Introduction to Literature and Composition (01356/01357)
Credit: 5 hours
Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, and 12
Prerequisites: None
Graduation Information: Applies toward requirement for Literature and Composition

Students will further develop skills in reading, presenting, literary analysis, writing, and vocabulary acquisition. The class will focus on the novel, short story, drama, poetry, as well as expository and persuasive writing. Texts studied will include Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee), along with a choice of The Kite Runner (Hosseini), Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Márquez), The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie), as well as various articles, short stories, and poems. Students choosing to take honors will be required to read one additional book per month, and write a literary response on it. This course is required for high school graduation.

American Literature
Credit: 5 hours each semester
Grade Levels: 10, 11, and 12
Prerequisites: None
Graduation Information: Applies toward requirement for American Literature

American Literature at DCIS focuses on the “big idea” that literature both reflects and influences culture.  Using novels, plays, essays, primary source historical documents, poetry, and short stories written in the United States as models, students explore the nexus between literary output, cultural values, and historical events.  They can then apply their learning to cultures outside the United States in future language arts classes and in other content areas.

During first semester, the focus is on two ideas that differentiate the literature of the so-called “new world” from its European forbears:  the value of wilderness and the belief in limitless frontiers. Second semester focuses on the American genre of the road novel.

Students also receive instruction in the elements of argument and logic, vocabulary development, research, and academic writing.  Instruction is organized around four major domains:

  • Investigate the World
  • Recognize Perspectives
  • Communicate Ideas
  • Take Action

AP Literature
Credit: 5 hours each semester
Grade Levels: 12
Graduation Information: This course is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Language Arts (gen.)
Prerequisites: British Literature 2X or teacher approval

In the first semester of this two-semester course, students are engaged in the careful reading of literary works. Through such study, students will sharpen their awareness of language and their understanding of the writer’s craft. Students will develop critical standards for the independent appreciation of any literary work. Students will learn to use the modes of discourse and to recognize the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies. Through speaking, listening, and reading, but chiefly through the experiences of their own writing, students will become more aware of the resources of language.

In the second semester of this two-semester course, students are engaged in the careful reading of literary works. Through such study, students will sharpen their awareness of language and their understanding of the writer’s craft. Students will develop critical standards for the independent appreciation of any literary work. Students will learn to use the modes of discourse and to recognize the assumptions underlying various rhetorical strategies. Through speaking, listening, and reading, but chiefly through the experiences of their own writing, students will become more aware of the resources of language.

AP Language & Composition
Credits: 5 per semester
Grade Levels: 11, 12
Graduation Information: This course is applicable toward the graduation requirement for Language Arts (gen.)
Duration: Two Semesters
Prerequisites: American Literature and Composition

AP Language and Composition is a college-level study of how people use language (spoken, written, visual, nonverbal) for various purposes and outcomes. The course explores rhetorical analysis in depth, giving students an understanding of how effective language works and how they can use it in their lives.

Students will read a wide variety of texts, and practice speaking, listening, viewing and creating multimedia, and build written composition skills in preparation for the AP Language and Composition exam in May 2012, and for a lifetime of rhetorical success.

At DCIS, AP Lang is approached from a life skills/college skills angle, with the goal of empowering the student to use rhetoric to make a difference in his/her life and the world. Each concept, assignment and project is contextualized in its authentic application as much as possible, so that students can use rhetorical principles immediately in their lives and in their future studies and careers. Although students are prepared to succeed on the AP Lang exam, the exam itself is but one of the many areas of focus in the course.

DCIS is one of 30+ international studies schools that employs a global competencies framework to measure student learning and readiness for an active role in the global arena. Students are expected to investigate the world, recognize multiple perspectives, communicate effectively and take action to contribute to the local and global community. AP Lang actively employs that framework to develop relevant tasks and assignments that challenge students to grow in these areas.

Technical Writing
Department: Language Arts
Grade Level: 11,12
Course Description:

This is a workshop course in which students produce the school newspaper and yearbook. All students serve as reporters for The Phoenix, our school newspaper, and receive instruction in the techniques of print journalism, editing, and first amendment issues; additionally, they choose an individual area of specialization such as advertising, photography, layout, yearbook design, online publication, or journalistic uses of social media.

Creative Writing (1320/1325)
Credits: 5 per semester
Department: Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 10, 11, and 12
Duration: Two semesters
Prerequisites: Introduction to Literature and Composition
Course Description:

This class will tackle various forms of writing, with particular focus on the short story, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Study and practice will consist of lectures, workshops, self-editing, peer-editing, collaborative inquiry, and directed writing. Students will study and analyze textbook examples of each genre of writing, as well as student work. Collaboration is an essential component of this class; students will share much of their work with their peers, and in turn provide feedback on their peers’ work. Students unwilling to share their own work will find it difficult to succeed in this class.

Over the course of the year, students will build a portfolio of their best work, from which some will be readied for publication in an online literary journal that is produced by the class. The portfolio serves as an end-of-course assessment. This class may be offered for concurrent enrollment through CCD during the 2012/2013 school year.