Course Selection Guide
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Bensalem High School

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English

Grade 9

Elements of Literature (College Prep) [01001CP]               

Credit: 1.0

 

This course is designed to provide instruction and practice in critical thinking that is provided through the study of literary genres: novels, plays, short stories and poems.  Independent reading and writing skills are required.  Along with writing assignments related to the readings, students will learn research and speaking skills.  Instructional preparation for the SAT’s will include review and development of standard usage, grammar and mechanics.  Summer reading will be encouraged.



Elements of Literature (Honors) [01001H]                  

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets


Honors English 9 is the first in the sequence of courses designed to accommodate those students whose reading abilities, writing skills and critical thinking skills function at a higher level.  The pace of the course is accelerated and the workload increased.  Students who register should be consistent and self-motivated workers.  The course is designed to concentrate on higher-level analytical writing skills and the development of an understanding of literature.  This course is geared to prepare students for courses that rely heavily on superior verbal and composition skills and a broad knowledge of literature. Summer reading will be encouraged.



Elements of Literature (Gifted) [01001G]      

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in the gifted program.

 

The 9th grade gifted English curriculum emphasizes project-based instruction, group instruction, and guided discussion.  Students study parallel units with the 9th grade gifted World Cultures course focusing on world literature.  Students are able to engage in independent research studies and learn about a diverse array of authors.  Students also concentrate on developing focused, clear, and well-organized writing in all formats. Summer reading will be encouraged.


 

Academic Writing: Foundations of Thought and Composition (College Prep)  [01101]         

Credit: 1.0

 

This course provides foundations for students to write in an academic setting and succeed in writing across all subject areas. Students will engage in a variety of writing tasks and will explore the different categories of writing as well as the various types of writing assignments they can expect to see at the high school level and later in their academic careers. Students will perform a variety of writing tasks focused on measurable writing goals and skills. This course is built to enhance student writing through the use of the narrative, literary analysis, argumentative writing, culminating in a final portfolio.  Ultimately, this course is designed to develop students’ writing abilities in an effort to have all students “college and career ready.” 


 

Academic Writing: Foundations of Thought and Composition (Honors) [01101H]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

This course provides foundations for students to write in an academic setting and succeed in writing across all subject areas. Students will engage in a variety of writing tasks and will explore the different categories of writing as well as the various types of writing assignments they can expect to see at the high school level and later in their academic careers. Students will perform a variety of writing tasks focused on measurable writing goals and skills. This course is built to enhance student writing through the use of the narrative, literary analysis, argumentative writing, culminating in a final portfolio.  Ultimately, this course is designed to develop students’ writing abilities in an effort to have all students “college and career ready.”

Grade 10

Survey of Literature (College Prep) [K01053CP]

Credit: 1.0

* Students will participate in the Keystone Literature Test while in this course.

 

This course is designed to provide instruction and practice in critical thinking through the study of literary genres:  novels, plays, short stories, and poems.  Independent reading and writing skills are required for this course.  Along with writing assignments related to the reading, students will continue to develop research and speaking skills.  Instructional preparation for the SAT’s will further develop the standard usage, grammar and mechanical skills presented in 9th grade.  Students will explore possible career paths and educational institutions through the use of research and on-line databases, such as Naviance. Summer reading will be encouraged.



Survey of Literature (Honors) [K01053H]                        

Credit: 1.0

* Students will participate in the Keystone Literature Test while in this course.

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

This course is the second in the sequence of courses designed to accommodate those students whose reading abilities, writing skills and critical thinking skills function at a higher level. The pace of the course is accelerated and the workload increased.  Students who register should be consistent and self-motivated workers.  The course is designed to concentrate on higher-level analytical writing skills and the development of an understanding of literature.  This course is geared to prepare students to complete those courses that rely heavily on verbal and composition skills and a broad knowledge of literature.  Students will explore possible career paths and educational institutions through the use of research and on-line databases, such as Naviance. Summer reading will be encouraged.



Survey of Literature (Gifted) [K01053G]

Credit: 1.0

* Students will participate in the Keystone Literature Test while in this course.

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in this program

           

The creative use of critical thinking skills in reading, writing, and discussion is vital here.  World literature, as presented in a variety of literary genres, centers on these themes:  individuality; moral dilemma of conscience verses authority; appearance versus reality; social injustices and abuse of power.  There is continued emphasis on the correlation between history, literature, and the arts. Summer reading will be encouraged.

Grade 11

American Literature (College Prep) [01003CP]

Credit: 1.0

 

This course is designed to provide instruction and practice in critical thinking which is provided through the study of American literature, including novels, plays, short stories, and poems.  Independent reading and writing skills are required.  Along with writing assignments related to the reading, students will extend their research skills.  This course includes activities designed to review and to strengthen SAT test-taking skills such as the SAT Vocabulary Program. Summer reading will be encouraged.

 

 

American Literature (Honors) [01003H]   

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

This course is the third in the sequence of courses designed to accommodate those students whose reading abilities, writing skills and critical thinking skills function at a more challenging level.  The pace of the course is accelerated and the workload is increased.  Students who register should be consistent and self-motivated workers.  The course is designed to concentrate on higher-level analytical writing skills and the development of an understanding of American literature.  Summer reading will be encouraged.



American Literature (Gifted) [01003G]    

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in the Gifted Program.

           

Thematic study of American literature incorporates the genres of essays, poetry, short stories and novels to illustrate and stress the themes being covered.  The approach encourages students to see the relationships among literature, art and history of America.  Students strive for excellence in communication skills with various group and individual assignments.  Summer reading will be encouraged.



Advanced Placement Language and Composition (01005)

Credit: 1.0

           

The AP English Language and Composition course teaches and requires students to write in several forms such as narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative essays and also in informal contexts about a variety of subjects (pop culture, politics, science, technology, etc.).  The course requires various composition assignments that are based on readings that represent a variety of prose styles and genres.  Students are taught the basic elements of rhetoric: writing with purpose, addressing and appealing to an audience, creating effective text structures, and adopting an appropriate style.  Students write essays that proceed through several stages or drafts with multiple revisions.  Summer reading and a follow-up assignment are required. Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.

Grade 12

World Literature (College Prep) [01004CP]

Credit: 1.0

 

This course is the final year of a sequential program.  Instruction and practice in critical thinking are provided through the study of World literature, including novels, plays, short stories, and poems.  Independent reading and writing skills are required.  This course includes activities designed to review and to strengthen SAT test-taking skills and vocabulary development. Summer reading will be encouraged.



World Literature (Honors) [01004H]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: MAP universal screener, teacher recommendation and historical data sets

 

This course is designed to accommodate those students whose reading abilities, writing skills and critical thinking skills function at a more challenging level.  The pace of the course is accelerated and the workload increased.  Students who register should be consistent and self-motivated workers.  The course is designed to concentrate on high-level analytical writing skills and the development of an understanding of literature.  Honors English 12 is geared to prepare students to successfully complete those courses which rely heavily on verbal and composition skills and a broad knowledge of world literature.  Summer reading will be required. Summer reading will be encouraged.



World Literature (Gifted) [01004G]

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Students must meet state-mandated guidelines for placement in the Gifted Program

 

The goal of this course is to consciously examine man and his beliefs as they are reflected in the humanities:  philosophy, literature, and the arts.  In a seminar approach, students examine the basic elements of philosophical and critical characteristics of the mature hero in his quest for love and honor and of the anti-hero, his isolation, violence and aggression.  Students will continue to perfect their critical thinking and communication skills. Summer reading will be encouraged.

 


Advanced Placement Literature and Composition (01006)

Credit: 1.0

 

The AP English: Literature and Composition course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature.  Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways that writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers.  As they read, students will consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.  Summer reading and a follow-up assignment are required.  Students are required to take the AP Exam administered by the College Board.

 

 

Creative Writing (01104)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: 10th, 11th, 12th grade student

 

This course is for students who possess competent writing skills and wish to extend those skills into other areas of

 writing.  Students will experience writing poetry, drama, short fiction and non-fiction.  This is not a remedial or basic composition course.



Poetry Workshop (010612)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: 10th, 11th, 12th grade student

 

This course is for students who write and read widely. It explores various aspects of poetic craft. Students will examine a number of poetic traditions, as well as examine poets through the lens of what influenced their work and how their work has influenced others.  Students will also study areas of poetry in the digital world including the use of digital media and music.  Through peer critique, students respond closely to the work of fellow writers in a supportive workshop.



The Works of Shakespeare (01060)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: 10th, 11th, 12th grade student

 

Three hundred and eighty years after his death, William Shakespeare remains the central author of the English-speaking world; he is the most quoted poet and the most regularly produced playwright — and now among the most popular screenwriters as well. Why is that, and who "is" he? Why do so many people think his writing is so great? What meanings did his plays have in his own time, and how do we read, speak, or listen to his words now? What should we watch for when viewing his plays in performance? Whose plays are we watching, anyway? We'll consider these questions as we carefully examine a sampling of Shakespeare's plays from a variety of critical perspectives.



Author Study (01099)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: 10th, 11th, 12th grade student

 

This course is for students who are interested in an investigation in how to define an author’s essential works and voice. A close examination of one particularly influential author, in addition to the work of that author’s contemporaries, predecessors, and descendants. This will be an exploration of how this author uniquely expressed her or his ideas, and their influence on later writers.

 

 

Introduction to Media Communications (11001)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Sophomore level course based on application and instructor approval.

 

This course is designed for sophomores who are interested in pursuing a career in the communications field.  This course is designed to give students a theoretical background in video and television production.  The class will be held in a computer classroom setting as opposed to the media studio.  Students will learn the textbook techniques needed to succeed in the more advanced Media Communications courses offered at Bensalem High School.  This course will also include communicative and life skills that are important for intrapersonal communications.  These will be taught through various readings by Dale Carnegie and Pat Croce, as well as through short writing assignments based on different quotes given each day as writing prompts.  This course acts as a pre-requisite for Media Communications 1.



Media Communications 1 (11149)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Introduction to Media Communications

 

Junior students, who have successfully completed the introductory course, will learn the hands-on techniques associated with video and television production.  Emphasis will be placed on either live television production or pre-recorded productions.  In both cases, students will learn how to operate the television studio, anchor news shows, videotape events, and engage in high-end video editing.  Video editing will be performed on non-linear editing systems equipped with Final Cut editing software.  The aim of this course is to allow students to apply the theoretical skills learned in the introductory class as they learn the hands-on skills required to succeed in the advanced class offered to seniors.  Productions are aired on close-circuited television in the high school and on the community cable channel 6.  Students will be required to commit time to projects in the afternoon, evening, and occasionally during the school day to videotape events throughout the district.

 

 

Media Communications 2 (11998)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: Media and Communications 1

 

Senior students who have successfully completed the introductory course and Media Communications 1 will apply the skills they have learned during their sophomore and junior years.  Emphasis will be placed on both live television production and pre-recorded productions.  Students will operate the television studio, anchor news shows, videotape events, and engage in high–end video editing, while helping junior students learn the basics.  Video editing will be performed on non-linear editing systems equipped with Final Cut editing software.  The aim of this course is to allow students to apply the theoretical and hands-on skills learned in the previous classes as they produce shows that aired on close-circuited television in the high school and on community cable channel. Students will be required to commit time to projects in the afternoon, evening, and occasionally during the school day to videotape events throughout the district.



Speech and Debate (01153)

Credit: 1.0

 

This course begins with several informative speeches and a review of basic public speaking skills. The middle of the course introduces the elements of persuasion and debate using a variety of current issues as topics for discussion. Some research is required.  The course ends with social occasion and impromptu speeches.



Public Speaking (01151)

Credit: 1.0

 

Public speaking focuses on interpersonal communication and public speaking.  The goal of this course is to introduce students to a wide variety of informal and formal modes of oral communication so that they may become comfortable and adept at public speaking.  Students will perform a variety of speeches using different formats and strategies.



Journalism 1 (11101)

Credit: 1.0 

           

Students will explore journalistic studies by learning the history of American journalism, debating ethics, developing skills in concise writing, and looking at modern day journalism in terms of the digital world, investigative journalism, and journalism as entertainment. Students will begin the process of learning about print and digital publications by learning to write hard news, human interest stories, editorials, reviews, and feature columns from the inception of the idea to the publishing of the content.



Sports and Writing (01061)

Credit: 1.0

 

Who is better – Jordan or LeBron?  Let’s so some research and find out.  This course aims to combine athletics and writing.  The purpose is to enhance development of writing skills while examining the world of sports.  Topics will range from reporting to persuasive writing.  In our writing, we will look at what is happening in sports and its impact on society.  Students should expect to complete assignments from journals to research papers.  We will also look at what it takes to be a sports writer in the age of digital media.



Journalism 2 (Yearbook) [111012]

Credit: 1.0


This journalism course dovetails with all aspects of the publishing of the high school yearbook.  Students work with photography, layout and design, theme development, artistic interpretation, pagination and also written aspects of the book.  Staff members become fully familiar with different publishing terms, methods and styles.  A thorough knowledge of the arts as a design medium, literary expertise and computer design programs are required.  Students will conduct interviews with students and staff, garner a thorough knowledge of the events occurring throughout the school year, meet real-world publishing deadlines, and take a publication from the inception of an idea to press.



Introduction to Acting (05051)

Credit: 1.0

 

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic techniques of acting through theater games and improvisation.  The essential skills necessary for acting, staging, and stage directing will be explored through a variety of exercises.  Students will be required to improvise situations and pantomimes, and prepare monologues and scenes for this class.



Acting 2 (05055)

Credit: 1.0

Prerequisite: 10th, 11th, 12th grade student

 

This course is designed to further students’ study in the techniques of acting, focusing on the techniques of acting for the stage and film.  Students will learn lines, staging and perform multiple pieces.