This is the second course in a two-course sequence and has been redesigned to align to the Common Core Standards. Two major themes for this semester are “Becoming My Own Leader” and “Leading Others.” Students will address several essential questions related to these themes while reading a variety of works by American authors. In addition to major works, students will read short stories and informational texts, engage in poetry analysis, view informational videos, and write for various purposes. Larger writing assignments include an argument essay, a narrative essay, and a business email. As a supplement to these assignments, students will partake in grammar challenges where they learn about grammar concepts and develop a mastery of their use. In addition to building their writing skills, students learn several reading strategies such as how to use graphic organizers to extract important information, take Cornell notes for an informational text or during a lecture, and summarize to monitor comprehension. Furthermore, students will explore several rhetorical devices and strategies like characterization, allusion, word choice and diction, setting, symbolism, point of view, and more.