The English Department offers several electives for students in all grade levels.  Read the course descriptions to learn more about the courses we offer in our department. Feel free to send the teacher(s) of these courses an email if you have any further questions about the requirements or expectations for the class.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing combines workshop (the majority of the time) and instruction on the various genres of creative writing such as poetry, short story, novel, drama, TV/film script, and non-fiction.  Students will complete common assignments to show mastery of each genre and independent assignments that allow them to follow their interests. We will also study the new forms of creative writing that have arisen from technology such as blogs, web pages, etc.

Film Studies/Advanced Film Studies

Why study film? Since their invention a little more than one hundred years ago, movies have become one of the world’s largest industries and most powerful art form of our time; they are a major presence in our lives--perhaps the most influential product of the 21st century. Movies have always possessed powers to amaze, frighten and enlighten us. They challenge our senses, emotions, and intellects, pushing us to say, often passionately, that we love (or hate) them. The thrust of any introductory film studies class is to join that enthusiasm with a critical understanding, to learn why we feel so strongly about film and to better understand the true power they possess.

Journalism 1 

In the Journalism class, students explore the different aspects that appear in the school newspaper.  Over the course of the year, we look at what is happening in the school and what is of interest to the student body.  In addition to looking at current events, we write news, features, editorials, entertainment, and sports stories for the Chieftain. 

Journalism 2 (Newspaper Production)

In the second year Journalism course, students become editors of the paper.  Editors are the lead writers for one section of the newspaper (News, Features, Viewpoint, Entertainment, or Sports).  In the class, they hone their writing skills around their chosen specialty, and direct students in the journalism class and after school Chieftain club meetings.  Each marking period, students work to produce the school newspaper through their writing, polished drafts submitted by the Journalism class, and their layout and design skills. 

Media Literacy

On average, the average American experiences over 3000 media messages (ads) a day, and these messages can have a powerful effect on our thoughts, decisions, and actions. This course will try to make sense of it all. In this course, students will explore how organizations use commercials, fads, websites, print ads, billboards, movies, and TV shows to influence behaviors. Students will also create real hands-on campaigns to initiate positive change within our own community. Students who are interested in becoming more informed consumers, citizens, and critical thinkers will benefit greatly from this course.

Exploring Graphic Novels

This course is a full-year introduction to the rich variety of graphic novels from around the world. Students will read and analyze works in a literary framework while learning about the history, fundamentals, and genres within the graphic novel universe. This course will appeal to visual learners, fans of art and comics, and students who enjoy reading works not typically found in traditional English courses. 

Public Speaking

In this course, you will be presenting previously written and original work to the class, including persuasive, personal, entertaining, and demonstration speeches.  We will be working on presentation skills, vocal technique, creating appropriate content, capturing and maintaining audience attention, adjusting to audience response and being an appropriate audience member.