Dual Credit Composition 101


Elective Course: Semester 1

Recommended Grade Level: 11/12

Dual Credit Composition 102

Prerequisite: Comp101

Recommended Grade Level: 11/12

Elective Course: Semester 2

English 9

Prerequisite: none

Required Course: Full Year

Recommended Grade Level: 9

A high school literature and composition involves much more than reading literature and writing essays. Classes begin with daily vocabulary words to expand a student’s word base and understanding of how words are used. Weekly assignments from the Fix-It! curriculum from the Institute for Excellence in Writing provide students with opportunities to apply grammar and punctuation skills learned previously. Learning the roots for many words in the English language helps students understand new words they encounter, and the Vocabulary from Classical Roots curriculum provides applicable and challenging activities to help student learn to use effectively words with common roots.  

English 9 students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts both for enjoyment and for detailed analysis. The Collections curriculum provides opportunities for close reading, leading to a greater understanding of how to determine the purpose and central ideas of a text, as well as learning how to analyze the structure of a text. As a result, students gain a greater ability to comprehend what they read.  Students also read a majority of the epic poem “The Odyssey” and do a thorough unit study on the American novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Shakespeare is also introduced through an entertaining reading and student classroom performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” All literature is discussed through the lens of a Christian worldview in the evaluating and understanding of historical context, characters, and motivations.

Using the methods from The Institute for Excellence in Writing, students improve their abilities in writing essays by learning strategies of both structure and style.  Much emphasis is given to writing complex sentences, cohesive paragraphs, and comprehensive essays in order to present ideas well. MLA format is used on all writing assignments. The culminating project for English 9 is a research paper.  Students are given step-by-step instructions on each piece of the process that combine the skills practiced during previous writing assignments. Avoiding plagiarism, properly evaluating and citing sources, along with diligence, paying attention to details, and accountability are all important parts of the research project. This class is required for Core 40 and Honors Diploma.

English 10

Prerequisite: English 9 or equivalent

Required Course: Full Year

Recommended Grade Level: 10

In addition to daily editing exercises to enhance grammar, punctuation and usage skills, students continue developing vocabulary through the study of Greek and Latin roots as well as SAT level vocabulary words. These skills are also expanded in major writing assignments which include descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive essays as final preparation for the ISTEP Graduation Qualifying Exam.  Focus is placed on using transitions and providing solid support for a stated point of view or opinion is a major portion of the composition instruction.  Students receive formal instruction in the art of public speaking and learn to present their ideas with poise and confidence. The examination of literary techniques, plots, and themes in poetry, short stories, plays, works of non-fiction, and novels provides students with many opportunities to glean more from literary works than can be gained from casual reading.  During the course of the year, students read four major works with an emphasis on examining Scripture when dealing with themes, characters and application: Arthurian legend, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, and Animal Farm. This class is required for Core 40 and Honors Diploma.

English 11

Prerequisite: English 9 & 10 or equivalent

Required:  One Semester

Recommended Grade Level: 11

This semester course focuses on major writing assignments that provide students with opportunities to produce a variety of forms including persuasive and argument essays, informative essays, essays of comparison and contrast, literary responses, and a research project. Using strategies from The Institute for Excellence in Writing along with assignments from the Collections curriculum, students learn and begin to master advanced skills in structure (the components of each type of writing) and style (using a variety of sentence structures and literary techniques) in order to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their writing. The research project involves collecting and analyzing information from both written and digital sources, focusing on utilizing creditable sources, avoiding plagiarism, and correctly citing source material.

The weekly Fix-It! assignment from The Institute for Excellence in Writing is used to apply all the aspects of grammar that students have studied previously. Daily SAT level words are used to expand vocabulary, enhance reading comprehension, and exercise writing skills when used as practice with changing sentence structure requirements. Students further develop vocabulary through a formal study of Greek and Latin roots from the Vocabulary from Classical Roots curriculum.

Public speaking and presentation skills are honed through a presidential nomination project in which students select a fictional character to nominate for President of the United States. Several modes of technology and craft are used in the creation of a campaign slogan, poster, and other means of promotion, as well as in the nomination speech and presentation. This class is required for Core 40 and Honors Diploma.

English 12

Prerequisite: English 9, 10 &, 11 or equivalent

Required Course:  Full Year

Recommended Grade Level: 12

English 12 is designed to help students hone vital composition and reading comprehension skills needed for future endeavors. Emphasis is given to providing as much individual attention as possible so that students can master skills in grammar, writing, research, and reading comprehension. Composition requirements progress in difficulty throughout the year for those needing remediation of techniques, ending with college-level assignments in preparation for future writing, whether in college or career.

Grammar skills are mastered through the use of the Fix-It! curriculum from The Institute for Excellence in Writing. Students also continue their formal study of Greek and Latin roots, using materials from Vocabulary from Classical Roots. Daily vocabulary words are also part of the standard curriculum, providing opportunities to further develop writing skills and reading comprehension.

The Collections curriculum offers engaging fiction and nonfiction texts for study and analysis, along with beginning composition assignments. Students read a majority of the epic poem “Beowulf” as well as Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Weekly reading assignments from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis give students an opportunity to learn how to discuss important Christian concepts with their peers.

Writing assignments range from personal narratives, short article responses, and persuasive essays, to source evaluations, annotated bibliographies, research proposals, and research papers. Students also learn how to properly format and write a cover letter for a résumé and other business and personal correspondence. This class is required for Core 40 and Honors Diploma.


Elective Course: Semester 1, 2

Recommended Grade Level: 11/12

This one-year course is open to juniors and seniors who have an interest in learning and gaining hands-on experience with journalistic interviewing, reporting, and writing. The curriculum for this course includes the history of American media, determining and gathering news, interviewing skills, and the use of photography, as well as writing news, features, and sports stories. The publication of the bi-monthly GCA student newspaper, The Cougar Chronicles, and the annual yearbook are ongoing projects for this course.