English Courses

All students are required to take at least one grade-level English course each semester.  The descriptions below are in preparation for the upcoming school year.  If you have any questions regarding the current year course descriptions, please contact our guidance office.

English Department Placement Guidelines

  1. Teacher recommendation is the method of placement for English classes. Testing results (STAR Assessment) will be used to assist in specific course placement. 
  2. Placement in the Honors English Program is by departmental recommendation only. In order to maintain Honors Placement, students must earn an 80 or better in both semesters of the previous Honors English Course and score at or above grade level on the STAR Assessment. In order to move to Honors, students must earn a 90 or better in both semesters in the previous College Prep Course and score at or above grade level on the STAR Assessment.

 English Department Required Courses

600151- Writing Workshop

Writing Workshop focuses on a variety of writing styles throughout the year. Classes incorporate grammar, writing, editing, and evaluating to improve composition skills. Students write narrative papers, research papers, creative short stories,  and digital media. Each marking period concentrates on a different genre of writing as it applies to 21st-century learning. Successful completion of this course is required for graduation from Westbrook High School.

Prerequisite: None 

Credit: 1
Grades: 10 through 12 
Length: 1 year - every day
Weight: 1.0

600601 - Senior Project Seminar
Senior Project Seminar provides scheduled, regular time for students to complete a senior project on a topic of interest. Students will conduct ten hours of research on the subject, maintain a journal of findings and results, and establish a working relationship with a mentor who will guide them in their learning.  Students will be required to submit a final portfolio and give an oral presentation. 
Prerequisite: None

Credit: 1
Grades: 12 
Length: 1 year - every other day
Weight: Pass/Fail


Grade 9

600111- English 9 Introduction to Literature (H)

This course serves as a high-paced introduction to literature and focuses on the various genres. The course centers on reading, writing, and speaking skills necessary for success in high school and post-secondary experiences. Students explore Greek and Roman Mythology, short stories, drama, non-fiction, poetry, and the novel. In addition, their experiences include reading for information and critical analysis; writing in expository, poetic, and creative modes; and artistic expression through numerous hands-on and oral presentations.  

Prerequisite: Reading at or above grade level per STAR Assessment and an average of 90 or better in 8th grade English

Credit: 1
Grade: 9 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.05

600112- English 9 Introduction to Literature (CP)

This course serves as an introduction to literature and focuses on various genres. The course aims to prepare students for high school, focusing on reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students explore Greek and Roman Mythology, short stories, drama, non-fiction, poetry, and the novel. In addition, their experiences include reading for information, critical thinking, writing skills in expository, poetic, creative, journal entries, and artistic expression through numerous hands-on and oral presentations. 
 
Credit: 1
Grade: 9 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0


Grade 10

600121- English 10 British Literature (H)

In this course, students explore British literature through readings of the various British time periods and selections of works from British authors. Students study how the time period in which the author lived is reflected in the works he or she produced and how those works are reflective of the times. Connections are made from the values, morals, themes, and beliefs that are reflected in the literature, to what was happening in the various authors' lives and times. The emphasis is then placed on a thoughtful engagement with, and response to, the content of the works and how students are able to relate to them. Throughout the year, students respond to the varying pieces of literature through essays, projects, quizzes, visual portrayals, creative writing, and Socratic Seminars. Students also complete a book review of an independently read novel each semester. Class participation is also an element of the student grade to foster and encourage student involvement. Major works studied are Beowulf  Anglo- Saxon Excerpts, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Arthurian Legend, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and various excerpts from differing time periods in the English textbook.

Prerequisite: Reading at or above grade level per STAR Assessment and an average of 80 or better per semester in 9th grade Honors English

Credit: 1
Grade: 10 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.05

600122- English 10 British Literature (CP)

In this course, students explore British literature through various times periods and read selections from various British authors. Students study how the time period in which the author lived is reflected in the works he or she produced and how those works are reflective of the times. Connections are made from the values, morals, themes, and beliefs that are reflected in the literature, to what was happening in the various authors' lives and times. The emphasis is then placed on a thoughtful engagement with, and response to, the content of the works and how students are able to relate to them. Throughout the year, students respond to the varying pieces of literature through essays, projects, quizzes, visual portrayals, creative writing, and Socratic Seminars. Class participation is also an element of the student grade to foster and encourage student involvement. Major works studied are Beowulf  Anglo- Saxon Excerpts, The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Arthurian Legend, The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, and various excerpts from different time periods in the English textbook.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 9 English 

Credit: 1
Grade: 10 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0


Grade 11

600131- English 11 American Literature (H)

This fast-paced course exposes students to the work of American authors, including their novels, poetry, short stories, and drama. Areas of inquiry include rhetoric, Romanticism, the American dream, and the individual and society. Students draft, revise, and edit compositions each quarter. Students are expected to participate in discussions, contribute to group activities, work independently, and synthesize information from a variety of sources. Key texts include Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, and A Raisin in the Sun as well as short stories, essays, and poems by major American authors.

Prerequisite: Reading at or above grade level per STAR Assessment and an average of 80 or better per semester in 10th grade Honors English

Credit: 1
Grade: 11 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.05

600132 - English 11 American Literature (CP)

This course introduces students to the work of American authors, including their novels, poetry, short stories, and drama. Areas of inquiry include rhetoric, Romanticism, the American dream, and the individual and society. Students draft, revise, and edit compositions each quarter. Students are expected to participate in discussions, contribute to group activities, work independently, and synthesize information from a variety of sources. Key texts include Huckleberry FinnThe Scarlet LetterThe Great Gatsby, and A Raisin in the Sun as well as short stories, essays, and poems by major American authors.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 10 English

Credit: 1
Grade: 11 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0


Grade 12

600141- English 12 World Literature (Honors)- (UConn ECE Course)

English 1011 introduces students to different modes and approaches to composition and aims to make students aware of, and respond to, a variety of rhetorical situations. Students complete four-to-six major composition projects over the course of the semester, in addition to shorter scaffolding and workshop assignments. The course also places major emphasis on revision: there are separate due dates for drafts; in writing groups students workshop papers with peers and/or individual conferences with the instructor. This means that a major focus for writing is the process. As part of the development in writing, students compose several papers of varying lengths. Readings include classical and contemporary world literature from European, Latin American, African, and Pacific cultures. 

 Students are required to:
• Submit several five-to seven-page essays throughout the year.
• Take an active role in class discussions and activities.
• Keep a reading journal.
• Draft, revise, and edit writing.
• Confer with the instructor and peers during the writing process.
• Conduct research.
• Complete a final exam.
• Use MLA conventions.

Prerequisite: Reading at or above grade level per STAR Assessment and an average of 80 or better per semester in 11th grade Honors English

Credit: 1
Grade: 12 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.1

600142- English 12 World Literature (College Prep)

This two-semester course prepares students for the college classroom and other post-secondary experiences in which sound reading and writing skills, clear self-expression, critical judgment, a respect for the world of ideas, creativity, and personal initiative and responsibility are essential for success. The emphasis is on a thoughtful engagement with, and response to, a wide array of literary works, including film.Over the course of the year, students prepare a large body of written work. Works studied include a selection of works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, and film from world authors. 

Prerequisite: Successful completion of Grade 11 English 

Credit: 1
Grade: 12 
Length: 1 year
Weight: 1.0


English Department Electives

600152 - Advanced Creative Writing 

Advanced Creative Writing is designed for students who are passionate about writing. During semester one, students learn the foundations of novel development and write a novel of their own. In semester two, students work on a project of their choice, whether that be a sequel to their semester one novel, a play, a short story, a nonfiction piece, poetry, or a different proposal. Students are also required to submit one of their pieces to the Shoreline Writing Contest.

Prerequisite: Writing Workshop

Credit: ½
Grades: 10 through 12 
Length: 1 Year
Weight: 1.0

600153- Shakespeare

This half-credit course will take a look at Shakespeare and his plays. Selections will be based thematically and differ from those in the previous year’s syllabus to enable students to take the course two years in a row! Classes will discuss plot, characters, and major themes.
Requirements: Students will be expected to participate in discussions, read aloud, act out scenes, create projects, and discuss plot, theme, and characters. 
Prerequisite: None 

Credit: ½
Grades: 9 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester 
Weight: 1.0

601044- Introduction to Theatre

This course is for the student interested in learning more about the theater both on stage and off. This hands-on class will allow students to experiment with acting, directing, makeup and costuming. No prior stage experience is necessary.

Prerequisite: None 

Credit: ½
Grades: 9 through 12  
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

601065- Advanced Theatre 

This course is geared toward juniors and seniors who are serious about theatre. The course will explore the principles of acting through improvisation, exercises, and character analysis. This hands-on class involves scene study, acting and directing with peers, guided discussions of performances, small group and large group activities, written and creative assignments, and how to prepare for an audition.

Prerequisite: Intro to Theatre or by instructor’s approval 

Credit: ½
Grades: 11 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

601067 - Improvisational Comedy

This course will introduce students to the foundations of improv – a form of theatre in which scenes are created on the spot. Techniques such as "Yes, and..." will be honed through popular games and scene work. The course will culminate in an open showcasing of the students’ skills.

Prerequisite: None

Credit: ½
Grades: 9 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

60353- Existentialist Literature

This course will explore some of the most important writings in the history of Western culture, from classics such as Plato's Republic to Pascal's meditations on religion and the existentialist masterpieces of Sartre, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and Tolstoy. What is right? What gives human life its value? How do we know what we know? In this course, we will read and discuss what some of the greatest thinkers and writers in history have had to say on these themes.

Prerequisite: Writing Workshop

Credit: ½ 
Grades: 11 - 12
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

60356- Poetry

Students will read poems from a broad variety of authors, cultures, and time periods. They will become familiar with the technical language of poetic form and analysis. They will write poems that explore a variety of themes, both classic and novel.  Throughout it all, the course will be driven by discussion of the elusive question: “What, exactly, makes a poem a poem?”

Prerequisite: None 

Credit: ½
Grades: 10 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

 600097 - SAT Prep Mathematics/Verbal
This half-year class is offered semester one or two. It is designed to better prepare students for the Mathematics and Verbal sections of the SAT. With respect to the Mathematics section, topics from Algebra, Geometry, Algebra II, and Statistics will be reviewed and practiced. This course will also include a discussion of the effective use of a graphing calculator. Much time will be devoted to practice problems similar to those on the SAT. With respect to the Verbal section, this course will focus first on reading questions and then on sentence improvement questions.. This course will familiarize students with every type of question on the SAT, teach the most effective test-taking strategies, point out patterns in test questions, and provide helpful tips to increase students’ confidence on the SAT.

Prerequisite: None
Credits: 0.5
Grades: 11
Length: 0.5 year
Weight: Pass/Fail

600160- Edgar Allan Poe Course

This course is an exploration of the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. Students will be reading and examining a considerable amount of his work while gaining insight into his motivation behind his writings. To begin, students will look into the circumstances surrounding Poe’s mysterious death. As the semester progresses, this course will incorporate reading, writing, research, and creative projects.

Prerequisite: None 

Credit: ½
Grades: 9 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

600161- Mythology Beyond the Greeks

This semester one course will cover myths and legends spanning the globe and moving through time beyond freshman mythological studies of the ancient Greek stories and other cultural creation myths.  Each quarter will cover a different culture’s myths and legends beginning in Ancient Egypt in quarter one.  Quarter two will travel north to investigate the Norsemen and their myths.  This course will meet every day throughout the first semester and incorporate research, reading, writing, projects and Socratic seminars in each marking period.  Freshman English is a prerequisite. 

Prerequisite: Freshman English  

Credit: ½
Grades: 10 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

600163 - Mythology Too!!

This semester two course will cover myths and legends spanning the globe and moving through time beyond freshman mythological studies of the ancient Greek stories and other cultural creation myths.  Quarter three will move west to explore Native American legend and lore then south to discover the Mayan mythology.  The course will complete its world travels by wrapping up with a study in Asian legends in quarter four.  This course will meet every day throughout the second semester and incorporate research, reading, writing, projects and Socratic seminars in each marking period.  Freshman English is a prerequisite.  

Prerequisite: Freshman English

Credit: ½
Grades: 10 through 12 
Length: 1 Semester
Weight: 1.0

600162- Reading Workshop

Do you love to read but can't find the time? Reading Workshop provides a scheduled, regular reading environment for students to pursue high-interest reading– and get credit for it! This class has a component of differentiated independent reading and collaboration designed to provide students with reading tips and strategies. 

Prerequisite: Open to all students. Required for certain students based on teacher recommendation. 

Credit: ½
Grades: 9 through 12 
Length: 1 year - every other day
Weight: Pass/Fail