BHS Curriculum Overview

Bernards High School



ENGLISH 

Four-Year Course Sequences

 

Grade 9 

Grade 10 

Grade 11 

Grade 12

English I (A) 

English II (A) 

English III (A) 

English IV (A)

English I (H) 

English II (H) 

English III (H)  

AP English III

English IV (H)  

AP English IV

ESL English 

ESL English 

ESL English 

English IV

Intro to Journalism* 

Introduction to Journalism*  Journalism 1*

Introduction to Journalism*  Journalism 1* 

Journalism 2*

Introduction to Journalism*  Journalism 1* 

Journalism 2*  

Publications (H)*

Creative Writing*  

Public Speaking*  

Debate* 

Techniques of Writing*

Creative Writing*  

Public Speaking*  

Debate* 

Techniques of Writing*

Creative Writing*  

Public Speaking*  

Debate*

Creative Writing*  

Public Speaking* 

Debate*



*English Electives - These courses do not fulfill graduation requirements. 

The academic level categories are as follows: 

Academic: Courses with the core academic curriculum for all levels. 

Accelerated (A): College preparatory courses that have a high academic demand and requirements. This course of study will challenge  students and prepare them well as they pursue a post-secondary education. 

Honors (H): Honors courses require a high level of academic maturity, interest, ability, intellectual curiosity, and the ability to study  and work independently. The pace is rigorous and enrollment is selective. 

Advanced Placement (AP): Advanced Placement is the most academically demanding course level possible. Successful completion of  the course may lead to college credit. Enrollment is highly selective and honors credit is earned. Students are strongly encouraged and  expected to take the AP exams in May.




The Bernards High School English program consists of a four-year study sequence designed to enhance and enrich  students' writing, reading, viewing, speaking, and listening skills. The curriculum offers an opportunity for students to develop  their language potential and an understanding of its power in courses that are challenging but commensurate with their abilities.  All English courses emphasize the acquisition and development of the skills of reading, discussion and oral presentation, as well  as mastery of the various forms, modes, and strategies of written composition. From the richness of ideas explored in the study of  literature, students can recognize and empathize with a variety of human experiences and gain an understanding of the enduring  power of the human mind and spirit. Each course, regardless of ability level, is designed to prepare students with the skills and  competencies needed for success in college, career and life by the time they graduate from high school. To support students'  development of skills associated with language and literature, the department maintains an open-door policy for students who  need extra help both during and after school. Four years of the English sequence are required for graduation. 


ENGLISH I (A) Grade 9

 

English I (A) is a first year course designed to develop critical reading, writing, thinking, listening, and speaking skills. Within the  context of reading and writing, students will strengthen their understanding and application of grammar and build their vocabulary.  The reading curriculum focuses upon a variety of genres, and students will read plays, short stories, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry,  some of which are considered to be among the "literary classics." The writing curriculum will introduce and emphasize analytical  thinking, the expository form, narratives, argumentative, and persuasive writing. Students will participate in debate and research  presentations. 

ENGLISH I (H) Grade 9

English I (H) is a first year course designed to develop critical reading, writing, thinking, listening, and speaking skills. Within the  context of reading and writing, students will strengthen their understanding and application of grammar and build their vocabulary.  The reading curriculum focuses upon a variety of genres, and students will read plays, short stories, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry,  some of which are considered to be among the "literary classics." The writing curriculum will introduce and emphasize analytical  thinking, the expository form, narratives, argumentative, and persuasive writing. Students will participate in debate and research  presentations. Honors English I differs from English I (A) in that students complete more reading and writing independently with a  concentration on literary criticism and written analysis. 

TECHNIQUES OF WRITING Grades: 9-10 Semester 

Prerequisite: Students will be placed in this class based on standardized test scores and 1st semester English grades. 

This course will emphasize expository writing (paragraphs, essays). Students practice all stages of the writing process and  refine their revising and editing skills (grammar, usage, punctuation, sentence structure, word choice). Students read and  comment on published essays for attitude/voice and figurative language. SAT Question of the Day and Writing section questions are discussed. In a workshop setting, each student addresses individual writing problems. This course will be an intensive  introduction to the academic skills necessary at BHS. Reading and writing instruction will provide preparation for state standardized  tests taken in the tenth grade. The course will focus on analyzing literature, developing written arguments about a topic and providing evidence to support ideas using a variety of texts. The smaller class size allows for regular individualized instruction.  This course does not meet the English requirement.




ENGLISH II (A) Grade 10 


In English II (A), students will examine masterpieces of American literature through a variety of critical lenses whereby they will  be asked to think and analyze critically the works of the authors, playwrights, and poets. There will be an emphasis placed on  informational texts in the form of speeches, nonfiction works, and newspaper articles as a means of understanding the historical  context of literature. Students will be encouraged to express their thoughts using both the written and spoken word. They will  collaborate by sharing ideas, examples, and insights in informal conversations and discussions. The writing curriculum will help  students develop skills to write in an in depth, organized manner, utilizing various organizational formats. Correctness of  expression also will be reinforced. Students will continue to refine their speaking and listening skills through Socratic seminars  and oral presentations will be given as students' speaking techniques will be enhanced and refined. 



ENGLISH II (H) Grade 10 


 Prerequisite: Successful completion of English I. Recommended for students with a final grade of B+ or above in English I(A), or completion of English I(H) with a final grade of B or above. 

In English II (H), students will examine masterpieces of American literature through a variety of critical lenses whereby they will be  asked to think and analyze critically the works of the authors, playwrights, and poets. There will be an emphasis placed on informational  texts in the form of speeches, nonfiction works, and newspaper articles as a means of understanding the historical context of literature.  Students will be encouraged to express their thoughts using both the written and spoken word. They will collaborate by sharing ideas,  examples, and insights in informal conversations and discussions. The writing curriculum will help students develop skills to write in an  in depth, organized manner, utilizing various organizational formats. Correctness of expression also will be reinforced. Students will  continue to refine their speaking and listening skills through Socratic seminars and oral presentations will be given as students' speaking  techniques will be enhanced and refined. This course is designed to prepare students for the more rigorous expectations of English  literature and language study. 


ENGLISH III (A) Grade 11

 

English III (A) is a full-year course in which students will continue to improve their language arts skills - reading with a continuing  awareness and expertise; writing with correctness, clarity, and sophistication; speaking with preciseness, intelligence, and accuracy.  The literature to be read will be primarily English literature along with short story, nonfiction, and poetry units. The writing curriculum includes expository essay and literary analysis essay as well as a unit on the college application essay. 


ENGLISH III (H) Grade 11 


 Prerequisite: Successful completion of English II. Recommended for students with a final grade of B+ or above in English II(A), or completion of English II(H) with a final grade of B or above. 

English III (H) is a course for students with superior verbal and analytical skills. Students will examine masterpieces of British  literature. Using the literature read, students will be encouraged to engage in intensive and extensive analysis of the readings. They  will be required to articulate their insights using both the spoken and written word. Additional reading and/or research may be  assigned so that the discussions might be even further enhanced. The writing curriculum will include the developmental in-depth  exposition, narration, the college application essay and persuasion. Formal and informal oral presentations will be required.


AP ENGLISH III - LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION  Grade 11 


Prerequisite: Completion of English II(A) with a final grade of A or above, or completion of English II (H) with a final grade of B+ or  above. 

This class is designed for motivated juniors who are willing to undertake the challenge of college-level language and composition  study. In addition to affording a learning experience comparable to that of an introductory college composition course, the class will  require students to read and analyze major works of literature, primarily of British authorship, and a wide range of non-fiction writing.  Students will strive to understand the many purposes of language, its power, and the numerous ways in which it may achieve its purposes. Primarily, students will develop their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills as they tackle significant literary works,  essays, poems, and documents requiring careful consideration and mature thought. This course emphasizes how writers convey their  messages/themes, at least as much as it deals with what those themes/messages are. As a result, students will become aware of, and  proficient in the use of, the writing process, rhetorical modes, and rhetorical devices. In addition, students will use the many nonfiction readings as models to perfect their own writing. By the end of the course, students will be able to read sophisticated texts representing a  variety of disciplines and write such texts – in preparation for productive college study and career success. Those who elect this class must  be prepared to meet its rigorous academic standards and its demands of a significant reading load, frequent analytical writing assignments, oral presentations, group projects, and rigorous AP exam preparation. It is expected that students in this class will possess the motivation and maturity for sophisticated independent study and will contribute regularly to productive  interaction in a seminar setting. 

ENGLISH IV Grade 12 

 Prerequisite: Successful completion of English III (any level) 

In this course, students continue developing a working knowledge of all facets of the English language, as well as experiencing practical  applications of their language arts skills in a classroom setting. Primary focus will be placed on enhancing their speaking, listening,  writing, and reading abilities. Students will participate in Reader’s Workshop, an approach to literary study for which students use an  extensive classroom and school library to choose their own texts for independent reading. In addition, students will focus intensely on  writing styles and tasks for college and career settings. The course also will teach students to prepare all the necessary documents related  to obtaining a job or applying to college, as well as exposing them to advantageous interviewing techniques. 

ENGLISH IV (A) Grade 12 

Prerequisite: Successful completion of English III (any level) 

English IV (A) is a full-year course in which students will continue to hone their language arts skills. Students will explore various units of  study and produce a variety of texts utilizing different styles to demonstrate mastery of the content and concepts. Students will explore  both core texts and independent texts for each unit of study. Students will engage with several different media as primary sources in class,  discuss texts in a verbal or digital forum, and analyze the media for themes and rhetoric. In the final unit of the course, students will write a  piece of literary analysis with a contemporary connection.  

ENGLISH IV (H) Grade 12 

 Prerequisite: Successful completion of English III. Recommended for students with a final grade of B- or above in English III (A), or  completion of English III (H) or AP English III. 

English IV (A) is a full-year course designed to foster in students a critical and analytical disposition in English Language Arts and their  lives. Students will explore various units of study and produce a variety of texts utilizing different styles to demonstrate mastery of the content and concepts. Students will explore both core texts and independent texts for each unit of study. Students will engage with several  different media as primary sources in class, discuss texts in a verbal or digital forum, and analyze the media for themes and rhetoric. In  the final unit of the course, students will write a piece of literary analysis with a contemporary connection. 


AP ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION Grade 12 


Prerequisite: Completion of English III (A) with a final grade of A or above, or completion of English III (H) with a final grade of B  or above, or completion of AP English III with a B- or above. 

The AP English IV Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of  imaginative literature. Through a careful, intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, the student will  build a basis from which to analyze maturely in both oral and written form. With that in mind, evidence of extensive annotation is  expected with each reading assignment. The college composition course that this is intended to parallel is one of the most varied in  the curriculum. As in the college course, the purpose of the AP Literature and Composition course is to enable students to read  complex texts with understanding and to write prose that is rich and complex enough for mature readers. Since all students are  encouraged to sit for the AP English Literature and Composition Exam in May, test preparation will be woven into the program. Each unit will incorporate assessments and activities to strengthen the skills needed for fulfilling interaction with and resultant  persuasive analysis of the literature.  

CREATIVE WRITING Grades: 9-12 Semester Elective

This course is designed for students who wish to develop their writing skills. Students will express themselves through original poems,  short stories, plays, non-fiction, journals, and expository writing. Topics will come from a variety of assignments, as well as from  students' own experiences and sensory impressions. Students will read and discuss literary models, utilize peer review, conference with  the instructor and share final products with the class. In addition, students will learn the terms and devices used in improving their writing craft. Students will submit writings to The Pinnacle, the high school art and literary magazine. This elective course does not  fulfill the English requirement

INTRODUCTION TO JOURNALISM  Grades: 9-11 Semester Elective  

This is a semester course open to all interested students. Journalism is designed as an introductory course to print journalism. The  fundamentals of journalistic writing and newspaper production will be introduced. Students will learn to write in a variety of forms  and voices; students will explore the following types of writing: leads, headlines, captions, news briefs, features, editorial/opinion,  sports, reviews, survey analysis, news articles, personal profiles, and many others; students will learn and use appropriate grammar,  spelling, and mechanics in writing; students will use critical and creative thinking, logic, problem solving, and cooperative group  skills. Reading and analysis of the New York Times supplement the text. This elective course does not fulfill the English requirement.


JOURNALISM 1 Grades 10-12 Year Elective


Prerequisites: B- or higher in Introduction to Journalism 

This is a year-long course open to all students who successfully complete Introduction to Journalism. Students will expand upon and  utilize knowledge from Introduction to Journalism and apply it to the production and distribution of the student newspaper, The Crimson. Journalism 1 students will be responsible for writing leads, headlines, news briefs, features, editorial/opinion pieces, sports, reviews, survey analysis, news articles and personal profiles. Students will also be responsible for page layout, editing of articles and production.  This elective course does not fulfill the English requirement. 

JOURNALISM 2  Grades 11-12 Year Elective


Prerequisite: B- or higher in Journalism 1 

This is a year-long course open to all students who successfully complete Journalism 1. Students in Journalism 2 will serve as mentor editors for Introduction to Journalism writers. Students will be responsible for editing, layout and design ofThe Crimson. Another focus of Journalism 2 is on photojournalism as students analyze photographs, write captions and cutlines, edit photographs and study ethics.  This elective course does not fulfill the English requirement. 

PUBLICATIONS (H)  Grades 11-12 Year Elective 

Prerequisites: B- or higher in Journalism 2 

This is a full-year course designed for editors of the school newspaper, literary magazine, and online Crimson, allowing students to work on these publications with the support of a journalism teacher. The editors conduct meetings to make story assignments, design The Crimson, report and write stories, conduct public relations campaigns and meet with other student organization leaders. This course  also offers opportunities for meetings with the publication sponsor. Editors should expect to spend several hours a week after school  working on print and online publications. This elective course does not fulfill the English requirement.

 

PUBLIC SPEAKING Grades 9-12 Semester Elective



By familiarizing students with how to organize and deliver differing types of conventional public speeches, this course aims to increase  student confidence, build student poise, and teach the student how to be an interesting and effective public speaker. In addition to  establishing correct standards of good speech, the course focuses on listening excellence, group speaking situations, principles of  interpersonal communication, appropriate use of body language, and principles of delivery and critiquing. Students will be required to  speak in front of large groups in order to receive credit for this course. This elective course does not fulfill the English requirement.


DEBATE (A)  Grades 9-12 Semester Elective

This semester-long course will act as a “sibling” to the Public Speaking course; students can take either or both. With the increased role of oral presentations in the Common Core, this course provides more opportunities to our students. The experiential and  performance-based approach will focus on Public-Forum Debate – a two-person team event whereby students argue both sides of  controversial national issues. Specifically, students will work collaboratively and learn and adhere to the rules of this style of debating. They will develop logic and reasoning skills through depth of analysis and case development. Students will utilize research and  evidence, present a clash of ideas in a rebuttal; effectively listen and communicate ideas with clarity, organization, eloquence and  professional decorum. This elective course does not fulfill the English requirement.

 

BEGINNER ENGLISH ESL Grades 9-12



Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation




Beginning English ESL is a full-year course in which students with limited English proficiency will receive instruction in reading,  writing, speaking, vocabulary development, and study skills. Students will read and respond orally and in writing to various forms of  literature, including novels, short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, nonfiction, and poetry. 


INTERMEDIATE ENGLISH ESL Grades 9-12


Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation



Intermediate English ESL is a full-year course in which students with limited English proficiency will receive instruction in reading,  writing, speaking, vocabulary development and study skills. Students will read and respond orally and in writing to various forms of literature, including novels, short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, nonfiction, and poetry. 

ADVANCED ENGLISH ESL Grades 9-12 


Prerequisites: Teacher Recommendation

Advanced ESL English is a full year course in which students with limited English proficiency will receive instruction in reading,  writing, speaking and listening skills in English. In this course, students will read literature with an emphasis on increasing analytical skills by the end of the year. 


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