Our vision is to connect, engage, and inspire all students in the Ayer Shirley Regional School District to reach academic excellence. We, the educators of the Ayer Shirley Regional School District, will instill habits of reflection and inquiry to challenge our students in setting ambitious academic and personal goals. Students will develop a strong voice to express thoughts and ideas in the community and the confidence to showcase their talents and successes in preparation for entry into college and the world of work. 

 

English Department

Students are required to take four years of English. Effective writing, speaking, and critical reading skills are essential to the future success of our students. The English Department provides students with a multitude of opportunities to demonstrate these all-important skills via a variety of courses that support the development of stated skills while allowing students to explore classes of diverse interests.

 

Courses require students to demonstrate analytical and higher order thinking in regards to literature, but additionally, real-life scenarios. Students are required to take Humanities I as freshmen and then Humanities II as sophomores, after which their course of study can change.

 

Along with the core courses that the department offers, students are also able to take a variety of electives that allow for them to explore diverse cultures through literature, look more in depth into various Shakespearean plays, or even explore how fairy tales have changed over time and through different cultures. Please see the Program of Studies for more information. 

 

Required Courses
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1111 HUMANITIES I H (ENGLISH/SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 9
This required course presents the political, behavioral, and intellectual foundations of society through an integrated study of American literature and Amerivan history, covering the years 1763-1877. Students will learn the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities I course listed under the Social Studies offerings.) This honors program is a more in-depth analysis of topics presented. More readings, papers, and projects will be expected of students. Students are expected to have earned a minimum score of proficient on the 7th grade ELA MCAS test.

 

1112 HUMANITIES I CP (ENGLISH/SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 9
This required course presents the political, behavioral, and intellectual foundations of society through an integrated study of American literature and Amerivan history, covering the years 1763-1877. Students will learn the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities I course listed under the Social Studies offerings.)

 

1125 INTRODUCTION TO COLLEGE AND CAREER WRITING (SEMESTER) Grade 9

The goal of this course is to engage students in all parts of the writing process from pre-writing to final draft. Students will be provided with practice in responding to different kinds of writing prompts including, but not limited to, cause and effect, definition, expository, persuasive, how-to, descriptive, narrative, biographical narrative, and responding to literature - fiction and non-fiction. Through the writing process, students will also be able to refresh/review their knowledge of the basic parts of speech, sentence structure, and mechanics.

 

1113 HUMANITIES II H (ENGLISH/SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 10
This required course presents the political, ethical, behavioral, and intellectual foundations of society through an integrated study of American literature and American history, covering the years 1877 to present. Students will learn the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities II course listed under the Social Studies offerings.) This honors program is a more in-depth analysis of topics presented. More reading, papers, and projects will be expected of students.

 

1114 HUMANITIES II CP (ENGLISH/SOCIAL STUDIES) (YEAR) Grade 10
This required course presents the political, ethical, behavioral, and intellectual foundations of society through an integrated study of American literature and American history, covering the years 1877 to present. Students will learn the relationship between ideas and events and relate them to the present within the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (This course is an integrated course taken in the same block with the Humanities II course listed under the Social Studies offerings.)

 

1140 AMERICAN LITERATURE H (SEMESTER) Grade 11
This required course will present the various genres of American literature from early colonial times to the present day in the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Research techniques are taught and a reearch project is requires. PSAT and SAT preparation is given. The honors program is a more in-depth analysis of topics presented. More reading, papers, and projects will be expected of students.

 

1142 AMERICAN LITERATURE CP (SEMESTER) Grade 11
This required course will present the various genres of American literature from early colonial times to the present day in the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Research techniques are taught and a reearch project is requires. PSAT and SAT preparation is given.

 

1150 WORLD LITERATURE H (SEMESTER) Grade 12
This required course will present the various genres of world literature, with a strong concentration in British literature, in the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Preparation for the SAT's and collge application essays is given. More reading, papers, and projects will be expected of students.

 

1152 WORLD LITERATURE CP(SEMESTER) Grade 12
This required course will present the various genres of world literature, with a strong concentration in British literature, in the context of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Preparation for the SAT's and collge application essays is given.

 

 

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English Department Electives
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1149 ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH (SEMESTER) Grade 12
Following the guideline established by the College Entrance Exam Board, this class
will be a freshman college level World Literature and Composition course. It is open
to seniors on the basis of ability, interest and motivation. The course will not only
cover the same materials as the Honors World Literature class, but additional literary
selections each demanding critical, rigorous reading and critical analysis. Students
are strongly encouraged to take the Advanced Placement Exam in May. Prerequisite:
World Lit I H

 

1115 HEROES AND VILLAINS CP (QUARTER) 10-12

In this elective course, students will read literature and watch movies and documentaries that will contribute to the discussion: what makes a good hero or villain? Characterization of such classic villains as Shakespeare's Iago will be compared and contrasted to modern villains like Hannibal Lecter. Ancient Achilles will be measured with recent heroes such as Batman and Erin Brokovich. Students will also engage in creative writing pieces in which they shape their own villains and heroes. A discussion of why mankind has an enduring need for heroic figures and their counterpart, the villains, will be the essential question for this course.

 

1160 CREATIVE WRITING CP (SEMESTER) 10-12

This elective course will provide students the opportunity to write and expand their
writing repertoire by having them experiment with different forms and purposes of
writing. The course will provide opportunities for students to publish their work. The
class will produce a literary magazine. (Prerequisite: teacher recommendation.)

 

1164 CHILDREN'S LITERATURE/READING PARTNERSHIPS CP (SEMESTER) 10-12
This elective course is designed to focus on reading children’s literature from infancy
to grade 4. Emphasis is placed on developing knowledge of materials available and
on acquiring the importance that reading aloud plays in the role of child development.
Connections are made with the youth library and other educational facilities in order
to provide opportunities to read aloud.

 

1165 BUSINESS WRITING CP (SEMESTER) 11-12
This course will focus on preparing students for writing in the business world. Topics
covered will include resumes, cover letters, and writing effective letters, memos and
emails. Students will be guided through the process of effective written
communications for business purposes.

 

1166 SHORT STORIES (SEMESTER) 11-12
This is an introduction to literature through various short stories written in the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This survey of the short story genre will explore
Realism, Detective Fiction, Sensation, and Gothic and will explain some essential
elements of each. Students will read stories written by Poe, King, Jackson, Twain,
James, Kipling, Lawrence, Woolf, Mansfield, Faulkner, Checkov, Shaw and others.

 

1167 PUBLIC SPEAKING AND COMMUNICATIONS CP (SEMESTER) 9-12
This elective provides students with an opportunity to improve their speaking and
listening skills. This course will help students expand their inter-personal
communication skills and develop their personal awareness and confidence.
Emphasis will be placed on audience analysis, research, organization, preparation,
and effective use of language and delivery for various types of speeches and
communications.

 

1168 CREATIVE POETRY CP (SEMESTER) 10-12

This elective course is offered during alternating (even numbered) years and challenges students to look deeper within themselves, the natural world and the world their imagination can create. Throughout creative poetry students will look at various forms of poetry written by a number of well-known poets from the 1600’s to the present. Every week or two a different form of poetry will be introduced, in which students will discover the history of various forms of poetry as well as important, influential poets. Various poetic forms and how they have changed throughout time will also be analyzed. During this course students will read and analyze various poems, as well as write poetry.

 

1169 SCENE STUDY CP (SEMESTER) 10-12

This elective course is offered during alternating (odd numbered) years and is a combined theater and English class where students will be exposed to a stimulating range of playwrights from the last hundred years, an assortment of acting techniques and philosophies, the rigor of textual analysis for performance, and will experience the empowering and challenging process that is performing in front of their peers and the community. Students will read selections from (as well as some full works) Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Sarah Ruhl, Oscar Wilde, Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as others, depending on their group assignments.

 

1277 OTHER VOICES CP (SEMESTER) 10-12

This elective course is offered during alternating (odd numbered) years and introduces students to an alternative view of literature. Students read African-American, Latina-American, Native-American, and AsianAmerican authors and immerse themselves in these cultures through the study of film, non-fiction, art, food, and music.

 

1279 INTRODUCTION TO GERMAN CULTURE CP (SEMESTER) 10-12

This elective course is offered during alternating (even numbered) years and introduces students to rudimentary conversational German, as well as basic German geography, philosophy, literature, and art. Students are exposed to contemporary German films, music, magazines, and cultural practices. JOURNALISM CRS 1624 GR 10-12 CR 2.5 S This elective course is offered during alternating (odd numbered) years and is designed to teach students the basic skills needed to write for publication. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the whole communication process and demonstrating how writers use words to convey ideas and impressions, as well as facts. Students will put their journalistic skills to practical use by producing a school newspaper. SCENE STUDY CRS 1169 GR 10 – 12 CR 2.5 S This elective course is offered during alternating (odd numbered) years and is a combined theater and English class where students will be exposed to a stimulating range of playwrights from the last hundred years, an assortment of acting techniques and philosophies, the rigor of textual analysis for performance, and will experience the empowering and challenging process that is performing in front of their peers and the community. Students will read selections from (as well as some full works) Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Sam Shepard, David M

 

1624 JOURNALISM (SEMESTER) 10-12
This elective course is designed to teach students the basic skills needed to write for
publication. Emphasis will be placed on developing an understanding of the whole
communication process and demonstrating how writers use words to convey ideas
and impressions, as well as facts. Class members will put their journalistic skills to
practical use by producing a school newspaper.

 

 

 

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141 Washington Street | Phone: 978-772-8600
1 Hospital Rd | Phone: (978) 772-8600
115 Washington Street | Phone: (978) 772-8600
34 Lancaster Road | Phone: (978) 772-8600