At Lawrence Academy, English teachers want to know what you think. We want to help you develop, support, and explain your point of view and then use the same skill and care when considering the views of others. We offer classes in which you "do the work" of good writers, good thinkers, and good readers every day. In those classes, you will be called on to practice six skills – reading, writing, thinking, speaking, listening, and organizing. Our curriculum provides you with opportunities to discover what literature, forms of writing, and universal themes mean the most to you and how to begin acting on that self-knowledge.
All students must take at least one English course during every term of every year they are at Lawrence Academy. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors take yearlong, comprehensive courses covering grammar, usage, syntax, literary genres, and the process of composition. Sophomores with a B+ average or higher at the end of their 10th grade year may be recommended for Honors Junior English Seminar. Seniors take the yearlong Senior Seminar or the yearlong Honors Writing class, with placement in these courses to be determined by the department.
Honors Writing Electives
Requirements: Seniors may take the entire year’s offering of Honors Writing electives as their only English class, provided they have been recommended to do so by the English department. To be eligible, a student must meet the following criteria: a teacher recommendation based on department expectations for honors level work, an A- average or higher in the junior year, a B+ average or higher in the junior year in an honors course, and for new students, an SAT Verbal of 550 or higher. Juniors or seniors who take Honors Writing as a second English course may take either of the fall and winter introductory electives but are not required to take both. However, students may not take the spring term continuing course without having taken at least one of the introductory courses. Because these electives are senior honors electives, juniors who sign up for them as a second English class in addition to Junior English Seminar should do so only if they have a passion or talent for poetry and/or fiction. The department gives seniors preferred placement in these electives.
Fall term: Honors Writing I: This elective explores the possibilities of each student’s poetry-writing imagination with an emphasis on two major themes: habits of mind and poetic sensibility. The course introduces students to the basic tools of poetry composition and involves daily poetry writing, poetry reading and analysis, and workshops in which students critique their own and each other’s poems. Because this is a process writing course, students are evaluated based on the quality of their thinking and understanding in their latest drafts, revisions, comments in workshops and peer critiques, reading responses, and weekly self-evaluations.
Winter term: Honors Writing II: This elective introduces students to the basic tools of fiction-writing and involves daily writing, reading and analyzing, and workshops in which students critique their own and each other’s stories. This course continues to build on the themes emphasized in the fall’s Honors Writing I: habits of mind and poetic sensibility. Because this is a process writing course, students are evaluated based the quality of their thinking and understanding in their latest drafts, revisions, comments in workshops and peer critiques, reading responses, and weekly self-evaluations.
Spring term: Honors Writing III: Students may enroll in this elective only if they have completed one or both of the other two Honors Writing electives. This course allows students to design and implement a creative project of their own choosing. Students are evaluated on their weekly self-assessments, their ability to set and meet goals, and their understanding and internalizing of the themes of the course: habits of mind and poetic sensibility.