English Course Information Sheets

  • 2018-19: American Literature

    Course Description: Students in this college preparatory course study major works of American literature, focusing on how the American experience is addressed by writers throughout history. Students will explore poetry, novels, short stories, informational texts, dramas and essays. Students will examine similar themes through a variety of structures and styles and will be challenged to demonstrate their understanding through multiple formats, including literary analysis and expository essays, speeches, performances, creative compositions, Socratic seminar, and class discussions.

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  • 2018-19: English 10

    Course Description: English 10 is a support class for our sophomores in need of extra support for the core English class, World Literature. The purpose of this course is to support students in their literacy development and help them with major assignments in the English class. In English 10, students will work to build their independence as readers and scholars, while also getting extra support for World Literature. Students will be able to demonstrate proficient engagement in the course by:

    1. Participating in daily free reading

    2. Writing in their daily journal

    3. Sharing through formal and informal class presentations

    4. Completing major assignments in their World Literature class

    *Please note, students are expected to complete the reading and homework for the World Literature class outside of class. While English 10 will support students through the writing process for World Lit major assignments, students are expected to complete most of their homework at home. This class requires more independent work than some freshman level support classes.

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  • 2018-19: English Literature Survey

    Course Description: English Literature is a college preparatory literature and composition course for seniors. It is designed to support students in reading and understanding challenging texts, analyzing written and oral information critically, synthesizing complex ideas and communicating effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences in written, oral and/or multimedia formats.

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  • 2018-19: Expository Reading and Writing Course

    Course Description: The course teaches students to use technology in meaningful ways to gather, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and share knowledge. This college preparatory course teaches students the skills and strategies to read nonfiction texts - articles, novels, and essays in preparation for the kinds of texts they will encounter at the college level. Homework, class activities, discussions, reading assessments, major projects, and major papers are carefully designed to develop students’ language arts skills as well as to help them foster an appreciation for and confidence in reading. Students will be taught to write in a variety of modes, particularly those they will encounter at the college level.Students are also taught to express themselves orally through dramatic presentations, formal speeches, Socratic Seminars and classroom discussions. Student’s will be able to use assignments completed in class for real world applications such as for applying for a job, college, and/or scholarship.

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  • 2018-19: Film Analysis

    Course Description: Film Analysis is a challenging college prep course, providing you with historical knowledge and critical value system with which to understand, analyze and evaluate film. You will learn to read a college level textbook and how to apply terms to the films we will be watching. You will learn to write critical papers through intensive study of films,film terms and will learn different film techniques and their applications. You will complete a senior project, which includes researching and writing a formal research paper on a film-related topic of your own choosing as well as developing, writing, shooting and editing a short film of three to ten minutes in length. You will present your research paper and your film formally to the entire class in a Senior Project Presentation.

    Throughout the course of the year, you will learn to appreciate the scope of American and International Films as well as practice thinking about all the elements of film. We support students in developing their ability to create their own theory about a selected group of films, form arguable assertions and effectively support them with strong evidence. The course will focus on developing analytical skills, as well as continuing your development as a reader and as a writer.The emphasis of instruction will be on developing college level skills in reading, writing, speaking, viewing and thinking with a special emphasis on applying your newly discovered knowledge into creating your own personal film.

    You will make oral presentations, participate in a variety of discussion modes, be tested on your understanding of film terms and applying your knowledge as well as write many types of in-class reflections and essays. One of our focuses will ne in synthesizing several films, developing your ability to think independently and writing from that new and fresh perspective on those films.

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  • 2018-19: Global Connections A/B

    Course Description: In this interdisciplinary (English Language Arts & Civics) course, students will

    ● analyze the complexities of their world community using a metacognitive approach.

    ● use inquiry to understand the role that individuals play in impacting large scale human and civil rights violations,

    ● analyze and reflect on how identity is a key component in determining access to power and status

    ● understand the complex relationship between the legal system and how it reinforces or equalizes power and status within communities.

    ● be empowered to develop, strengthen and articulate their own values and identities as a result of better understanding the world and their role in it.

    ● Develop strength in non-fiction reading, research, and presentation

    ● Use discussion, presentation and documentary film making as a form of using one’s voice

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  • 2018-19: Journalism

    Course Description: Though students enrolled in Journalism serve the paper in a variety of roles, all students will further their understanding of journalistic methods, principles and ethics, as well as the importance of the press in a democratic society. The production component of the course is student-lead, and students are as responsible to their peers as they are to the instructor.

    No matter their position, all students will help collect and brainstorm future stories, and serve as a liaison between The Talon and the Los Altos community. Depending on individual interests and their position on the staff, students will:

    ● Write in a variety of journalistic modes

    ● Conduct interviews and research

    ● Edit stories for publication

    ● Produce artwork, either by hand or using desktop publishing tools

    ● Produce a newspaper using desktop publishing technology

    ● Take photos for the newspaper

    ● Manage the newspaper’s business operations

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  • 2018-19: Language and Composition (AP)

    Course Description: AP Language and Composition is equivalent to a freshman-level college literature and composition course. The curriculum is designed to expose students to the following ideas and allow them to practice the following skills:

    - Experience the diversity of voices and ideas in American Literature while experiencing a variety of reading and writing styles.

    - Building awareness of text structure and rhetorical devices.

    - Thinking critically and independently about texts, forming arguable assertions and effectively supporting them with evidence.

    - Make oral presentations, participate in a variety of discussion modes, and write many types of papers.

    - Developing a sense of audience and purpose in your writing and speaking. Toward that end, you will produce a “Tapestry Project,” which is a portfolio of personal writing, in response to prompts based on our novels’ themes. Students’ drafts are work shopped throughout the year, and are graded as a culminating project at the end of the year. Students are expected to take the Advanced Placement Examination in Language and Composition in May.

    Students who earn a score of “3” or higher may be awarded credit at many colleges and universities.

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  • 2018-19: Literature and Composition (AP)

    Course Description: 

    Analyze and interpret classic literature, and identify author’s unique style choices and rhetorical strategies.

    Understand and utilize literary terms in relation to fiction, poetry, and drama.

    Draft, edit, revise, and produce analytical essays in response to literature in a timed setting.

    Draft, edit, revise, and produce analytical, synthesis, and research essays, including primary and secondary sources.

    Successfully support interpretations with logical and compelling evidence from literary texts.

    Successfully emulate writing styles and gain awareness of different functions and impact of choices regarding diction, tone, syntax, and a variety of other style considerations.

    Analyze poetry, fiction, and drama and accurately respond to comprehension questions in a timed setting.

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  • 2018-19: New Media Literacy

    Course Description: Students will be able to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in order to gain a more sophisticated understanding of how messages shape our perceived reality. Students make media (in our case, mostly news packages via video and podcasts) in order to participate in shaping the media landscape rather than being shaped by it.

    Students will produce media to be shared with the Los Altos High School campus, including interviews, features, reviews, public service announcements, daily campus announcements, opinion pieces, and news packages.

    Students will develop critical thinking skills and the ability to write and shoot/record journalistic pieces. There will be an emphasis on how media has the power to shape reality for consumers in both positive and negative ways. Students will develop reading (including reading visual “texts”), writing, listening, and speaking skills in an effort to both deconstruct and construct media.

    Students will successfully analyze images and video for composition, shooting a variety of types of images and video (behind the scenes, in the spotlight, quiet moments, emotional moments, peak action, etc.), learning interview and non-linear editing techniques (through use of Premiere Pro and Final Cut), and applying graphic elements to images and video to enhance content (Adobe After Effects). Students will also master editing concepts including, but not limited to: continuity editing, b-roll, eye-line matching, controlling for dead space, rule of thirds, etc. Additionally, students will learn how to use audio and video to make “L” cuts and “J” cuts to create seamless overlaps in the editing process.

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