Sophomore Curriculum

Sophomore English Curriculum 


The sophomore program continues the introduction to literary genre that is begun in freshman year.  Although much of the literature is drawn from British works, other national texts may be included.


            Textbook: Pearson English Tradition e-text

            Excerpts from Beowulf

            Excerpts from The Canterbury Tales --Geoffrey Chaucer; 

            Optional: excerpts from Morte D’Arthur -Malory, Gawain and the Green Knight the Pearl Poet

            Macbeth --Shakespeare

            A 19th c. British novel: either Frankenstein --Mary Shelley; Dracula --Bram Stoker; Jane Eyre --Charlotte Bronte; Wuthering Heights -Emily Bronte; Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge.

            Lord of the Flies William Golding and/or 1984 George Orwell

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


A significant selection of prose fiction and non-fiction that reinforces the literary terms the students learned in freshman year, including “Araby”, “The Rockinghorse Winner,” “The Train From Rhodesia,” and additional stories of the teacher’s choice.


Poems that emphasize the poetic devices the students learned in freshman year.  These poems         must cover the forms of the sonnet and may include other forms that developed as part of the          English tradition, such as the ode, the ballad, the elegy, and the dramatic monologue including:

- Sonnet Sequence: Poems by Spenser, Sydney, Shakespeare, andMarlowe

- John Donne, “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning, ” “Holy Sonnet 10”

- Blake,“”The Lamb,” “The Tyger, ” “The Chimney Sweeper”

- Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind,” “Ozymandias”

- Byron, “She Walks in Beauty”

- Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

- Wordsworth, “Tintern Abbey,” “The World is Too Much with Us”

- Coleridge“Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

- Browning “My Last Duchess”

- Tennyson ”Ulysses”

- Yeats  “When You Are Old and Grey” “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

            Common Core Readings



Formal instruction in grammar rules and usage. The curriculum covers and reinforces the following topics which the students cover in freshman year: 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 sophomore takes grammar assessment exams.

            In sophomore year, students improve their analytical skills by focusing on the expository essay.  The students come to understand the differences between the literary and non-literary essay and receive formal instruction in the literary essay and focus on improving their skills in writing this type essay. The writing curriculum covers the following: 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. 



            Completion of the words in the vocabulary e-text, Level E.  In addition, students are encouraged to be aware of their responsibility for the vocabulary in the written texts.  Sophomores come to understand the importance of vocabulary development in taking the verbal section of the PSAT and SAT.


Study Skills

Emphasis of basic skills: academic responsibility, note-taking, outlining, studying, reading comprehension, time management. Sophomores sit for the PSAT.  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.