…to English class …your Senior year …B116


As your guide, I sincerely hope you enjoy your stay. Hopefully, some of you are looking forward to this year… finally got the electives you wanted, couldn’t wait for Calculus, lunch on the patio, whatever. I know some of you are so over high school, and for you, Graduation 2014 can’t come fast enough. Others may be feeling the pressure to make decisions you’re not ready to make, and still others may be wishing summer could last forever. (It can’t.)

No matter your situation or stress level, the one thing you all have in common is that this is a year of transition. Headline: You will not be sitting here in good ol’ PHS next September. With that in mind, it seems appropriate that you take this year to prepare for what lies ahead. Regardless your future plans (or lack thereof), I think the following goals offer something for everyone:

To Read more critically, fluently, and (hopefully) with at least a modicum of enjoyment

To Write beyond the confines of a 5 paragraph essay, improving skill, fluency, and creativity

To Discuss relevant issues, improving communication skills

To Reflect on the literature as it relates to our thoughts, experiences, and the world around us

To Accept ourselves and those around us, building a welcoming classroom community

To Become lifelong readers and critical thinkers!

 BTW, we will try to reach the above goals with both relevance and the 21st Century in mind!


Some Reading...

This year we will explore the idea of storytelling. First, we will examine our own stories as we delve in to the theme of Understanding Self. Then we will move on to expand our world-views as we seek to Understand Others and their Cultures through global works of literature.  The works we will study all address societal issues including Man’s Inhumanity to Man, Materialism, Drug Abuse, War, Mental Illness, Suicide and much more!  The units we will use to accomplish these lofty goals are listed below.
  • Understanding Self:  including excerpts from Finding Your Element (Robinson), Outliers (Gladwell), Siddhartha (Hesse), and Into the Wild (film/Penn)
  • Understanding Others: The Kite Runner  (Hosseini), A Long Way Gone (Beah), Hamlet (Shakespeare), and selected Fairy Tales
  • Understanding Culture:  Independent Reading Project (self-selected book), Brave New World (Huxley), selected short stories, articles, and short films


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