Senior Year Electives
FULL YEAR SENIOR COURSES (1 CREDIT)
This course focuses on the four strands of the Common Core N. Y. State 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 more on the English Regents Exam
ENGLISH 4 ACE
This is a dual enrollment course offered in collaboration with Westchester Community College (WCC) through their Advanced College Experience (ACE). 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 in order to be eligible to register for college credit for this course.
Prerequisite: English 3 and a 65 or more on the English Regents Exam
SUPA ENGLISH Full year –1 credit, Grade 12
WRT 105 & ETS
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. WRT 105 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.
This is a college course offered through Syracuse University, and students paying the (discounted) fee for SU credit will receive a Syracuse University transcript. This course receives Honors weighting.
Prerequisite: English 3 with a grade of B or higher
AP ENGLISH LITERATURE & COMPOSITION
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 required to pay the fee and take the Advanced Placement Exam in Literature and Composition in order to receive the weighted grade.
Prerequisite: English 3 Honors or AP Language and Composition
HALF-YEAR COURSES (1/2 CREDIT)
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.
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.
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
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.
This course focuses on Latino 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 “Latino”, 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.
TRUE VOICES: READING AND WRITING AUTHENTIC STORIES
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.
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.
THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
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.
SCIENCE FICTION IN LITERATURE & FILM
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.
SPORTS WRITING & LITERATURE
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 student will produce a variety of high quality stories and articles.
Shakespeare is an elective course in which students will explore, discuss, and create their own interpretations of Shakespeare’s work, especially as it is relevant to us today. Students will actively engage with challenging texts, questions and ideas in order to grow as readers, writers, thinkers, and problem solvers. This is not a history course. Students will not be memorizing lists of titles and dates or write reports about Shakespeare’s London.
ART OF THE FILM
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.
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 paying the (discounted) fee for SU credit will receive a Syracuse University transcript. This course receives Honors weighting. Prerequisite: English 3 with a grade of B or higher
SUPA: INTRO TO CREATIVE NONFICTION (WRT 114)
This is a dual enrollment course offered in collaboration with Syracuse University. WRT 114 focuses on the genre of creative nonfiction. Students explore varieties of creative nonfiction, such as memoir, biography, the personal essay, travel, science, food writing, and “new journalism”. As its name suggests, creative nonfiction borrows elements from fiction and poetry (e.g., description, scene construction, dialogue) yet still aims to tell the truth. For a writer to “tell it slant,” however, is to acknowledge the ways in which one’s subjective viewpoint shapes what counts as “the truth” in telling a story about one’s own or another’s experiences. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with style, genre, and subject in a writing studio environment and to read varied examples of contemporary creative nonfiction (e.g., Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, George Saunders’ The Braindead Megaphone). Students will craft and workshop their own creative nonfiction compositions. Students must pay the (discounted) fee for SU credit to receive a Syracuse University transcript. This course receives Honors weighting. Prerequisite: English 3 with a grade of B or higher
SUPA: PRESENTATIONAL SPEAKING (CRS 325)
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
ENGLISH 12 HONORS: SERVICE LEARNING
This comprehensive course gives students the opportunity to apply academic knowledge to local and national issues both in and out of the classroom. English 12 Service Learning focuses on developing student reading, writing, public speaking, and critical thinking and analysis in order to prepare for college and career. Readings, research, and field experiences will expose students to a variety of genres, subjects, and rhetorical situations. The course will culminate in a student developed and executed service learning project within our community. This course is open to seniors who have successfully completed the first three years of the English curriculum and passed the required N.Y. State examination. Students taking English 12 Service Learning must also take Social Studies 12 Service Learning.