Course Descriptions

English by Grade

The sixth grade year focuses on improving skills in reading, writing, listening, visual literacy, and oral communication based on the Common Core Standards. Students have the opportunity to explore literature by outstanding authors, past and present. Written and oral communications skills will be integrated with literature in a well-rounded approach including integrations with the arts. Informal and formal writing including projects, speeches, group work, and daily writing will provide for alternative assessment opportunities.

The seventh grade year focuses on skills in reading, writing, listening, speaking, and language as laid out in the Common Core Standards. Students have the opportunity to explore literature and nonfiction work by outstanding authors, past and present. The Common Core Standards will be integrated with artistic literacy to focus on mastering grade-specific standards and to enable students to meet college and career readiness expectations. Informal and formal writing including projects, speeches, group work, and daily writing will provide for alternative assessment opportunities.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of grade 6 English

Students cover a wide range of contemporary literature in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Themes include loss, redemption, courage, and identity. Students read and analyze literary texts and discuss topics like character development, tone, setting, and theme. Students also gain a strong foundation in various writing formats, including an extended unit in formal MLA research paper writing.

Prerequisite: Success completion of grade 7 English

English 9 language arts will cover a variety of skills including reading literature and informational texts, writing, language, speaking and listening. Class activities, assignment, and assessments will stem primarily from the ELA Common Core Standards to ensure that you/your student has the most potential for success in accomplishing the necessary skills to pass 9th grade English.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 8th grade English.

The sophomore English class continues work in formal essay writing. They also complete a minimum of one formal MLA and one APA formatted research paper. They will write some creative pieces as well depending on time. We read a variety of fiction titles and dive into theme, symbolism and a variety of other literary terms.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of 9th Grade English

English 11 utilizes American Literature to guide students in the mastery of language arts. We will read representative literature from various time periods and literary movements in the U.S., and use these readings to spur practice of writing and speaking conventions. The course is aligned with the Common Core standards, which focus on preparing students for college and the workplace. Writing assignments range from short, impromptu responses to more lengthy research-based essays. Students will have ample opportunity to participate actively in a community of learners, and higher-level thinking will be demanded throughout the course.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 10

12th Grade English is a World Literature course. Readings will be taken from a selection of novels, short stories, poetry, essays and speeches, drawn from a wide variety of times and places, from Ancient Mesopotamian Epics to contemporary hip-hop lyrics. Through direct encounters with literature, students examine humanity’s relationship to the natural world, each other, and our place in the universe. A special emphasis is placed on critical response to texts. Students learn to analyze texts and authors within a greater historical, aesthetic and social context. Students engage in the larger discussion of ideas through writing and literature, and will also engage in University-level writing, including research papers, college essays, and a variety of academic expression. The goal is to train students to be clear, concise, thoughtful persons who are able to understand others and make themselves understood.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English 11.


In this course you will learn, practice, and apply creative writing skills in a variety of genres including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and songwriting. This class is a workshop in which you will produce and perform your own writing, as well as participate in group-discussion about the work of others. The goal of this course is not only to learn about writing, but also to be active, practicing, publishing writers.

An in-depth study of poetry, prose, songwriting, and experimental genres. This course will include substantial independent readings and projects. Students are expected to workshop weekly, attend and participate in extracurricular readings, and submit work for publication.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Creative Writing 1

Additional Courses

News Writing will include both the study and implementation of journalistic practices. Students will work collaboratively and individually to create a bi-weekly school newspaper.

Prerequisite: Signed permission from an English teacher

In this class we create two yearbooks, one for grades 6-8 and another for grades 9-12. We are responsible for photographing all events, clubs and daily activities that take place here at TSA. Creative minds and the ability to work together are imperative to the successful production of our yearbooks.