English Department

Gillard, Gilliam, Kerrigan, King, Moen, & Nunley

English Department Course Offerings

ENGLISH I:

This course focuses on the study of literary genres and techniques, through which the student will develop an understanding of both the structure and the meaning of a work of literature, including literary elements. Students will develop an understanding of how the form of a work of literature affects the meaning of the work and of the process of interpretation of a text. Students will read thoughtfully and purposefully, constantly checking for understanding of the author's intent and meaning in order to determine a sound analysis. Students will also learn how to effectively communicate their thoughts and opinions to others in speech and in writing, in both formal and informal situations, and using grammar and mechanics appropriate to each task, as well as practicing literary analysis strategies and skills appropriate to their level of study.


A typical unit in this course includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, media study, poetry, comparing across genres, vocabulary and grammar instruction, speaking and listening, writing and preliminary research, and assessment practice according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Students will have daily grammar and vocabulary instruction and assignments. Students should expect to complete reading, writing and research outside of class.


ENGLISH I HONORS:

The focus for this class is in self-reflection through literature. So many of people’s thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and cultural expectations are formed through the exploration and consumption of literature, from the early childhood stories, to mythical tales, to deeper, complex texts. Authors seek to build discourse through the development of characters, plot, and conflict. Throughout this class, all textual selections will be a source of reflection and relevance. Formal and informal assessment practices, according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards, are embedded throughout the course.


A typical unit of study includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, including the juxtaposition of varied genre, such as primary sources, to fully analyze the focal text. Students will learn how to craft authentic literary analysis and MLA-formatted research papers. Students are expected to develop the practice of literary analysis through the dissection of related choice books. This course is intended to be initial preparation for the honors curriculum of the junior and senior levels, as a foundation for college-readiness.


Summer reading is required.


ENGLISH II: Prerequisite - English I

This course focuses on the study of literary genres and techniques, through which the student will develop an understanding of both the structure and the meaning of a work of literature. He or she will develop an understanding of how the form of a work of literature, including the use of literary elements, affects the meaning of the work and of the process of interpretation of a text. Emphasis in English II will be placed on group work, oral presentation, and the information gathering and the research cycle for MLA-formatted research papers.


A typical unit in this course includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, media study, poetry, comparing across genres, vocabulary and grammar instruction, speaking and listening, writing and/or research practices, and assessment practice according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Students will have daily grammar and vocabulary instruction and assignments. Students should expect to complete reading, writing and research outside of class.


ENGLISH II HONORS: Prerequisite - English I Honors or English I

Over the course of the semester, students will explore the Human Experience through an analysis of the a variety of literature. Students will read a variety of texts, from historic, primary documents, to plays, from fiction to nonfiction, and even poetry. All of this textual analysis takes students on a quest to discover how authors capture the Human Experience through the nuances of literary elements, and then to practice creating students’ own explorations and explanations of what it means to be human. Formal and informal assessment practices, according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards, are embedded throughout the course.


Focus of study will include both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, including parallel, and simultaneous, analysis of novels related through theme and/or genre. Students will hone their literary analysis through relevant literature analysis, develop their understanding of rhetorical analysis through the analysis of a collection of short stories and novellas, and increase their prowess in MLA-formatted research. Students are expected to deepen their analysis of literature through dialectical journaling for choice books. This course is intended to be initial preparation for the honors curriculum of the junior and senior levels, as a foundation for college-readiness.


Summer reading is required.


ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION: Prerequisites include English I/IH and English II/IIH

This class focuses on developing advanced skills for close reading analysis of an author's purpose, rhetorical strategies and effectiveness. Writing focuses on rhetorical analysis, argumentation, and synthesis. The emphasis in this course is to develop a greater depth of understanding in aspects of rhetoric such as figurative language, syntax and construction, use of irony and satire, sound reasoning versus logical fallacies, moving beyond analysis to inference, synthesis and evaluation. Skills for researching speech topics and term papers include problem/solution, persuasion, and debate. Research requires use of advanced databases, evaluation of primary sources, and objectively portraying multiple viewpoints on an issue. Research also focuses on both APA and MLA standards. Elements of voice and presentational skills are also significant topics. Students will read non-fiction novels outside of class, and a number of significant non-fiction short articles. Additionally, students will engage with daily grammar and advanced vocabulary workshops which focuses on Greek and Latin roots.


Summer reading is required. This course is intended to prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Language and Composition. This class is intended to prepare students for college coursework at four-year colleges and universities.



ADVANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION: Prerequisites include English I/IH, II/IIH, III, or AP LANG

This course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work’s structure, style and themes, as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of recognized literary merit.


Writing is an integral part of this course. Writing assignments focus on the critical analysis of

literature and include expository, analytical and argumentative essays. Although critical analysis makes up the bulk of student writing for the course, well-constructed creative writing assignments may help students see from the inside how literature is written. Such experiences sharpen their understanding of what writers have accomplished and deepen their appreciation of literary artistry. The goal of both types of writing assignments is to increase students’ ability to explain clearly, cogently, even elegantly, what they understand about literary works and why they interpret them as they do. Additionally, students will engage with daily grammar and advanced vocabulary workshops which focuses on Greek and Latin roots.


Summer reading is required. This course is intended to prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in Literature and Composition. This course is also intended to prepare students for college coursework at four-year colleges and universities.


ENGLISH III: Prerequisites include English I/IH and II/IIH

This college-prep class includes a deepening of the understanding of literary analysis and a foundational understanding of rhetorical and rhetorical analysis. A typical unit in this course includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, media study, poetry, comparing across genres, vocabulary and grammar instruction, speaking and listening, writing and preliminary research, and assessment practice according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Students will have daily grammar and vocabulary instruction and assignments. Students should expect to complete reading, writing and research outside of class.


ENGLISH IV: Prerequisites include English I/IH, II/IIH, III, or AP LANG
This college-prep class includes a deepening of the understanding of the role literature plays in the lives of conscientious citizens. A typical unit in this course includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, media study, poetry, comparing across genres, vocabulary and grammar instruction, speaking and listening, writing and preliminary research, and assessment practice according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Students will be guided and supported through the college application process through lessons and tasks designed to hone the skills necessary to create effective college application essays and scholarship essays. Students should expect to complete reading, writing and research outside of class.


ENG IIICR: Prerequisites include English I/IH and II/IIH or MAPS

This career readiness class focuses on understanding the role literature plays in the lives of conscientious citizens. A typical unit in this course includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, media study, poetry, comparing across genres, vocabulary and grammar instruction, speaking and listening, writing and preliminary research, and assessment practice according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards to build and reinforce literacy-based life skills. Students will be guided and supported through the creation of career documents, such as resumes, job applications, cover letters, summaries, technical manuals, etc. This is not a college-prep class and therefore students who attend college with this class on their transcripts will need to take remedial college English classes.



ENG IVCR: Prerequisites include English I/IH, II/IIH, III/IIICR or MAPS

This career readiness class focuses on understanding the role literature plays in the lives of conscientious citizens. A typical unit in this course includes both fiction and nonfiction reading selections, media study, poetry, comparing across genres, vocabulary and grammar instruction, speaking and listening, writing and preliminary research, and assessment practice according to the standards which have been aligned with the Common Core State Standards to build and reinforce literacy-based life skills. Students will be guided and supported through the creation of career documents, such as resumes, job applications, cover letters, summaries, technical manuals, etc. This is not a college-prep class and therefore students who attend college with this class on their transcripts will need to take remedial college English classes.

Introduction to Journalism: No Prerequisite

This course focuses on the language arts skills necessary to write comprehensive journalistic articles using a variety of writing styles. Students will incorporate photography and news writing for publication in the school online newspaper and yearbook. Students will also learn a variety of publishing related skills such as marketing and advertising, distribution, and interviewing. This is a general elective 2-credit class; this is not an English elective class.


ADVANCED Journalism: Prerequisite - Intro to Journalism or English department recommendation

Students in this course are considered senior contributors to student media and the expectations are significantly increased from Intro to Journalism. This course focuses on language arts skills necessary to complete a yearbook and contribute to the online newspaper. Students will organize written content and photography and develop layouts for publication and coordinate production of online content. Students will be responsible for successfully developing marketing and advertising plans, increasing distribution, and monitoring journalistic standards. This course does require time outside of class to attend events, take photos and report on school-related activities as well as occasional “work sessions” that may be scheduled periodically after school or on a weekend as deadlines approach. This is a general elective 2-credit class; this is not an English elective class.

CREATIVE WRITING I: Prerequisites include English I/IH and English II/IIH

This course focuses on the skills and art of writing creatively. The focus of this course is to guide students in creative writing through varied genres: fiction, memoir, plays and scripts, and science fiction. The course includes analysis of model texts, individual and class criticism of work in a workshop mode, and instruction on and discussion of literary techniques in each genre. This is a Core elective; it satisfies English Graduation Credit.

Poetry: Prerequisites include English I/IH and English II/IIH

This course is designed to build a foundation of the poetic analysis, understanding of poetic devices (figurative and rhetorical) used by classic and contemporary poets through a analysis of poetry, replication of masterful styles, and the thoughtful and purposeful crafting of original poetry (imaginative, personal, and evocative) indicative of the desired theme and style and reflective of appropriate performance style. This is a Core elective; it satisfies English Graduation Credit.

Meet the English Department

Mr. Gillard

Who is Mr. Gilliam?

Ben earned his B.A. in English Literature from Fort Lewis College in 2007 and his teaching credentials from Western State College a year later. He began teaching in 2009 at the Gunnison Valley School in Gunnison, CO. There, he learned the transformative power of experiential and outdoor education, because much of the curriculum took place outside of the traditional classroom. Then, in 2012, he moved to Florissant, CO and began teaching English at Manitou Springs High School. In 2016, Ben started the Manitou Abound Program (MAP) as a way to bring experiential and outdoor learning to MSHS and has since helped students find success by connecting their in-classroom learning with meaningful experiences outside of the classroom (including camping trips, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, nature journaling, and more). Outside of his role as teacher, Ben enjoys whitewater kayaking, photography, swimming, hiking, skiing, camping, reading and writing poetry, drawing, painting, and spending as much time as possible with his family: his park ranger/artist wife, Whitney, and their two adventure-loving dogs, Milo and Tobin.

Who is Mrs. Kerrigan?

Educational Background. I graduate from La Cueva High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1998. I followed in my father's footsteps and attended college at the University of Kansas, where I earned by BA in English, my BS in Secondary Education, and my MA in Education. (...and attended MANY basketball games).

Professional History. This is my 16th year as a professional educator. I did my student teaching for 1 year in inner city Kansas City, Kansas, working with kids impacted by poverty and gang violence. This experience was incredibly positive and growth inspiring. I spend my next 8 years at Mesa Ridge High School in Widefield School District 3 in southern Colorado Springs teaching everything from remedial reading courses to AP English Literature & Composition and CU Succeed English courses, serving as department chair, PLC leader, basketball coach, and in leadership in programs like AVID. My husband and I moved to La Veta, Colorado for the next 4 years for his job with Colorado Parks & Wildlife. I taught for this 4 years at La Veta Jr./Sr. High, a rural school with 50 students. When we returned to the Pike's Peak region, I spent another year at Mesa Ridge before accepting a position at Manitou Springs High School for the 2016-2017 school year. I teach both AP English courses, English 3, and Career Readiness English 3 at MSHS. I am also the National Honor Society Adviser, the Gay Straight Trans Alliance Co-sponsor, and a member of the District Accountability Committee. Manitou has become my forever home. My boys attend MSES, and we moved to Divide to be close to my husband's job as Park Manager at Mueller State Park.

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Who Is Mrs. King?

My name is Elise Hoover-King and I am absolutely thrilled that my journey has brought me to Manitou Springs High School! I will be entering my 4th year as an English teacher and my 8th year as an educator. I am a Colorado native and hold a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Visual and Performing Arts. I have a background in directing theater productions and specialize in bringing Shakespeare to life on stage. I also strongly believe and encourage students to explore their voice through verbal communication, a topic some may argue is becoming a lost art. In my spare time, I enjoy running, hiking, snowboarding, reading, and connecting with my family and friends. I am excited to learn alongside your child this school year and for the wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Manitou Mustang community.
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Who is Dr. Moen?

Educational Background. I attended high school in Torrance, California and attended college during the fall immediately after high school. I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education in 1998 and a Master of Arts Degree in Multicultural Education in 1999. After years of teaching, I decided to pursue a Doctorate of Education, which I earned in 2009. I believe in continuous learning and constant curiosity, which translates to continued education, oh and some student-loans. Most recently I completed an Administrative Credential, providing me with valuable insight into school administration and leadership.

Professional History. This is my 20th year as a public school teacher. I started teaching in Los Angeles Unified School District in 1999. When I first started teaching, I was drawn to elementary education and initially taught second grade! Before moving beyond elementary school, I taught second-sixth grades at Carson Street Elementary School in Carson, California before moving to Colorado. Once in Colorado, I initially taught in Jefferson County School District at Lasley Elementary School (an International Baccalaureate (IB) School), where I fell in love with six grade curriculum and the developmental stages of the students.

However, as I was looking to deepen my experiences as an educator, I decided to transition to middle school and found a home in Douglas County Schools at Mountain Ridge Middle School, where I taught seventh grade social studies. Oh, history...I love it! I was fortunate enough to gain access to an amazing campus, Sky Vista Middle School, in Cherry Creek Schools, where I taught sixth and eighth grade history. The curriculum model was so refreshing, engaging, and effective that my time at that school has forever changed how I plan curriculum. However, the drive to Sky Vista Middle School as too cumbersome once I moved to Manitou Springs, so I had to find a new place of employ, which led me to Discovery Canyon Campus in District 2 (also an IB school), where I taught middle school humanities.

While I enjoyed parts of being of the Thunder-hood, I believed that my truest love would be found closer to my front door, which is why I looked to become a Manitou Mustang and my final transition into high school English. Teaching English has allowed me to explore why I think English is a vital subject in school. I believe that we are all searching for the meaning of life and stories, both fiction and non-fiction, hold the power to show what it means to be human. Stories hold the opportunity to share the broad spectrum of our experiences, to show us that we are not alone or to prove there is always hope, no matter how dark the current moment seems. Stories have the power to give perspective to our triumphs and our trials. Stories can be a mirror to the brightest parts of our souls, as well as for the darkest sections of our secret selves. Words are powerful catalysts and can inspire change from within and change from without. Stories are life. Stories are magic.

Mrs. Nunley

AP & Honors Summer Reading

If you are enrolled in an Honors or AP English course for the 2019-2020 school year, please find your summer reading assignments/reading lists below. If you have questions, please email your teacher.
English I Honors, Mr. Gillard
English II Honors, Dr. Moen
AP Language & Composition, Mrs. Kerrigan
AP Literature & Composition, Mrs. Kerrigan