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Upper School Curriculum

  • English
CL English 12: Contemporary Fiction & Nonfiction
Grades: 12 (Grade 11 with departmental approval)

In this course, students will examine the current backdrop of literature in the United States. They will look at the factors that influence literacy (who reads?), learn about the publishing process (what is there to read?) and consider the impact of various reading experiences (what do humans get out of reading?). Students will come into contact with a wide variety of authors, themes and writing styles — both fiction and nonfiction — in order to further their understanding of the literary landscape of the 21st century, understand why it looks like it does and speculate about what its future might hold. They will also engage with reading on their own terms by choosing most of their own (contemporary) reading materials and independently pacing their reading. This class will continue conversations about the Western canon that have started in previous classes, and it will confront the fact that literacy and reading in the U.S. are complex, multifaceted issues. To this end, the class will seek out, explore and participate in communities of reading — both local and online — as often as possible. As a culminating activity, students will craft a piece of narrative nonfiction that blends their personal experience with careful research. 

  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12