After receiving an excellent foundation at the Masconomet Middle School, students take their first step in college and life preparation at the high school level in their freshman year. In the English class the focus of curriculum will be composition and literature. Composition will feature a variety of forms including expository essays, narrative essays, creative writing exercises, research writing and journal. Students will also study themes and technical construction of the various genres of literature including, but not limited to, the short story, the novel, the play, the epic, the screenplay, poetry, biography, and autobiography. What is most important about the curriculum is that the student will be taught the skills necessary for life-long learning. There are interesting and exciting ideas circling us every day and we should have a great deal of fun examining them.
Life is a journey. While it is vital to have to have a worthy destination in mind for a journey, please remember that it is the journey itself and how you conduct yourself on that journey that is important, not the destination.
The Difference Between College Preparatory English and Honors English:
The difference between college preparatory English and honors English is and should be great. The college prep student should have an eye towards the future desiring to one day be eligible to matriculate in a college or university of reputation and honor. There the student will be met and accepted by peers and instructors as one who is aware, knowledgeable, interested, and interesting. The college prep student seeks to be able to communicate clearly, cogently, and stylishly in both written and verbal forms. The college prep student wants to one day sit in a college classroom with the confidence of one who belongs in that setting as a contributor and a collaborator. The college prep student knows that the world is attempting to communicate with him and wants to receive all of the messages. The college prep student knows that he has something to say to the world and wants to pass it on in the best possible manner. The college prep student's goal is to be one who knows that "student" is a profession and works at it for the intangible and sometimes tangible rewards that the classroom provides. The college prep student knows that the classroom is a place of work—sometimes arduous, sometimes easy—that is rewarding and satisfying. The college prep student knows that homework assignments are meant to be used as practice time for the skills learned in class. The college prep student knows that everything that happens in high school matters and that when high school is over, all avenues of life can and should still be open for any who are willing to work for the opportunities that are there.
The honors English student understands all of the above but knows that for her it doesn't really apply since it was all going to happen to her anyway. An honors student reads thousands of pages a year and talks about the latest books and stories with friends who also read. The honors student writes essays, poems, stories, plays, journals, blogs, songs, web pages, books, or letters because he must or he would feel his life was being diminished. An honors English student reads a dictionary to pass the time and loves learning the meanings and etymologies of interesting words. An honors English student successfully plays word games like Scrabble, Boggle, Balderdash, crossword puzzles, cryptograms, anagrams, puns, and palindromes. Honors students read editorials, commentaries, and opinion pieces on books, words, and language. Honors students never ask how long an assignment is supposed to be, but rather want to know how much time they have before it is due so they can plan accordingly. Honors students know that there is no homework in an English class, but only assigned challenges. The honors English student does not expect a homework grade but is content to let all of the hard work be reflected on the tests, essays, and projects stand as a grade. For the honors English student there is little difference between class time and non-class time beyond direction from the teacher, because class time is an extension of the normal life of books, words, talk, and creativity. The honors English student is what a gym rat is to athletes. She loves the milieu of language arts and she excels there.
The following are some of the topics and units covered in the Freshman English curriculum. Please click on the active links for more information: