English IV Fundamentals

Students will master the integration of communication skills in four major areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will strengthen an increasingly advanced understanding of the structure of language and grammar, and use this knowledge to write literary analyses, professional career documents, poetry, advanced essays, and a focused research project. In addition, students will read and comprehend a variety of literature, including Shakespearean drama, literary fiction, seventeenth and eighteenth-century literature, and a wide variety of poetry spanning several centuries. As a result of the reading, writing, speaking, and listening students will do in this course, they will grow their vocabulary and their understanding of how to communicate effectively by making skillful choices when expressing themselves with language.

  • Unit 1: The Worth of Words: Students will develop a mastery of word use, including understanding word form and meanings, jargon, spelling, mechanics, and the structure of grammatically correct sentences.
  • Unit 2: The Structure of Language: Students will complete a thorough review of all parts of speech, sentence structure, and methods of subordination expected at this senior grade level, and are expected to demonstrate this mastery in a culminating writing project. 
  • Unit 3: Reading, Researching, and Listening Skills: Students will master the skills necessary for successful reading, listening, and research, including the identification of main ideas and supporting details, the definition of unknown words, the use of research sources, documentation and citation of research sources, and active listening skills. 
  • Unit 4: Studying Language: Students will study the advanced foundations of grammar, demonstrating their understanding through a variety of projects based on semantics, usage, and analogies.
  • Unit 5: Medieval English Literature: Students will examine texts from Medieval England, including excerpts from Beowulf and Canterbury Tales, interpreting language, characters, events, settings, and themes.
  • Unit 7: Elizabethan Literature: Students will analyze texts from Elizabethan literature, including a variety of sonnets and William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, interpreting language, characters, events, settings, and themes with a critical eye.
  • Unit 8: 17th- and 18th-Century English Literature: Students will examine excerpts from foundational texts from this era, including John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and other classical authors such as Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, interpreting language, characters, events, settings, and themes with a critical eye, culminating in a comparative essay examining social criticism in works of the era. Unit 9: Romantic and Victorian Poetry: Students will read and interpret foundational poems from the Romantic and Victorian Eras, including works by William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, and John Keats; students will conduct external research about the era to build an understanding of historical context, as well as compose an advanced comparative essay focused on two pivotal poems of the era.
  • Unit 10: Creative Writing: Students will enrich their knowledge of the tools of writing, advancing their skills, including those related to characterization, narration, and writing both narratives and poetry.
  • Unit 11: Review: Students will complete a robust review of key concepts learned in the course to ensure mastery; topics include grammar and semantics, writing strategies, and literature spanning from Medieval England through the Victorian era.

State: National
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: English Language Arts
Course Length: Year