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High School Language Arts - English Course Overviews
Time4Learning offers an online, interactive high school Language Arts curriculum that can be used for homeschool, afterschool, and summer skill building. Language arts is organized into four English courses that are correlated to state standards and include writing practice, vocabulary building, reading comprehension and communication skills. Materials are taught using a combination of animated lessons, instructional videos, worksheets, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects.
This page provides information about:
Homeschooling High School - An Overview of the Language Arts / English Curriculum
The language arts curriculum is organized into four English courses that correlate to state standards and can be used with a broad array of student types, learning styles, and homeschooling methods. The majority of the families using Time4Learning are homeschoolers. Some use it as their primary curriculum, while others use it to supplement or as part of an eclectic approach.
Each high school English course includes writing practice, vocabulary development, reading comprehension and communication skills. The courses are presented within an automated, student-paced system that teaches the multimedia lessons, reinforces concepts, tracks progress, and keeps printable reports that parents can turn into student transcripts or include with homeschool portfolios.
Students learn to read and analyze a variety of types of literature, from short stories and novels to nonfiction, manuals and instructions, drama, poetry, and speeches. In addition, students learn communication skills that will be needed both in class and in the workplace. Targeted vocabulary lessons build students' individual word skills as well as their understanding of nuances of meaning, idioms, and other types of figurative language. In addition, students learn writing skills through both short- and long-term projects. Writing, editing, and proof reading are all skills that are built upon in each high school English course, preparing students for writing in college.
When homeschooling with Time4Learning, the parents are considered the "teachers of record", and the home from which they teach is the "school." Time4Learning offers its members a suite of online tools, teaching resources, and homeschool support to help, but it is ultimately up to the parents to review and grade their student's offline lessons & writing projects, compare Time4Learning to their state standards, and make sure all graduation requirements are met.
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English 1 Course - An Overview
English I uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, tests, quizzes and both online and offline writing exercises to teach about the elements of story: plot & setting, theme & conflict, narrator & voice, and character. Students analyze short stories and two novels: The Old Man and the Sea and Farewell to Manzanar. They also study other types of literature including nonfiction, drama, poem, and myth. This class prepares students for further study of Language Arts in English II.
English I lessons are organized into 11 chapters that introduce and cover:
- Plot and Setting – Students read and analyze short stories and nonfiction selections in terms of plot and setting. Students identify the inciting incident, conflict, rising action, climax, resolution, setting and the effect setting has on the plot. Short stories and nonfiction selections used in the lessons include: "Gift of the Magi", "The Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", "Rules of the Game", "Women in Chinatown" and Special Report: "Asia's Angels", "To Build a Fire", and "The White Heron". Lessons on communication and the writing process allow students to build skills and compare the stories they have read in the chapter.
- Character – Students analyze character development by reading short stories and nonfiction selections. Students examine characters through dialog, physical descriptions, character actions and reactions. Short stories and nonfiction selections include: "The Open Window", "Thank You Ma'am", "The Necklace", and a Shirley Chisholm Biography and Speech. Students learn communication techniques by analyzing a speech. They practice writing through writing a personal narrative.
- Theme and Conflict – Students examine theme and conflict by identifying universal themes, distinguishing internal and external conflicts and evaluating conflict between characters in several short stories and nonfiction selections. Selections include: "The Most Dangerous Game", "The Cask of Amontillado", "Lines of Scrimmage", "The Sniper", and "Prime Minister Koisumi Address". The communication lesson focuses on oral response to literature, and the corresponding writing exercise covers literary criticism.
- Narrator and Voice – Students examine aspects of narrator and voice. Students learn different types of narration, including first and third person point of view. Students discuss voice, how a clear voice is established, and how to express and defend viewpoints. Short stories and nonfiction selections include: "The Slump", "The Yellow Wallpaper", "The Bean Eaters", and an excerpt from "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". Students read and analyze a persuasive speech and write a persuasive essay.
- Novel- The Old Man and the Sea - Students read and analyze The Old Man and the Sea. Students discuss the choices the author made in portraying each of the elements of story: voice in journalistic writing style, impact of setting, omniscient narration, character motivation, conflict, theme and motif. Students write a biography.
- Poetry –Students analyze several poem types including: cinquain and diamante structures, lyric poetry, free verse, and sonnets. Students identify and explore the use of figurative language and poetic devices. Poems in the chapter include: "Chicago", "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", Shakespeare's Sonnet #2. In addition, students read both a speech and a poem by Nikki Giovanni. Students practice reading poetry for oral performance. Students write poetry analysis.
- Nonfiction – Students examine nonfiction through analysis and comparison of media presentations, memoir and position papers, and public speeches. Lessons include examining the writings and speeches of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Students learn the purpose and process of an interview and write a business letter.
- Epic, Legend, Myth – Students examine the structure and style of epic, legend, and myth by reading The Odyssey and Greek mythology. Students apply what they have learned about the elements of story and learn how they relate to the genre of Greek mythology and the story of the hero. Students write a compare and contrast essay.
- Drama – Students explore drama through reading and analyzing Romeo and Juliet. Lessons cover concepts of comedy and tragedy, conflict (man vs. man), dialog as a revealer of character traits, irony, falling action, climax and conclusion. Students complete a lesson on functional literature and read a manual as a form of expository text. Students examine verbal and nonverbal modes of communication as communication strategies.
- Research – Students analyze the research process as they complete the steps of completing a research paper. Students generate a question, explore primary and secondary sources, synthesize information, organize notes, outline their paper, write a thesis statement, and analyze bias. The communications lesson focuses on analyzing bias and propaganda.
- Farewell to Manzanar – Students complete a novel study by reading Farewell to Manzanar. Students use what they have learned about the elements of story: point of view, setting, character development, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, theme and motif to examine this historical memoir.
For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school English 1 course overview.
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In the high school English I course,
students learn how to use context clues
in a text to expand their vocabulary
In this lesson, students are asked
to derive the meaning of a word by
using context clues within a sentence
English II Course - An Overview
English II uses a instructional videos, printable worksheets, tests, quizzes and both online and offline writing exercises to teach about the elements of story: plot & setting, theme & conflict, narrator & voice, and character. Each element was introduced in English I and is looked at in more depth by analyzing short stories and two novels: Of Mice and Men and The House on Mango Street. Studies will also include other types of literature, including nonfiction, drama, poems, and myths. This course will prepare students for further study of Language Arts in English III.
English II lessons are organized into 11 chapters that introduce and cover:
- Plot and Setting – Students analyze several short stories and nonfiction selections paying particular attention to how the setting impacts the plot. Students examine suspense, sensory details and imagery in the story and their effect on the mood and plot of the tale. Literature used in this chapter includes: "Horseman in the Sky", "The Monkey's Paw", the Nobel Prize in Literature Press Release, "Niña", "The Californian's Tale", "Nevado del Ruiz Volcano", and "The Bet". Lessons also identify communication strategies and the six traits of writing.
- Character – Students examine character through the techniques of characterization. They look at physical description, dialog, static and dynamic characters and other techniques. Literature for this chapter includes: "A Problem", functional text: a cover letter and job application, "Daedulus and Icarus", "The Ransom of Red Chief". Communication and writing lessons help students prepare for a job interviews and complete a short story or an autobiography.
- Theme and Conflict – Students analyze several short stories and nonfiction pieces for their use of theme and conflict. Students consider universal themes and examine the relationship between plot and theme. Literature for this chapter includes: "The Interlopers", "Leiningen vs. the Ants", "By the Waters of Babylon", "Hurricane Threat to Florida", and "Like the Sun". Students analyze functional text in the form of directions and a map and write an analytical essay.
- Narrator and Voice – Students consider the narrator and voice in short stories and nonfiction literature. Students analyze different works to determine point of view, evaluate symbolism, make predictions, and consider objective and subjective viewpoints. Literature for this chapter includes: "Story of an Hour", "Beware of the Dog", "Tell-Tale Heart", "Three Poems About America", "What War Looks Like". Students write a reflective essay.
- Novel Study: Of Mice and Men – Students look at all the elements of story by reading and analyzing Of Mice and Men. To understand the plot and character motivations, students learn about historical time period of novel. Students look at devices and techniques that increase tension and suspense in the story. Students analyze and learn about oral response to literature. Students also write a chronological essay.
- Poetry –Students learn about and analyze poems of different forms: tanka and haiku, English and Italian sonnets, lyric poems, rhyme pattern, meter, visualization, rhythm without rhyme, alliteration, repetition and sensory language. Poems studied will include "The Birches" and "The Children's Hour". The communication lesson focuses on storytelling, its art and form. At the end of the chapter, students compose, revise, and proofread a descriptive essay.
- Nonfiction – Students examine nonfiction selections including: persuasive speeches, historical speeches, formal and informal letters, news articles and eyewitness accounts, and memoirs. Students learn how to plan and deliver a speech and read and analyze writing by Lyndon B. Johnson, John F. Kennedy, and Sandra Day O'Connor. Students write an expository essay.
- Epic, Legend, Myth – Students examine epic, legend, and myth by learning about modern and mythological heroes. Heroes include Hercules, Christopher Reeve, Echo and Narcissus. Students will explore Greek, Roman and Anglo Saxon word roots. Students will write a technical document.
- Drama – Students will examine drama through the study of the Moscow Art Theater, the Globe Theater, and examples of farce and tragedy. Students will consider how the physical theater impacts the drama being performed and the use of monologue and soliloquy in dramas. In the functional text lesson, students learn to prepare an advertisement. In the writing segment, students write a compare and contrast essay.
- Research – Students prepare and write a research paper. Special emphasis is placed on generating questions and narrowing the topic, evaluating primary and secondary sources, taking notes and synthesizing information, outlining, writing thesis statements, making a bibliography, drafting and editing the paper. Student's editorial focus will be on using complete and complex sentences.
- Novel: The House on Mango Street – Students will apply what they have learned about the elements of story as they read and analyze The House on Mango Street. Students examine the author's background and style as they examine this coming of age story. Students learn about, prepare, and deliver a narrative presentation. Students write a book review.
For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school English 2 course overview.
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In the high school English II course,
students learn about the purpose
and structure of a press release
In this lesson, students are
asked to read a press release and
identify the different elements
English III Course - An Overview
English III explores American literature using a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, tests, quizzes and both online and offline writing exercises. The course uses a chronological format to explore works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, folk tales, and drama. Students begin to form ideas about history, themes, and viewpoints from each period. Students will bring together what they have learned with the novel study of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. This class prepares students for further study of Language Arts in English IV.
English III lessons are organized into 10 chapters that introduce and cover:
- New World: 1400-1800 – Students read an historical overview of the period as well as informational period text. Examples of expository text help students understand the viewpoints and ideologies of the times. Authors represented in this chapter include Cabeza de Vaca, Anne Bradstreet, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Phillis Wheatley. Students also study synonyms and nuances of word meaning.
- America's Voice 1800-1865 – Students study the period in order to understand important events, ideas, and themes that influenced the literature of this period. Featured literature includes: "The Devil and Tom Walker"; an excerpt from "Self-Reliance"; essays from "Walden"; poems by Longfellow, Dickinson, and Whitman; "The Minister's Black Veil"; and works by Frederick Douglas and Sojourner Truth.
- Realism, Frontier: 1865-1915 – Students analyze the events and ideals of the period and their effect on fiction. Students examine the author's use of language and in addition, study the use of multiple word meanings and idioms in fiction. Literary texts include "A Dog's Tale", "The Outcasts of Poker Flat", "A Wagner Matinee", "The Gray Man", "The Little Regiment", and "Andrew Carnegie, Philanthropist". Students read functional text, including instructions for obtaining a passport.
- Depression, Reform: 1915-1935 – Students consider the Great Depression and its effect on literature. Students analyze a chronological text structure and the use of flashbacks. They compare theme, structure, and clarity in paired passages from different works Literary texts for the chapter include "A Rose for Emily", "In Another Country", "The Four Fists", and a Fireside Chat from Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Poetry includes works written by: Ezra Pound, e. e. Cummings, Cullen, McKay, and Hughes. Students analyze an expository text on careers and compensation and build vocabulary through analogies.
- Modern Age 1935-1960 – Students analyze imagery and symbolism in the modern age. Students discuss media in the modern age and compare information presented using different types of media. This chapter includes John Steinbeck's "The Chrysanthemums" and poetry by Carl Sandburg.
- Experiment and Conflict: 1960-1975 – Students read about the events and culture of this volatile period. Students examine story structure, epiphany as a literary device, and the characteristics of allegory. Students consider bias in media. Literary texts for the chapter include "The First Seven Years", "Son", "The Trip Back", "Raymond's Run", an excerpt from a biography of Hank Aaron, and "Journey". Vocabulary study includes categorization and salient features.
- Contemporary America: 1975-Now –Students analyze a variety of literary works after learning about the events and culture of the period. Students explore postmodern story structure and poetry and inductive and deductive reasoning in nonfiction. Literary works include "CETI", "Litany", "Mrs. Perez", excerpts from: Lee Iacocca's "Where Have All the Leaders Gone?" and Native American texts from "Keepers of the Earth". Vocabulary study focuses on word origins and cognates.
- Novel Study – Students read The Bean Trees. Students explore character development, subplots, recurring motif, climax, and resolution in the novel. Students write an analytical essay in response to what they have read and learned.
- Writing – Students write a college application essay. Students work through different stages of the writing process as they complete their essay prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Students also consider and practice different types of writing: persuasive, descriptive, narrative, reflective, analytical, and response to literature.
- Research - Students complete a research paper. Legal and ethical research practices regarding plagiarism and copyright are discussed in depth. Lessons focus on the steps involved in completing a research project including: topic and plan, finding sources, note taking and organizing, evaluating and synthesizing, and citations and documentation.
For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school English 3 course overview.
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In the high school English III course,
there is an increased emphasis on
the development of writing skills
In this lesson, students are asked to
organize their ideas into an outline that
can be used to write a college essay
English IV Course - An Overview
English IV uses a combination of instructional videos, printable worksheets, tests, quizzes and both online and offline writing exercises to examine works of British literature including works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, folk tales, and drama. The course uses a chronological format to and each chapter provides an historical overview to aid in understanding the themes of literature from that period. Students bring together what they have learned in the course with the novel study on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. This course prepares students for further English study at the college level.
English IV lessons are organized into 10 chapters that introduce and cover:
- Anglo-Saxon: 449-1066 – Students are introduced to the Anglo-Saxon period and analyze the epic poem Beowulf. Students consider period themes reflected in poem. Students will analyze writing styles of professional authors and develop their own personal writing style.
- Medieval: 1066-1485 – Students read and consider works of the medieval period. Students explore medieval romance. Societal issues of the period are considered through reading The Canterbury Tales and Paston Letters. A vocabulary lesson focuses on analogies and word relationships.
- English Renaissance: 1485-1625 – Students explore the translation of excerpts of the King James Bible, draw inferences from the language used, and look for cultural connections made in the translation. Students analyze the historic and cultural significance of Macbeth. A vocabulary lesson covers denotation and connotation.
- Seventeenth Century: 1625 -1660 – Students read literature including: an excerpt from Paradise Lost, the poetry of Shakespeare, Jonson, Donne, Marvell, and Khayyam. Students identify the ideas, values, and themes of the historical period and their influence on its literature.
- Restoration and Enlightenment –Students consider the period and its influence upon nonfiction text, satire, and poetry. Students look closely at plague in fiction and nonfiction. They consider excerpts from Gulliver's Travels, Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, and poems by William Blake. Students will look closely at Blake's use of symbolism.
- Romantic: 1798-1832 –Students learn about the romantic period, its events, themes, and values. Students analyze works of literature in light of the period. Works considered include: poetry of Wordworth, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, and novels Don Juan and Frankenstein. In the novels, students consider devices of satire and shifting voice.
- Victorian England: 1833-1901 – Students consider the impact of Victorian events, morals, and society on literature of the period. Students analyze fiction and expository text and explore the relationships among facts and ideas. Students use digital tools and specialized dictionaries to help them understand vocabulary and etymology.
- Modern: 1901-1950 – Students consider literature in the modern period. Students analyze the mystery genre by reading The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. As students consider the literature of the period, they will pay particular attention to symbolism, metaphor. irony, and dialog.
- Contemporary: 1951-Present – Students will consider events, ideals and attitudes of the past sixty-five years. Students will examine stories written in six words as a means of appreciating word choice as well as learning about the evolution of language. Works of fiction by Graham Greene, Nadine Gordimer, and Margaret Atwood will enable students to study the use of literary devices. A vocabulary lesson focuses on roots and word parts from Greek and Latin.
- Novel Study – Students analyze Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and look for examples of story structure, symbolism, themes, and character development. In order to best understand the novel, students interpret maps and study its historical and political context. When they have finished the novel, students will write analytical essays to demonstrate their understanding of the text.
For a more detailed description of the lessons, visit the high school English 4 course overview.
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In high school English IV, students
analyze plot structure, tone, voice, and
theme in short stories by noted authors
In this lesson, students learn about
allegory and symbolism by analyzing
The Other Side of the Hedge, by E.M Forster
Time4Learning High School Courses - Program Structure
Time4Learning high school offers an online, interactive curriculum for ninth through twelfth grade that correlates to state standards. The majority of Time4Learning members use it for homeschool, although some use it as an afterschool alternative to tutoring, or for summer study.
High school is distinguished from the PreK-8th grades by an increased emphasis on higher order thinking skills, the effective combination of video with animation, and an increased number of writing projects designed to help students achieve overall college and career readiness. It is organized into courses that cover math, language arts, science, and social studies, with the optional elective courses of health and economics/finance also available.
Students use their own individual login to access Time4Learning's secure, ad-free learning environment. An automated system combines multimedia lessons, instructional videos, printable worksheets, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects to teach the materials. The system also reinforces concepts, tracks progress, and keeps printable reports that parents can turn into student transcripts or include with homeschool portfolios.
In addition to our standards-based curriculum, Time4Learning members have access to a suite of online tools, lesson plans, teaching resources, and homeschool support to help them along their journey. Parents are considered the "teacher of record", and the home from which they teach is the "school." It is up to the parents to review and grade their student's offline lessons & writing projects, compare Time4Learning to their state standards, and make sure all graduation requirements are met.
It is also important to mention that Time4Learning is a curriculum provider-- not a school. Therefore, Time4Learning cannot be accredited, nor can homeschooled students "graduate" from Time4Learning. Visit our homeschool high school resources page for additional tools, tips and high school resources on this topic.