English Department

Welcome!  Each English class at Montville is filled with engaging texts that will help students think critically about what they are reading and the world at large.  Each course contains at least two written assessments a marking period.  As you move into Honors and AP courses, that number becomes around five large writing assessments a marking period.  There are typically a variety of projects, both small and large throughout the course of a year.  These projects are designed with student-interest in mind.  A scope of some of the texts which may be covered each year are listed below:

9th Grade (A mix of World and American Literature):

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • 1984 or Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
  • Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Romeo & Juliet by Shakespeare

10th Grade (A survey of literature focused on family and identity):

  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Fences by August Wilson
  • Othello or Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

11th Grade (American Literature):

  • Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  • The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

12th Grade (British Literature):

  • Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri
  • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Macbeth by Shakespeare


In addition to our required English classes, we also offer popular English electives.  These include:

  • Forensics - The purpose of this half year course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of public speaking through the development of content and the subsequent practice of delivery in a variety of oral presentations.
  • Creative Writing I is designed for ninth through twelfth grade students of all ability levels. This half year course consists of three units: fiction, poetry, and drama. Students will read, discuss, and evaluate models of each genre as they write and revise their own work in a workshop atmosphere. Student writing will include writing prompt responses, fairy tales, short stories, a poetry anthology, and a one act play while further developing skills outlined in the CCSS.
  • Creative Writing II Honors is a curriculum designed for ninth through twelfth grade students who have shown proficiency in Creative Writing I. This half year course consists of four units: memoir, flash fiction, poetry, and screenwriting. Students will read, discuss, and evaluate models of each genre as they write and revise their own work in a workshop atmosphere and further develop the skills outlined in the CCSS. Student writing will include personal essays, flash fiction, a poetry anthology, and a television script.
  • Film Study- Students taking Film Study approach the study of films theoretically, historically, and critically. The half year course is primarily concerned with exploring the narrative, artistic, cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema. The goal of this course is for students to be able to speak about films intelligently and to be able to write critiques about movies in one of several contexts.
  • Journalism- This course examines the role of Journalism in the 21st . Century. Students in this class will develop skills in all aspects of journalistic writing. In addition, students will explore the laws, ethics, and history of Journalism as well as researching related careers. Finally, students will analyze news written in the United States as well as the world.
  • Mythology and Allusion Honors- This elective course examines mythology from many cultures and religions and draws connections among them.  It also brings allusion and myth up to present day by drawing myth out of stories, poetry, and art.  The class work is both creative and analytical.  Units of study can include the following: the works of Tolkien and the Norse myths which influenced him, Disney’s female heroines and how the feminist movement influenced his writing, The Brothers Grimm and their impact on later fiction; religious text such as the Bible or Mahabbarata. This is an approved Middle College course through Fairleigh Dickinson University.