English Language Arts at Franklin County Technical School
Franklin County Technical School operates on an alternating week schedule with one week in academic classes and one week in a vocational program. During the academic week students take a core curriculum of English, mathematics, science and social studies courses along with electives and certain required courses.
The guiding principles of English instruction in all grades are to develop the literacy level and critical thinking skills of all students to the highest possible extent. To this end, reading, writing, and speaking are at the core of each program. Much attention is given to the practice of expository writing and other writing forms. Each level of English is carefully designed to meet the needs and interests of students of varying abilities. Placement of each student will be determined by the recommendations of English teachers and guidance counselors. The following guidelines will be used to determine student placement level within specific grades.
ENGLISH 9 (Grade 9)
The theme of ninth grade English is Personal Identity. This will be explored through writing and reflection about who students are as learners. They will be introduced to the requirements of English at FCTS, including reading and writing strategies to build their academic identities and set themselves up for a successful transition to high school. Possible texts may include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Fahrenheit 451, and The Pearl. In addition, students will have the opportunity to read supplemental short stories, nonfiction, and poems that will connect to their developing senses of who they are as academic and vocational learners. Writing is an integral part of all parts of this English class. The freshman year culminates with a portfolio project that is a research-based exploration of an aspect of their identity that will aid them in setting goals for their academic and vocational futures here at FCTS. All classes and lessons are aligned to the Common Core Standards for English.
ENGLISH 9 Developmental (Grade 9)
The goal of these classes is to provide the extra support needed to develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in an environment that addresses the various learning needs of each student within the FCTS 9th grade English curriculum. The curriculum will be explored through the theme of Personal Identity. Students will use writing and reflection about who they are as students and learners. They will be introduced to the requirements of English at FCTS, including reading and writing strategies to build their academic identities and set themselves up for a successful transition to high school.
ENGLISH 10 Honors (Grade 10)
An Honors English student demonstrates the ability to be an abstract thinker, sequentially connecting constructs of writing mechanics with the acquisitions of language. Honors English requires students to be independent learners, advanced readers and sophisticated writers willing to express their ideas in a clear and concise manner. Honors English challenges students to aspire toward constant improvement in all areas of English Language Arts. Homework is completed with thoughtfulness and timeliness. This class is run as a pre-AP class and should prepare students to be successful in an AP-level English course in the 11th or 12th grade, while also preparing a student for post-secondary learning. It follows the general English 10 curriculum, but may be faster-paced, include a greater variety of assignments and a greater depth of focus, while requiring more independence in work habits.
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation
ENGLISH 10 (Grade 10)
The joint themes of tenth grade English are Choices, Consequences, and Overcoming Adversity. These are apt themes as the reality of this year is the Massachusetts State Assessment test. All efforts are made to identify and address individual challenges approaching test time, while also keeping the classes vibrant and engaging. Reading and writing skills will be reviewed, strengthened, and developed as we explore the year’s themes through texts such as Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, To Kill A Mockingbird, as well as many varied nonfiction texts, short stories, and poems. Writing will serve as a way of engaging with and responding to texts. We will refine the process of writing an analytical essay, identifying themes in fiction and nonfiction, building text based responses, and arguments involving theme in particular. All classes and lessons are aligned to the Common Core Standards for English.
ENGLISH 10 Developmental (Grade 10)
The goal of these classes is to provide the extra support needed to develop reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in an environment that addresses the various learning needs of each student within the FCTS 10th grade English curriculum. The joint themes of tenth grade English are Choices, Consequences, and Overcoming Adversity. These are apt themes as the reality of this year is the Massachusetts State Assessment test. All efforts are made to identify and address individual challenges approaching test time, while also keeping the classes vibrant and engaging. Reading and writing skills will be reviewed, strengthened, and developed as we explore the year’s themes through texts.
ENGLISH 11 (Grade 11)
The theme of eleventh grade English is Individuals in Society with an emphasis on ideas and ideologies. A main focuses of writing is analysis and composition of argument and purpose. Another focus is on connecting historical texts and systems of thought into our study of literature. This will culminate in an argumentative essay that is aligned with ideas or themes from one of the texts from class. Texts may include Catcher in the Rye, Huckleberry Finn, A River Runs Through It, The Crucible, Much Ado About Nothing, or Raisin in the Sun. As always, the texts and writing that we do in class will be supported and enriched through the study of nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. All classes and lessons are aligned to the Common Core Standards for English.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION (Grade 11)
The Advanced Placement English Language and Composition course is an 11th grade English course, open to juniors selected on the basis of ability and interest. In AP English Language and Composition, students read works selected for their elements of rhetoric, as well as their importance as literature. Students will study rhetorical tactics of expository, analytical, and argumentative essays. Skills emphasized will prepare students who will take the AP English Language and Composition exam. A qualifying score of three (3) or better on the AP exam may earn a student college credit.
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation
ENGLISH 12 (Grade 12)
In addition to our robust offering of electives in the twelfth grade year, our twelfth grade English class offers many options to extend the lessons learned over the previous three years and prepare students for the world of college and career. Texts as diverse as The Things They Carried, 1984, Different Seasons, Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, as well as short stories, nonfiction, and poetry are used to explore the ideas of identity, choices and challenges, ideology, work, and independence. This class offers the opportunity for students, through writing and reading, to reflect on their own experiences, while further developing and connecting their understandings to the world beyond school. All classes and lessons are aligned to the Common Core standards for Career and College Readiness.
CREATIVE WRITING (Grade 12)
The Creative Writing course is designed for students who enjoy writing as a form of personal expression. Students will study the elements of several literary genres, including short fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, and film. To develop the skills used to create original writing pieces, students will participate in writing exercises, writing workshops, literary element lessons, writing/author research, and peer reviews. To demonstrate evidence of writing skill development, students will be required to engage in writing community activities that require sharing one’s work, commenting constructively on the work of peers, and publishing one’s writing outside of the classroom setting.
JOURNALISM (Grade 12)
What is journalism? Most people understand that journalism has something to do with news, investigation, and opinion as presented through the mediums of newspapers, magazines, and television. In this course, you will learn about the craft of journalism and how it’s shifted over the years. You will also practice journalism, writing articles in a variety of styles and publishing them in our student newspaper. Classes will include lectures/presentations discussions, workshops, group and individual meetings, writing, revising, and online publishing. Periodically you will read and discuss recently published articles that have appeared in print or online, and you will also read and evaluate Joseph Mitchell’s Joe Gould’s Secret and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood as examples of creative journalism.
An important focus of the class is the production of The Eagle, which will be published in fall, winter and spring productions, so the practice of journalism should keep you pretty busy. You may find yourself with several days to accomplish any number of things before the deadline: conducting an interview outside of class, editing a draft of an article you’ve written, submitting a draft for online publication, researching your next story, and so forth. Students are expected to make use of the class time for journalism projects only. If you find yourself “done,” you should move on to a new project, or help with the online newspaper, or conference with me, or otherwise find ways to occupy your time meaningfully. Your grade will be based, in part, on how well you do this.
Another equally important focus of the class is to develop and produce a yearbook for the school year. The Journalism and yearbook class will design the cover, do the dummy layouts, take pictures, write articles, and complete the final layout for the yearbook production.
Emphasis is also placed on the business aspect of the yearbook. Students will write business letters and present themselves to the business community to obtain advertisements for the yearbook. Finally, they will participate in the selling of the yearbook to the students, staff, and friends of the school. Students will gain graphic art and layout design skills and will additionally improve their reading, writing and proofreading skills. The sale of yearbook related advertising is a requirement of this course.
ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION (Grade 12)
The AP English Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in the careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students can deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students should consider a work's structure, style, and themes, in conjunction with elements such as figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Students should expect a rigorous undergraduate English experience with intellectual challenges and considerable workload that culminates in the AP exam in May. A qualifying score of three (3) or better on the AP exam may earn a student college credit.
Prerequisite: Teacher Recommendation
LANGUAGE AND READING (Grades 9 -12)
These courses are designed for the student who has special needs in the area of reading, writing and/or language. Initial emphasis is placed on the development of basic reading and writing skills in order to develop a base to teach reading comprehension and interpretations, and composition skills. Course objectives are incorporated into the students’ Individualized Educational Plan. The course is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts and utilizes a modified form of the general education curriculum to ensure students are given the opportunity to make effective progress. Language and Reading courses are available in all grade levels.