South Park English Department

  •  Parent Newsletter

                     Why is homework important?

     

    The role of homework is often misunderstood.  It is often thought to be a punishment or something to stress students out. However, this is far from the truth. To begin, during class teachers introduce students to new concepts, vocabulary, critical thinking skills, as well as strategies and techniques to master this new information.   After the information is introduced, the teacher models what is expected from students. Then, there is an opportunity for the teacher and the students to practice together; this is the part where students may ask for clarification and teachers will assist by rephrasing information in a student friendly manner. Finally, students should be able to demonstrate mastery of the new material by working independently at home.  When homework is returned and reviewed, both teachers and students can determine the next step: moving forward or implementing additional opportunities for mastery.  Unfortunately, on tests students aren’t allowed to ask for assistance, therefore, independent practice at home is vital for students to be successful at mastering new material.

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    Freshmen    

    English I 

     Working with Evidence and Making Claims: How Do
    Authors Structure Texts and Develop Ideas?
    Texts Unit 1: “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,”
    Unit 2: Oedipus the King
    Unit 3: “True Crime: The roots of an American obsession,” “How Bernard
    Madoff Did It,” The Wizard of Lies Epilogue excerpt, and text-based video
    “$50bn Ponzi Scheme - How Madoff Did It.”
     

     

    In Module 9.2, students engage with literature and nonfiction texts that develop central ideas of guilt,
    obsession, and madness, among others. Building on work with evidence-based analysis and debate in
    Module 9.1, students will produce evidence-based claims to analyze the development of central ideas
    and text structure. Students will develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing, and will
    refine their speaking and listening skills through discussion-based assessments.
     
    In Unit 9.2.1, students analyze the development and refinement of common central ideas in Edgar Allan
    Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” and Emily Dickinson’s poem “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.” The
    narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” disturbed by an old man’s eye, kills the man and hides the body. The
    speaker in “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,” likens her descent into madness to the stages of a funeral
    ceremony. These texts offer rich evidence to support claims about point of view, central idea, and text
    structure, including how point of view and text structure contribute to the development of central ideas.
    Students will begin to produce evidence-based claims and multi-paragraph writing in unit 9.2.1.
     
    In Unit 9.2.2, students read the Greek tragedy Oedipus the King. The longest text in the module, Oedipus
    the King allows students to analyze how multiple central ideas are developed and refined throughout
    the drama; among the many themes developed in the play is Oedipus’s guilt in relation to the discovery
    of his past. Students will continue to produce multi-paragraph writing and participate in structured discussions to build mastery of speaking and listening skills in anticipation of the End-of-Unit Assessment
    in Unit 3, an evidence-based discussion of multiple nonfiction texts.
     
    In Unit 9.2.3, students read “True Crime: The roots of an American obsession,” an article from
    Newsweek that examines humanity’s relationship with guilt; “How Bernard Madoff Did It,” a book
    review of The Wizard of Lies; and an excerpt from the nonfiction book, The Wizard of Lies, which
    examines the downfall of white-collar criminal Bernard Madoff. These three texts complement each
    other in their treatment of guilt and people’s fascination with crime. In this unit, students focus on peer
    reviewing and revising their writing. The End-of-Unit Assessment in this unit is an evidence-based
    discussion, which offers students the opportunity to verbally articulate claims. In this forum, students
    will be asked to make connections across unit texts, particularly in relation to the development of
    central ideas.
     
    The End-of-Unit Assessments provide scaffolding for the Module Performance Assessment in which
    students will explore how a common central idea is developed across two module texts: one literary and
    one informational.

     

    Sophomore  English II

     Fourth Quarter

    Reading Closely and Writing to Analyze: How Do Authors Develop Complex Characters and Ideas?
    Texts Unit 1: “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love,” “The Nymph’s Reply to the
    Shepherd,” and “Raleigh Was Right”
    Unit 2: “The Palace Thief” from The Palace Thief
    Unit 3: The Joy Luck Club and “Dreaming of Heroes” from Friday Night Lights

    Introduction
    In Module 10.1, students engage with literature and nonfiction texts and explore how complex
    characters develop through their interactions with each other, and how these interactions develop
    central ideas such as parental and communal expectations, self-perception and performance, and
    competition and learning from mistakes.
    Module 10.1 introduces foundational protocols and routines for reading, writing, and discussion that
    students will continue to build upon and strengthen throughout the year. Students develop close
    reading skills, strengthen their writing through revisions and editing, and refine their speaking and
    listening skills through discussion-based assessment and evidence based collaborative analysis.
    In Unit 10.1.1, students analyze how authors shape, refine, and transform shared central ideas as they
    read three thematically related poems: Christopher Marlowe’s iconic poem “The Passionate Shepherd
    to His Love,” Sir Walter Raleigh’s critical reply “The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd,” and William Carlos
    Williams’ contemporary contribution “Raleigh Was Right.” This unit introduces students to poets in
    conversation, and encourages students to make connections across all three texts. Students consider
    the choices each author makes, with a focus on how each author shapes and refines central ideas and
    themes shared in all three texts.
    In Unit 10.1.2, students will read Ethan Canin’s “The Palace Thief,” exploring character interactions and
    motivations and how they contribute to the development of a central idea. Students also have the
    opportunity to analyze how rich figurative language contributes to a better understanding of evolving
    characters and emotions in the story.

     

    Junior English III

     Fourth Quarter

    Big Idea: How do students read closely with the purpose to construct an argument?


    By the end of the fourth marking period, students are required to practice
    the skill of reading closely through reading expository articles that
    introduce students to the concepts of analyzing and evaluating the
    effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or
    argument (RI.11-12.5). Students will learn how to integrate and evaluate
    multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats in
    order to address a question or solve a problem (RI.11-12.7). Through
    reading, rereading, and deep analysis of the text, students will be able to
    investigate ideas and deepen understanding through research, to make
    and evaluate evidence-based claims, and to communicate one’s
    perspective in a reasoned way. Students will then be expected to write an
    argument to support claims in an analysis of topics or texts, using valid
    reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence (W.11-12.1).

    Senior English IV  Fourth Quarter

    Big Idea: How do students read closely with the purpose to construct an argument?
    By the end of the fourth marking period, students are required to practice
    the skill of reading closely through reading expository articles that
    introduce students to the concepts of analyzing and evaluating the
    effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or
    argument (RI.11-12.5). Students will learn how to integrate and evaluate
    multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats in
    order to address a question or solve a problem (RI.11-12.7). Through
    reading, rereading, and deep analysis of the text, students will be able to
    investigate ideas and deepen understanding through research, to make
    and evaluate evidence-based claims, and to communicate one’s
    perspective in a reasoned way. Students will then be expected to write an
    argument to support claims in an analysis of topics or texts, using valid
    reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence (W.11-12.1)

    Seminar in English   English 9 and English 10

    Seminar classes work on a three day rotation. Students receive instruction designed to build fluency and decoding skills, help students transfer these skills to content area reading (informational text), help students answer literal and inferential questions to increase comprehension, and improve students’ ability to write coherent multi-paragraph answers. 

     

    We will be working closely with the grades 9 & 10 ELA teachers focusing on grammar, writing, and critical thinking skills preparing 10th grade students for success on the Regents ELA exam in June.  9Th graders will focus on improving reading comprehension skills in preparation for the EOC 9 June exam.  Both grade levels will receive vocabulary instruction as well as test taking strategies to include familiarity with test jargon and structure.


     

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