Knox English classes give students the opportunity to read widely, think deeply, and communicate clearly. In every English classroom, you will find our students actively engaged in writing responses to a text, as well as vigorously discussing the nuances of what they read in terms of literary elements and personal connections. It is here that students learn how to listen respectfully to different opinions, as well as to express their own perspectives with clarity and logic. Throughout all Knox English courses, students are taught to support their written and spoken arguments with convincing evidence. The development of a strong and disciplined mind is the best way we can prepare our students for the rigors of college as well as the challenges they will face beyond higher education.

English Courses

English I students explore the theme of coming of age through classic literature. Through the use of grammar exercises, writing prompts, and course texts, students develop a deeper understanding of how to convey their ideas both orally and through their writing. The course provides students with opportunities to improve their written communication skills, develop critical thinking skills through reading and writing, and learn the proper mechanics for research-based writing.

English II students explore the roots of English literature. Through the use of the set course texts, students develop a deeper understanding of the diverse forms fiction can take, from graphic novels to medieval epic poetry. Students will explore the effects those different forms can have on the reader. The course provides students with opportunities to improve their written communication skills, develop critical thinking skills through reading and writing, and learn the proper mechanics for research-based writing. This course also introduces film literacy as well as reading comprehension. Each trimester, students will have the opportunity to critique a film that accompanies one of the assigned texts.

English III coheres with the 11th grade History program, which focuses on America from the colonial period to just after the Civil War. Students will study texts that represent the growing mindset from puritanical Christianity to a modern industrialized awareness of the world at large. These poems, plays, essays, and novels will directly correspond with the student’s work in their history classrooms. The course encourages students to draw connections between fiction and history, as well as the diversity of ideas regarding mankind’s relationship to the universe.

English IV students explore a survey of world literature. Through the analysis of fiction and nonfiction texts, poetry and plays, as well as through grammar exercises and writing prompts, students will develop a deeper understanding of how to convey their ideas both orally and through the written word. The course provides students with opportunities to improve their written communication skills, develop critical thinking skills through reading and writing, and learn the proper mechanics for research-based writing.

AP English Literature and Composition focuses on intensive reading and analysis of literature. Students are expected to understand how authors use language to provide meaning to the audience. Throughout the course, students master literary elements such as diction, figurative language, imagery, tone, theme and symbolism. AP Literature and Composition also incorporates advanced writing that focuses on critical analysis of texts. The goal of writing in AP Literature and Composition is to master the skills of interpreting college-level texts, and writing clear and concise explanations and analyses of such texts.

AP English Language and Composition is an intense reading and writing program with an emphasis on rhetoric and how language is used in a variety of texts from multiple time periods. Complex writing assignments will encourage students to develop their abilities to write various modes of essays at a collegiate level. The course is predominantly based on non-fiction texts, visuals and other sources including, but not limited to: pictures, films, music and advertisements. This course is designed to develop and build upon complex practices, and does not include the teaching of foundational skills. At the completion of this course, students are expected to have developed the following: effective use and understanding of rhetoric thorough understanding of AP Language vocabulary, effective writing skills, ability to analyze various sources for information, proper incorporation of sources in writing (attribution), and analytical reading skills.

Graduate Capstone Project - This course is designed to develop college level writing skills with a focus on research. You will learn to be aware of the perspectives of others and use those perspectives to create your own perspective on strong topics. You will practice making intentional choices while learning to defend and justify your logic while connecting ideas and concepts across disciplines. You will choose and explore a topic, issue, or idea of individual interest while designing a year-long study to answer a research question in 5,000 words or more.

As you write, your work will be reviewed for effective organization, appropriate word choice, varied sentence structure and strong theses, or arguments. Additionally, strong supporting paragraphs are necessary in your work and will be reviewed critically. Many of your writing assignments will include workshop style writing allowing you to receive feedback from both your peers and instructor before your final edits and submission.

This class will also require you to present your thesis to a panel of educators. This presentation should be several minutes in length and will require a lot of preparation. You will be expected to use visuals and be able to answer in-depth questions on your topic both before and after your presentation to the panel.

Expectations for this class are considered very high and the assignments are meant to be challenging. Part of being successful in this class requires exceptional time management skills and personal drive. Even though this class essentially is just one long assignment, the class and assignment as a whole will be a challenge and meeting the necessary benchmarks will be necessary.

English Electives

Academic Writing focuses on MLA skills including preparing a works-cited page and incorporating in-text citations. Students practice and master the necessary skills to write a proper academic paper on dynamic topics. Practice includes analytical essays, response papers and research papers. This course prepares students to start thinking outside of the five-paragraph model and begin writing more advanced essays that require higher level thinking and the examination of outside sources.

College Writing and Presentation prepares students for the rigors of college writing. Students continue to work with MLA format and are introduced to APA format. Students learn to enhance their writing skills by focusing on format and development of details. A writing workshop-style of teaching is used, requiring students to complete multiple steps including peer and self-edits. This course prepares students for public speaking and presentations that will be expected of them in college, and encourages students to overcome public speaking anxiety and develop strong delivery skills.

Introduction to Journalism explores nonfiction writing and reporting in various formats with a diversity of intended audiences, from sports writing to politics to profiles of important figures. We will study the works of famous journalists from history and today, in different mediums. Each student will have a personal subscription to the New York Times to aid this study. Assessment will be in the form of written articles, which may be accumulated and published as an end-of-trimester school newspaper 3 times per academic year.

Film Studies explores the medium and history of film as an art form. Students study some of the first films made, and progress through to the current cinema. Topics of discussion and study include specific renowned directors and their cinematic decisions, with particular emphasis on cinematography and editing. Each week, 2 class periods will be devoted to viewing a film, and the 3rd period will be for critical analysis and discussion. Assessment will be in the form of essays requiring students to compare different directors and films, as well as student-made films, using iPhones and iMovie software. It is vital for today’s students to develop the skills to critically assess and produce film, the current dominant form of art and information sharing.

SAT/ACT Prep better prepares students to perform well on the SAT and ACT exams. The key to success on these exams is knowing what to expect so no part of the test can surprise you! The course will address some of the basic tips and tricks to success on the exam. These tips/tricks will also be discussed as they come up as we go over each topic on the exam (i.e. algebra or words in context). Students will complete an initial diagnostic exam and several full-length, practice SAT/ACT exams.

Our Faculty

Caitlyn Adams

Caitlyn Adams

Titles: ESL and Academic Research & Writing Teacher
Jennifer Christensen

Jennifer Christensen

Titles: English Teacher, Equestrian Trainer/Instructor
Donna Pergola

Donna Pergola

Titles: Chair, English Department, English Teacher, Director of College Counseling
Adina Raso

Adina Raso

Titles: English Teacher