing workshop. Students will share original poems during the weekly workshop, asnd use the feedback to edit thier works using the “June Jordan” rubric. In the first half of the semester, we study closed form and read excerpts from Mary Oliver’s A Poetry Handbook. In the second half of the semester, we read excerpts from Good Poems For Hard Times, edited by Garrison Keilor, as a guide while we work in free verse structures. There is a heavy emphasis on vocabulary study as well. We finish the course by performing pieces of original spoken word theater for the school, and creating a class anthology of our works.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

Public Speaking
HLA108

This course introduces public speaking and oral communication for the 21st century. Write and perform different types of speeches for a wide range of audiences and purposes. We look at famous speeches from history as we strive to improve our own rhetorical skills. Debate, poetry, monologues, and public service announcements round out our practice. An integral part of the course is working with modern communication methods - print, broadcast media, blogs, twitter, email, facebook, etc - in order to improve our understanding of public speaking. Students hone not only their public speaking skills but also their ability to be active, engaged listeners.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

 

Race, Class, and Gender
HLA139

This Literature focused semester-long 11/12 elective has been designed to explore class, gender, and race through fiction, memoir, and essays. We will read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley as we discuss class, a translation of Egalia’s Daughters by Gerd Brantenberg as we study gender, and a collection of classic and contemporary essays and articles as we explore race. At the end of each unit the students will complete self-portrait project’a total of three over the course of the semester. Each of the three projects will be focused on the student’s explorations of their own racial/ethnic identity, class identity, and gender identity. The students will complete one project as a visual art piece, one as a performance piece, and finally one as a creative writing piece. They will pick which modality to pair with which aspect of their identity. Associated with each project there will be a presentation or performance that will be 1/3 of the grade on the entire project (there will also be an artist’s statement for the visual and performing arts projects). In addition to the identity projects we will practice critical and creative writing.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

The Art of the Essay
HLA109

This course focuses on developing students’ expository writing skills as a preparation for analytical writing including: practice in developing original thesis sentences, supporting the thesis, and constructing effective sentences. Students write exposition, analysis, and argument; work with a variety of readings, focusing critically on questions of structure, style, intention and audience; practice a process-based approach to writing; and develop an understanding of their own habits as writers.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

 

Through White Eyes
HLA110

Explore representations of African Africans in American art, film, music, television and popular culture. A close look at the dominant stereotypes about African Americans that emerge in the 19th and 20th century, this course is an opportunity to study the source of some fundamental stereotypes, and the ways in which they continue to influence the construction and reception of racial identity. Students read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man; write a research paper on a central African American artist, public figure or entertainer; present their findings to their peers; and do close textual analyses of historical artifacts and advertising that features African Americans.

Prerequisites: ELA 10

See other department catalogs
ELA | HIS | MTH | SCI | WRL
DAN | MUS | THR | VATT

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