UHS English Department Overview 2009-2010
To prepare our students for AP English courses and college, UHS English courses are working to align and emphasize the following...
Modes/Patterns to be taught yearly, across grade levels, through reading analysis and non-fiction writing:
Writing to be taught yearly across grade levels:
- Timed/Pressure writes (must be practiced to be more AP-ready)
- Templates to help students practice structure in their writing
- Formal instruction on thesis statements and support
- Textual evidence- proving why you know what you know
- Creative/Fiction/Poetry writing & Analysis (prep for AP Literature)
- Non-Fiction writing and analysis (see “modes/patterns” info above - prep for AP Language)
Reading to be taught yearly across grade levels:
- SOAPSTone and other such techniques of reading analysis
- Modes/Patterns can be taught through reading (helping students notice certain modes/patterns authors are using)
- Formal discussion of elements of literature and rhetorical techniques used by author (to move students beyond mertely summarizing and into the analysis and comprehension of various writing techniques and author purposes)
- Reading strategies to increase comprehension of challenging material (annotations, connections, inferences, paraphrasing, using context, etc.)
- Alignment of grammar is still a work in progress, but the main thing is to make sure students continue to practice and improve their grammar skills each year.
- Basic essentials like punctuation, parts of speech, paragraph and essay structure, tense, and subject-verb agreement definitely need to be re-taught and practiced each year; otherwise, these skills will not be maintained over the years.
- Use helpful & engaging resources with the students, such as on-line sources:
- OWL @ Purdue
Research Papers are assigned yearly to help prepare students for their Culminating Project RAP paper, for AP, and for college:
To help student engagement and increase peer discussion skills and team problem-solving skills, UHS English classes are also working to implement:
The Workshop Model of classroom instruction/discussion
A wide variety of assessment opportunities, including self and peer assessment skills regarding literacy