English Courses and Electives


English 9

Grade 9 – Full Year – one credit

This one year, one credit course provides the groundwork for students’ high school English studies by surveying the major literary genres and examines Nonfiction companion pieces in conjunction with the Common Core. Students explore drama (Romeo and Juliet), the novel (The Giver, Of Mice & Men, The Pearl – supplemental), poetry, essays, and a variety of short stories. Students are exposed to The New York Times and other articles, essays, speeches, analytical writings and visual texts. Extensive literary based vocabulary enrichment is included. Grammar and spelling skills are reviewed through routine oral language exercises. A focus of the course is mastery of effective paragraph format, controlling ideas, rich and specific support of those controlling ideas, and the multi‐paragraph essay. Clear, organized, and supported writing is stressed. Students will be introduced to several essay forms throughout the year, aligning with Next Generation standards.  MLA Format, research techniques, and the research paper form are taught, and a final short research paper is required.   Additionally, students are expected to hone their listening skills, reading comprehension, and oral presentation skills.  Independent readings with assignments are required each quarter from a list of fiction and nonfiction offerings.

English 9 Honors

Grade 9 – Full Year – One Credit

Requirements to enter Honors English: 8th grade ELA final average of a 90. Students with an average between an 87 and 89 will need to meet the criteria that are identified on the high school Honors rubric. Students interested in enrolling in the Honors program who have between an 87 and 89 will be reviewed and contacted from the high school at the beginning of the summer.

English 9 Honors is designed to develop literary analysis; to develop writing through language, style, and voice; and to think critically while making global connections. To achieve development of reading and writing, students will complete independent readings during the course of the year. Students are required to read one independent novel or play each quarter and complete a written analysis. During class, students will complete a thematic -based curriculum while practicing skills geared toward the NYS English Regents and achieving the goals of the NYS ELA Next Generation standards.

To achieve the literary analysis, students will read most of the literature independently and closely. Students will follow the English 9 Curriculum but enhance it with additional pieces, including but not limited to Orwell’s 1984, Ayn Randś Anthem, and The Lightning Thief. Class time is devoted to analyzing the independent close readings. Students are expected to share their annotations from the readings, evaluate and judge each other’s findings, and make connections between the literature and the world. An emphasis is also placed on writing correctly and effectively. Students are expected to complete all assigned essays,  peer review, and revise. Students are held accountable for all parts of writing: analysis, development, organization, language, and mechanics. Long writing assignments are weighted heavier in the studentś class average.  Late papers lose ten points per day, including the weekend days, and must be submitted to Turnitin.

Major assignments are also an important part of the program. These assignments require research and analysis. Students will submit at least one major assignment per marking period, and these assignments are also weighted heavier in the class average.  One formal research paper is required.

Homework is required and may not be submitted late, unless legally absent. Unannounced quizzes often reflect independent assignments, and some quizzes cannot be retaken. Unit tests reflect both recall, analysis, and application of lessons taught. Summer work is required. The summer work is always connected to the first thematic unit of the school year.

Major readings include Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and varied sonnets, Orwell’s 1984, Lowry’s The Giver, and Steinbeck’s novels Of Mice and Men and The Pearl.


Goshen High School students are required to take one full credit of English during their sophomore, junior and senior years. They can choose from the following courses (course description will note grade level availability and credits provided); however, English Honors Classes are not open enrollment. Contact guidance or the English Chair for eligibility requirements.

English 10

Grade 10 – Full Year – One credit

This course is a chronological survey of literary works from around the world. The course begins with the earliest known writings from the Fertile Crescent, then travels around the world and through the ages to cover ancient Hebrew, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman literature. In addition, students study writings from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. The year concludes with selections from European literature. Students read excerpts from The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Aeneid, The Song of Roland, and The Inferno. Major works covered in their entirety include Oedipus Rex, Othello,  Night, Maus, Animal Farm with supplementals including A Doll’s House, The Good Earth and All Quiet on the Western Front. Another major focus of the course is research, with students creating one formal research paper following MLA format during the year. Argument, expository, and literary essay writing is stressed during the sophomore year but also includes narrative and creative writing as part of the Next Generation Standards. Throughout the year, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and oral and written presentation skills are practiced and refined.

English 10 Honors

Grade 10 – Full Year – One credit

Interested and motivated students are encouraged to challenge themselves academically by taking honors level courses in English. In each grade level, these classes follow the general format of the grade level courses, but offer a greatly enriched content. Students will read more selections and are expected to develop an ability to read more closely in order to gain greater insights into literary works and the times and cultures that produced them. Writing instruction moves beyond mere mastery of skills to the effective application of advanced skills to create more powerful, descriptive, and persuasive prose. There is an emphasis on deep revision and advanced use of textual support. Oral presentation skills and class discussion are also emphasized in the honors level classes.

English 11

Grade 11 – Full Year – One credit

Students explore the development of American literature, beginning with Native American myths and tales, then continuing with a study of Colonial writings, and culminating with contemporary American literature. Significant literary movements examined include Romanticism, Transcendentalism, women’s literature, and the Harlem Renaissance. Major readings include The Great Gatsby, MacBeth, The Crucible, and Fahrenheit 451 with supplementals of the Our Town and The Scarlet Letter. Students read, interpret, question, analyze, and synthesize writings related to the works studied. In preparation for the Common Core Exam, students hone skills in reading comprehension, analysis of technical reading, recognition and application of literary devices and argumentative writing. Students’ writing in their junior year concentrates primarily on literary analysis and the argument as students prepare for the Common Core Exam. Additional writings include expository, narrative, and creative as to address the Next Generation Standards. Students are required to write one formal research paper following the MLA format, particularly focusing on argument. Throughout the year, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and oral and written presentation skills are practiced and refined.

English 11 Honors

Grade 11 – Full Year – One credit

Interested and motivated students are encouraged to challenge themselves academically by taking honors level courses in English. In each grade level, these classes follow the general format of the grade level courses, but offer a greatly enriched content. Students will read more selections and are expected to develop an ability to read more closely in order to gain greater insights into literary works and the times and cultures that produced them. Writing instruction moves beyond mere mastery of skills to the effective application of advanced skills to create more powerful, descriptive, and persuasive prose. There is an emphasis on deep revision and advanced use of textual support. Oral presentation skills and class discussion are also emphasized in the honors level classes.  Major readings also include Ethan Frome, A Raisin in the Sun, The Glass Menagerie, and The Scarlet Letter.

AP Language & Composition 11

Grade 11 – Full Year – One credit

This is a college level course with an emphasis on close reading of complex, provocative and advanced texts. We will examine the works of writers, advertisers, politicians, artists and thinkers in great detail. Using these models, crisp, clear, focused and supported writing is the goal this year. Since the writing process is time consuming and cumulative, deep revision is expected for much writing. In addition to rhetoric and composition, students write two research papers. MLA format is crucial and scholarly efforts are necessary. Students must be willing to accept constructive criticism to develop critical thinking, focused arguments and clarity in speech and writing. They also need to embrace collaborative work, as working with a variety of partners prepares them for the college experience to come. Much work is assigned with long term due dates, so students will need to plan accordingly and budget time to achieve maximum success. Nightly homework is required. Routine access to Google Drive is necessary and expected. A rigorous AP exam is given at the end of the year to potentially achieve college credit.

Senior Elective Course Descriptions 

The Hero in Literature

Grade 12 – One Semester – 1/2 credit

What is the concept of a hero through varying centuries and communities? In this course students survey the role of the hero through selected presentations on Great Courses: The Hero, from Frodo Baggins to Harry Potter, along with text and DVD versions of works such as Beowulf, Le Morte d’Arthur, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Hamlet, Jane Eyre, and Pride and Prejudice. The focus is on the values of the community in shaping the hero and includes poetry, drama, romance, novel, and film. A short, formal research paper is required. This course is designed to strengthen student confidence and skills for college challenges while engaging students in issues of personal growth.

College Prep English 12

Grade 12 – One Semester – 1/2 credit

College Preparation provides a bridge between high school language arts and college freshman English regarding writing and reading critically. This course will focus on the development of writing skills when using the writing process in both documented and undocumented essays and in the writing of a research paper. Students will practice invention, organization, revision, and construction of a variety of essays (narration, persuasion, argumentative, description, literary analysis or others). A major focus of the course is the mastery of effective paragraph format and the multi-paragraph essay. Grammar, language usage, and spelling will be reinforced with all writing assignments. The course will also address a study of the literary forms of fiction and poetry with attention to characterization, theme, point of view, setting, plot development, and structure, use of figurative language, and understanding of literary techniques when applied to writing critical essays in response to literature. The literature studied in this course varies between non-fiction and fiction, including but not limited to Orwell, Shelley, Dahl, Wiesel, Swift, Sansom, Poe, Brady, Dickenson, King, Jefferson, Hardy, and Frost. A formal research paper is required.

Novel & Film

Grade 12 – One Semester – 1/2 credit

This course is offered to seniors only. It is a twenty week course. Students are expected to maintain a rigorous course of study. Attendance is of utmost importance, since the film components are more difficult to make up individually. Successful completion of the course will earn 1⁄2 English credit. The material examined in this course is provocative. Students must be prepared and willing to examine issues that strike a chord and are delivered in language and imagery that is authentic and sometimes troubling. Our discussions will involve complex issues. Be prepared to share your thoughts and opinions and be willing to listen and extend courtesy and tolerance for conflicting points of view.

Course includes examination and analysis of novels and short stories with a film counterpart. Some films will be direct adaptations, while others will address similar concepts with a varied plot line. A close and critical reading of texts for characterization, setting, conflict, themes and plot development is required. Critical examination of films will compare, contrast or qualify the interpretation as it relates to a piece of literature. The essay writing focuses on Argumentation, Criticism, Description, and Comparison & Contrast. Prewriting, Drafting, Revising and Editing skills are addressed and honed. Development of stylistic sentence construction using a variety of sentence patterns with a focus on style and voice and examining the importance of Syntax, Diction, Tone, Imagery and Detail is addressed.

A Research Paper, utilizing MLA format, on a topic relating to authors and films is required for course credit and includes: finding and evaluating sources, integrating sources, avoiding plagiarism, and documenting source material.


Grade 12 – One Semester – 1/2 credit

Why do people speak the way they do? How does communication affect our daily interactions? How do we best interpret the information coming at us every day? If this intrigues you, then Communications is the class for you! Topics include the history of communication, the effects of social media on the way we communicate, careers in communication, and others. You will also have the opportunity to work on your own speeches and practice delivering them to a friendly audience. This is a course that has a direct connection to the real world and will help you find your voice in it.

English AP Literature & Composition

Grade 12 – Full Year – One credit

Advanced Placement English is a course designed to challenge students’ abilities to analyze literature. Works of recognized literary merit are examined not only to discover what an author is saying, but also how he or she uses literary elements and devices to convey themes. Among the titles studied are Death of a Salesman, Heart of Darkness, The Awakening, and Rhinoceros. Written assignments include in-class and take-home essays, a major research paper, and oral presentations. The class is also designed to prepare students to take the AP exam in May. Students scoring well enough on the exam may be eligible for college credit. Check with the Guidance Department for further information.

SUNY Orange Freshman English I and II

Grade 12 – One semester per course – 1/2 credit for each course

This first course in SUNY Orange Freshman English sequence introduces college-level pre-writing, organization, revision, construction of a variety of essays, and research skills. Class discussion centers on the formal and informal essay in several formats: description, narration, illustration, comparison, persuasion, and literary analysis. Several short readings (by authors including Godwin, Angelou, Orwell, King, Goodman, and others) are used to supplement instruction in various essay formats. An MLA research paper is required in both courses. The second course, Freshman English II, is a literature writing course based on fiction, drama, and poetry. Upon successful completion of each course, students receive three OCCC credits, which are transferable to all SUNY schools and most four-year colleges nationwide. Courses are taught during the school day at Goshen High School. Interested students should consult the Guidance office or the English Department Chairperson for eligibility requirements.

Mythology & Composition

Grade ­12 -­ One Semester ­ 1/2 credit

This class will introduce students to the legends and stories from around the world that people used to explain events that today science helps us to understand. From the creation stories to the tales of the hero’s journey, myths are a reflection of the values and ideals of a culture. While the focus of this class will be the myths of the Greeks and Romans, we will also explore mythology from around the world—including mythology in our world today. Students will be required to compose several pieces of writing in order to demonstrate their understanding of texts and improve upon college-ready skills. Pieces will include several expository essays, an argumentative essay, a narrative, and a research paper. Within each piece of writing, students are required to develop personal, cultural, textual, and thematic connections to the course material. With the exception of the narrative piece, writing will be claim based.

The Short Story

Grade 12 – One semester – 1/2 credit

The Short Story focuses on college-ready reading and writing skills, including analysis and interpretation of literature; writing about literature from the perspective of setting, point of view, conflict, theme, and/or imagery; the study of language (essay, paragraph, and sentence patterns); and the writing process. Via dialectical journal exchange, Socratic Seminar, and creative dramatics, students will explore this genre from a variety of approaches such as the initiation story, memoir (nonfiction), science fiction stories, stories with a single dominant image, thematically-linked stories, stories by a single author, stories to raise social consciousness, and so forth. Literature includes student- and teacher-selected authors from the newly purchased Norton Anthology of Short Fiction such as Isaac Asimov, James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Carver, John Cheever, Kate Chopin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Faulkner, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ernest Hemingway, Shirley Jackson, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Ursula LeGuin, Katherine Mansfield, Flannery O’Connor, Frank O’Connor, Tillie Olsen, George Orwell, Grace Paley, Edgar Allan Poe, Amy Tan, Mark Twain, John Updike, and Richard Wright. Students will write a short research paper and one original piece during the semester, either an original short story or memoir.

Contemporary Drama

Grade 12 – One semester – 1/2 credit

Contemporary Drama addresses 21st century issues and presents them in an engaging and accessible form.  Students will be able to read and act out various types of plays and discuss how the writing and staging of each affects the various themes.  This is a half-year elective for seniors.