English

English Department

Parents' Guide to Student Success

Click Here






Nicole Martone, Department Head
marton@danbury.k12.ct.us
(203) 797-4732

Class Website

Courses

 
 



















































































ENGLISH I G9 (COLLEGE PREP)

English I is a preliminary survey of general English terms and skills. Students in this course will further develop the foundational skills in reading and writing as a continuation of those introduced in the previous grade. Writing opportunities will address the constructs of process writing, and students will be guided through peerconferencing and peer-editing on a regular basis to enhance their writing and foster the necessary relationships found in a writing community. Throughout the year, thematic units ask students to look at literature and how it relates to them and the world around them. Academic growth within these units will be measured through various performance-based and writing assessments. Students will also have a guaranteed portfolio experience, providing them the opportunity to look back at these assessments and reflect on how their writing has improved throughout the year.

ENGLISH I (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

This class is centered on instruction in the basic skills of English Language Arts. This is a mandatory class for students who have not successfully passed English I as freshmen. The variety of activities in this class will cover the scope of the English I curriculum, while moving at a pace which will encourage growth for the students. As the content will change from semester to semester, it need not be parallel to the English I semester for which the student needs credit. Students needing two semesters of English I may enroll for two semesters of this class.

 

ENGLISH I G9 (HONORS)

This course offers a challenging reading and writing program that encompasses the core curriculum and offers enrichment beyond the foundational skills. As such, the course demands extensive time and labor commitments outside of the classroom. The honors freshman English student will demonstrate analytical skills through sophisticated and substantive verbal and written responses to literature. Students will learn to form, support, and articulate critical responses to a variety of text and media genres. Like the core curriculum program, the Honors program has a guaranteed portfolio experience that offers students an opportunity to reflect on their learning through the year, but also requires the students to revisit and revise one piece of showcase writing.

 

ENGLISH I PLUS (COLLEGE PREP) 9

Students who are not reading at grade level by the end of grade 8 will be considered for this program. Selected students are required to take this course, which will satisfy the DHS graduation requirement for English I. Students will earn two credits, one for English and the other as an elective credit toward graduation requirements. Students will be given reading intervention embedded into their regular coursework. Course placement decisions are made by reviewing scores on the Scholastic Reading Inventory Assessment currently in use at the middle school, in addition to teacher recommendation and overall reading history.

 

TRANSITIONAL ENGLISH (COLLEGE PREP) 9-12

This double period English course incorporates the skills included in the English II curriculum with those reading skills necessary for comprehension and interpretation of the required course material and subject matter. In cases in which the student successfully completes the Transitional course earlier than Grade 12, subsequent English courses must be taken.
In order to be placed into Transitional English class, the student must have:
1. Passed ESL 3
2. Earned a 4 or 5 overall on the LAS Test
3. Earned a 3 or lower on either the reading or writing sections of the LAS Test

ENGLISH II (COLLEGE PREP) 10

English II is the second course in a four-year program that builds upon the foundational skills laid in the freshman year. Students will continue to develop the fundamental skills of communication with a focus on literary analysis, vocabulary development and presentation skills. The specific aims of the course are to help the student gain a greater facility in written and oral expression, as well as the continued development of reading comprehension. Throughout the year, students will participate in thematic units that ask the students to look at literature, and how it relates to themselves and the world around them. Students will have opportunities to express their understanding of material through a variety of different writing assignments. Students will have a guaranteed portfolio experience, providing opportunities to look back and reflect on how their writing has improved throughout the year.
PREREQUISITE: English I or concurrent enrollment
In order to be placed into English II, the student must have:
1. Passed English I or has concurrent enrollment
2. Exited out of the ESL Program by earning a 4 or 5 overall and a 4 or 5 on the reading and writing sections of the LAS Test

 

ENGLISH II (HONORS) 10

The English II Honors student will be expected to look at texts with a more astute eye and to write with much more elaboration. More importantly, the honors student must be self-motivated and willing to complete both reading and writing tasks outside of class. Selected texts will be more challenging on a variety of levels and will require additional writing assignments, and deeper analysis of literary elements and meaning. Students are expected to meet challenges with little support in the foundational skill areas. The students will write more in the honors setting and this writing will demonstrate a stronger and more esoteric understanding of the power of words and language. This course has a guaranteed portfolio experience that offers students an opportunity to reflect on their learning through the year.
PREREQUISITE: English I or concurrent enrollment
In order to be placed into English II, the student must have:
1. Passed English I or has concurrent enrollment
2. Exited out of the ESL Program by earning a 4 or 5 overall and a 4 or 5 on the reading and writing sections of the LAS Test

 

ENGLISH III (COLLEGE PREP) 11

English III is the third course in a four-year program and focuses on literary analysis, vocabulary development, and oral presentation. Specific aims are facilitation of written and oral expression, continued development of reading comprehension, and cultivation of deeper levels of understanding. Students will participate in thematic units that explore literature and question its relationship to their world. English III explores the American character through examination and analysis of the American Dream and the art of persuasion through the use of rhetorical devices and persuasive appeals to develop reading, writing and critical thinking abilities. Students will have a guaranteed portfolio experience, providing opportunities to look back and reflect on how their writing has improved throughout the year.
PREREQUISITE: English I and English II and/or concurrent enrollment in English II.

 

ENGLISH III (HONORS) 11

English III Honors students examine texts critically and write elaborately. Tasks in reading and writing are independent and demand self-motivation and adherence to task completion in a timely manner. Students are expected to meet challenges with little support in the foundational skill areas and to analyze literature from multiple perspectives. In addition to the writing portfolio, honors students will revise their weakest writing sample based on what they have learned throughout the school year. Like the core curriculum program, the Honors program has a guaranteed portfolio experience that offers students an opportunity to reflect on their learning through the year.
PREREQUISITE: English I and English II and/or concurrent enrollment in English II.

 

ENGLISH IV (COLLEGE PREP) 12

The senior English course develops students as more sophisticated readers and writers in preparation for a posthigh school experience. Students will compile real-world documents that set them up for success in their professional and academic futures. Through the exploration of literature, students will examine the various literary techniques authors use to make their writing more interesting and effective to the reader. Students will find direct connections between the author's writing and their own life experiences. Students will examine how different types of writing affect our lives, what makes a text timeless, how authors use satire, and how different perspectives inform people in various ways. Much of the discussion that takes place in class comes from the student’s ability to analyze the literature and make meaningful connections to it. Students will work to elevate their own written pieces through the development of personal voice and through the understanding of the connection writers make between audience and purpose. Students will have a guaranteed portfolio experience, providing opportunities to look back and reflect on how their writing has improved throughout the year.
PREREQUISITE: English I, English II and/or concurrent enrollment in English III

 

ENGLISH IV (HONORS) 12

In addition to the core curriculum, honors students will be challenged to think, write, and read at a more complex level. Each quarter, honors students will complete independent reading choices, multi-media presentations, and more in-depth analyses of the texts. Students will work to master their understanding of literary devices through application, development of high-level vocabulary, and foster creativity through mirroring the organizational structures and language techniques made by writers we study in class.  The expectation for honors students is to take a genuine interest in honing their thinking, writing, and reading skills in order to maximize their potential for the future.  Like the core curriculum program, the Honors program has a portfolio experience that offers students an opportunity to reflect on their learning through the year.

PREREQUISITE: English I, English II and/or concurrent enrollment in English III

A.P. ENGLISH LANGUAGE/WCSU 12

The A.P. English Language and Composition/WCSU course is intended to provide students at Danbury High School with a comprehensive college English experience. The students will develop an understanding of themselves as readers, writers, and thinkers through exploring a variety of texts. This course will engage students in the work of academic inquiry through the interpretation of difficult texts, participation in the issues and arguments that animate the texts, and reflection on the significance for academic and general culture and for themselves of the critical work of reading and writing. Students will be asked to generate their own ideas and interpretations of the presented materials, and to develop logical, cogent, and creative arguments defending their positions. Students are required to take the A.P. English Language test. Students seeking college credit from Western Connecticut State University must register with the University and pay a registration fee, which is payable directly to the University. WCSU students in this class must complete the course and earn a grade of 80 or better in order to be eligible for the college credit. This course will complete the freshman English requirement at Western Connecticut State University. Students should check other colleges or universities regarding the awarding of credit for this course. There is an opportunity for an additional three college credits in writing if the student passes the A.P. exam. Students should contact the university directly to apply for that credit.
PREREQUISITE: English III or A.P. English Literature

 

A.P. ENGLISH LITERATURE/WCSU 11

The A.P. English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students will consider a work's structure, style, and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students are required to take the A.P. English Literature test. Additionally, students seeking college credit from Western Connecticut State University must register with the University and pay a registration fee, which is payable directly to the University. WCSU students in this class must complete the course and earn a grade of 80 or better in order to be eligible for the college credit. This course will complete the freshman English requirement at Western Connecticut State University. Students should check other colleges or universities regarding the awarding of credit for this course.
PREREQUISITE: English II

 

CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY I (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

In this course, the student will be introduced to Greek and Roman mythology and will become acquainted with the commonplace facts and fables that serve as the basis of much of the great literature of Western civilization. The first part will deal solely with an intense investigation of the pantheon of gods; the second part will include reading from major works of classical authors in translation. NOTE: You may sign up for either Classical Mythology I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY II (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

In this course, the student will be introduced to Greek and Roman mythology and will become acquainted with the commonplace facts and fables that serve as the basis of much of the great literature of Western civilization. The first part will deal solely with an intense investigation of the pantheon of gods; the second part will include reading from major works of classical authors in translation. Note: You may sign up for either Classical Mythology I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

CREATIVE WRITING I (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

This course attempts to develop the basic writing ability of the student in all areas rather than primarily in exposition. The approaches used emphasize effectiveness of communication through extensive writing. NOTE: You may sign up for either Creative Writing I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)


CREATIVE WRITING II (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

Students intent on continuing to develop skills in creative writing will be given the opportunity to explore, with teacher guidance and group criticism, forms of poetry, short stories, and plays. The course will stress manuscript submission to appropriate writing markets and will emphasize polishing of creative drafts. NOTE: You may sign up for either Creative Writing I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

JOURNALISM I (HONORS) 10-12

Journalism includes instruction and practice in reporting and writing (news, sports, features, and opinion), advertising sales, photography, layout, and design. The course will also examine concepts such as freedom of the press, ethics, and the role of media in a free society. Class members will contribute to the writing and production of the award-winning student newspaper, The Hatters Herald. As an Honors course, strong writing skills are required. Some after-school commitment is involved in this course.

 

JOURNALISM II (HONORS) 10-12

In Journalism II, students serve as leaders of the award-winning student newspaper, The Hatters’ Herald. They will learn to research and write in-depth stories while serving as mentors to beginning Journalism students. Advanced students may also apply to work at The News-Times as interns. After-school commitment is involved in this course.
PREREQUISITE: Journalism I

VISUAL LITERATURE I (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

Students will study the importance of film as a form of literature and for its role in society. The course uses film of different genres/eras as a major teaching tool to discuss literacy devices, to analyze and form opinions, and to develop critical viewing and writing skills. Assessments (e.g., discussions, papers, presentations) reflect the belief that interaction with a visual text should be on the literal, reflective, critical, and evaluative level. Journals and a research paper are an important part of the course. NOTE: You may sign up for either Visual Literature I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

VISUAL LITERATURE II (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

film of different genres/eras as a major teaching tool to discuss literacy devices, to analyze and form opinions, and to develop critical viewing and writing skills. Assessments (e.g., discussions, papers, presentations) reflect the belief that interaction with a visual text should be on the literal, reflective, critical, and evaluative level. Journals and a research paper are an important part of the course. NOTE: You may sign up for either Visual Literature I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE I (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

The genres of mystery and suspense are taught through classic and modern examples of short stories, plays, films, and novels. Students will be writing critical response papers, character analysis papers, and descriptive pieces. Students will read mystery novels of their own selection to supplement what is studied in class. At semester’s close, students will write their own mystery. NOTE: You may sign up for either Mystery and Suspense I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE II (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

The genres of mystery and suspense are taught through classic and modern examples of short stories, plays, films, and novels. Students will be writing critical response papers, character analysis papers, and descriptive pieces. Students will read mystery novels of their own selection to supplement what is studied in class. At semester’s close, students will write their own mystery. NOTE: You may sign up for either Mystery and Suspense I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

HARLEM RENAISSANCE I (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

This course involves an exploration of the literary, musical, and artistic genre of The Great Migration to our major Northern cities. The course celebrates achievements of African Americans who reclaimed their past and enjoyed a resurgence of their creative exploits in all walks of American life. Students will choose projects that will take them into varied disciplines to share with one another their discoveries from the Renaissance legacy and the connections they make to their current world. Opportunities will include theater, visits to relevant historical sites, guest speakers, art, and music lessons. Activities include reading/writing from models, viewing, enacting, interviewing/reporting, publishing/recording, research, and crafting for charity causes connected to the history. NOTE: You may sign up for either Harlem Renaissance I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

HARLEM RENAISSANCE II (COLLEGE PREP) 10-12

Students will be given a chance to continue their studies celebrating achievements of African Americans in writing. Various forms of writing will be studied including but not limited to fiction, poetry, and open prose. Students will continue to have opportunities to engage in authentic performances to bolster their understanding of the literature from this genre. Activities include reading/writing from models, viewing, enacting, interviewing/reporting, publishing/recording, research, and crafting for charity causes connected to the history. NOTE: You may sign up for either Harlem Renaissance I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

 

POETRY I (HONORS) 10-12

This course will include a study of poetry’s history, poetic traditions, its development over time, and cultural, ethnic, national, and minority-specific contributions. As part of the course, students will imitate specific traditions and forms, generate original poetry, and attempt to publish original works. Students will be involved in the reading, analysis, writing, and critiquing of published and student-generated poetry. NOTE: You may sign up for either Poetry I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)

POETRY II (HONORS) 10-12

This course will give students interested in pursuing their love of poetry an opportunity to delve deeper into the world of poetry. Students will be immersed in all facets of poetry from the production of a variety of poems to analyzing a variety of poets. Students will be led through the process of creation and construction of this genre and will have the opportunity to publish pieces each year. NOTE: You may sign up for Poetry I or II as the courses do not need to be taken in any sequence. There is NO prerequisite. All English electives may be combined in any manner. (e.g., Creative Writing I and Poetry II)