English

To graduate Century High School, there is an English requirement of  4 credits including the following courses:

  • English I
  • English II
  • English III
  • English IV (one semester elective)
  • English: Speech Foundations

Please note English for ELs and some Special Education courses also meet English graduation requirements.

Courses Offered:

English I: Foundations

In this course, students will be introduced to a variety of literature and writing styles, and will have the opportunity to further develop their language arts skills (e.g., reading, writing, viewing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking) as they gain the foundational skills needed in order to be successful in high school courses. Students will read short stories, novels, drama, poetry, and nonfiction; write paragraphs, essay answers, and academic compositions; demonstrate appropriate sentence structure, spelling, vocabulary, and usage; use media facilities, technology, and primary and secondary sources; understand validity and bias of sources and ethical use of sources.

English I: Foundations Honors

This challenging and rigorous year-long course is designed for ninth grade students with advanced skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and time and task management. Students enrolled in this course should be reading above grade level, should be able to organize and write focused multiparagraph papers, must have demonstrated an understanding of the principles of basic grammar, and should be capable of understanding complex analogies. Students will read short stories, novels, drama, poetry, and nonfiction; write paragraphs, essay answers, and academic compositions; demonstrate appropriate sentence structure, spelling, vocabulary, and usage; use media facilities, technology, and primary and secondary sources; understand validity and bias of sources and ethical use of sources.

English II: American Literature and Composition

This course focuses on developing writing skills while improving the student's understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of our country through the study of American literature. Students will write an organized, multi-paragraph, persuasive paper supporting a thesis; identify and analyze elements of literature, literary devices, style, and themes of American literature; evaluate literature and/or film according to criteria; describe human situations or events in a narrative essay, biography, autobiography, or ethnography; demonstrate the use of library and other resources for research; recognize and use various methods for development of ideas within an essay (e.g., comparison/contrast, definition, problem/solution, order of importance); analyze the culture of a period as expressed through major writings, publications, art, architecture, technology, music, daily life, or customs; develop appreciation of the rich diversity of classic and contemporary literature representing different cultural, age, and gender groups; improve reading comprehension skills through various pieces of literature/styles.

English II: American Literature and Composition Honors

This course focuses on developing writing skills while improving the student's understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of our country through the study of American literature. Students will write an organized, multi-paragraph, persuasive paper supporting a thesis; identify and analyze elements of literature, literary devices, style, and themes of American literature; evaluate literature and/or film according to criteria; describe human situations or events in a narrative essay, biography, autobiography, or ethnography; demonstrate the use of library and other resources for research; recognize and use various methods for development of ideas within an essay (e.g., comparison/contrast, definition, problem/solution, order of importance); analyze the culture of a period as expressed through major writings, publications, art, architecture, technology, music, daily life, or customs; develop appreciation of the rich diversity of classic and contemporary literature representing different cultural, age, and gender groups; improve reading comprehension skills through various pieces of literature/styles.

English II: American Studies Honors

This challenging and rigorous honors course combines AP U.S. History with English II: American Literature/ Composition Honors. The student will understand the importance of key events, concepts, and peoples in United States history. Special attention will be placed on the influence of diverse ideas or beliefs about America. Selected literature which complements and corresponds to the history of the period will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on developing advanced composition skills.

English II Honors: write organized, multi-paragraph, persuasive papers supporting a thesis; identify and analyze elements of literature, literary devices, style, and themes of American literature; evaluate literature and/or film according to criteria; describe human situations or events in a narrative essay, biography, autobiography, or ethnography; demonstrate the use of library and other resources for research; recognize and use various methods for development of ideas within an essay (e.g., comparison/contrast, definition, problem/solution, order of importance); analyze the culture of a period as expressed through major writings, publications, art, architecture, technology, music, daily life, or customs; develop appreciation of the rich diversity of classic and contemporary literature representing different cultural, age, and gender groups.

AP U.S. History: assess historical materials--their relevance to a given interpretive problem, reliability, and importance; weigh the evidence and interpretations presented in historical scholarship; develop the skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format.

English III: World Literature and Research

English III is a course designed to equip students with the skills they need to analyze literature that varies in geography and context. In accordance with the ELA Minnesota state standards, it builds upon the foundational skills of English Foundations and American Literature and pushes students beyond the scope of literature they may already be familiar with; students learn more about the world and its cultures in the context of archetypes, novels, drama, and film. Students will study the core elements of literature, but always with an eye toward application of critical thinking in the modern world.

English III: AP Literature and Composition

This year-long course will engage students in the comprehension, evaluation, and discussion of literature to develop skills in critical thinking, writing, and reading. The course is designed for high school students capable of doing college-level work in English and who are dedicated to devoting the necessary time and energy to a rigorous and challenging course. Students will be prepared for and encouraged to take the AP Literature exam for college credit in the spring. Through the close reading of selected texts from around the world, students will deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students will consider how a work’s structure, style, use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, tone, etc., affect the overall theme of the work. Students will sharpen their writing skills so they can effectively and concisely articulate their study of literature through in-class essays, informative and persuasive papers. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on helping students develop stylistic maturity.

English: Speech Foundations

This course is designed to help students improve oral communication skills through participation in a variety of group and individual performances. Students will gain confidence in oral communication; learn how to outline material; develop critical thinking skills; develop appropriate verbal skills; understand, develop, and use research skills; improve listening skills; utilize nonverbal communication; learn to use audiovisual aids; understand audience analysis.

SPCH1100: Fundamentals of Speech

Topics covered in this course include public communication processes, elements, and ethics. Criticism of and response to public discourse is also included as well as practice in individual speaking designed to encourage civic participation. Introduction to Public Speaking is a course designed to teach students basic public speaking skills. The course helps students develop an understanding of the basic principles of oral communication, with a focus on improving skills in researching, writing, and organizing effective presentations that are appropriate to particular audiences. Students will develop, improve, and gain confidence in basic delivery skills. 

  • Please note that SPCH1100: Fundamentals of Speech is a Concurrent Enrollment course through the partnership of RCC and RPS.  To be considered for admission for this course, students must meet with their counselor.

Elective Courses:

English: Drama

This course emphasizes the study of drama through acting. It is recommended for students interested in the performing arts. Students will study major plays and playwrights; demonstrate acting techniques; explore various staging techniques; examine major movements in the theatre; create and/or perform advanced works in theatre; use multiple sources of critique and feedback; demonstrate a personal voice, a range of work, and a sense of artistic whole.

ENGL 1117: Reading and Writing Critically I

This course introduces students to various writing strategies for both single and multiple-source essays. By critically reading and responding, students will practice expository, analytical, and persuasive modes of communication to develop critical thinking and writing skills, culminating in limited research projects.

  • Please note that ENGL 1117: Reading and Writing Critically I is a Concurrent Enrollment course through the partnership of RCTC and RPS. To be considered for admission for this course, students must meet with their counselor.

English IV: Adventure Literature

This course is about adventure genres: disaster/survival, mystery/suspense, fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian. Topics include an exploration of classic and contemporary examples of the genres through short stories, novels and films. The student who registers for this course should be willing to read, write and participate in academic discussion. Students will examine literature (fiction and nonfiction) through analytical writing and discussion about a variety of viewpoints, issues and topics, and evaluate diverse perspectives.

English IV: Contemporary Novels

This course is the study of fiction novels as well as companion studies of nonfiction works. The material is timely and relevant to current events, issues and topics. The student who registers for this course should be an enthusiastic reader and should be willing to actively participate in large and small group discussions. Through analytical writing and projects, students will examine trends and common characteristics of contemporary literature; recognize contemporary literature as an expression and reflection of society; comprehend, interpret, and evaluate complex information; examine characteristics of contemporary literary genre.

English IV: Creative Writing-Hybrid

This writing-intensive course serves to help the students grow their writing skills in poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction, all while encouraging students to push their boundaries and find your voice. Our model is workshop-based: students will read the work of peers and contribute to a large-group discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s writing. The goal is to extinguish any misconceptions about creative writing, gain a critical eye, learn the importance of taking work through many, many revisions, go beyond cliché and “go-to” techniques, and to find a voice and style. Students will study publication and will learn to navigate writer’s block.

  • This course follows the RPS district hybrid model of three class periods of instruction each week balanced by two class periods of teacher conferencing and individual student workshop.

English IV: Digital Media

This course will focus on the impact of media on the world today by looking at professional news forums, alternative news sources, and social media. This course will focus on contemporary forms of digital media in production of content using a variety of text, video, and audio platforms and formats. Students will focus on objective and journalistic writing styles including interviewing, writing effective copy, and editing and proofreading publishable quality content. Student-generated content may provide material for a collaborative online forum or self-publication.

English IV: Humanities-Search for Meaning Honors

This honors-level course explores basic questions of human existence. Topics will include major world religions, universal myths, works of art of various genres and cultures, and the individual search for meaning in life. The structure of the class is based on the Socratic model; therefore, students are required to participate in daily class discussion and complete honors-level work. Students who register for this class are interested in examining how different experiences and perspectives may influence beliefs, actions, and worldview. Students will explore how information and experiences may be interpreted differently and ultimately understand the origin of differing belief systems and the effect of omitted viewpoint.

English IV: Philosophical Thinking Through Literature Honors

This honors-level course explores the history of human thinking and knowledge--with no promises of any answers to the questions we will pose. The structure of the class is based on the Socratic model; therefore, students are required to participate in daily class discussion and complete honors-level work. Students who register for this course will enjoy discussing and writing about topics that may include: ethics, free will, identity, aesthetics, existentialism, the nature of good and evil, and the definition of Truth. During the semester, students will be exposed, objectively, to multiple viewpoints regarding life’s bigger questions.

English IV: Professional Literacy-Hybrid

This course focuses on professional application of English skills to prepare students for the workplace and college. Students will analyze and employ a variety of media to focus on building skills of reading, writing, and speaking on both individual and collaborative platforms. Content creation on behalf of a personal brand (through resume writing, professional email communication, public profiles, etc.) and marketing an existing brand (through mission statements, press releases, and advertising) will be created to produce a professional portfolio. Students will also reflect on strengths and weaknesses of the current generation as they enter the workforce.

  • This course follows the RPS district hybrid model of three class periods of instruction each week balanced by two class periods of teacher conferencing and individual student workshop.

English IV: Yearbook and Print Media

In this course, the students who make up the yearbook staff will work as a collaborative team to produce a student-generated print publication as record of the school year. The staff will create content through collecting and generating stories, quotes, and other information relevant to academics and activities of high school life. Students will focus on journalistic writing style including interviewing, writing effective copy, and editing and proofreading publishable quality content. As the yearbook is produced, students will also gain an understanding of legal and ethical issues and responsibilities involved in creating content for mass consumption.

Students will also build photography skills and an understanding of graphic design and layout in constructing the yearbook. The business elements of promotion, marketing, and sales will also be an emphasis of the course.

English IV: AP English Language & Composition - 1

This course will be an introduction to the skills necessary to prepare for the AP Language and Composition Exam. The course emphasizes the power of language and the significance of style. Students will interpret, analyze, and evaluate texts, primarily nonfiction. Writing will be an integral part of this course with an emphasis on expository, analytical, and argumentative styles.

English IV: AP English Language & Composition - 2

Continuing to develop the skills begun in AP Language 1, this course will now apply critical reading and writing skills to explore the intricacies of language and rhetoric in more depth. Students will extend their analytic writing skills to develop their own voice and style. Additionally, this course will focus on the synthesis of text sources, critical analysis of visual argument, and AP test preparation.

English IV: AP English Language & Composition – 1 / AP U.S. Government

AP English IV: This course will be an introduction to the skills necessary to prepare for the AP Language and Composition Exam. The course emphasizes the power of language and the significance of style. Students will interpret, analyze, and evaluate texts, primarily nonfiction with an emphasis on themes related to government and politics. Writing will be an integral part of this course with an emphasis on expository, analytical, and argumentative styles.

AP U.S. Government: See description under the Social Studies Department.

For more information on English courses, recommended grade levels, and credit information review the:

Course Registration Guide