English III: American Literature Grade 11
The English III: American Literature course is divided into two semesters--the first semester concentrates on American literature before 1900; the second semester focuses on twentieth century literature. Beginning with Bradstreet, the first American poet, and some other early American writers, including Irving and Franklin, the course examines the beginnings of American literature. The students go on to read and discuss the transcendentalists and the American romantics, including Melville, Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter), Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Dickinson, and Whitman. Kate Chopin's The Awakening will be an important text as well.
The second semester focuses on literature in the twentieth century. The class looks at various writers from the Harlem Renaissance, including Hughes, Cullen, and Hurston. The students will also read and do a project on Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Some of the other authors they will read and discuss during the short story units include Cather, Perkins Gilman, Glaspell, Hemingway, and Faulkner. They will also read Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. In addition, students will study a wide range of poets throughout the year, leading to independent poetry projects based on a 20th-century poet of the student's choice.
As they study these works, students will read analytically, concentrating on the elements of structure, plot, tone, characterization, point of view, setting, and literary technique. They will also connect the literature to their own lives and see how writing helps us understand ourselves and the world around us. A significant part of this year will be working on honing reading and writing skills. Students will be writing many analytical pieces throughout the year in order to improve these particular skills.
Although English III at Garrison Forest does not carry the AP designation, its content and level of teaching prepares students for enrollment in AP English in the senior year and for taking the AP English Language examination at the end of junior year.
English IV AP: Advanced Placement Literature Course Grade 12
This two-semester course is designed to prepare students for the A.P. Literature and Composition exam with emphasis on close reading and analytical writing. Our study of the selected texts will require rigorous analysis of poetry, prose, and drama. The first semester will focus on the Greek tragedies Oedipus Rex and Antigone by Sophocles, and the Renaissance drama Hamlet, by Shakespeare. During the year, students will also read A Doll's House by Ibsen, as well as plays by Shaw, Miller, Albee and Wilson. Novels include Pride and Prejudice by Austen, and selections by Dostoevsky, Wharton, Woolf, Achebe, Gutarson and Atwood. The second semester will instensify the skill work necessary for the exam through a genre approach, especially poetry. Throughout the year, students will study both traditional and modern poetry, giving particular attention to the sonnet and to works by Keats, Eliot, Frost, Wilbur, Dickey and Updike. Both semesters will require a demanding variety of critical compositions, extensive and intensive reading, and meaningful participation in the seminar style class sessions.
United States History
A thematic and chronological study from the colonial period to the present, various perspectives are considered in our discussions of the evolution of the United States of America. Concepts such as the importance of civil liberties, individualism, capitalism, frontier spirit, imperialism, conflict and compromise, sectionalism and nativism are examined as students explore the variety of facets of American development. How and why events happened and the importance of their effects are major elements of our focus.
Advanced Placement United States History
Advanced Placement U.S. History is offered to those students who have both the necessary verbal skills and interest in pursuing U.S. History by undertaking the greater work load required for the AP exam. Students who elect AP U.S. History must expect to do more reading, and reading of a more complex nature, as well as more analytical writing, than that required in the other U.S. History sections. Because of the pressure of time and the amount of material to be covered before the AP exam, students should also be aware of the necessity of working independently; class discussion in this course is not designed to explain what students have read but to build upon it.
The focus of this course is the concept and applications of functions. Trigonometry is covered in depth; trigonometric equations and their application; triangle trigonometry; and trigonometric addition formulas. Other pre-calculus topics are polar coordinates and complex numbers and vectors and determinants. The following calculus topics are studied: limits and their properties; differentiation rules; the applications of differentiation.
Advanced Placement Calculus AB
A college-level calculus course covering the basic theory and applications of the derivative and integral.
Advanced Placement Calculus BC
This more advanced college-level calculus course includes, in addition to the topics in the AB course, advanced techniques of integration, infinite series, and calculus with parametric, polar, and vector-valued functions.
Advanced Physics and Lab
Stephen Hawking once said, "My goal is simple. It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all." In this introductory course on Physics, students begin to explore the building blocks of the universe. Through labs and discussion, students tackle the complexities of Newtonian mechanics (kinematics and dynamics); discover how energy is transferred and conserved; observe the properties of light, electricity, and magnetism; and investigate nuclear particle physics.
Students apply these fundamental laws of nature though analytical and problem solving skills with projects such as building bridges, kites, or motors, and computer projects involving motion and acceleration.
Students taking Physics need a background in Algebra and Geometry; Trigonometry is presented and used throughout the course.