English Language Arts

illustrations of various school-related items

Based on national and state standards, Primavera Language Arts nurtures an appreciation for literature while developing a proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, grammar usage, spelling and vocabulary.

Click on a course below for description, suggested grade level and prerequisite requirements:

In Introductory Rhetoric and Composition, students acquire skills for speaking and writing formally, with an emphasis on persuading audiences. Students examine persuasive arguments in historical and contemporary texts to identify and evaluate rhetorical techniques. They learn ways to evaluate use of language, determine meanings, make inferences, grasp central ideas, evaluate bias, and draw conclusions as they examine both written texts and oral presentations. Other selections illustrate the use of characterization, setting, mood, and conflict in nonfiction literature, and give students practice in evaluating consumer documents. The course also covers grammar and usage, punctuation, and correct spelling and meanings of vocabulary terms. Students receive guided instruction in paraphrasing, analyzing evidence, recognizing symbolism, and identifying figurative language. Students independently read Eliza Houghton Donner’s autobiography The Donner Party and submit a reading journal tracking their responses to the work. Additional writing activities give students practice in researching and organizing persuasive, narrative, and expository compositions.

Suggested grade level: 9
Prerequisites: None

Introduction to Literature emphasizes reading comprehension strategies, increasing and expanding vocabulary and its comprehension in context, making connections to literature, and analyzing the author’s craft. Students learn techniques for evaluating authors’ use of language, determining meanings, making inferences, grasping central ideas, and drawing conclusions. The course provides guided instruction in paraphrasing, analyzing evidence, recognizing symbolism, and identifying figurative language. Studies of poetry focus on recognizing poetic forms, rhyme schemes, and cadences. Students independently read Ayn Rand’s Anthem. Class activity includes reading extensive excerpts from The Odyssey, as well as Romeo and Juliet in its entirety. These literature studies provide experience in understanding archetypes, identifying conflict, analyzing the influence of setting, and probing aspects of characters. Students submit journal entries to demonstrate regular writing practice. Writing activities provide students with practice in organizing and developing a literary analysis, as well as writing narrative and expository compositions.

Suggested grade level: 9
Prerequisites: None

Intermediate Rhetoric and Composition is a course for 10th grade students who are at or near grade level in language arts skills. Emphasis is placed on grammar and usage, spelling, writing skills, punctuation, and literary nonfiction. Writing activities give students practice in researching, organizing, and developing descriptive, persuasive, narrative, and expository compositions. Intermediate Rhetoric and Composition continues to investigate the writing and discourse processes while supplementing them with the reading strategies necessary to comprehend and compose nonfiction texts. The course also examines persuasive arguments through rhetorical techniques that enable both self-expression and persuasion of others. The course asks the student to put forth effort to understand the different ways of acquiring and delivering information. Increasing knowledge of rhetoric and composition helps students become more effective at communication. By honing skills in the areas of reading and writing, students can maximize their contributions in both the academic and professional worlds.

Suggested grade level: 10
Prerequisites: Preferably 9th Grade English

World Literature broadens students’ reading experience with exposure to literature from multiple eras and cultures. The course includes diverse reading selections such as epic poetry, folktales, ancient verses, Greek tragedy, short stories, and excerpts from novels. Students are instructed in techniques for evaluating authors’ use of language, determining meanings, making inferences, grasping central ideas, interpreting characters, and drawing conclusions to enable them to evaluate literary elements in these works. The course includes a concentrated study of classic Greek drama as students read Antigone by Sophocles. The course provides guided instruction in analyzing evidence, comprehending context clues, recognizing symbolism, and identifying figurative language. The course also covers language skills, such as using affixes to affect word meaning and understanding denotative and connotative meanings to enhance word choice. Writing activities challenge students’ reading comprehension and composition skills with short projects involving research and writing, as well as producing character analysis and personal narrative essays.

Suggested grade level: 10
Prerequisites: Preferably 9th Grade English

A Survey of Informational Text presents students with nonfiction works in a number of genres. Students examine seminal American documents ranging from Thomas Paine’s Common Sense through Barack Obama’s second inaugural address. Students learn ways to evaluate use of language, determine meanings, make inferences, grasp central ideas, evaluate bias, and draw conclusions by examining these works. The course also builds on students’ abilities to speak and write formally, with an emphasis on persuading audiences. Students analyze persuasive arguments on subjects ranging from environmental conservation to legal decisions involving the First Amendment as they learn to identify elements of argument and to use rhetorical devices. Using other nonfiction works, the course guides students in recognizing the importance of analyzing evidence, recognizing symbolism, examining word choice, and identifying figurative language in nonfiction literature. The course also covers grammar and usage, punctuation, and correct spelling and meanings of vocabulary terms, and exposes students to several types of consumer documents.

Suggested grade level: 11
Prerequisites: Preferably 9th and 10th Grade English

A survey course in American Literature. It involves the study of styles, techniques, philosophies, biographies, and ideas of major American writers as well as the historical events that influenced their works. The course emphasizes critical and analytical thinking, reading, and writing skills. In addition to the coursework of reading and interpreting literature from the textbook, students will read novels, short stories, and poems. American Literature examines the literary writings, discourse, and events that took place from the inception of the United States to the present day. This course involves students and pushes them to examine their own idea of culture and nationalism.

Suggested grade level: 11
Prerequisites: Preferably 9th and 10th Grade English

Advanced Survey of Informational Text presents students with nonfiction works in a number of genres, including government publications, online articles, magazine articles, and oral presentations. Students read and analyze seminal American documents to determine meanings and grasp central ideas. The course guides students in recognizing the importance of analyzing evidence, recognizing symbolism, examining word choice, and identifying figurative language in nonfiction literature. Throughout the course, students focus on logical thinking and the writing process, with an emphasis on persuasive writing. They learn to identify elements of argument and to recognize and use rhetorical devices as they examine persuasive speeches and texts from many eras. As they examine these and other nonfiction works, students learn to evaluate use of language, make inferences, evaluate bias, and draw conclusions. The course also covers basic composition techniques and reviews use of correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Collaborative discussions allow students to examine complex ideas arising from the texts and exchange ideas and insights about specific kinds of nonfiction writing. Students also complete rigorous writing assignments.

Suggested grade level: 12
Prerequisites: Preferably 9th and 11th Grade English

British Literature is a survey of British literature from the Middle Ages through the Modern Period, with an emphasis on critical analysis and composition skills. This course focuses on the study of styles, techniques, philosophies, biographies, and ideas of major British writers. In English 12B, students examine the evolution of British culture and literature by reading and analyzing the Old English epic poem Beowulf, Shakespearean sonnets, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and other classics that span 1,500 years of English literature. Students explore engaging readings and video presentations of novels, short stories, plays, and poems, ranging from Utopia to dystopia and beyond.

Suggested grade level: 12
Prerequisites: Preferably 9th and 11th Grade English