English 11, Part 1 - Silicon Valley High School


Price: $125 | Credits: One Semester | Dept: English | Course ID# 211-1

This course is the equivalent of the first semester of English 11, and its focus is American literature. As any American Literature should, we begin with Native American literature. Next, we’ll take a deep dive into sacred foundational documents written at the time of America’s creation. We’ll give an overview of the early literary movements in American literature, which lay the foundation of basic orders of American values, focusing on iconic short stories from Poe and the novel The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. We will conclude the course with some inspiring rhetoric and great speeches from national heroes. English 11 is approved by the University of California A-G as English (category B).

Upon completion of this course, the student is awarded 5 credits. Each credit corresponds to 15 hours of study. Of course, some students work more quickly than others, and some can devote more hours to study, so some students are able to complete the course in an accelerated rate.


In this course, students will:

  • Look at the reclamation of ethnocentric and oral storytelling as therapy and preservation of language, history, and values in Native American Cultures. 
  • Examine three of the greatest argumentative documents in American history: the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration of Sentiments, and Martin Luther King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” The focus will be on both the history and politics of these documents and on their language and structure. We will consider the language and evidence as it relates to author purpose, and also learn about the different types of claims authors employ, differentiating between facts, values, and policies.
  • Learn about stories that are distinctly American in nature, reflecting their society’s priorities and values, and come to understand the difference between the literary movements known as Romanticism, Dark Romanticism or Gothic, Realism, Naturalism, and Modernism.
  • Practice developing a literary analysis in response to text, supporting that analysis with textual evidence, and explaining and connecting textual evidence back to a claim.
  • Analyze famous speeches for historical and literary significance for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Sacred Stories
  • Modern Voices: Tommy Orange, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie
  • Claims of policy
  • Purpose and evidence
  • Diction and audience
  • Allusion
  • American literary movements – romanticism, gothic, realism, naturalism, and modernism
  • Analyzing literature
  • Supporting claims with textual evidence
  • The three appeals and rhetorical questions
  • Epistrophe, Asyndeton, and Polysyndeton
  • Alliteration and antithesis
  • Assigned book: Nathaniel Hawthorne- “The Scarlet Letter”
Course Details:
• One Semester Credit: $125
• First Semester of English 11