Thursday, 12 November 2015

Planning for an Enriching and Flexible Senior English Program

Our focus during Greenwood’s Summer Institute was to give students in the Grade 12 University Preparation English course (ENG4U) the opportunity to participate in aspects of the Advanced Placement (AP or ENG4UO) program, and potentially write the AP Literature exam. Combining the programs also broadens the range of perspectives, which is critical in the study of English.

ENG4U Class Photo
Students in both classes discuss The Great 
Gatsby together, broadening the points 
of view in the conversation.
We began the planning of this program by looking at the skills and texts of each course to see where they fit together. Both courses follow the Ontario curriculum; however, elements of the AP exam require students to study a larger scope of historic literature. 

We then aligned the two courses by focusing on the study of two texts that are read at the same time in both courses: The Great Gatsby and Hamlet.

We also looked at ways to use different texts but teach the same skills. For example, while the ENG4U students analyzed short stories, the AP students focused on novels, but all students participated in seminar-style discussion groups. 

In organizing instruction, we designed a daily agenda where students can see their learning plan and choices for each class. Ideally, ENG4U students will see opportunities for challenge and will attempt AP content. Already, many students in the combined class elected to listen to the lecture on writing a personal essay, an approach usually reserved for students in AP English. 

Here are some examples of the class’s daily schedule:

Caley Blyth
Subject Team Leader, English

Stephanie Martino
English Teacher

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