Literature (e1) and English (e2) at The Element

e1 Literature Program

compressed versionThe Literature program in e1 allows students to read and consider the deeper meaning behind a variety of texts. Each week, students meet in a seminar to discuss their interpretations of their reading and their answers to assigned reading response questions. Students are also asked to develop their own questions for discussion, a requirement that teachers find results in some of the class’s most engaging and meaningful conversations.

Student-assigned reading often aligns with the theme of their current session of study in Humanities. This year’s first book, Louis Riel: A Comic Strip Biography by Chester Brown, corresponded with a Canadian history theme in Humanities. During their Asia study, students read Wanting Mor by Rukhsana Khan, a story about a girl living in Afghanistan.

Students also have the opportunity to write creatively as they explore literature. They are currently studying short stories, and will be handing in their own stories at the end of the session. To help them become familiar with the components of a good short story, they are studying examples such as Babysitting Helen by Kathy Stinson and The Last Question by Isaac Asimov.

e2 English Program

The e2 English program, developed in consultation with a professor of English at Carleton University, is designed not only to complete the Ontario Secondary School Curriculum requirements, but also to challenge and engage students at every grade level. Students explore works of literature through a historical lens, studying 20th century literature in grade 9, 19th century literature in grade 10, 18th century literature in grade 11, and pre-18th century literature in grade 12. Students learn to interpret literary devices and themes in a variety of contemporary and classical texts, including novels, plays, poetry, short stories, and media. They also participate in writing skills workshops, which allow them to learn about and experiment with grammar, mechanics, and style in the English language.

The Element’s grade 9 English students are currently studying short stories. Each week, they read a different story and discuss their interpretations in seminar format. Students explore the themes and literary devices used in each story as well as how the stories were shaped by the historical context in which they were written. Throughout this unit of study, students are also working on a culminating task that involves writing an essay and leading a seminar about a short story of their choosing. The Writer’s Workshops in this unit are designed to help students prepare for this assignment. Workshop topics include integrating quotations into an essay, writing effective introductions and conclusions, and designing effective discussion questions.

In e2, we offer the following compulsory English credits:

English, Grade 9, Academic (ENG1D)

English, Grade 10, Academic (ENG2D)

English, Grade 11, University Preparation (ENG3U)

English, Grade 12, University Preparation (ENG4U)

In addition, we also offer the following elective English credits:

English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices, Grade 11, University Preparation (NBE3U)

The Writer’s Craft, Grade 12, University Preparation (EWC4U)

For detailed information on these courses, you can read our information package: e2 Information Booklet