English Department

Through the literature and writing courses offered within the English Department, students will:

  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of literature
  • Compare the values found in literature to basic Christian values
  • Discover and understand the correlation between situations in
    literature and in life
  • Become sensitive to and aware of cultural biases and prejudice
  • Learn the various literary terms and techniques through a 4-year sequential plan
  • Experience a variety of opportunities to express themselves orally
  • Experience a variety of written assignments ranging from the most subjective to the most objective
  • Be encouraged to express their ideas with clarity and mechanical correctness in both their written and oral communication
  • Experience the composition process of pre-writing, writing, and post-writing
  • Learn how this language is organized and structured through the sequential study and the rules of grammar and proper usage
  • Improve vocabulary and spelling skills both systematically and sequentially
  • Develop various study skills
  • Learn and apply various library reference skills.


  • English I
  • English II
  • College and Career Writing
  • American Literature
  • Modern Literature
  • Dramatic Literature
  • Social Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • AP English Literature
  • Journalism
  • Yearbook
  • Academic Decathlon

English Teachers

Stories from English classes

NaNo Shield

Students take on NaNoWriMo

The month of November is the time of NaNoWriMo, which means National Novel Writing Month. During November, if someone takes on the challenge of NaNoWriMo they try to write 50,000 words in the span of 30 days.

Course Descriptions

ENGLISH I – 9 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

English I students will study punctuation, composition, and literature. Students will have the opportunity to choose from a selection of books offered for literature discussions. Students will also engage in the study of poetry and the play Romeo and Juliet. An intense study of writing occurs this year which includes the utilization of the six traits of writing. All students will go through the writing process as they prepare a five-paragraph essay, compare and contrast paper, and an MLA research paper.

ENGLISH II – 10 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

English II revolves around an anthology with a literary analysis approach concentrating on short stories, non-fiction, poetry, drama including “I Never Sang For My Father” & Julius Caesar, legends, and the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Grammar and writing skills are emphasized throughout both semesters using the literary studies as a basis. To encourage diversified reading and critical reading, students participate in two book clubs each year. There are multiple writing experiences each semester.

COLLEGE AND CAREER WRITING – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This practical course is designed to offer students the opportunity to explore future careers and the writing that takes place within those careers. Students will conduct career research and mock interviews, read a non-fiction book and prepare a book review, and write an APA argumentativeresearch paper. They will receive coaching on the writing that is part of the college application process, including preparing an academic resume,and writing high-quality essays for scholarship applications. This course will offer multiple opportunities for students to prepare for the researchbased writing that is expected in college. Throughout the course, minilessons will be presented that assist in preparing for the ACT exam.

AMERICAN LITERATURE SEMESTER 1 and 2 – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course may be taken all year for ten credits or either semester for five credits. The class offers a chronological survey of major American literary movements from the pre-colonial period to the 20th Century. Students will examine the connections between American history and the literature produced during each period. The class will read The Scarlet Letter, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath and various short stories, poems, and non-fiction pieces. During second semester students will write a literary analysis essay. At least one semester of American Literature must be taken to pursue AP English Literature.

MODERN LITERATURE SEMESTER 1 and 2 – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course may be taken all year for ten credits or one semester for five credits. Modern Literature offers a varied course of study. Emphasis is placed on modern classic novels, reading response, and development of critical thinking skills. Students will also have writing experiences based on the literature they read. Students will cover four to five novels per semester, short stories, and poetry. Class is based on lecture/discussion format. Daily reading assignments, oral presentations, and class participation are required. There is at least one major writing assignment per semester.

DRAMATIC LITERATURE – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course will include the study of a full range of plays from Ancient Greece to the present. Elements such as plot, character, structure, setting, lighting and costuming will be the basis for discussion and analysis. Writing requirements will include a theatrical review, reaction papers, and a one-act play. Students will be required to attend two (2) theatrical events, one of which will be the semester school play. There is at least one major writing assignment per semester.

SOCIAL LITERATURE SEMESTER 1 and 2 – 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course may be taken all year for ten credits or either semester for five credits. Social Literature allows students to become more aware of current social problems through the study of fiction and biography. Units attempt to raise the student’s awareness in the areas of ethnicity, cultures, politics, the future, the aged, women’s issues and mental health. Four or five books are covered each semester. Discussion, quizzes, daily reading assignments and several paper assignments are required. There is at least one major writing assignment per semester.

CREATIVE WRITING – 11, 12 – (Sem. – 5 credits)

This course aims to help students refine their writing and critical thinking skills, while providing an opportunity to learn literary techniques that will enhance their natural creativity. Students will write in a variety of genres, and will be graded on the Six Traits of Good Writing, a nationally accepted standard for writing, as well as tenets specific to each genre.

AP ENGLISH LITERATURE – 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

This course is designed to mimic the rigor and style of a college level English course. It is organized around the theme of The Other, using various critical lenses such as Postcolonialism, Gender, Historical, Futuristic, etc. to examine the ways in which Otherness and privilege are prominent in both literature and society and are impacted over the course of time. This class explores various authors from the 18thcentury to the early 21stcentury,with authors including Achebe, Miller, Wiesel, Austen, Shakespeare, O’Brien, and Huxley. Poetry, short stories, and non-fiction documents are incorporated into each unit with a novel or play as the central text. One independent choice novel is also read each semester. AP test prep will be incorporated into the class for those wishing to take the exam in May.As preparation for the rigor of AP English Literature, students will have a summer reading requirement of two novels analyzed through an essay. During the semester, daily reading assignments, class participation, analytical papers, and a multi-genre project are required elements of this course.In order to take the AP exam, students must enroll in both semesters.

JOURNALISM – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

Students in Journalism will be responsible for regularly publishing the Pius X-Change, Pius’ official student publication. Students will choose newsworthy materials, interview people, write and edit stories, take and print photographs and layout the newspaper. Students are also responsible for raising funds through advertising sales. Students with strong writing skills, photographic skills or artistic a bilities are encouraged to apply. This is a year-long course, but qualified students may be able to sign up at semester. Two years of Journalism can satisfy one semester of English credit, or may be used as an elective for graduation.

YEARBOOK – 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

Teacher Permission

Students in the Yearbook class will be responsible for putting together the yearbook for Pius. Work will include creating a visual and written record that reflects the nature of our school. Students will design individual pages and will be required to attend extra-curricular events to take photographs. The course requires students to be self-motivated and have an ability to work well with others, especially in pressure situations. Course work in Journalism, Graphic Design and Photography is highly recommended. Students registered for these courses or students with strong interests in these areas are encouraged to apply. This class does not fulfill the English credit requirement, but may be used as an elective for graduation. Students are accepted through application to the instructor.

ACADEMIC DECATHLON – 9, 10, 11, 12 – (Yr. – 10 credits)

Academic Decathlon is an accelerated and intensive year-long course of study in science, social studies, math, English (literature, critical reading, and writing), art, music, speech and economics. A new theme focuses the study each year, so a student may take this course more than once. Students are encouraged to participate in at least one scrimmage the first semester. A select group of twelve students will compete in Regional, and if successful, State, and possibly National Competitions. Because students in Academic Decathlon must come from three academic levels (A, B, and C or below) as determined by selected portions of their GPA, students of varying ability and grade will be in class together. Grading standards for this course are adjusted for grade and ability. Summer reading is encouraged.

English Department