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English

The English Department aims to help students develop reading and writing skills, and to foster a love of reading and the discussions that follow. Through the engaging complexities of literature, students continually grapple with ideas that recall us to our common humanity.

Our standard course sequence is: English 9; English 10; English 11; and English 12. By invitation based on teacher recommendation and ACT scores, qualified students may opt for our challenging honors program. Students who demonstrate proficiency are encouraged to take an exam in Advanced Placement English in the junior and senior year.

While we appreciate the role of technology in teaching and learning, we promote intentional uses of technology only when it improves student learning.

The mastery of English skills happens both in class and in moments of one-on-one work; thus, teachers work closely with students inside and outside of class hours. We believe that the foundation of responsible global citizenship resides in an individual’s ability to read analytically and communicate effectively in writing and speech.

Available Courses

English 9: The Individual

(1.0 Credit)
The Individual is a full year course. Students will focus on essential reading and writing skills, such as paragraph structure, sentence structure, annotation and reading comprehension skills. Students will read seven texts, including the core texts of Looking for Alaska, The Catcher in the Rye, House on Mango Street, and Romeo and Juliet. Writing work will include creative writing, formal analytical writing, and expository writing. Grading will be based on daily reading quizzes, major and minor writing assignments, vocabulary work, grammar quizzes, and tests assessing student understanding of key skills. Semester and final exams will assess all skills learned thus far. The course is founded on the essential question: Who am I? Accompanying essential questions include: What does it mean to be human? What is my relationship and responsibility to others? Focus will be placed on the self in relationship to the community. These questions will act as the backbone for all class discussions and writing assignments. There is no pre-requisite for this course.

English 9 Honors: The Individual

1.0 credit

The Individual is a full year course. Students will focus on essential reading and writing skills, such as paragraph structure, sentence structure, annotation and reading comprehension skills. Students will read ten texts, including the core texts of Looking for Alaska, The Catcher in the Rye, House on Mango Street, and Romeo and Juliet. Writing work will include creative writing, formal analytical writing, and expository writing. Grading will be based on daily reading quizzes, major and minor writing assignments, vocabulary work, grammar quizzes, and tests assessing student understanding of key skills. Semester and final exams will assess all skills learned thus far. The course is founded on the essential question: Who am I? Accompanying essential questions include: What does it mean to be human? What is my relationship and responsibility to others? Focus will be placed on the self in relationship to the community. These questions will act as the backbone for all class discussions and writing assignments. The primary difference between English 9 and Honors English 9 lies in the pacing and complexity of reading and writing assignments. Pre-requisites for this course include high ACT scores and a recommendation from past English teachers.

English 10: Individual and Community

1.0 credit

Individual and Community spans an entire school year. Students are expected to build upon previous foundational instruction as they incorporate more advanced literary analysis and thesis development within their written and oral discussion. Assessment inside the classroom will be conducted using traditional methods such as major and minor essays, quizzes and tests, reflections, and presentations. Remotely, online assessment of student work will occur regularly - most often utilizing the school’s digital learning platform, Haiku.

Just as the skills and learning objectives of this class build upon those developed in the previous year, so does its theme. Class members will re-examine their concept of self, now as it exists as a part of a greater whole. The concept of a community will be considered on many levels – including family, school, and as a residential grouping. Certainly, this exploration will suggest a number of essential questions: Who am I, and what is my relationship to my various communities? What responsibility do I have with respect to each community? What are my personal perspectives on community, including my family and my school? Texts include Fahrenheit-451, Inherit the Wind, Metamorphosis, Othello, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Maus I, The Alchemist, Spanking Shakespeare.

English 10: Individual and Community Honors

1.0 credit

Individual and Community spans an entire school year. Students are expected to build upon previous foundational instruction as they incorporate more advanced literary analysis and thesis development within their written and oral discussion. Assessment inside the classroom will be conducted using traditional methods such as major and minor essays, quizzes and tests, reflections, and presentations. Remotely, online assessment of student work will occur regularly - most often utilizing the school’s digital learning platform, Haiku.

Just as the skills and learning objectives of this class build upon those developed in the previous year, so does its theme. Class members will re-examine their concept of self, now as it exists as a part of a greater whole. The concept of a community will be considered on many levels – including family, school, and as a residential grouping. Certainly, this exploration will suggest a number of essential questions: Who am I, and what is my relationship to my various communities? What responsibility do I have with respect to each community? What are my personal perspectives on community, including my family and my school? Texts include Fahrenheit-451, Inherit the Wind, Metamorphosis, Othello, Oroonoko, Maus I, The Alchemist, Spanking Shakespeare.

English 11: The Individual and Society

1.0 credit
The Individual and Society is a yearlong course. Students will focus on reading comprehension as they analyze a variety of complex texts. Students will respond to the texts in diverse ways, including formal analytical essays, creative projects, poetry, film, and artistic responses. Continued work on paragraph structure will include ways in which a student might seamlessly infuse argument, evidence, and analysis into his or her writing. Students will read 8-10 texts, including The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Slaughterhouse-Five, 1984, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Grading will be based on daily reading quizzes, major and minor writing assignments, and tests assessing student understanding of key skills. Semester and final exams will assess all skills learned thus far.

Essential questions for the course include: Who am I and what is my relationship and responsibility to society? To what social communities do individuals belong, and how do those communities influence their existence? What does it mean to be an individual amidst varying social constructs and cultures? These questions will act as the backbone for all class discussions and writing assignments.

English 11 Honors: The Individual and Society

1.0 credit

The Individual and Society is a yearlong course where students may take the A.P. Language and Composition exam at the end of the year and should feel prepared for the exam after course completion. Students will focus on reading comprehension as they tackle a variety of complex texts, as well as the oral skills that come with analysis of such texts. Students will respond to the texts in diverse ways, including formal analytical essays, creative projects, poetry, film, and artistic responses. Continued work on paragraph structure will include ways in which a student might seamlessly infuse argument, evidence, and analysis into his or her writing. Analyzing the complexity of language will be a primary focus both in class and at home. Students will read 15 texts-- Five novels, five plays, three collections of poetry, and two collections of short stories-- including Slaughterhouse-Five, Hamlet, Equus, Beloved, and The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats. Grading will be based on creative project work, major and minor writing assignments, and tests assessing student understanding of key skills. Semester and final exams will assess all skills learned to date.

The course is founded on the essential questions: Who am I and what is my relationship and responsibility to society? To what social communities do individuals belong, and how do those communities influence their existence? What does it mean to be an individual amidst potentially warping social constructions of morality, justice, race-relations, etc.? These questions will act as the backbone for all class discussions and writing assignments. Students must be recommended for this course.

Digital Journalism

0.5 credits or 1.0 credits

Digital Journalism is a semester course with a focus on building a digital portfolio and resume as well as giving students practical experience through the production and editing of various digital material. The course will begin with the study of the shift from print to digital media and concepts of media ethics, design, and business will be applied throughout the course. The course is taught in a newsroom setting, where students will work in partnership to create digital content both in the classroom and throughout campus. High-level student work will be featured on the HPA website, as well as in social media. The class will include discussions on emerging media themes, the importance of Web analytics, and the impact of social media on the news stream and mainstream media. A portion of the course will focus on creating not only a digital portfolio, but also digital literacy and citizenship. Guest speakers both in the digital media industry, as well as in academics, will present on trends in digital journalism and working in the field.

English 12: Food in Culture & Politics

1.0 credits

Food in Culture & Politics an experiential, year-long course where students will consider food as a topic in literary works from different genres and periods as well as explore connections between food practices and culture, and philosophical beliefs and behavior, with an emphasis on food practices and systems in Hawaii.

This class will develop skills of literary interpretation relevant to advanced work in English, such as literary analysis and research. Students will also engage in many projects, including creating videos, cooking food, and participating in community-based activities.

Guiding Questions:

*If you are what you eat, then what are you?

*How does food influence our deeply held beliefs and daily behavior?

*How do our food choices affect our personal health and the health of our environment?

*How do our food philosophies and identities influence food policies at various levels?

English 12: Writing for Performance

0.5 credits

Writing for Performance is a semester course. Students will write, direct, and act in four plays to be performed in GPAC throughout the semester. Class time will be spent writing scripts, rehearsing scenes, and preparing those scenes for performance. In addition, students will read five plays, exploring ways to take those plays from the page to the stage. Writing for Performance will reward students for risk taking, both in acting, directing, and writing. Students will need to balance all three core components of the course. In a particular scene, one student might be the primary writer, another the primary director, and three others the actors in the scene. In the very next scene in the show, the roles might switch, with the actors writing and directing. Leadership and vision will be prioritized for directing, creative thinking for writing, and preparation for performing. Haiku posts, journaling, and portfolio work will make up a large percentage of student grades. As a culminating project, students will organize a portfolio replete with one revised written scene, a series of journals on directorial choices they’ve made, a video of scene performance, and a paper connecting experiences in all three realms.

English 12: Poetry and Prose of Movement

0.5 credits

Poetry and Prose of Movement is a semester course. Students will explore the ways in which poetry, fiction, non-fiction, visual art, and performative art shape movement. Students will read and write poetry and prose, create and analyze visual art and performative art, and use written and spoken word to lend their own shape to other artists’ understanding of movement. For example, students might be asked to write both analytical and poetic responses to a dance performance viewed at the Kahilu theater. In class, a poem about the movement of a rushing river might connect to a painting, in turn connecting to a Nelson Mandela speech about shifting conceptions of race relations. The student’s job in weaving all of these forms of art together would be to respond both analytically and creatively. Movement comes in many forms, both artistically and socially, and we will make use of as many mediums as we can to explore the ways others have approached movement and the ways in which we can create our own interpretations of human movement. Grades will derive from Haiku discussion participation, graded creative projects and writing assignments, class participation in graded activities connecting art to movement, and two large projects. The first project will be due four weeks in, and will involve both analysis and creation of art, and the culminating project at the end of the semester will combine critical analysis of another’s work, analysis of one’s own work, and a project and paper on ways in which art influences movement.

English 12: Shakespeare

0.5 credits

Shakespeare is a semester course dedicated to the study of the works of William Shakespeare. Throughout the semester, students undertake detailed exploration of the texts of selected Shakespearean histories, tragedies, and comedies. Additionally, members of the class receive continuing exposure to other materials related to Shakespeare - from his poetry to modern film renderings of his plays. Finally, the life of this most famous playwright is examined within his historical context. Assessment inside the classroom will be conducted using traditional methods such as written quizzes and tests, reflections, and presentations. Remotely, online assessment of student work will occur regularly - most often utilizing the school’s digital learning platform, Haiku. A formal analytical essay generally covers each major title. Texts include: Richard III, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet

English 12: Gothic Romance

Gothic Romances is a semester course dedicated to the advancement of verbal and written literary analysis skills, utilizing the medium of the horror story. Students will receive thorough practice in discussing literary techniques that are applicable to a wide range of literature. By the same token, the members of the class will also attempt to isolate certain features that are common to works of horror, serving as "common threads" within the genre. The course curriculum covers a wide range of styles and authors, from horror’s foundations to its modern practitioners. Although film renditions of various stories are sometimes viewed, this is not a film class. Students of the class must be prepared for a full and varied plate of reading and writing assignments. Assessment inside the classroom will be conducted using traditional methods such as written quizzes and tests, reflections, and presentations. Remotely, online assessment of student work will occur regularly - most often utilizing the school’s digital learning platform, Haiku. A formal analytical essay generally covers each major title. Texts include:The Shining, The Silence of the Lambs, Mary Reilly, The Strange Case of Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
0.5 credits

English 12 Honors: Humor in Literature

0.5 credits
Humor in Literature is a semester course where students may take the A.P. Literature exam at the end of the year, and should feel prepared for the exam after completing this course. Students will read and analyze a variety of humorous writing including satire, parody, dark humor, puns, and irony. Students will break down what makes something funny, from simple jokes to entire novels. In addition, students will be asked to evaluate humor for its effectiveness in persuasion, entertainment, and social commentary. A variety of authors, comedians, and cartoonists will be studied including, Douglas Adams, Mark Haddon, Terry Pratchett, Jack Handey, Kurt Vonnegut, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain. While studying the "how" of humor, students will try to create some of their own, mirroring humor techniques and explaining how the humor works in self-reflections. Grading will be based on daily reading quizzes, major and minor writing assignments, projects, and tests assessing student understanding of key skills. A semester exam will assess the skills, terminology, and analysis of literature covered.The course is founded on the essential questions: What is it that makes us laugh? How does humor influence culture and society? What is a humorists’ argument and how is it expressed? These questions will act as the backbone for class discussions and writing assignments. Students must be recommended for this course.

English 12 Honors: Philosophy in Literature

0.5 credits

Philosophy in Literature is a semester course where students may take the A.P. Literature exam at the end of the year and should feel prepared for the exam after course completion. Students will read and analyze a variety of philosophical writing including an exploration of absurdism, existentialism, determinism, Postmodernism, Epicurianism, nihilism, and Utilitarianism. Students will break down arguments within philosophical works. In addition, students will be asked to evaluate philosophies within literature for effectiveness in persuasion, entertainment, and social commentary. A variety of authors, poets, and philosophers will be studied including Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche, Diogenes, Kurt Vonnegut, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain. While studying the "how" of philosophical writing, students will try to create some of their own, mirroring writing techniques and explaining how the their thinking works in self­-reflections. Grading will be based on daily reading quizzes, major and minor writing assignments, projects, and tests assessing student understanding of key skills. In lieu of a semester exam, students are required to present a “Meaning of Life” project at Student Philosophy Night, a showcase of student work open to the public. The course is founded on the essential questions: How does philosophy influence literature? How does philosophy influence culture and society? What is a philosophical pieces’ argument and how is it expressed? What is the meaning of life? These questions will act as the backbone for class discussions and writing assignments. Students must be recommended for this course.

English 12 Honors: Feminist Literature

0.5 credits

"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." - Marie Shear

Students in this course will establish a working definition of feminism, and learn to apply a feminist lens to the interpretation of literature, history, current events and popular culture. Lively discussion and reflective writing as well as readings and films from this century and the last will help us explore the role of women in society and the stereotypes and societal structures that have shaped the modern female experience. We will look at the forces that produced the first, second, and third wave feminist movements, as well as the current vision of American and global feminism. Authors/filmmakers we will read include: Virginia Woolf, Betty Friedan, bel hooks, Tina Fey, Audre Lord, Maxine Hong Kingston, Naomi Wolf, and Caitlin Moran. MALE AND FEMALE STUDENTS are invited to enroll in this course -- women's issues are, of course, humanity's issues, and these philosophical tenets are both fascinating and crucial regardless of a student's gender identity.

English 12 Honors: 21st Century Novel

0.5 credits
The 21st Century Novel is a semester course. Students in the course will read, discuss and analyze fiction from the last 15 years, focusing on the way authors in the early 21st century remember the last century and envision the later decades of the current one. Essential questions will include: how do novelists help us imagine what the future will bring? What purpose does fiction serve in today’s world? What makes a text relevant? And What common themes emerge as we look closely at a range of today’s fiction? Core texts will include Lauren Groff’s Arcadia, Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, and David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks.Students who take English 12 Honors: The 21st Century Novel must be ready to experience what is new in literature.

English 12: Film and Literature From Banned Countries

0.5 credits

In January 2017, travel was temporarily banned from seven Middle Eastern countries. To better understand this part of the world, these specific countries, and the people who live within them, this course will focus on the modern film, art, and literature from these countries. Some films students can expect to analyze include Children of Heaven and The Salesman (Iranian), and A Syrian Love Story (Syria). Students will read three novels, including New York Times’ bestseller The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Students will write short essays, personal narratives, and produce a culminating project that takes a close look at the diversity, politics, and narrative of a “banned” country of their choosing.

English 12: Science Fiction

0.5 credits

Through readings, viewings, and other interactive experiences, this course examines science fiction across a range of media, including film, television, and literature. Students will get an overview of the genre’s history and understand how science fiction gained popularity through the years. Science fiction responds to changing social conditions, and we will discuss what it means to be human living through ever-accelerating change. Students write weekly responses as they read a diversity of materials, view films and other multimedia expressions, participate in discussions, and create a culminating project demonstrating a knowledge of the elements of this genre.

Creative Writing

0.5 or 1.0 credit

Creative Writing/Zephyr is a semester-long course open to Juniors and Seniors. The course will be taught during both first and second semester. Students are invited to enroll in one or both semesters. Students in this course will write on a broad range of topics, exploring new genres and new ideas while strengthening their hold on the essentials of written language. Students will read a variety of texts; as they explore modern short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, they will be asked to note and experiment with other authors’ techniques as a means to shaping their own individual writing styles. Students will also learn to participate in group critiques to edit and enrich the work of their peers. As members of this class students will also be editors of Zephyr, the school’s literary magazine. They will be responsible for planning the magazine’s schedule for the year, holding competitions, soliciting submissions and editing the work of the student body into an exciting publication full of HPA’s best art and writing.

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