English II Course Overview

English II - sophomore English

Reading selections of World literature help students to identify how literature reflects a wide range of changes that our world has experienced from ancient times to the present. Nonfiction reading selections are also incorporated on a weekly and/or daily basis, and students will read a variety of current event articles and editorials.

Students write essays and practice close reading in preparation for the state end of course test in which they use expository modes of writing (cause/effect, definition, problem/solution). Formal essays and extended paragraphs on a variety of topics are graded and students are asked to revise them for higher grades. Studies show that revision is the most important aspect of writing, as we can all improve on a second (or third or fourth!) try.

Interactive notebooks: Students work throughout class gathering materials for the notebook that relate to test skills. This includes reading, paragraph writing, grammar, and note-taking and annotation skills.

Vocabulary study is incorporated to encourage knowledge of a working bank of SAT ready words. Ten words per week are studied, including the use of graphic organizers and writing of original sentences. Memorization skills are taught, and students are encouraged to use the study skills which work best for them. There is a focus on parts of speech.

Films are paired with literary units to show similarities between the themes of the literature and movie genre. We often use films with subtitles, such as Aurevoir les Enfants.

Distinctions between honors and regular English:

Regular - students self-select books to read and are given time to read in class (SSR). I meet with them occasionally to check on their progress, and they are given progress sheets to fill out as they read. I often encourage them to choose a particular book based on their interests. Regular English students will choose their own books to read in our Self-Selected Reading program. Starting the first day of class, students will be taken to the library to choose a book that they want to read. I will conference with students on the progress of their reading and they will be required to keep a reading log. However, the only rule in SSR is that students read during the designated time. We believe that this is the best way to create better readers and life-long readers. I will also have some high-interest magazines available, and students are encouraged to bring their own reading materials (books or magazines) to read in class. Students in regular English will not be asked to read difficult World literature selections for homework. We will read these together in class.

Honors - students are required to read one novel over the summer and will be tested on it on the first day. All World literature selections will be first completed for homework. Honors requires much more independent work and is therefore a much better preparation for the difficult reading and writing required in college.