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 the epic form (selections from The Odyssey), plays (Romeo and Juliet and The Devil and Daniel Webster – supplemental), 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. The narrative essay format is also included in the freshman year. MLA Format, research techniques and the research paper form are also taught. Additionally, students are expected to hone their listening skills, reading comprehension, and oral presentation skills. Additional independent readings are required each quarter from a list of fiction and nonfiction offerings.

English 9 Honors

Grade 9 – Full Year – One Credit

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 Common Core 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 and The Lightning Thief. Class time is devoted to the close reading. 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 placed on writing correctly and effectively. Students are expected to complete a precis every two weeks, write at least two essays a marking period, peer review, and revise all essays. Students are held accountable for all parts of writing: analysis, development, organization, language, and mechanics). Writing assignments (regular essays) count as 30 percent of the student’s 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 two major assignments per marking period, and they count as 20 percent of the class average. In total, writing actually equals 50 percent of the student’s average in this course. One formal research paper is written.

Homework is required and cannot be submitted late, unless legally absent. Unannounced quizzes often reflect independent assignments, and quizzes cannot be retaken. 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):

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 in works such as Beowulf, Le Morte d’Arthur, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Hamlet. The focus is on the values of the community in shaping the hero and includes poetry, drama, romance, and film. A formal research paper is required.

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.

Writing for the Media

One Semester – 1/2 credit

Writing for the Media is an introduction to media and to journalistic style. Students research the history and changing nature of media, particularly in the last half century. They are introduced to a variety of writing styles and media formats including traditional news and feature stories for print and web publication, websites and blogging, as well as radio and podcasting. Student also examine the role and power of advertising within the different forms of media, and finally, the role of copyright laws, as well as issues of privacy and libel. Students research, write, and/or edit their work daily.

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

Communications is a Senior elective. This is a one semester course and earns 1⁄2 English credit. Communications is designed so students can explore the various types of communication useful in both the academic and working worlds. Students in this activity based course, primarily seniors, will research and practice verbal and nonverbal communication skills that will allow the them to interact appropriately and with style as they go out into the post high school world. There are several individual and group presentations and a standard, MLA style research paper is required. This course is not NCAA approved. Athletes wishing to play collegiate sports cannot take this elective.

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.


Grades 10-­12 ­ 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. A formal research paper is required.

Public Speaking

Grades 10-12 – One Semester – 1/2 credit

The Public Speaking course is designed for students to learn and practice techniques necessary to become confident and impressive public speakers. The class requires regular participation and a variety of presentations. Students will develop the skills to plan, write, and effectively deliver their own speeches as the course progresses. Students experiment with a variety of speech types and delivery methods that include: Impromptu, Extemporaneous, Manuscript, Demonstration, Informative, Persuasive, and Entertainment. Famous speakers and speeches are also examined and discussed. Students are expected to be in front of the class to deliver at least ten speeches in the course as well as participate in a variety of oral exercises, games, and activities. Active participation and willingness to experiment with voice, body language, gestures, and technique are necessary for success in this interactive and dynamic course.

The Short Story

Grades 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.