Upper School English
A peek into an English class at St. John’s will find students engaging in a variety of activities – discussing, analyzing and evaluating literature that provides a means of examining our own and other cultures. The language arts – reading, writing, speaking and listening – are key to interacting with the world around us. Our English classes offer engaging activities to teach and apply these skills as students become both critical consumers of what they read and adept creators of oral presentations, written essays, artwork and digital creations that demonstrate their understanding.
In our digital world students are bombarded with written and visual material and must learn to read both inferentially and critically. They must be able to interpret and analyze what they read so they can form an opinion, claim their own voice, and support their ideas effectively. Our courses aim to teach them to speak and write with clarity for a variety of occasions and audiences.
Ninth grade English focuses on understanding the conventions of the literary genres: drama, poetry, essays, short stories and novels. Speech class requires students to create and deliver a variety of speeches and become comfortable giving oral presentations of increasing complexity as well as learning how to be an effective audience. Our mythology class examines myths across the world to help students see the similarities among peoples across time and space. In American Literature students read and reflect on a variety of texts spanning Native American oral literature to postmodern literature of the 20th century. IB English 11 and 12 exposes students to a variety of works from various time periods and cultures. In all of these classes, discussion (whole class or small group) is key to understanding the literature, the responses writers evoke in readers and how they do so. Discussion is often followed by sharing, either orally or in some visual format, what students have learned. Thus, from effective writers students learn tools and techniques they may apply in their own writing, from reader responses to research papers and literary analyses.
9th Grade English
9th Grade Speech
9th Grade Mythology
10th Grade American Literature
IBS English A: Literature