Boston Trinity Academy‘s English department seeks to educate students to be mature thinkers, discerning readers, and effective writers. Equipped with the tools to study the great works of literature and poetry, students are given the opportunity to understand what it means to say, "an unexamined life is not worth living."

It is the goal of the English Department to:
  • Encourage incisive thinking skills
  • Develop proficient, clear, and logical writing skills
  • Deepen reading skills of all students
  • Enable students to articulate thoughts clearly and creatively
  • Engage students in questions of character, virtue, and courage

In grades 6 and 7, each English class consists of two periods. Students develop strong reading and writing skills, develop a rich vocabulary, learn and review grammar concepts, practice editing, and interpret literature. Upper school students continue learning to read with insight, analyze difficult texts, and develop their voice as writers.

Courses: Foundations of Storytelling (Grade 6)  |  Discovering Literature I (Grade 7)  |  Discovering Literature 2 (Grade 8)  |  Humanities (Grade 9)  |  World Literature (Grade 10)  |  AP English Literature and Composition (Grade 11)  |  AP English Language and Composition (Grade 12)

Foundations of Storytelling (Grade 6)

As 6th grade students are immersed in both historical and fantastical novels and poetry, they learn both the structural components of story and the cultural, historical, and personal importance of storytelling. They also study vocabulary and grammar, and use these words and concepts in analytical and creative writing.

Course Highlights:
  • Weekly vocabulary and grammar games and quizzes
  • Exploring story structure and thematic elements through acting, drawing, and debate
  • Writing original stories and poetry
  • Students reading aloud and listening to stories read aloud

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Discovering Literature I (Grade 7)

By reading and analyzing historical and fantasy novels, plays, short stories, and poetry students will learn to love reading and writing, master key elements of speech and usage, and master the art of writing a three paragraph essay.

Course Highlights:
  • Reading, analyzing, and performing scenes from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Writing original sonnets
  • Creating a story board for Thurber's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Writing, illustrating and binding books

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Discovering Literature 2 (Grade 8)

8th grade students read a variety of historical fiction novels, engaging deeply with themes of justice and human rights. Within the safe context of fiction, students explore their own conceptions of justice, integrity, and community, analyzing characters and events both critically and creatively. At the end of the year they bring these issues into the real historical arena, studying World War I poets and completing a unit on genocide and the Holocaust. They continue their study of vocabulary and grammar.

Course Highlights:
  • Thesis-driven 5-paragraph essays
  • Creative writing based on the novels studied
  • Studying, watching, and acting out scenes from one Shakespeare play
  • Debate and character role-play

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Humanities (Grade 9)

Students study a survey of the classics of ancient and modern literature. Reading begins with a study of the Greeks, including Homer and Sophocles, and continues through Shakespeare, Shelley, and Dickens. Texts for the course include genres such as poetry, essays, memoir, fiction, and drama.

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World Literature (Grade 10)

Students are encouraged to read at a deeper level and think critically about texts and environments from which they come. Some subject areas explored through readings, discussion, papers and assignments will be the relationship between individual and environment, what is unique and what is universal, the concept of destiny or fate versus free will, responses to suffering, and the silence of God.

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AP English Literature and Composition (Grade 11)

Students delve into the complex psyche of American literature. They will learn to analyze theme, mood, and tone through the literary constructs of diverse authors and to synthesize this analysis in written and oral communication.

Course Highlights:
  • Literary analysis of American novels, plays, and poetry
  • Small and large group classroom discussion and debate
  • In class writing and full-length essays
  • Creative and reflective writing
  • Grammar and vocabulary SAT preparation

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AP English Language and Composition (Grade 12)

Students return to a broader study of classics. Further understanding of period, genre, theme, structure, tone, and style are developed. Students prepare to take the College Board AP English Language and Composition Exam.

Course Highlights:
  • Student-led lessons on Dante’s Cantos
  • Memorization, blocking and performing scenes from Hamlet
  • Drafts of college essays written, edited and refined

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