• English/Language Arts
     
    Overview: 
     
    High School
    The goal of the English program at Hershey High School is to develop students who are both effective communicators and critical consumers of a variety of texts to prepare them for success in our increasingly complex, information-driven society. Over the course of four years, students will acquire and refine specific skills and strategies in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

    Derry Township School District requires that students complete four and a quarter (4.25) credits of English to fulfill graduation requirements.
     
    In ninth grade, students are required to take a year-long, one-credit English course. There are three academic placement levels, including fundamental, college preparatory and honors.
     
    In tenth grade, students again are required to take a year-long, one-credit English course. There are three academic placement levels, including fundamental, college preparatory and honors. In addition, students must also complete Academic Literacy, a semester-long course meeting every other day, for one quarter credit.
     
    During the eleventh grade year, students have a variety of options, depending on academic level. The fundamental English 11 course is a full-year, one-credit course. At the college preparatory level, students choose two semester-long, half-credit courses from various thematic concentrations; however, despite the different content, all of these courses help students develop the same skills. The courses include Great Books, Media Studies, Hero’s Journey and Multicultural Literature. More advanced students who are ready for college-level work may take AP English Language and Composition, a year-long, one-credit course.

    The twelfth grade year is structured similarly to the eleventh grade year. The fundamental English 12 students take two semester-long, half-credit courses: Communications and Contemporary Literature. At the college preparatory level, students choose two semester-long, half-credit courses from options including Creative Nonfiction, Film Studies, Words that Change the World, and Science Fiction Literature. Advanced students may take AP English Literature and Composition, a year-long, one-credit course.
     
    The English Department also offers a variety of electives to allow students to explore a variety of interests, including Journalism, Speech and Debate, Theatre Arts, and Creative Writing.
     
    Middle School
     

    The goal of the English Language Arts department at Hershey Middle School is to develop critical thinkers, effective communicators, analytical readers, and informed consumers of media,

    In eighth grade English Language Arts, students are provided with opportunities and resources to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.  These skills are essential to a student’s ability to be informed and productive members in our society. Throughout the year, students will read a variety of high-quality fiction and nonfiction texts including but not limited to poetry, mythology, plays, articles, and novels. Classroom instruction will include strategies, techniques, and procedures for helping students develop as readers and writers.  The instruction advocates techniques for students to become analytical readers and effective communicators, and students will have multiple opportunities to practice these techniques throughout the school year. All skills are taught through thematic units; currently the thematic units in eighth grade include Building Bridges; Our Odyssey, Our Journey; and Stirring Up Justice.

    In seventh grade, students use diverse texts to respond critically, interpret messages, and analyze author’s purpose. Beyond learning to use text as evidence to support claims and arguments, students also develop personal reading habits and goals throughout the year as well as participate in literature circles.  Literature circles focus on further exposing students to diverse writers and diverse characters while developing their group discussion skills and use of annotation and text evidence to enhance academic discussion. Writing skills are taught and practiced through the use of mentor texts, mini lessons on both writing strategies and conventions, and peer editing.
    Process, collaboration, and authentic experiences are emphasized throughout each unit.  Seventh grade units include “Your Heroes, Your Imagination”, “Your Relationships, Your Connections”, “Your World, Your Future”, and Your Voice, Your Power."

    In sixth grade English Language Arts, students are provided with opportunities and resources to develop their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. The year is split into three units: fiction, nonfiction, and research. Students are taught a variety of reading strategies and skills. The units also include five different types of writing: narrative, informational, argumentative, text dependent analysis, and research. All reading and writing strategies and skills are taught through direct instruction, guided practice, and independent practice. Students are then assessed formatively and differentiation groups are used based on formative assessment scores. Students are then assessed summatively.