We offer a variety of English courses that challenge and support our students. Courses help students meet N.Y. State and local requirements and prepare students for study beyond high school.
ENGLISH 1 Full year - 1 credit, Grade 9
This comprehensive English course is the first of a three year sequence. This course is aligned with the NY State Next Generation Learning Standards and uses an inquiry-based approach to learning. In this course students will be exposed to multiple genres with an increased focus on information text. Students will write narratives, persuasive pieces, analytical responses to literature, and a research assignment. Speaking and listening are also emphasized, as is the proper use of the English language in all written and spoken communication. Students in English 1 Regents will be able to submit a portfolio of their work in order to receive (upon approval) honors credit for the course. Details will be shared with students at the start of the school year. Both Regents and Honors levels are offered for this course. Prerequisite: Grade 8 English
ENGLISH 2 Full year - 1 credit, Grade 10
This comprehensive English course is the second of a three year sequence. Students will read and study important works of literature from many genres. They will complete a wide range of writings, including a research assignment. Oral communication is emphasized, as is the proper use of the English language in all written and spoken communication. Both Regents and Honors levels are offered for this course. Prerequisite: English 1
ENGLISH 2 READING WRITING ACHIEVE Half year - ½ credit, Grade 10
This course is designed for 10th grade students in need of additional reading, writing, and study skills instruction in order to meet the NYS Standards in English and other subject area courses. This course is also designed for 11th grade students who have failed the English Regents and would benefit from additional instruction and practice to pass the exam. This course must be taken in addition to the regular English class. Teacher recommendation required. This ½ credit applies toward English elective credit and not toward N.Y. State English graduation requirements. Prerequisite: English 1
ENGLISH 3 Full year - 1 credit, Grade 11
This comprehensive course is the third of a three-year sequence. Students will read and study important works of literature from many genres. They will complete a wide range of writing, including a literature-based research paper using multiple resources. Oral communication is emphasized, as is the proper use of the English language in all written and spoken communication. Both Regents and Honors levels are offered for this course. Prerequisite: English 2
ENGLISH 3 READING WRITING ACHIEVE Half year - ½ credit, Grade 11
This course is designed for 11th grade students in need of additional reading, writing, and study skills instruction in order to meet the N.Y. State standards in English and other subject area courses. This course provides additional instruction and practice to pass the N.Y. State English Regents Exam. This course must be taken in addition to the regular English class. Teacher recommendation required. This ½ credit applies toward English elective credit and not toward N.Y. State English graduation requirements. Prerequisite: English 2
AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE & COMPOSITION Full year - 1 credit, Grades 11,12
This course engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts and in becoming writers who compose for a variety of purposes. The course enables students to read complex texts with understanding and to write prose of sufficient richness and complexity to communicate effectively with mature readers. A wide range of literature from various genres and historical periods will be read. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam in English Language and Composition. Students are also required by New York State to take the Comprehensive English Regents Exam. Prerequisite: English 2 or English 2 Honors
ENGLISH 4 Full year - 1 credit, Grade 12
This course focuses on the four strands of the NY State Next Generation Learning Standards: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Readings will expose students to a variety of genres including nonfiction text. English 4 will focus on improving student writing in order to prepare for college entry. Students will be required to complete a variety of writing assignments including a comprehensive research project. Prerequisite: English 3 and a 65 or higher on the English Regents Exam
AP ENGLISH LITERATURE & COMPOSITION Full year - 1 credit, Grade 12
This course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Through close reading and critical analysis of selected texts, students will deepen their understanding of the way writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure to the readers. The course includes an intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit. A variety of writing experiences are incorporated into the course. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Exam in Literature and Composition. Prerequisite: English 3, English 3 Honors, or AP Language and Composition
ENGLISH 4 ECE Full year - 1 credit, Grade 12
This is a dual enrollment course offered in collaboration with Westchester Community College (WCC) through its Early College Experience (ECE). The course focuses on the full range of English studies in the four strands of the English Language Arts curriculum. Readings will include essays and may also come from other forms of literature. Students will write essays which demonstrate their ability to articulate personal responses, to draw inferences, to synthesize information, and to express informed opinion. Students develop proficiency in speaking and in evaluating oral discourse through such activities as discussion and oral presentations. Research and its proper documentation will be included in this process. Students must pass a placement test or score a 90 or higher on the English Regents Exam in order to be eligible to register for college credit for this course. Students must pay the discounted fee for WCC credit to receive a Westchester Community College transcript. Prerequisite: English 3 and a 65 or higher on the English Regents Exam
ENGLISH ELECTIVE COURSES
Seniors must take two electives unless they enroll in a full year senior English course. Juniors may take these elective courses in addition to English 3.
AVID 9 Full year-1 credit, Grade 9
AVID 10 Full year-1 credit, Grade 10
AVID 11 Full year-1 credit, Grade 11
AVID 12 Half year-1/2 credit, Grade 12
Students are selected to enroll in AVID after an application process. In this course, students will learn organizational and study skills, develop critical thinking skills and the ability to ask probing questions, receive academic help from peers and college tutors, and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that help make college attainable. Students enrolled in AVID are typically required to enroll in at least one of the school’s most rigorous classes, such as honors or AP, in addition to the AVID elective. Administrative approval is required for this course. This 1 credit does not apply toward N.Y. State English graduation requirements. The credit is applied toward total elective credits for graduation.
JOURNALISM 1 Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12
News is just a status update away on your iPhone, iPad, laptop, or other tech tool in this 24/7 information hungry world. Learn what it takes to be a 21st century news consumer and maker. Learn the essential skills to become a journalist through research, writing and reporting across all the mediums: television, online, and print. You will do on-camera interviews, experiment with podcasting, publish your own blog, and use Twitter to enhance your news gathering skills. Gain the experience necessary to get involved as a future staff member/editor of the school paper The Orange. Learning how to write and research for news stories will enhance your skills and help you in your other classes as well. This course is a great foundation for future career options in the communication field.
JOURNALISM 2 Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12
Build on the foundation of skills developed in the Journalism 1 class by becoming a critical consumer and maker of news and distributor of information. Learn what it takes to tackle a longer formatted television piece seen on shows like Dateline. Learn how to investigate a good story through research, relationship building, and tough questions. Become savvy at using camera equipment, or recording a longer podcast program. Use social media to help you learn what it takes to gain followers and trust in this 21st century communication driven world. Use the experience gained to take on a staff position or editor position of the school paper The Orange. This course will help you prepare for a future major in communication or journalism. Prerequisite: Journalism 1
CREATIVE WRITING 1 Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12
This course offers students the opportunity to try their hand at creating written work that is compelling and thoughtful. A variety of genres will be explored, including short stories, memoir, poetry, plays, film scripts, and creative non-fiction. Reading for this course will consist of excerpts and handouts that will be distributed throughout the term, as well as students’ work. In fact, the primary texts for this course are students’ work. Students will work toward the goal of performing and/or publishing their original work. For example, students may participate in the White Plains Public Library’s monthly poetry slams, submit their work to our school’s award winning anthology The Roar or publish their work in the class’s end of course anthology.
CREATIVE WRITING 2 Half year - ½ credit, Grades 9-12
This course is a continuation of Creative Writing, with a special emphasis on the writing of plays and pieces for performance. Students will read a wide range of models that will inform their writing. Learning the structure of dramatic literature will be an emphasis of the course, especially the creation and use of dialogue. Students will produce monologues, scenes, and one-act plays. Prerequisite: Creative Writing 1
LEGENDS & MYTHS Half year - ½ credit, Grades 10-12
This course is an interdisciplinary survey of myths and legends that have established many of the significant themes in human culture. Through the study of literature, film, music, and art, students explore how these myths have been treated by artists over time, and how their modern descendants continue to influence our culture.
LATINX LITERATURE Half year - ½ credit, Grades 10-12
This course focuses on Latinx literature written by American writers who come from a Latin-American descent. Students study pieces of literature which represent the diversity of backgrounds encompassed by the term “Latinx”, for example, Mexican-American, Dominican-American, and Colombian-American. The theme of the course is the challenge of shaping one’s identity, with a focus on the process of shaping a bicultural identity. Authors whose works are studied include Rudolfo Anaya, Julia Alvarez, Junot Diaz, Esmeralda Santiago, and Miguel Pinero, among others. Prerequisite: English 1
TRUE VOICES: READING AND WRITING AUTHENTIC STORIES Half year - ½ credit, Grades 11,12
In this course the teacher will guide students through reading and writing personal stories. Research shows that writing is a powerful tool for self-knowledge, healing, and creative expression. Students will study the art and craft of memoir by reading full-length works and excerpts by writers such as Maya Angelou and Frank McCourt. Students will have the opportunity to see how authors use writing to make meaning of their experiences and will be encouraged to do the same for themselves through keeping a journal (only the parts you choose will be shared) and producing a mini-memoir of their own. Prerequisite: English 1
AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE Half year - ½ credit, Grades 10,11,12
Students will explore African-American and Afro-Caribbean voices through reading and analyzing works of enslaved African-Americans, the Harlem Renaissance, modern African-American writers, and contemporary texts such as the poetry of Hip Hop and current social criticism. We will examine the struggles of defining race through writing, the inclusion and exclusion of this literary tradition with the American Cannon, and the relationships between race, gender, power, and literature. Prerequisite: English 1
THE GRAPHIC NOVEL Half year - ½ credit, Grades 10,11,12
The course will explore the comics medium as a mode of storytelling using the various texts as a way to acquire, practice, and master traditional and contemporary forms of learning, including visual and critical media literacy. Through a variety of genre studies, students will consider graphic novels as literature, analyze formal structure as it relates to content, and trace the development of thematic concepts including survival, gender, race, politics, justice, history, and heroism. Students will research the history and growth of the popular culture phenomenon called comics. Prerequisite: English 1
SCIENCE FICTION IN LITERATURE & FILM Half year - ½ credit, Grades 10,11,12
This course will expose students to a wide range of science fiction in literature and film, focusing on the concepts of future and change. Emphasis is placed on examining the dominant themes of the genre, their relevance to our world today, and the parallels between science fiction and history. Students will read novels and short stories, as well as view films with a critical eye towards interpretation and analysis. Some of the authors include Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Frank Herbert. Written assignments range from response papers and analytical essays to planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing an original science fiction story that incorporates the characteristics and themes of the science fiction genre. Prerequisite: English 1
SPORTS WRITING & LITERATURE Half year – ½ credit, Grades 10, 11,12
This semester course combines the study of sports literature with writing stories about sports. This is a reading and writing-intensive course that explores American sports through novels, plays, poetry, and the sports pages with the expectation that students will produce a variety of high-quality stories and articles. Prerequisite: English 1
ART OF THE FILM Half year - ½ credit, Grades 11,12
Like to watch movies? Then Art of the Film may be for you. You will learn about the origins of film, and how movies changed and evolved during the 20th century to become a major artistic, entertaining, and social form of expression. Students will learn how movies are made and watch a variety of films from different time periods to gain an historical understanding of film as an art form. This class will help you have a richer and more meaningful experience when you go to the movies. Prerequisite: English 2
SUPA Writing Culture: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Half year - ½ credit, Grade 12
This is a dual enrollment course between White Plains High School and Syracuse University. Upon successful completion, students may earn three college credits. This course introduces creative nonfiction (CNF), a genre that encompasses many kinds of prose: memoirs, biography, travel writing, science writing, and literary journalism, to name a few. CNF writers almost always—in some way or other—focus on the tensions that emerge between individuals and the world around them. Thus, the title of this course, “Writing Culture,” refers to writing about oneself and others in the context of a broader culture. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with style, genre, and subject in a writing studio environment and read varied examples of contemporary creative nonfiction. Students must pay the discounted fee for SU credit to receive a Syracuse University transcript. Prerequisite: English 3R with a grade of B or higher or English 3H or AP English with a C or higher.
SUPA: English WRITING AND TEXTUAL STUDIES Full year — 1 credit, Grade 12
This is a dual enrollment course between White Plains High School and Syracuse University. Upon successful completion, students may earn six college credits. During the fall, students will be enrolled in WRT 105/Studio I: Practices of Academic Writing. WRT105 teaches students strategies of critical academic writing in various genres, particularly analysis, argument, and researched writing. During the spring, students will enroll in English Textual Studies. In ETS students will learn and apply extensive close reading, evidence-based analysis and argumentation, and independent-inquiry with a focus on critically reading literary and other cultural texts. Students must pay the discounted fee for SU credit to receive a Syracuse University transcript. Prerequisite: English 3 with a grade of B or higher or English 3H or AP English with a C or higher.
SUPA: PRESENTATIONAL SPEAKING HONORS Half year - ½ credit, Grade 12
This is a dual enrollment course offered in collaboration with Syracuse University. This course takes as its primary assumption that speaking in public is an essential component of most professions as well as a necessary skill of active citizens, able to articulate, advocate and argue in public and about public issues. Hence, the instruction of presentational speaking is based on two important principles—the need to understand the fundamental principles of speaking in public and the need to practice different speaking types. Both objectives are directed toward developing workable presentational skills, the ability to discern the necessary speech type, understanding the link between the topic at hand and the audience, learning the process of crafting speeches, lending support to major claims and implementing persuasive strategies that can enhance affecting audiences. Students must pay the discounted fee for SU credit to receive a Syracuse University transcript. Prerequisite: English 3 with a grade of B or higher or English 3H or AP English with a C or higher.