The English Department of Plano West Senior High School works to achieve the Plano ISD vision statement to empower our students to proactively adapt to new learning opportunities throughout their lives, collaborate with and contribute to the global community, and be both creative and disciplined in their thinking. Each level’s calendars and assignments may be accessed through mypisd.net
Jan Heck (Team Leader), Valerie Reidling, Rick Hardison, Mark Holladay
This course continues emphasis on composition skills and literary analysis through a focus on the American Experience. Fall semester will be a study of the American scene as a quest for independence. Spring semester will be a study of America’s move in new directions. Study will include the exploration of English as a developing and changing language. Students will be studying the development of American Literature and important American authors. All literary study is supported by composition. Students will also be engaged in writing narrative essays and a research paper.
English III Honors
Melissa Collett (Team Leader), Rafe McCain, Valerie Reidling, Cynthia Mitchell, Olivia Tanksley, Mark Holladay
This course is designed for students with an honors background or above average ability in on-level English II. Reading requirements surpass those in on-level English III and demand insightful analysis. This instruction provides the student with sophisticated techniques for success in writing on a college level. This course, in conjunction with English Honors IV, prepares students to take the AP exam.
English III AP
Judith Elliott (Team Leader), Melissa Collett, Staci Cook
This course is designed for the serious student of English who works, reads, and writes at the college level, or is willing to do so. This course will prepare students to take the College Board’s Advanced Placement English Language and Composition exam in the spring in order to receive college credit. The AP English Language exam demands the ability to both read and write closely and analytically at the college level. Nonfiction and fiction, American literature and rhetoric, Aristotle through contemporary writers are examples of readings covered in this course. We strongly support the College Board’s philosophy that reading in an AP course should be both wide and deep. It is recommended that students have an Honors English II background coming in to English III AP.
Cherie Smith (Team Leader), Olivia Tanksley, Kristen Lazard, Kelly Brennan
Students will discover ways to change the world through a critical approach to reading and writing as they connect the meanings of texts across cultures and time. Student’s independent thinking will be fostered through logical and insightful analysis, interactions with literature and visual texts, and reading and writing. English IV curriculum will focus on the philosophy of the reading and writing workshop. The writing workshop will provide students with a substantial amount of time to create new writing, to revise pieces already begun, and to find an audience for their work. The reading workshop enables students to become lifelong readers by combining the study of the required classic literature with self selected reading that builds their readings. English IV prepares students for life after high school whether it be college or the work force.
English IV Honors
Staci Cook (Team Leader),Cherie Smith, Rafe McCain, Kelly Brennan, Katherine Johnson
This course is designed for students with an honors background who are planning to enter a four year university upon high school graduation. Students must be willing to complete numerous independent outside reading assignments that include fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. There is a heavy emphasis on writing that requires both critical and rhetorical analysis. Students often work collaboratively in groups on major assignments. This course, in conjunction with English III Honors, prepares the students to take the AP Language and Composition exam.
English IV AP
Celine Gomez (Team Leader), Olivia Tanksley, Kristen Lazard, Judith Elliott
Advanced Placement English IV is designed for the above-average, motivated, college-bound student. The course of study concentrates on British literature in its chronological development but is supplemented by selections from other European authors. Since one of the objectives of the class is to prepare the student to earn college credit through the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition Examination in May, we emphasize writing about literature by analyzing themes and stylistic and rhetorical devices of selected works by a diversity of authors.
This course is designed to help the college-bound reader gain vocabulary growth and increase critical reading and thinking skills. These skills will be practiced and applied on the higher levels demanded by the SAT and other college entrance examinations. Students will have several opportunities to prepare for the SAT though college board online school practice sessions. Students will also develop reading comprehension skills through novel studies.
This course is an elective course on the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and the New Testament which teaches knowledge of Biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that impact understanding of contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, and public policy. The course follows federal and state laws and guidelines in maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views and perspectives of students.
Students will be introduced to a variety of genre writing and challenged to use language in bold and imaginative ways. Students will be encouraged to engage in self-exploration and experiment with self-expression. Journal writing, quick writes, and pass-around stories are some of the modalities used in class. Creation of an anthology is the culminating activity for this class
World of Ideas
Kristi Robinson, Megan Adams
The focus of the World of Ideas class is on philosophy, music, film, leadership, social ideas, and literature. Students experience advanced critical thinking skills; problem-solving; creative interpretation and expression; advanced oral, written and visual presentation skills; self-directed study; and advanced research and expository writing skills.
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