Senior Options

Beginning in 2002, the English Department created and developed open-enrollment senior courses aligned with the NECAP Grade-Span Expectations. These courses provide senior students with the opportunity to pursue their own interests in language arts, while better preparing them for their college experiences, their career opportunities, and their world community.

Senior Options

Students take one literature and one writing course during their senior year. Each semester, the students are required to write a research paper using MLA format. The following are the courses and texts (not all texts will be required in each section of the course; current instructors may not be teaching the same course next year):

Themes (Literature and Writing) - Not offered in 2014-15
Love. Death. Family. War. Justice. Nature. The Meaning of Life. Those are the big issues that writers throughout the ages have confronted. In this course, you will get to read and discuss what writers of the past fifty years have had to say about these existential issues. (NOTE: This year-long course meets the requirement for both the writing and the literature option.)
All Quiet on the Western Front, Remarque
The Things They Carried, O'Brien
The Killer Angels, Shaara
The Godfather, Puzo
Hamlet, Shakespeare
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain


Multicultural Literature - Ms. Mohan
In this course students will read, discuss, and analyze literature by and about oppressed and marginalized people around the world, from child soldiers in west Africa to psychologically abused American women.
The Color Purple, Walker
The Bell Jar, Plath
The Awakening, Chopin
The Women of Brewster Place, Naylor
A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah

Classic Literature of Horror: Misunderstood Monsters - Ms. Sorlien
Students will study the macabre and the misunderstood monsters in Dracula and Jekyll and Hyde and Frankenstein and many more — it will be Halloween all semester.
Frankenstein, Shelley
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Stevenson
Dracula, Stoker
The Elephant Man, Sparks
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (excerpts), Hugo
Various short stories

The American Game: The Literature of Baseball - Mr. Blessing
Enter your field of dreams. This course will look at works of fiction and non-fiction focusing on the sport that has inspired more great American writing than any other.
Moneyball, Lewis
Eight Men Out, Asinof
The Natural, Malamud
Shoeless Joe, Kinsella
A False Spring, Jordan
The Baseball Reader (excerpts)
Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract
Women's Literature - Not offered in 2013-14
In this course students will read, discuss, and analyze literature the explore women’s issues in the media, family, and politics from a broad range of perspectives. Males are welcome.
The Color Purple, Walker
The Women of Brewster Place, Naylor
The Bell Jar, Plath
The Awakening and Short Stories, Chopin
A Room of One's Own, Woolf
The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman
Various short stories

World Literature - Ms. O'Keefe
Vicariously travel the world and explore other cultures. Students in this course will sample, appreciate, and analyze classical and contemporary literature from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America.
NEAR EAST: Excerpts from Gilgamesh (Ancient Sumerian/Babylonian); "The Flood" from Genesis; The Book of Ruth (Ancient Hebrew); excerpts from The Koran; stories from The Thousand and One Nights; poetry of Omar Khayyam and Rumi (Medieval Persian); fiction by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt); poetry of Yehuda Amichai (Israel) and Mahmoud Darwish (Palestine).
ASIA: Excerpts from The Rig-Veda and The Mahabharata (Ancient Indian); fiction by R.K. Narayan (India). Excerpts from the writings of Lao Tzu and Confucius and from the I-Ching (The Book of Changes ) (Ancient Chinese); poetry by Wang Wei and Li Po (Medieval Chinese); Japanese tanka and haiku; "The Deserted Crone" by Zeami (Japanese No play); My Neighbor Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki (Japanese anime); Aghwee the Sky Monster by Kenzaburo Oe (Japan).
AFRICA: Traditional folk tales; Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigerian).
EUROPE: "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" by Leo Tolstoy (Russia); One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Russia); Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (Czechoslovakia); poetry by Czesaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska (Poland); fiction by Guy de Maupassant (France), Luigi Pirandello and Italo Calvino (Italy); The Stranger by Albert Camus (France/Algeria).
LATIN AMERICA: Poetry by Octavio Paz (Mexico) and Pablo Neruda (Chile); "The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges.

Shakespeare - Ms. Gannon
Are you the kind of student who enjoys reading and interpreting Shakespeare’s dramas and comedies? Are you intrigued with the Bard’s language and insight into character? Luxuriate in “the many hours traffic of our stage, and with patient ears attend.”
Twelfth Night
The Taming of the Shrew
The Merchant of Venice
Henry IV, Part 1
Trolius and Cressida
King Lear
The Tempest
Richard III
Various sonnets

Literary Drama 12 - Ms. Josephson
Put some drama back into your life (with the possibility of receiving college as well as high school English credit). Enjoy the theater from your armchair with award winning literary plays of the last century and beyond. In this course all the plays will be read, discussed, and analyzed. Depending upon availability, trips to Trinity or URI might be included.
Greek Theater: Medea and Antigone
Medieval Theater: Faustus
Elizabethan Theater: Hamlet
Neoclassical Theater: The Misanthrope and Tartuffe
Nineteenth Century Theater: The Importance of Being Earnest
The Provincetown Players: Trifles
Contemporary American Theater: A Streetcar Named Desire and Long Day's Journey Into Night
Modern Absurdist Theater: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Poetry and The Short Story - Ms. Mohan and Ms. O'Keefe
At last, a course for students who love literature but have a short attention span. Imagine an entire semester reading, enjoying, discussing, and analyzing poetry and short stories? Bulk up your literary skills, while slimming down your backpack.
POETS: Moore, Dickenson, Frost, Cummings, Shakespeare, Yeats, Housman, Thomas, Philips, Roethke, Plath, Angelou, Hughes, Whitman, Jacobs, Kipling, Ginsberg, and student-selected poets
SHORT STORY AUTHORS: Hawthorne, Poe, Crane, Bierce, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Bradbury, Jackson, and O'Connor


URI Writing 104 - Ms. Josephson (College and High School Credit)
Obtain college and high school English credit through real world assignments. This course emphasizes expository writing for different audiences and situations like reports, letters, and reviews. Students are required to maintain a portfolio of writing throughout the duration of the course. Note: students' 1st quarter grade in this course will reflect progress on their portfolio, while their final semester grade will be determined by their performance on the final drafts of their writing assignments.
The Norton Field Guide to Writing (Norton, 2006), Bullock
Portfolio Keeping (2nd edition, Bedford St. Martin's, 2006), Reynolds and Rice
Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do, Terkel

Creative Writing - Ms. Gannon and Ms. Josephson
Do you find yourself writing poems and story ideas in the margins of your notes? Get that pencil sharpened, because in this course students will write their own poetry, short stories, and screenplays. (There will be some analyzing, too.)
Readings from The New Yorker
Excerpts about Writing Exercises, Klng, Bradbury and Gardner
A Writer's Notebook, Fletcher
The Practice of Poetry, Behn and Twichell
What's Your Story? A Young Person's Guide to Writing Fiction, Bauer
Various short stories and poems

Autobiographical/Memoir Writing - Mr. Wood
Who knows more about you than YOU? In this course, besides exploring classic memoirs, you will get to compose your own life story — an autobiography that makes a great keepsake or graduation gift.
The Color of Water, McBride
If You Could See What I Hear, Sullivan
Makes Me Wanna Holler, McCall
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Journey From the Land of No, Hakakian
Finding Fish, Fisher
Slave Narratives of Frederick Douglass

Advanced Journalistic Writing - Mr. Blessing
Have you seen the most recent issue of the Rebellion? You can be a part of its prize-winning team. Calling all students who wish to try their journalistic interests at the "who, what, where, when and why" of reporting, as well as the many other aspects of newspaper and online journalism, such as story construction, interviewing, editorial writing, layout, advertising, and more.
Writing for Your Readers, Murray
The Radical Write - Hawthorne (excerpts)
Journalism Today (excerpts)
Little Brown Handbook

Advanced Writing - Ms. Josephson
Get yourself prepared for the kinds of writing required in college English courses. Students in this course will hone their analytical skills in response to classical and contemporary literature.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Alexie
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Kesey
Writers Inc.

Writing in a Contemporary Culture (Media Analysis through Writing) - Ms. DeLuca-Hawk
Is your Netflix queue longer than the Student Handbook? Is a triple bill at the Avon or Jane Pickens your idea of a fun night out? If so, then you must be a cinephile, and this course is for you. Students will view, discuss, interpret and write analytically about the varied aspects of film.
Double Indemnity, Rear Window, Chinatown, Do the Right Thing, Papillon, Cool Hand Luke, Psycho, Rushmore, Rocket Science, Amelie, The Searchers, Shadow of a Doubt, L.A. Confidential, Bladerunner, Fahrenheit 911, Bowling for Columbine, Best in Show - just to name a few.

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