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12th Grade English

Seniors take one of the following courses for English: Expository Reading and Writing (ERWC), Story and Style: A Critical Lens, and Advanced Placement English.

Expository Reading and Writing

This course description of Expository Reading and Writing is one option available to students for 12th grade English. Known as ERWC, this course was created by the California State University system to help prepare students for the reading and writing demands of college.


This course is designed to help students achieve the following goals:

  • Have the ability to understand high-level expository texts.
  • Meet the standards of the English Placement Test
  • Communicate ideas clearly through written media.
  • Have the knowledge and skills to be able to pass the AP Language and Composition Test
  • Meet the expectations of college and university faculty
  • Meet the California English-Language Arts Content Standards
  • Develop literacy skills critical to lifelong participation in the worlds of work and community

Skills Addressed:

  • Summarizing – a critical way of demonstrating understanding of a key text
  • Synthesizing – connecting ideas from multiple sources
  • Analyzing – evaluate claims and be aware of counter arguments and apply them to your own writing
  • Organizing – understand how texts are put together, and how to create your own texts

Core Texts:

  • Numerous non-fiction articles and book excerpts
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


This course presents students with an overview of multiple literary genres, including, but not limited to, dramas, speeches, multimedia texts, novels, and informational texts of varying length and complexity. Students will be expected to analyze and evaluate their world through the lenses of these texts, while simultaneously becoming more critical readers of multiple genres. Themes of personal reflection and the human condition will be explored through expository and analytical essays, persuasive speeches, and class discussions. Students will complete a senior thesis, which involves an extensive individual research paper and interaction with members of the community.

Course Objectives:

In this course, students will...

  • ... analyze and evaluate the world around them through multiple lenses and perspectives.
  • ... investigate the human condition through essays, fiction, drama, poetry, speeches, and discussions.
  • ... refine their skills as a sophisticated reader, writer, and thinker.
  • ... reflect on who they are and who they want to be.

Core Texts:

Students will engage with, at minimum, the following texts:

  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  • Assorted informational texts, poems, speeches, and short stories


The Advanced Placement English course in Literature and Composition engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as smaller-scale elements, such as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on selections that do not yield all of their pleasures of thought and feeling the first time through. Students will read deliberately and thoroughly, taking time to understand a work’s complexity in order to absorb its richness of meaning and to analyze how that meaning is embodied in literary form.

Core Texts:

  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • M. Butterfly by David Henry Huang
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • Poetry
  • Other outside reading and supplemental texts