Freshman Curriculum

St. Francis Prep English Department Curriculum

Freshman English 

This course presents a study of high school language-arts.  The curriculum builds on the reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills which the students studied in their grammar, junior high, middle, and intermediate schools.  The major areas of concentration include introduction to literary genre and analysis, grammar and composition, vocabulary, and study skills.  


 - Introduction to Literary Genre

 - Textbooks Pearson Common Core Literature Grade 9 e-text

 - Night by Elie Wiesel

 - Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

 - A Shakespearean play: Romeo and Juliet or Othello

 - Selections from The Odyssey contained in textbook

 Either - To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

              - Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison

              - The Human Comedy  - William Saroyan

              - The House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros

 - An additional novel/play of the teacher’s choice, approved by the chairperson.

 - Common Core Readings


A significant selection of short stories that use literary devices which will give the students the foundation in reading prose fiction including: “The Most Dangerous Game,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Necklace.


Poems that employ poetic devices which will give the students the foundation in reading verse, including “The Road Not Taken,” “Stopping By Woods on Snowy Evening,” “The Raven,” 2 Shakespearean Sonnets, “To a Mouse,” “Mother to Son,” and “Dream Deferred.”


Literary Terms/Poetic Devices:

            allegory, alliteration, allusion, antagonist, aside, assonance, blank verse, character (dynamic/developing, static) and characterization, climax, conflict, consonance, denouement, dialect, diction, dramatic irony, end rhyme, epic, figurative language (simile, metaphor, extended/sustained metaphor, onomatopoeia, oxymoron, hyperbole, personification), flashback, foreshadowing, free verse, iambic pentameter, imagery, irony, meter, narration, narrator, plot, point of view, protagonist, rhyme, rhyme scheme, setting, stanza, suspense, symbol, theme, tone.



Formal instruction in grammar rules and usage. The curriculum covers the following topics: consistency of tense, fragments, forms of sentences (simple, compound, complex, compound-complex), clear pronoun antecedent, apostrophes, run-on sentences, active and passive voice, agreement in number of pronoun and antecedent, singular verb with singular indefinite pronoun, prepositional phrases, pronoun case.  Every freshman takes grammar assessment exams.

Formal instruction in essay writing.  Students begin formal instruction in the literary essay.  By the end of freshman year, students have practiced and mastered the five paragraph essay.  The writing curriculum covers the following: paragraph and essay structure, transitions between paragraphs, using appropriate diction, tone, proofreading, topic sentences in body paragraphs, adhering closely to a topic, supporting a position, writing for a particular audience. 

As upperclassmen, students  will sit for the PSAT and SAT.  English teachers are committed to giving freshmen the foundation skills in reading comprehension, grammar, and essay writing which the students need to produce excellent results on these college entrance examinations. 


Study Skills

Presentation of basic skills: academic responsibility, note-taking, outlining, studying, reading comprehension, time management. In particular, the English department has committed to emphasizing the following as part of the school-wide freshman study skills curriculum: reading a short story, writing a paragraph, learning and studying vocabulary. 



Completion of the words in the vocabulary e-text Level D.  Freshmen must understand the importance of vocabulary development in taking the Critical Reading sections of the PSAT and SAT.