Home and Exploration 

 “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own.  And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.” 

- Dr. Seuss

Home and Exploration

2008-2009 Course Description

Facing History School English Department

This class entitled Home and Exploration is a literature course that will look at novels, plays and memoirs while questioning how we define our “home” and also how and why we choose to explore.  This course will continue to prepare you for the ELA Regents (to be taken in the spring) as well as prepare you for your major papers and panels needed to continue on into the Senior Institute and graduation.  We will also focus on strengthening creative and formal writing skills. **Pre-requisite:  At least 6 credits in English and successful completion of 10thgrade English portfolios.

The fall semester, we will focus on the following essential questions:

  • What makes a community a home?
  • How does the immigration experience affect one’s ideas of home and exploration?
  • What can we learn about ourselves and others through exploration?

Required texts include (but are not limited to):

  • Various poems and short storiesDrown, Junot Diaz
  • First Crossing:  Stories of Teenage Immigrants (ed: Gallo)
  • The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien
  • Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Expect homework every night.  Much of the reading in this class needs to be completed at home. Your grade will be broken down in the following categories:


  • 30% Class work (class activities, participation, journals, etc.)
  • 30% Essays, projects and tests (but all must be completed)
  • 25% Homework
  • 15% Quizzes

This class prepares 11th graders for their panel presentations.  Students who want to continue on to 12th grade year and Senior Institute must successfully complete their panel presentation.  Panels are credit bearing and are not included in the grading for this class. 
***These are suggested pre-requisites.  Placement also depends on skill level, attendance and scheduling.

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