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MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

Language Arts

English Language Arts

All students are required to take the following sequence of courses:

 

Grade

9

10

11

12

 

Courses

English 9

English 10

English 11 or AP English Language I

A literature and a composition semester course

                          OR

English 12, AP English Literature II

 


 

 

 

 








 

English Language Arts Texts Selection 

Literary texts in the BPHS English Language Arts courses are thoughtfully selected by English faculty, and approved by District administrators. English teachers consider the contribution that each work may make to the education of the reader, its aesthetic value, its authenticity, its readability for a particular group of students, and its appeal to adolescents. The approved curriculum includes classic and contemporary texts selected particularly to equip students for their future as citizens in a democratic society and readers in post-secondary study. In acknowledging that all texts may not suit all students alike in style and substance, English teachers respect the right of individuals to be selective in their own reading while opposing efforts of individuals or groups to limit the freedom of choice or to impose their own standards or tastes upon the students at large. Students or parents who find a particular text not suited to their needs are advised to see their teacher and select an alternative text for independent study. 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS GRADE 9

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 9

011

3

9

1

1

English 9: This is a remedial course for students who have difficulty with reading and writing skills. The units in the course will concentrate on the development of students' communication skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will use the process approach to write various kinds of paragraphs. Literature selections will be geared to the reading levels of the students and some of them will correlate with the time periods taught in American History 9. Students will also complete a research project and give oral presentations as part of the course work.


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 9

012

3

9

2

1

English 9: This course concentrates on developing communications skills through writing and literary study. Expository writing instruction focuses on paragraph and essay development. Students write formal and informal compositions, with emphasis given to persuasive forms. The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style for format and documentation of sources is introduced. Students respond to literature not only through writing but also through oral discussions and presentations. Many literature selections correlate with time periods studied in American History 9, thus enabling students to make cross-curricular connections between the two disciplines. Students may read such significant early American authors as Bradstreet, Jefferson, Franklin, Hawthorne, Longfellow, and Lincoln. Throughout the course, students study such literature genres as poetry, short stories, novels, epics, and plays. Major works may include April Morning, O Pioneers!To Kill a MockingbirdAnimal FarmSoldier’s HeartThe Tempest, and Romeo & Juliet. Students are oriented to the Writing Center and Media Center/Library in this course. Prerequisites: Successful completion of middle school language arts.


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 9 (Honors)

013*

3

9

3

1

English 9 (Honors): This is an accelerated English course designed for the high-achieving student who reads and writes well. The language arts experiences will encourage academic creativity through the development of the gifted characteristics of fluency, flexibility, originality, and elaboration. Reading selections will encompass a variety of literary genres with emphasis on a broad background in the classics. Major work studies will include Animal FarmFahrenheit 451Romeo and JulietElla Minnow PeaTo Kill a Mockingbird, and Midsummer Night’s Dream. Writing projects and multi-paragraph essay assignments will focus on response to literature as students learn to logically order their ideas and to create their own poems and short stories. *Denotes 4.5 QP course

Prerequisites:

  • English grade of A or high B in previous grade level English course
  • High standardized test scores
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Summer Reading Assignments completed before the term begins. These are available by June and on the school website.

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS GRADE 10

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 10

021

3

10

1

1

English 10: This language arts course will continue basic development of reading, writing, grammar reinforcement, and vocabulary skills began in English 9. There will be an emphasis on building vocabulary and the expansion of writing skills. Students will also respond to literature through a variety of assignments which will encourage the enhancement of analytical and creative abilities. A written project will incorporate MLA format and research skills to reinforce abilities of processing and documenting information. The literary genres presented during the year will include units on Greek mythology, Greek heroes, film study of folklore, legendary heroes, and The Holocaust. Grammar studies will include parts of speech, sentence diagramming, and punctuation. Examples of literature to be analyzed include: The Odyssey, The Once and Future King (King Arthur), Night, Maus I and Maus II, and the Greek heroes of Perseus and Heracles. Prerequisite: English 9

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 10

022

3

10

2

1

English 10: This language arts course will continue basic development of reading, writing, grammar reinforcement, and vocabulary skills began in English 9.  There will be an emphasis on building vocabulary and the expansion of writing skills.  Students will also respond to literature through a variety of assignments which will encourage the enhancement of analytical and creative abilities.  A written project will incorporate MLA format and research skills to reinforce abilities of processing and documenting information.  The literary genres presented during the year will include units on Greek mythology, Greek heroes, film study of folklore, legendary heroes, and The Holocaust.  Grammar studies will include parts of speech, sentence diagramming, and punctuation.  Examples of literature to be analyzed include: The Odyssey, The Alchemist, The Once and Future King (King Arthur), Night, Maus IBeowulf.

Prerequisites:

  • Successful Completion of English 9
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Proficiency on standardized tests (4Sight Reading)


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 10 (Honors)

023*

3

10

3

1

English 10 (Honors): This is a rigorous academic course designed to challenge students while developing their reading and language skills. This course is recommended as preparation for Advanced Placement** and Honors courses in 11th and 12th Grades. The student will receive a background in literature, both historical and critical. Works studied include the following three summer reads: Pride and Prejudice, The Chosen, and The Once and Future King. Additionally, other major works during the year include: The Odyssey, Antigone, Beowulf, Night, Maus I and II, Twelfth Night, and A Raisin in the Sun. Other literary genres of shorter fiction, nonfiction, short story, epic, legend, myth, poetry, and drama are studied. Films will be used both as an extension of class content and as a medium for critical analysis. Cultural and historical significance of literature is studied. Students will practice for the PSAT and SAT by learning strategies for taking the test and by practicing test questions. Students will also receive formal instruction in vocabulary, language use, oral expression, and written expression. Instruction in composition will focus on the timed essay, the literary essay, and the research paper, all of which require students to practice documentation of sources.  Critical and thoughtful written expression is expected and practiced through daily and weekly exercises. Students will have many opportunities to improve oral skills through class discussions, group seminars, and oral presentations. Students will be expected to edit for correct grammar, mechanics, and usage in written assignments. Students will also be expected to use complex sentence structures to convey critical thinking. Throughout the year, students research topics studied by using both print and non print media resources. Periodically, students are responsible for independent reading assignments.*Denotes 4.5 QP course

Prerequisites:

  • English grade of A or high B in 9th Grade English course
  • High standardized test scores 
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Summer Reading Assignments completed before the term begins. These are available by June and on the school website.

 

** AP and Advanced Placement are registered trademarks of The College Board. 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS GRADE 11

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 11

031

3

11

1

1

English 11: This course provides a chronological survey of American Literature. Selections are geared to the reading level of the students. Basic research techniques will be introduced and continued emphasis on writing development will be maintained. Instruction in usage and vocabulary will be reinforced. This course is designed to improve the basic reading and writing skills of students. Prerequisite: English 10

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 11

032

3

11

2

1

English 11: This course will provide a chronological survey of American Literature from the transcendentalist period to the present. Students will study a variety of American Literature pieces from several genres including poetry, novel, short story, drama, and film. The choices of reading selections are arranged chronologically and are aimed to examine the progression of American culture and of society while paying close attention to ethnic struggles and achievements. Representative readings from the major periods include such works as: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, Death of a Salesman,and Catcher in the Rye. Instruction in English usage and vocabulary (designed to prepare for SAT exams) will complement the works studied and help to improve writing skills. Several essays and a research paper examining a literary topic and drawing from primary and secondary sources is required.

Prerequisites:

  • Successful Completion of English 10
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Proficiency on standardized tests (4Sight Reading) 
 
COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 11 (Honors)

033*

3

11

3

1 

English 11 (Honors)*: This is an accelerated language arts course designed for students who are avid readers and talented writers. With the aim of preparing students for post secondary education, it has both a demanding workload and accelerated pace. Each unit requires significant independent reading and writing, and several major projects require students to work collaboratively outside of class. Students will study a variety of American Literature pieces from several genres including poetry, novel, short story, drama, and film. The choices of texts are arranged both thematically and chronologically and are aimed to examine the progression of American culture and of society while paying close attention to ethnic struggles and achievements. Instruction in English usage and vocabulary (designed to prepare for college entrance exams) will complement the works studied and help to improve writing skills. Writing requirements include several analytical essays on literature as well as narrative responses to philosophical ideas and literary methods discussed in class. In addition, a six-to-eight-page research paper examining a literary topic and drawing from primary and secondary (critical) sources is required. Students who plan to take this course are required to read select novels on a summer reading list before the term begins. *Denotes 4.5 QP course.

Prerequisites:

  • English grade of A or high B in 10th Grade English course
  • High standardized test scores (4Sight Reading Test, PSAT)
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Summer Reading Assignments completed before the term begins. These are available by June and on the school website.


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

AP** English I Language

034

3

11

3

1

Advanced Placement**English Language and Composition: Challenge yourself and earn a college credit while in high school. That is the opportunity available to those who qualify for the AP English Language and Composition class and earn a high enough score on the AP Exam. This is a yearlong course equivalent to a college composition course. The class also serves as an American literary survey. Students in this course read and carefully analyze prose written in a variety of time periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. Students must bring to the course sufficient command of grammatical and mechanical conventions and an ability to read and discuss prose. The writing component of the course requires that students write expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions. Students read and write in the following rhetorical modes: description, argument/persuasion, narration, analysis, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect. The course dictates that students write in contexts designed to help them become increasingly aware of themselves as writers. By moving through the stages of the writing process, students achieve an effective use of language, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving emphasis through diction and sentence structure. Summer reading is required. The literary component of the course includes short stories and novels written by such authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.D. Salinger, and Mitch Albom. The reading components of AP English Language and Composition are assigned to complement the course’s writing requirements. The focus of this course lies with evaluating the rhetorical strategies employed by authors, and as a culminating assignment to each unit, students emulate and expand upon elements used by the professionals.

Prerequisites:

  • English grade of A or high B in 10th Grade English course
  • Very high standardized test scores (4Sight Reading Test, PSAT)
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Summer Reading Assignments completed before the term begins. These are available by June and on the school website. 

** AP and Advanced Placement are registered trademarks of The College Board.

 

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS GRADE 12

 

 
 
COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 12

041

3

12

1

1

English 12: This Level 1 course is to prepare students for any of a number of life options. Students will be exposed to widely varied genres of classical literature. Additionally, students will gain the communication skills needed to better prepare them for life. Practical reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills will be interspersed with classical literature in an effort to make the learning experience more authentic, credible, and stimulating. In essence, this course will prepare students for the working world and/or future educational experiences. Prerequisite: English 11

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

English 12 (Honors)

043*

3

12

3

1 

English 12 (Honors): This is an accelerated language arts course designed for students who are avid readers and fluent writers. Intended as a transition to post secondary schools, its lively pace and intensive requirements prepare college-bound students with similar scholastic rigor. Students are expected to take a good amount of independent reading and challenging texts in stride. Selections of fiction, poetry, drama, and film are studied as exemplars to acquaint students with the rich variety of the world’s literary tradition. This series of texts, often thematically related, provides interesting insights into cultural attitudes and values of the contexts which produced them as well as their enduring influences today. These works constitute comparative studies that span time and place, moving from ancient to contemporary pieces. Literary study is in tandem with intensive writing and research techniques. Students are required to write several brief analytical essays on literature, using a variety of critical approaches, as well as keep a narrative inquiry journal-notebook. Several essays and an eight-to-ten-page source research paper on a literary topic are required. Enrichment projects that relate literature to the arts, humanities, and sciences augment the course, including an annual field trip to the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh. *Denotes 4.5 QP course

Prerequisites:

  • English grade of A or high B in 11th Grade English course
  • High standardized test scores (4Sight Reading Test, PSAT)
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Summer Reading Assignments completed before the term begins. These are available by June and on the school website.

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

AP* English II Literature

044**

3

12

3

1 

Advanced Placement*English Literature and Composition: This is a year-long English course designed for 12th graders to prepare students to take the AP Exam for English Literature and Composition. This course is designed for students who are able and willing to work at the level and pace of university-level course. This course will provide you with the intellectual challenges and workload consistent with a typical undergraduate university English literature/ humanities course. As a culmination of the course, you may take the AP**English Literature and Composition Exam given in the spring. A grade of 4 or 5 on this exam is considered equivalent to a 3.3–4.0 for comparable courses at the college or university level. As The College Board, which audits the AP* program, requires that students “read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity, to absorb its richness of meaning, and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form.” Thus, students practice reading, writing, and discussing works critically and with energy and imagination. As students become familiar with different literary approaches, they can develop and mold their own styles that reflect personal values and preferences. Critical reading, analytical writing, and thoughtful discussion about meritorious literary works in fiction and nonfiction form the basis of scholarly activity in the course. Works are selected from American, British, and World authors that exhibit and are representative of various genres, movements, and cultures. The genres of novel, short story, drama (play and screenplay/film), creative nonfiction, and essays are included. Periods and movements include Ancient (Western or Mediterranean Culture), Renaissance, Cavalier, Neoclassical, Romanticist, Realist, Naturalist, Modern, and Postmodern. Works are analyzed according to the major elements of structure, theme, and style, including the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Independent reading is part of the curriculum. Composition includes in-class timed essays, analytical papers, documented research, and creative works. Discussion is extended and writing is peer-modeled in online forums. **Denotes 5.0 QP course

Prerequisites:

  • English grade of A or high B in 11th Grade English course
  • Very high standardized test scores (4Sight Reading Test, PSAT)
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Summer Reading Assignments completed before the term begins. These are available by June and on the school website.

 

* AP and Advanced Placement are registered trademarks of The College Board.

12th GRADE SEMESTER OPTIONS IN ENGLISH 

Five senior courses are designed as semester courses that students may select to fulfill their 12th Grade English requirement. To do so, seniors must select at least one literature course and at least one writing course. Additional courses may be taken as electives. 

The traditional senior semester option in literature is World Literature or British Literature, with the option in writing being Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences or Writing for the Sciences. Another writing course is offered for seniors who are less fluent in writing and require remediation and development in their basic composition skills; with teacher recommendation, these students may select Writing Skills in tandem with one of the literature semesters. Writing Skills may also be taken as an elective in addition to a full year of English 12-1. 

LITERATURE COURSES

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

British Literature

051

1 / 2

12

2 – 3

½

British Literature: In this class, students read some of the very best stories from the United Kingdom. From tales of heroes like Beowulf to villains like Macbeth, or monsters in Frankenstein and clowns in Waiting for Godot, this course includes the classic and modern texts that trace our Anglo-American heritage. Through reading, informal and creative writing, discussion, dramatic activity, art and digital technology projects, students have the opportunity to form meaningful responses to poetry, prose, fiction, and drama. Titles include: Canterbury Tales, Macbeth, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Frankenstein, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Arcadia. This semester course presents a lively survey of key works that prepare students for post-secondary study.

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

World Literature

052

1 / 2

12

2 – 3

½ 

World Literature: The semester course includes literary selections from around the globe and focuses on the Western Tradition in literature, tracing its origins from mythology through English literature. Major works include BeowulfThe InfernoGilgamesh, The Odyssey, Antigone, Mythology, and a Shakespearean play. Students respond to the literature through oral discussions and written essays. This course provides students with a structure and a focus for reading by studying literary classics.

COMPOSITION COURSES

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Writing for the Humanities and Social Sciences

053

1 / 2

12

2 – 3

½

Writing for the Humanities: This is one of two senior English semester writing courses designed to prepare students for the rigors of college writing. Students entering the arts, business, humanities, liberal arts, or social sciences will benefit from this course. The focus of study and writing in the course will be on expository, analytical, descriptive, and persuasive essays. Various patterns of development, including descriptive, narrative, process, comparison, definition, cause/effect, problem/solution, classification, and persuasion, may be used in writing essays. Students will also complete an extensive documented research paper which will be orally presented to the class. Topics for assignments will be based upon the student’s interest and approval. Grammar and mechanics will be reviewed since students are expected to edit their work. Word processed tests are required.

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Writing for the Sciences

054

1 / 2

12

2 – 3

½

Writing for the SciencesThis course is designed to prepare the college-bound student for the rigors of post-secondary writing in the scientific disciplines.  Knowledge of American Psychological Association (APA) format is commonly required for most scientific fields at the college level. This format will be introduced and utilized for all assignments related to this course. Careful attention to details, elevated vocabulary use, objective and directly stated factual analysis, and time management for assignments will be stressed. Students will be expected to complete all assignments within the directed time frames and follow directions precisely. Attention will be given to reports, observations, surveys, analysis, required business formats, and documented research studies. Examples of assignments include Interview and presentation, Process Paper, Classification Paper, Definition Paper, Business Unit, Group Observation Report and presentation, Group Survey and Comparison study, a Position Paper based upon the film study of Lorenzo’s Oil (which incorporates inductive and deductive argument writing methods), and a documented Research Paper and presentation. A Portfolio of all graded assignments will be required and assigned points for a portion of the Final Exam grade.

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Writing Skills

055

1 / 2

11 12

1 – 2

½

Writing Skills: This is an intensive, remedial and developmental course in the technique of clear, effective expository writing. Designed primarily for senior students who experience difficulty in writing and recommended for the students who have not demonstrated “Proficiency” on the PA State assessment. This course provides focused instruction and practice in the fundamentals of expository writing.  Seniors who do not meet “Proficiency” on the PA State assessment should take this course.  Students will develop their composition skills repertoire from informal, personal essays to formal, documented essays based on source research and business communications. Students will focus on ways to structure ideas and express clear, effective meaning for the variety of audiences that they are likely to encounter in future academic and work environments. Students will be required to recognize effective writing, practice the writing process, consider the uses of rational, emotional, and ethical appeals in writing, select words and construct sentences, connect sentence and paragraphs with fluent transitional devices, and plan and draft compositions. Building vocabulary, drilling in usage, learning from models, comparing views, editing and reading one’s own and peer compositions, and keeping a writer’s journal will be part of the required practice.

 

Writing Skills is not a college-preparatory course; Writing for the Humanities and Writing for the Sciences are designed for the college-bound student.

  

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS ELECTIVES

  

The English Language Arts Elective Program is designed to provide students with opportunities to pursue interest in the discipline beyond the scope of the Core Program. The courses have been planned to enrich and complement the Core Program and encourage lifelong learning and career pursuits related to the language arts. Like the Core Program, the Elective Program is academically rigorous. Electives are open to students at all grade levels. Please note that electives do not fulfill the English credit requirement; electives are to be taken in addition to the Core Program; however, they do count toward the total graduation credit requirement.

Most electives are semester-long (indicated by “1/2”) offered in the Fall or Spring, or both, depending upon enrollment. Full-year elective courses are Theater Arts I and Scholastic Journalism (indicated by “3”).

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Creative Writing

070

1 / 2

9 10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Creative Writing: This course is designed for students interested in writing imaginative works. Primarily, the short story, poetry, and descriptive forms will be explored. However, given student interest and time available, other genres such as plays and essays can be written. Emphasis will be placed on expanding the students’ power of observation and imagination. Although some of the writing will be spontaneous through the use of journals, students will be expected to adhere to the basic rules of the English language involving mechanics and grammatical usage. A field trip to Carnegie Museum of Art provides students with an opportunity to explore the nexus of inspiration and response, of fine arts and composition.


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Creative Writing II

071

2

9 10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Creative Writing: This course satisfies the need of students who wish to pursue imaginative writing and perfect the craft of fiction, poetry, and drama writing. The course will offer interested students the opportunity to receive feedback on their own writing in a workshop setting. Emphasis will be placed on expanding the students’ development of characterization, point of view, plot, setting, description, dialogue, meter, voice, imagery, tone, and style. The structure of the course is based primarily as a writing workshop. Grade will be determined by a students’ own fiction or poetry written during the course, presented in portfolio form at the end of the semester, class participation, which may include group work, and may include a journal. Prerequisite: Creative Writing I

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Imaginative Fiction I: Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Myth

072

1 / 2

9 10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Imaginative Fiction I: Fantasy, Science Fiction, & Myth: If you are creative and think outside of the box, you will love this course. Imaginative Fiction offers works from authors such as: Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, Michael Crichton, H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Bram Stoker, Aldous Huxley and more. Geared for the accelerated reader (i.e. English Level II or above), the course is designed for students who love to read and to discuss their opinions on high interest novels. Students will also participate in comparison analysis of novels to movie counterparts. Come join us and discover how much fun and relaxation can be had through reading.

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Imaginative Fiction II: Mystery, Spy, & Adventure

073

1 / 2

9 10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Imaginative Fiction II: Mystery, Spy, & Adventure: If you have a love of puzzles, adventures, and “who-done-its,” this course is for you. Mystery, spy, and suspense novels will stretch your analytical muscles. Just when you think that you know what will ultimately happen, a twist is thrown into the plot. The result is pure entertainment. Do we have great authors? You bet. Our novels are from authors such as: Tom Clancy, Dean Koontz, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Golding and many more. Searching for the details and style that make these stories so interesting, students will analyze both novels and movie counterparts. The course is designed for students who love to read, who are eager to discuss, and who are capable of maintaining challenging reading assignments. This course is a Level 2-3. Note: Imaginative Fiction I is NOT a prerequisite; you may elect either course in any order.


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Media Literacy: Understanding Film, Television, Internet Advertising

074

1 / 2

9 10 11 12

1 – 3

½

Media Literacy: Understanding Film, Television, and Internet Advertising: What’s an advertisement really selling? How does a filmmaker make an audience “feel” a climactic scene? How can people evaluate what they see on the Internet? Teenagers spend more time per week with the popular media (television, movies, the Internet, etc.) than they do in school) or, in many cases, even sleeping), according to a recent Pew Charitable Trust report. Generally, however, students are passive consumers, spending little thought considering the techniques used to manipulate these powerful media and the results of those media messages. This course aims to “pull back the curtain” on various media outlets use to communicate media messages. Thus, students equipped with this understanding become aware and “smart” consumers of media. In projects and class activities, students will then use these techniques to produce their own messages. Students will create photo and sound stories, advertisements and short films, and create projects for the Internet.


COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Critical Thinking & Study Skills

076

2

9 10 11 12

1 – 3

½

Critical Thinking & Study Skills: This one-semester course is designed for students who desire to develop study skills and test taking strategies. This course will ultimately help students to set and achieve both educational and life goals. Students will leave this class with a better understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses, and the information and skills to improve their own understanding, learning and retention across disciplines. This course not only teaches students how to go about becoming better students but also arms them with the tools to become high achievers in all aspects of their lives.

 
COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Scholastic Journalism Workshop: Online Newspaper

077

3

9 10 11 12

1 – 3

1

Scholastic Journalism Workshop: Online Newspaper: "High school journalism students earn higher grade point averages, score higher on the ACT college entrance exam and demonstrate better writing and grammar skills in college, compared with students who do not have those journalism experiences."* Scholastic Journalism Workshop is an elective English course that introduces students to authentic skills and hands-on practice of effective scholastic journalism through the production of the Bethel Park High School online newspaper for the student body of BPHS. Thus, students will demonstrate journalistic skills and knowledge to be acquired in the beginning weeks of the school year and developed through publication. These skills include, but are not limited to, interviewing, reporting, writing, editing, layout/design, photography, business management, and advertising. Class members will comprise the staff of the newspaper, with repeating-year-students taking editorial-management positions and beginning students filling reporter-writing roles; however, all staff members will be required to report and write a variety of types of articles. Students will be encouraged to apply for staff leadership positions. The instructor/advisor will select qualified applicants based on experience, ability, and interest; all such positions will require substantial out-of-class time and effort. During the first six weeks of the class, students will participate in an intensive program in journalistic conventions, principles, skills, and ethics necessary for journalistic publication. For the remainder of the year, students will work as a staff to produce the monthly publications. Students can take this course for credit for two full years; then, they may audit the course thereafter. Additionally, students may opt to attend the spring Pennsylvania School Press Association Convention, a three-day event in Harrisburg.

*Quotation from 2008 study for the Newspaper Association of America Foundation by Jack Dvorak, Ph.D., director of the High School Journalism Institute and a professor of the School of Journalism at Indiana University

 

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

GRADE

LEVEL

CREDITS

Sports Literature

078

1

9 10 11 12

1 – 3

½

Sports Literature: Want to create your own sports franchise? Would you like to: pick your sport, select your city, choose your team colors, design your team logo, and create your team stadium? In Sports Literature you get the chance. Sports Literature will introduce the student to a selected body of enjoyable and significant readings and films related to a variety of sports and sport topics. Student will develop a broader awareness of the relationship between sport and other academic areas, including literature, sociology, history, economics, and psychology. The final project--design a sports franchise using ideas gleaned from study of creative nonfiction texts as well as archetype, mythic and symbolic elements--will assist the student in integrating the materials from the various disciplines into a unified, cohesive whole. Expectations of students may include: reading the assigned materials, participation in class discussions, successful performance on examinations, completing of final project which includes oral presentation and small group work. Sports Literature will help students see that sport is more than a contest. They will recognize sports as a metaphor for the human experience.


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Shakespeare

079

2

9 10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Shakespeare: This course is a semester elective designed to explore the literary genius of the world’s foremost playwright—William Shakespeare. Texts will focus on the author’s keen sense of human nature as well as the inherent leadership lessons his plays provide.  The course is an interactive exploration based on discussions, film analysis, contemporary adaptations/applications, and student created films and/or plays. 

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COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

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LEVEL

CREDITS

Public Speaking

081

1 / 2

9 10 11 12

1 – 3

½

Public Speaking: One's judgment of a person is never complete until the person speaks. Speech includes not only what is said but also how it is said--the voice, diction, and manner. This Public Speaking course deals with the preparation required before speaking as well as the various types of deliveries necessary for successful public speaking. The course also deals with increasing one's confidence through knowledge and preparation in a safe and nurturing class environment. Sooner or later each of us is called upon to do some public speaking. It enters virtually all areas of our lives: classes in school, our occupation, involvement in religion and other organized groups, family functions,political campaigns, and social functions. All of these activities may require speaking in public. In this elective course, you'll study and put into practice the basic skills in preparing and presenting various speech types to an audience.

 

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COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

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Film as Literature

082

2

9 10 11 12

2 – 3

½ 

Film as Literature:  Film as Literature is an elective course that is designed to teach audience members how to understand the storytelling of a film. Just like books, films tell stories with many of the same elements but in magically engaging ways. Because film entertainment begins with a director’s vision, this course focuses on how to actively view and analyze films by noticing directors' use of camera shots, angles, and movements as they portray character and action.  Students will also consider the aesthetics of a film by discussing the use of lighting, sound, setting, and ways directors create mood and tone.  Studying elements such as make-up and set design will help in the visual interpretation of a movie.  This semester course will also include a study in special effects and CGI that often heightens the illusion of reality to a viewer. Next students play director themselves, applying these elements of storytelling into student-created projects that tell a story to an audience.  Professional editing software and sharing of student projects will guarantee a sense of pride and understanding of how to “read” a film, while taking a turn in the director's chair as well.

  

COURSE NAME

COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

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LEVEL

CREDITS

Theater Arts I

085

3

9 10 11 12

1 – 3

1

Theater Arts I: Theater Arts I is one of the most popular English electives.  The purpose of this course is to provide a balanced theatre arts program that guides and empowers students to achieve and appreciate the standards in the performing arts. This theater course emphasizes artistic perception and creative expression and celebrates and promotes understanding of aesthetic valuing and discussion, historical and cultural awareness, and the interconnections of the fine arts with other disciplines. Students will be trained in the fundamental skills of the theatre arts, including improvisation techniques, body control and movement (power poses), exercising imagination and concentration, theatre games, audience skills, voice, diction, pantomime, directing, evaluating cinema, creation of character, projection of ideas and emotions and preparation and acting of scenes from plays and movies.  Acting projects will provide positive groups experiences in collaborative assignments, developing self-discipline, evaluating the performances of others, and accepting constructive criticism.  Students will hone language skills and develop an appreciation of the art through reading dramatic literature and participating in two field trips to see “live” theatre; using written critiques; writing dramatic scenes and delving into character analysis; independent projects that focus on students’ interests and strengths; observing classmates with sensitivity; listening critically; and speaking effectively and creatively.

 

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Theater Arts II: Acting Workshop

086

1 / 2

10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Theater Arts II:Acting Workshop: This is an intensive course intended for those students who want to continue their serious investigation of the discipline of theater; it is, therefore, an advance study built on the Theater Arts I foundation. Students in Theater Arts II will participate in a series of intriguing performance projects that will focus on the following content areas: William Wegman, Animals as Characters Video, Storytelling through Tableaus, Voice Dialects, Storytelling through Shadows, Stage Combat, Acting, Playwriting, Lip-synching/Karaoke, and Dramatic Literature. Projects may require evening and weekend rehearsal or performances. Prerequisite: Theater Arts I

 

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COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

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LEVEL

CREDITS

Theater Arts III: Performance & Production

087

1 / 2

10 11 12

2 – 3

½

Theater Arts III:Performance & Production: This semester course gives students practice in all aspects of theater arts from acting to directing, technical stagecraft to promotion. Variety is the hallmark of this hands-on, production course with plenty of opportunities for students to learn and hone such theater skills as acting conventions and directing techniques, basic set design, set construction, lighting design, video media design, costume planning, and makeup. Class productions will work in a round-robin fashion, allowing everyone to become familiar with each skill set and explore the creative, collaborative process by which the director, the actor, and the production crew bring a scene to life. In essence, students will form an in-house theatrical company to produce short sketches and one acts for a range of academic purposes and audiences. Taking their talents to the BPHS Little Theater stage, this company will perform for classes, the public, and children’s theater. Various genres of plays to be explored may include modern drama, farce, Shakespeare, and classical. Students will work collaboratively, tailoring scripts to fit demands and interests. Projects may require evening and weekend rehearsal or performances. Students may retake this course as mentors, provided they have earned a satisfactory grade previously and roster capacity allows, with preference to first-time students. Prerequisite: Theater Arts I required; Theater Arts II recommended

 

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COURSE NUMBER

SEMESTER

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LEVEL

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English & Math SAT PREP

091

1

11 12

2 – 3

½

English & Math SAT PREP: This course is essential for all college-bound students who want to get the best SAT score possible. Offered by both the English and mathematics departments, SAT is designed to help students prepare to take the SAT examination. The semester course is divided into two nine-week units: one nine weeks concentrating on the verbal section and the other concentrating on the mathematics section. Both nine weeks will include instruction in test-taking strategies that have been proven to be highly effective. Additionally, the verbal section prepares students in effectively writing college essays for admission. Practice examinations and drills will be used to familiarize students with the various math and English questions on the SAT. The class is offered on a pass/fail basis, so students are required to successfully complete all work and tests assigned as an incentive for improving their SAT scores and for passing the course. Students taking SAT Prep must have successfully completed a course in Geometry prior to entering the course. Preparation for ACT will be limited to the math and verbal sections of the test. It will not address the scientific reasoning section.