Skills in organization, studying techniques, test taking, memory development and research are taught, as well as grammar, vocabulary skills, writing skills and PSAT/SAT preparation.  An extensive research paper is a requirement in all English courses.



In this introductory course, students begin a four-year study of literature, writing, vocabulary and grammar.  The literature focuses on genre (fiction, poetry, and drama), with emphasis on works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream and the poetry of Langston Hughes.  The writing program includes the writing process of research, pre-writing, drafting, revising and editing.  Students gain proficiency in the short essay and its method of development, and write regularly in a journal.  Weekly lessons in vocabulary and grammar are integrated into the curriculum.

TEXTBOOK: Prentice Hall Literature:  Common Core Edition



This course provides students with a survey of literature which includes the study of the short story, novel, essay, epic, drama, and poetry.  Due to the intensified level, students are challenged to go beyond interpretation of literary pieces.  Application and analysis of material is required along with cooperative presentations which stimulate their creative intellect.

TEXTBOOK: Prentice Hall Literature:  Common Core Edition



This course not only provides a brief overview of Early American Literature but also surveys the beginning of the modern age as well.  Students will examine the works of such distinguished authors as Ambrose Bierce, Herman Melville, Jack London and Willa Cather.  Additionally, students will focus on the development of the essay and the various components that make up a research paper.

TEXTBOOK:  American Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)



This course will focus on the development of America as a cultural power.  It will trace America from its literary beginnings through its growth as an innovator to its position in today’s world.  Students will also be exposed to the art and music of the time.  Native American history and writing will also be addressed.  Periods of history will be discussed following the reading of period novels.

TEXTBOOK: American Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)



The course goes beyond the uniformity of early American literature to focus on the diversity of writers and styles of the 19th and 20th centuries.  Students will reflect on the life, manners, morals, national character and aspirations of American culture.  It includes the reading of plays (Our Town, A Raisin the Sun), novels (The Great Gatsby), and poetry (Ezra Pound, T. S. Elliot, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost...).  There will be an intense concentration on vocabulary and reading comprehension in preparation for the SAT test.  Language skills of perceptive reading, cogent writing, effective speaking, attentive listening, and incisive thinking in problem-solving situations are also developed at this level.  All Juniors are required to do a research paper.

TEXTBOOK: American Literature (Glencoe/McGraw)




The first year of a two year Advanced Placement Program, the course will enable students to further develop writing, reading, and critical thinking skills.  A comprehensive study of British literature will enable the students to independently analyze poems, short stories, nonfiction, drama, and novels.  In addition to extensive daily reading from the text, the students are required to fully participate in independent reading and research assignments.

TEXTBOOK: British Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)



This course is organized chronologically to present the literature of Great Britain in a historical context.  Areas of concentration include: the Anglo-Saxon Period, the Medieval Period, the English Renaissance, the Seventeenth Century, the Restoration and the Eighteenth Century, the Romantic Age, the Victorian Age and the Modern Period.  Students will analyze and discuss selected works.  Additionally, students will be able to identify and discuss the literary elements.  Research papers are required.

TEXTBOOK: British Literature (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)



Students are involved in both the study and practice of writing in addition to the study of literature.  This course equips students with skills in stylistic analysis of prose passages.  Additionally, students will further develop effective critical analysis through extensive course reading.  Emphasis is placed on the resource of language: connotation, metaphor, irony, syntax, and tone.  Types of works studied include drama (Antigone, Death of a Salesman), the novel (Wuthering Heights, Catch-22), poetry (Wordsworth, Yeats, Sandburg, Elliot) and the short story (“The Rocking-horse Winner”, “A & P”, “The Lottery”, “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place”). All students are required to take the Advanced Placement Examination in May and to pay the fee for the test.

TEXTBOOK: Reading and Writing from Literature (McDougal Littell)

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Athletic Distinction


Saint Mary High School

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Saint Mary High School

64 Chestnut St, Rutherford, NJ 07070

Phone: 201-933-5220 | Fax: 201-933-0834

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