Middle School Course Descriptions - Ransom Everglades School

bistredingdongMechanics

Oct 31, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

185 views

M
iddle School Courses
English
Mathematics and Computer Science
World Languages
Social Studies
S
cience
Fine Arts
Physical Education
Issues and Ethics
middle school
Middle School Courses and
Number of Meetings Per Week
Sixth Grade
Subject Meetings Per Week
English 5
Mathematics 5
Social Studies 5
Science 5
FLEX (Foreign Language Exploratory) 5
Physical Education 5
Fine Art Elective (Drama, Dance, Chorus or Band) 5
Rotation: approximately 8 days per semester of:5
Studio Art
Library Skills
Current Events
Issues and Ethics
Computer Skills
Study Skills
World Music
Writer’s Workshop
Lunch 5
Total 45
Seventh and Eighth Grade
Subject Meetings Per Week
English 5
Mathematics 5
Social Studies 5
Science 5
World Languages 5
Physical Education 5
Rotation: 5
7th Grade: Computer/Issues & Ethics, Studio Art
8th Grade: Studio Art, Guitar, Speech & Debate
Study Period/Issues and Ethics
Fine Art Elective/Study Hall:5
Drama, Dance, Chorus, Band, Pictorial,
Digital Art & Design or Study Hall
Lunch 5
Total 45
English
ENGLISH 6
The curriculum for sixth grade has been carefully designed by
the Social Studies, English and World Language depart-
m
ents. We are excited to present a unique interdisciplinary
course of study. Our focus includes Native American culture,
Ancient Greece and Rome, Spain, Latin America, Eastern
Europe, China, and Japan. As a result of the collaboration
between these three departments, we are able to combine
a literary and historical approach to our program. This helps
our students make connections across the three disciplines,
and provides them with the knowledge that literature reflects
culture. Students focus on becoming critical readers, writers,
and thinkers. Communication skills play an integral part in
the educational process.
Texts:The View from Saturday, Konigsburg; D’Aulaire’s
Book of Greek Myths; I Juan de Pareja, Trevino; Absolute
Normal Chaos, Creech; Red Scarf Girl, Jiang; Finding
Miracles,Alvarez; Scat, Hiaasen, The Alchemist, Coelho;
English Workshop First Course
* The study of poetry will be scattered throughout the
curriculum often complementing the longer literary work(s)
which students are reading at that time. Poems appropriate
to the novel, short story, or folk tale will be used whenever
possible.
ENGLISH 7
The seventh grade English program is designed to recognize
individual differences and to challenge all students to reach
higher levels of literacy. Students focus on becoming critical
readers, writers, and thinkers through a modified holistic
approach to understanding and using the English language.
This approach integrates literature, composition, vocabulary,
and grammar. Listening and speaking skills are also
emphasized so that students are better able to understand
others and to be understood by others. Course materials
center around various novels, short stories, poetry, plays,
student writing, the dictionary and grammar books.
Texts:The Outsiders, Hinton; Characters in Conflict, Warriner;
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Speare; The House on Mango
Street, Cisneros; The Glory Field, Myers; A Midsummer Night’s
Dream, Shakespeare; The Hunger Games, Collins; English
Workshop First Course, Harcourt Brace
ENGLISH 8
English 8 is essentially a reinforcement and continuation of
the skills and concepts learned in English 7. The curriculum
continues to challenge students to higher levels of literacy.
To accomplish this goal, students focus on becoming critical
readers, writers, and thinkers through a modified holistic
approach to understanding and using the English language.
T
his holistic approach integrates literature, composition,
vocabulary, and grammar. Listening and speaking skills
are also emphasized so that students are better able to
understand others and to be understood by them. The course
includes varied pieces of literature including novels,
short stories, and poetry; as well as student writing and a
grammar book.
Texts:The House of the Scorpion, Farmer; challenging
short stories by Hawthorne, Jackson, Benet and Bradbury,
and others; You Come Too, Frost; The Odyssey, Homer (the
Robert Fitzgerald translation); Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare;
To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee; The Epic of Gilgamesh, Sandars;
English Workshop Second Course, Harcourt Brace.
Mathematics and
Computer Science
MATH 6
This course is designed to give students a better under-
standing of the reason mathematics is important in solving
the variety of problems they will encounter in their educa-
tional lives and in their future careers. It is an integrated
mathematics course that includes algebra, geometry,
statistics, consumer math, and probability. In addition to
reinforcement of basic computation skills, concepts, and
vocabulary, emphasis will be placed on a “hands on”
approach to learning mathematics. Students will have
opportunities to use critical thinking skills in problem solving
on an individual basis as well as in cooperative learning
situations. Opportunities will be presented that allow
students to make observations, record data, survey, or
make a decision while applying interpersonal skills. The
main topics to be covered during the year will be: a review
of basic whole number operations, decimals, fractions,
measurement activities, introduction to basic geometry and
terminology, ratio, proportion, and percent, statistics and
graphs, operations with integers, probability, introduction
to algebra, and word problem applications.
Text:Florida Math Connects Plus, Course 2
2
MATH 7
This course is designed for those seventh grade students
who require more skill work before attempting a more
rigorous pre-algebra course. Emphasis will be placed on
arithmetic skills and problem solving. Calculators will be
permitted only after students have demonstrated basic
mastery of these skills with pencil and paper. The main topics
c
overed during the year are basic arithmetic with whole
numbers, decimals, fractions, integers and rational numbers;
statistics; number theory; coordinate graphing; and ratios,
percents and proportions.
Texts:Prentice Hall Math 7 Plus, Common Core Ed. Course
2, with online Student Center
ALGEBRA 7
The main topics to be covered during the year include the
use of variables in arithmetic equations; review of addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division with whole numbers,
decimals, and fractions; algebraic properties; integers and
equations; number theory; rational numbers; ratio, proportion,
and percent; introduction to probability and statistics;
informal geometry perimeter, area, surface area, volume;
metrics, graphing inequalities; and graphing linear equations.
These topics will frequently be applied in solving word
problems. Also, students will be given opportunities to
demonstrate their understanding of mathematics through
writing. The goals include: 1) providing the student with the
skills needed for the study of algebra, 2) developing an ability
to apply these skills to solve word problems, and 3) improving
the student’s written communication skills in mathematics.
Texts:Prentice Hall Middle Grades Mathematics Course 3,
2012, Common Core Ed. with online Student Center
ALGEBRA I
This course is offered to a select seventh grade group who
we feel is ready for an accelerated sequence in mathematics.
The goal of this course is to offer the fundamentals of
algebra, covering topics that provide a foundation for future
courses in mathematics. The primary focus will be to utilize
the mechanics of algebra in order to develop and hone
problem solving skills. Real-life applications will be stressed
whenever possible. These problem solving skills will play a
vital role not only in future math courses, but also in all
subject areas. Students will have the opportunity to become
familiar with the graphing calculator. The main topics to be
covered are: a review of operations with integers and
rational numbers, solving equations and inequalities, word
problem applications, polynomials, factoring, functions and
graphs, linear systems, quadratics, radicals and rational
expressions.
Text:Algebra Structure and Method, McDougal, Littell
MATH 8
This course is designed for those eighth grade students
who, having completed the Math 7 or Algebra 7 course, feel
the need for more skill work before tackling a first year algebra
course. The main topics to be covered during the year
include basic arithmetic with whole numbers, decimals,
fractions, negative numbers and rational numbers, factor-
i
zations of numbers, absolute value, solving linear equations
and inequalities, graphing, ratio, proportion, percentages,
simple geometry, length, area, volume squares and square
roots, and probability. There will also be an emphasis
placed upon problem solving.
Text:Pre-Algebra, Glencoe
ALGEBRA 8
The goal of this course is to offer the fundamentals of
algebra, covering topics that provide a foundation for future
courses in mathematics. The primary focus will be to utilize
the mechanics of algebra in order to develop and hone
problem solving skills. Real-life applications will be stressed
whenever possible. These problem solving skills will play a
vital role not only in future math courses, but also in all subject
areas. Students will have the opportunity to become familiar
with the graphing calculator.
The main topics covered during the year are: a review of
operations with integers and rational numbers, solving
equations and inequalities, word problem applications,
polynomials, factoring, functions and graphs, linear systems,
quadratics, radicals and rational expressions.
Text:Pearson Algebra 1 Common Core Ed., 2012 with student
digital access
ALGEBRA II
This course continues to build on the knowledge gained in
Algebra 1. The student must be able to use variables to
construct and solve equations and inequalities arising from
modeling real life situations. The primary emphasis is on
linear and quadratic functions. Additionally, we will discuss
logarithmic and exponential functions.
In teaching this course, we aim to enhance the student’s
ability to reason numerically, analytically, and graphically.
We will employ the use of the graphing calculator extensively
in the course. The Mathematics Department believes that
writing must be used to gain deeper understanding of
mathematics, and thus students will be asked to write in
class and outside of class.
Text:Algebra 2, by Henry Stavisky & Jean Duty
3
Sixth Grade Rotation
In groups, students move through the rotation cycle once
during the first semester and again during the second
semester. The Sixth Grade Rotation consists of the following
components:
STUDY SKILLS
This class establishes a foundation upon which the Ransom
Everglades students construct their careers. Students receive
guidance and instruction in the practical skills requisite to
a fruitful career at Ransom Everglades and beyond, from
simple organization of a locker to indexing assignments
to implementing independent study techniques and time
management. Students practice reading, note taking, and
retention techniques, including chapter prep and pneumonic
devices. This class introduces and reinforces the difference
between homework assignments, which have deadlines, and
non-specific studying such as note-taking and independent
review, which is essential for success in the Middle School.
ISSUES & ETHICS
Taught by the middle school counselor, this course allocates
specific time for students to discuss current issues and
areas of interest and concern to Middle Schoolers such as:
self-esteem, stress management, communication, decision-
making, peer pressure, relationships, sexuality and career
choices. This “preventive group-counseling program” helps
students acquire the knowledge and judgment to reduce
the likelihood of substance abuse and other self-defeating
behaviors.
LIBRARY SKILLS
The Braman Family Media Center has 9,000 electronically
catalogued volumes and 30 networked workstations.
The Library Skills rotation introduces sixth graders to the
Middle School’s library media center, teaching them to use
the computers, access the Online Public Access Catalog
(OPAC), and efficiently locate books and other library
materials. Students are also taught to master research skills
critical to success in higher education.
MUSIC APPRECIATIoN
The music component of the 6th grade rotation is organized
to help students increase their musical appreciation and
cultural sensitivity while learning about world music and
discussing a brief overview of the history of Western music.
Focus will be on discussions, listening, watching video
performances and worksheet activities. Class meets for 8
days each semester, and will have no grading requirements.
ART
The studio art course provides students with a creative
two-dimensional and three-dimensional art experience.
Basic design principles and techniques are taught through
drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture projects.
Experimentation with a wide range of mediums and artistic
styles is encouraged. We hope this will broaden each
s
tudent’s experience in art, and underscore the importance
of it in a well-rounded education program.
CoMPUTERS
The 6th grade computer rotation prepares students to
manage their data and assignments on the school network.
The first part of the course focuses on the mail server and
data management. Students should be able to attach files
and set up folders and distribution lists, access email over
the internet. They should also be able to insert photos,
videos, audio clips and tables into their Word or PowerPoint
assignments. The second half of the course serves as a
primer on Geometer’s Sketchpad. In addition to the drawing
and animation tools used to for dynamic constructions, the
students will be able to graph linear and nonlinear functions.
The program is used increasingly throughout the Mathematics
curriculum.
WRITER’S WoRKSHoP
The Writer’s Workshop is an opportunity for all 6th graders
to explore writing foundations and improve basic skills in
an open and collaborative setting. The first semester
focuses on paragraph structures such as topic and closing
sentences and a standard essay structure including the
purpose and function of a thesis sentence. The second
semester reviews the principals of the writing process
through writing activities that enhance the writer’s creativity
by encouraging the use of descriptive words, figurative
language, and action verbs.
CURRENT EvENTS
Using both websites and primary sources, such as
newspaper and magazine articles, the Current Events class
seeks to inform students about school, local, national, and
international events. Using discussion based strategies,
students analyze current events. The goal of the class is
to make the students well-informed, critical thinkers, who
are able to contribute thoughtfully to our school community
and the larger society.
4
Seventh Grade Rotation
The seventh grade rotation is comprised of two courses
which meet for an entire semester: computers and art.
CoMPUTER 7
For one quarter of the semester, students are taught basic
programming in a 3D environment utilizing Alice. For the
remainder of the semester, students explore robots through
Lego Robotics using collaborative problem solving skills.
Once a week students will attend Issues and Ethics during
this class period.
Eighth Grade Rotation
The eighth grade rotation is comprised of four classes
which meet for an entire quarter:
Studio Art 8, Guitar, Speech and Debate, and study
period/Issues and Ethics. Speech and Debate is a course
designed for the middle school student. The course is
intended for students to gain an understanding of public
speaking skills, use research skills effectively, and introduce
the art of debate.
For information regarding the other components of the
rotation, please see those sections.
World Languages
FoREIGN LANGUAGE EXPLoRAToRY (FLEX) -
6TH GRADE
This program, taken by all 6th graders has the following
goals:
1.Promotion of interest in and ultimately the choice of future
language study
2.Exposure to various languages and cultures
3.Emphasis on cross-cultural appreciation and contrasts
4.Limited language proficiency
It is mainly a language/culture/motivational program that will
enable students to enjoy learning while achieving a certain
degree of success. It will also provide the foundation for
good foreign language study habits.
First Semester Curriculum-Multi-language:
Consisting of brief thematic units covering:
1.The identification of students’ heritage and the languages
they reflect
2.Non-spoken languages i.e., Braille, Morse code, American
Sign Language
3.Spoken languages - useful phrases in ten languages
including Japanese, Hebrew, Greek, Creole, Italian,
H
indi, German and Portuguese.
4.Cultural aspects and customs such as, food, music,
dance and the alphabet
5.At the conclusion of the semester students will present
a project displaying what they have learned
Second Semester Curriculum
A.CHINESE - Six week unit emphasizing the spoken
language, the written language and the culture.
B.FRENCH - Six week unit emphasizing the spoken
language, the written language and the culture.
C.SPANISH - Six week unit emphasizing the spoken
language, the written language and the culture.
SPANISH 7
This course is designed to develop the ability to communicate
in Spanish through the use of the audio-lingual method. As
the students develop their aural-oral writing and reading
skills, they are introduced to the vocabulary, idiomatic
expressions, grammatical structures and verbs common to
educated Spanish speakers. The students will also gain,
through reading selections, an understanding of and
appreciation for the culture of the Hispanic world.
Texts:Buen Viaje, Glencoe
SPANISH 1
This course is designed to develop the ability to communicate
in Spanish through the use of the audio-lingual method. As
the students develop their aural-oral writing and reading
skills, they are introduced to the vocabulary, idiomatic
expressions, grammatical structures and the most common
verbs in the present and past tenses. They will learn to
develop simple and complex patterns of speech common
to educated Spanish speakers. The students will also gain,
through reading selections, an understanding of and
appreciation for the culture of the Hispanic world. As this
is an accelerated course which covers Spanish 7 and 8 in
one year, students are carefully selected. Upon successful
completion of Spanish 1, students will be eligible to enter
Spanish 2 in the eighth grade.
Texts:Bienvenidos text and workbook
5
SPANISH 7 HERITAGE
This course is an introductory course designed to teach
Spanish grammar, vocabulary, culture and civilization.
Created for a beginning student who has had an informal
background in Spanish, the course promotes speaking
skills and the acquisition of culture. The topics covered in
this course are: verb usage, writing skills, interpretation of
l
iterature, correct patterns of speech, and translation. They are
covered through the use of diverse texts. Upon successful
completion of Spanish 7-S the students are promoted to
Spanish 8-S.
Texts:Dime Uno, Text & Workbook for Native Speakers -
Diccionario Larousse
Lecturas:Don Quijote de la Mancha, easy reader, Cervantes;
Nuevas Vistas text and workbook; El Color de Mis Palabras,
Joseph; El Alquimista, Coelho, Mi Primer Amor y Una Bruja
Merodeando, Huanqui; Lazarillo de Tormes, Poetry and
short story collections
FRENCH 7
This course is designed to develop the ability to communicate
in French through the use of the audio-lingual method. As
the students develop their aural-oral writing and reading
skills, they are introduced to the vocabulary, idiomatic
expressions, grammatical structure and usage of the most
common verbs in the present tense. They will learn to develop
simple and complex patterns of speech common to educated
French speakers. The students will also gain, through reading
selections, an understanding of and an appreciation for the
culture of the French speaking world.
Texts:Bon Voyage! Level 1A text and workbook
SPANISH 8
This course is a continuation of Spanish 7. It is designed to
develop the ability to communicate in Spanish through the
use of the audio-lingual method. As the students continue
to develop their language skills, they are introduced to the
vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, grammatical structures
and the most common verbs in the present and the past
tenses. They will learn to develop simple and complex
patterns of speech common to the educated Spanish
speakers. The students will also gain, through reading
selections, an understanding of and an appreciation for the
culture of the Hispanic world. Upon successful completion
of Spanish 8, students will be eligible to enter Intermediate
Spanish, Spanish 2 or Spanish 2 Honors, as recommended
by the instructor.
Text:Buen Viaje 1B and workbook, Glencoe; Curso Primero,
Amsco
SPANISH 8 HERITAGE
Spanish 8-S is a continuation of Spanish 7-S. The course
continues to develop oral fluency, reading and writing skills,
and correct grammatical usage and spelling common to
educated Spanish speakers. The students will gain, through
reading selections, knowledge of literature, history, geography,
and customs in different parts of the Spanish-speaking
w
orld. Upon satisfactory completion of Spanish 8-S, students
will be eligible to enter Spanish 2S or 3S as recommended
by the instructor.
Texts:Dime Dos, Text & Workbook
Lecturas:Sendas Literarias I; El Secreto de Cristobal Colón,
Carrero
SPANISH 2
Spanish 2 is designed to further increase the student’s
competency in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading
and writing. Spanish will be presented within the context of
the contemporary Spanish-speaking world, and its culture
and will form a foundation upon which to build for more
advanced courses. Spanish 2 students will learn a number
of verb tenses as well as increasingly more complicated
grammatical structures. They will learn vocabulary based
on topics which center around daily life and will learn to ask
and answer questions which incorporate the above concepts.
Upon successful completion of Spanish 2, students will be
eligible to enter either Spanish 3 or Spanish 3 Honors in the
ninth grade, as recommended by the instructor.
Texts:A Bordo, Segundo Libro, Amsco; Leyendas de
España; Marcelino Pan y Vino, Sanchez-Silva; Amsco Spanish
Dictionary
FRENCH 8
This course is a continuation of French 7. It is designed to
develop the ability to communicate in French through the
use of the audio-lingual method. As the students continue
to develop their aural-oral writing and reading skills, they
are introduced to the vocabulary, idiomatic expressions,
grammatical structures and the most common verbs in the
present and past tenses. They will learn to develop simple
and complex patterns of speech common to educated
French speakers. The students will also gain, through reading
selections, an understanding of and an appreciation for the
culture of the French-speaking world. Upon successful
completion of French 8, the students will be eligible to enter
either French 2 or French 2 Honors, as recommended by
the instructor.
Texts:Bon Voyage 1B and workbook
6
CHINESE 7
This course is designed to teach basic skills in speaking,
listening, reading and writing Chinese with an emphasis on
developing the ability to communicate at the novice level.
The course is meant for students who do not have a Chinese
family background or any previous knowledge of the Chinese
language. As students develop their aural-oral skills, they
a
re introduced to the building blocks of Chinese characters,
the Pinyin romanization system, basic vocabulary and word
order. The cultural component of the class includes learning
about Chinese holidays and customs and developing an
appreciation of Chinese history and art. Students are
expected to spend time each day working on their aural-oral
skills in Chinese. Students also will learn how to write basic
Chinese characters. Upon successful completion of Chinese
7, students will be promoted to Chinese 8.
Texts:Happy Chinese, text, CD and workbook; Collins Easy
Learning Mandarin Phrasebook, Chinese Vocabulary
Mandarin Study Chart
CHINESE 8
This course is a continuation of Chinese 7. It is designed to
develop the ability to communicate in Chinese through the
use of the audio-lingual method. As students develop their
language skills, they will be introduced to more vocabulary
and Chinese characters. They will develop more advanced
conversational and writing skills. By the conclusion of this year,
students should be able to carry on a basic conversation in
Chinese. Students will also be exposed to aspects of Chinese
holidays, culture and daily life. Upon successful completion of
Chinese 8, students will be eligible to enter Chinese 2.
Texts:Chinese Link Simplified Character Version, Level 1,
Pearson, audio CDs and workbook, Oxford Chinese Pocket
Dictionary
Social Studies
SoCIAL STUDIES 6 WoRLD CULTURES
The curriculum for sixth grade has been carefully designed
by the Social Studies, World Languages and English
Departments. We are excited to present a unique interdis-
ciplinary course of study. Our focus will include Native
Americans, Spain, Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe,
China and Japan. As a result of the collaboration between
the three departments, we are able to combine a literary as
well as an historical approach to our program. This will help
our students make connections across the three disciplines
and provide them with the knowledge that literature reflects
culture. Students will focus on becoming critical readers,
writers, and thinkers. Communication skills will play an
integral part in the educational process.
Texts:World Studies: Latin America, Africa, Asia and Pacific,
Foundations of Geography, Prentice Hall; People, Nascorp
SoCIAL STUDIES 7 AMERICAN HISToRY
We believe it to be imperative that students understand,
appreciate, and have a valid perspective of our own history,
geography, government and economic systems before
exploring other world cultures and our entire Western heritage.
History provides a chronological core to the course as we
travel from pre-Columbian times to the post-WWII world.
Government and economic institutions, and local and national
current events are also emphasized throughout the year.
We assume that all 7th graders need help in learning and
applying good study and analytical skills; therefore, we
stress these skills in the course.
Text:The American Journey, Glencoe
SoCIAL STUDIES 8 WoRLD HISToRY
The goal of the 8th grade World History program is to instill
in students an appreciation of the beginnings of civilization
and the roots of modern Western society. We will study
ancient civilizations, the rise and fall of the classical
civilizations, and the Middle Ages.
This program concentrates on a variety of study skills such
as note-taking, critical thinking, problem solving, expository
writing, and graph and map reading. Current events are
also an integral part of the 8th grade curriculum and will
be incorporated on a regular basis. Our goal is to enable
students to analyze current events within the context of human
history. Art history is incorporated through visual arts and
allows students to gain an artistic appreciation of history while
preparing them for World Civilizations at the Upper School.
Text:World History: The Early Ages, Glencoe
Science
EARTH SCIENCE 6TH GRADE
This course meets five days a week and begins with a general
introduction to science and the scientific method. Included
is the use of the library as a resource tool. The study of local
weather maps is coordinated with the social studies
department. Weather related phenomena lead into the study
of geology. The final third of the year is devoted to astronomy
and oceanography. A variety of audio visual and hands on
experiences allows students to improve critical thinking
skills. Among the major skills covered in this course are
data gathering and interpretation and analysis of data.
Text:Earth Science, Feather et. al., McGraw-Hill
7
LIFE SCIENCE 7TH GRADE
The first semester begins with a study of the concept of
what constitutes a living organism. Basic cell structures of
both plants and animals are studied. After this introduction,
the course studies the major systems of the human and
compares them to structures that carry out similar functions
in selected organisms. The structures of support, movement,
r
espiration, circulation, digestion and excretion complete
the first semester. The second semester continues the
study through sensitivity, chemical regulation of systems,
and reproduction. During the fourth quarter the course
turns its attention to ecology.
Text:Middle School Life Science, Second Edition, Capra,
Kendall Hunt
PHYSICAL SCIENCE 8TH GRADE
The first part of the course is a study of the concept of a
scientific model, an introduction to forces as they apply to
simple machines, and energy in the forms of electricity,
magnetism, heat, light and sound. The last portion of the
year is a study of chemistry including an introduction to the
periodic table of the elements and to the balancing of
chemical equations.
Text:Physical Science Workbook, Weisler
Fine Arts
STUDIo ART
6th Grade - Full year (as part of rotation);
7th Grade - One semester; 8th Grade - One quarter.
These courses will give students an understanding of art by
examining basic visual elements: line, shape, value, texture,
color and space. Students will explore how artists throughout
history have incorporated these design elements into their
compositions and through this understanding, apply these
rules to their own artwork. Exercises are designed to explore
and build upon drawing and design skills while promoting
problem-solving strategies. This will lay the foundation for
subsequent courses in studio art and art history.
DRAMA
6th, 7th and 8th Grades - Full year
This performance class offers the opportunity for students
to rehearse and perform several styles of theatrical material.
Students will be given instruction in proper breath support,
musical interpretation, vocal projection and clarity, rhythm,
theatrical movement, and dramatic interpretation and
characterization. As part of the course, it is possible that
either assembly and evening performance will be required.
MIDDLE SCHooL BEGINNING BAND
6th, 7th and 8th Grades - Full year
The Wind Ensemble is a beginning-level instrumental
ensemble for students who have had no prior experience.
The emphasis will be on the development of individual
instrumental skills such as proper embouchure, breath
support, and tone production. As the students strengthen
these playing skills through various musical selections, the
focus will be expanded to include ensemble skills such as
balance, blend, and intonation. Band members will also
learn about notation, key, and time signatures. Students will
be encouraged to perform in a solo or small ensemble
setting during the second semester. The group will perform
throughout the school year at assemblies and at evening
programs. Attendance at special rehearsals and concerts
is required.
MIDDLE SCHooL INTERMEDIATE BAND
6th, 7th and 8th Grades - Full year
The Symphonic Band is an intermediate-level instrumental
ensemble for students who have had prior band experience.
Instruction will be directed toward strengthening the
fundamentals of playing and expanding the student’s
knowledge of rhythms, key signatures, and musical concepts.
The improvement of both individual and ensemble skills will
be approached through a diverse repertoire of band literature.
Students will be encouraged to perform in a solo or small
ensemble setting, and the group will perform throughout
the school year at assemblies and at evening programs.
Attendance at special rehearsals and concerts is required.
MIDDLE SCHooL ADvANCED BAND
6th, 7th and 8th Grades - Full year
The Concert Band is an advanced-level instrumental
ensemble for students who have had prior band experience.
Instruction will be directed toward strengthening and refining
both individual and ensemble skills through a diverse
repertoire of band literature. Students will be encouraged
to perform in a solo or small ensemble setting, and the group
will perform throughout the school year at assemblies and
at evening programs. Attendance at special rehearsals and
concerts is required.
MIDDLE SCHooL JAzz BAND
7th and 8th Grades - Full year
The Jazz Band is an advanced-level instrument ensemble.
This ensemble is by audition only, eligible through Band
Director approval. Students will be encouraged to perform
in a solo or small ensemble setting, and the group will perform
throughout the school year at assemblies and at evening
programs. Attendance at special rehearsals and concerts
is required.
8
9
MUSIC 8 GUITAR
8th Grade - One quarter of a rotation
Classroom guitar is designed to provide an opportunity for
students to have a “hands-on” experience with a musical
instrument. Among the goals of the course are: to foster an
appreciation of the skills that must be developed by musi-
cians; to learn basic musical notation and thus be able to
read a musical part; and to be able to play elementary-level
guitar music both individually and as part of an ensemble.
Texts:Easy Pop Melodies, Shmid; Complete Guide for Guitar,
Jr. Edition, Ellis
MIDDLE SCHooL CoNCERT CHoRUS
6th, 7th, and 8th Grades - Full year
The Concert Chorus is an ensemble of mixed voices.
Students in the chorus come from many different levels of
experience and ability, but anyone who loves to sing is
encouraged to join. The Concert Chorus performs an average
of 2 or 3 times each semester and sings a variety of music
including classical, Broadway, jazz, ethnic, and popular
styles. Attendance at special rehearsals and all performances
is required.
Text:Essential Elements for Choir, Level 2, Glencoe
DANCE
6th, 7th and 8th Grades - Full year
This class is for students who have interest in exploring,
preparing and participating in dramatic musical productions.
It is a performance oriented course that will include both
backstage and onstage experiences. No previous experience
is necessary, just a willingness to become involved and
commitment to the class activities.
PICToRIAL (YEARBooK)
7th and 8th Grades - Full year
In Yearbook, students learn all aspects of creating the middle
school yearbook - photography, editing, layout and design.
During the fourth quarter, the class turns into Black & White
Photography class in which students take photos with black
and white film and then go into the darkroom to develop
their photos.
DIGITAL ART AND DESIGN
7th and 8th Grades - Full year
Students will explore the world of digital art through Adobe
Digital Software, which includes Illustrator, Photoshop,
InDesign and Flash. Each program will be introduced to the
class with basic step-by-step lessons, and students will
create projects for each particular lesson.
Physical Education
PHYSICAL EDUCATIoN
6th, 7th, and 8th Grades - Full year
The Physical Education curriculum at Ransom Everglades
School is a sequential program of instruction for grades six,
seven, and eight. The program provides the opportunity
for each student to improve their quality of life through
experiences in which they acquire lifetime skills, knowledge,
and positive attitudes with participation in a wide variety of
activities. These activities will help expand muscular strength
and endurance, flexibility, the cardiovascular system, and
balance.
Issues & Ethics
ISSUES AND ETHICS
6th Grade - All year during 9th period rotation
7th Grade - Once a week during the computer semester
8th Grade - Twice a week during the study period quarter
Recognizing the physical, emotional and social changes
that students experience during the middle school years, a
preventive counseling program, Issues and Ethics, has
been developed specifically for use with Ransom Everglades
students.
Some of the topics discussed: goal setting, values and
self awareness, communication skills, conflict resolution,
decision-making skills, family and peer relationships, stress
management, respect for self and others and tolerance of
differences among our students.
In addition, one of the goals of this program is to help
young people develop the knowledge, skills and strength
that reduce the likelihood that they will participate in
self-defeating behaviors, such as alcohol or other drug use,
eating disorders, and premature sexual behavior. As well as
receiving information on these subjects, students explore the
factors that influence their decisions and how their choices
about these issues might further or hinder their life goals.
U
pper School Courses
English
Mathematics and Computer Science
World Languages
Social Sciences
S
cience
Fine Arts
Physical Education
upper school
Graduation Requirements
Successful completion of a minimum of 23 credits
in grades 9 through 12 as follows:
Subject Credits
English 4
- English 1, 2 and 3
- Freshman through Junior Year
- Semester Electives (1/2 credit each) or
AP English - Senior Year
Mathematics 3
- Minimum of three credits required
World Languages 2
- Minimum of two years of the same
language required in grades 9-12
- A third year is strongly recommended.
Social Science 3
- World Civilizations & Humanities
Studio Since 1500 - Freshman year
- United States History (Regular, Honors, AP) -
Sophomore year
- Elective Courses - Junior and Senior years
Science 3
- Three lab-science courses required
- Biology - Freshman year
- A Chemistry course is recommended -
Sophomore year
- Elective Courses - Junior and Senior years
Fine Arts 1
- Humanities Studio is required in 9th grade
as part of World Civilizations & Humanities Studio
Since 1500, and does not meet this requirement.
Physical Education 2
- Required in grades 9 and 10
Electives 5
Total 23
English
ENGLISH 1 WoRLD LITERATURE
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
R
equired: Grade 9
Prerequisite: Admission to Grade 9
This course aims to develop students’ language and thinking
skills and to continue the formal study of literature as a content
area of knowledge.
With the development of language skills, there is an emphasis
on close textual analysis in reading. In writing, analysis and
argumentation are stressed although assignments like writing
a personal narrative and writing a ballad ask students to
explore a wider range of writing purposes. Both in-class
and out-of-class writing assignments are given. In addition,
writing is taught as a process, with attention given to work-
shops, peer review, and individual conferences. Students
also write for reflection with a goal towards developing
an ability to use writing as a tool for thought. Students are
encouraged to build vocabulary as a routine habit;
vocabulary assigned is usually taken from texts used in
class. The study of grammar in 9th grade focuses primarily
on various types of phrases and clauses. Class discussion
of the literature read is an essential part of the class, and
active participation is required of all students.
The study of world literature is structured around themes in
the 9th grade year. In the first quarter, the theme is The Ideal
and the Real, and students study that theme through
time, beginning with readings from the Middle Ages and
Renaissance, which aim to help students understand the
change in worldviews between those two periods. Students
next consider the theme of The Ideal and Real in some
contemporary short stories by Hanan al Shaykh, a Lebanese
writer, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Colombian writer. The
second quarter has a theme of The Individual, Nature, and the
Divine, which begins with a reading of Hesse’s Siddhartha.
The unit continues with a study of poetry from the Tang
dynasty in China and the Romantic period in England as well
as readings of contemporary nonfiction. The theme for the
third quarter is Tragedy, as a genre in literature. Students
explore this theme through readings of Sophocles’ Oedipus
the King or Antigone and Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of
Macbeth. The 9th grade year ends with a fourth quarter unit
on the theme of Culture and Identity. To what degree and in
what ways does culture shape one’s identity? Students ex-
plore this question in conjunction with readings from various
cultures: among those readings are Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie
John (Antigua), Yasmin Crowther’s The Saffron Kitchen (Iran
and England), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s The Headstrong
Historian (Nigeria), Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and
Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Native American), and Edwidge
Danticat’s A Wall of Fire Rising (Haiti).
Representative texts:“Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,”
Hesse’s Siddhartha, Sophocles’ Antigone or Oedipus the King,
Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Kincaid’s Annie John, Crowther’s
The Saffron Kitchen, The Little, Brown Handbook, and English
W
orkshop: Complete Course
E
NGLISH 2 AMERICAN LITERATURE
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Required: Grade 10
Prerequisite: Admission to Grade 10
The goals of this sophomore course in English are several:
to continue to introduce students to our cultural heritage
as found in our national literature; to promote their desire and
ability to write in a variety of modes, formal and informal;
to increase their vocabulary and their understanding of how
words are used; to help them improve their skills in grammar
and usage; and to develop their listening and speaking skills.
Students write for a variety of purposes, yet analysis and
argumentation are stressed as critical modes of thought
to be developed. Both in-class and out-of-class writing
assignments are given. Writing is taught as a process, with
attention given to workshops, peer review, and individual
conferences. Students also write for reflection with a goal
towards developing an ability to use writing as a tool
for thought.
Vocabulary is chosen from the literature read, with an emphasis
on context, word analysis, and the different forms of words.
Class discussion of the literature read is an essential part of
the class, and active participation is required of all students.
A further oral component of the class requires formal
presentations in conjunction with group and individual
projects.
Representative texts:Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter,
Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chopin’s The
Awakening, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Hemingway’s In Our
Time, Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Morrison’s
The Bluest Eye, Miller’s The Crucible, Quinonez’s Bodega
Dreams, Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, an anthology of short
stories titled The Story and Its Writer, The Little Brown
Handbook, and English Workshop: Complete Course.
ENGLISH 3 BRITISH LITERATURE
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Required: Grade 11
Prerequisite: Admission to Grade 11
The purpose of the course is to introduce students to British
literature—its beginnings, its development, its language, its
themes—and to teach them to write with clarity and precision.
Primarily, the course takes a chronological approach,
focusing on major writers from the Middle Ages through the
twentieth century. However, consideration of comparative
11

themes and ideas takes the course beyond its chronological
core. Masterworks in a variety of genres are read. During
class discussions and on writing assignments, students are
asked to analyze and to compare the themes, techniques,
influences on, and effects of the authors that they study.
In addition to impromptu in-class writing, paragraphs,
and prepared essays, students write one extended
research paper (2000-2500 words), using a minimum of six
secondary sources.
Vocabulary is taken from the literature, and students have
the opportunity to build fundamental skills that prepare
them for the SAT. Grammar, mechanics, and usage are
addressed in formal exercises and in students’ own writing.
Representative texts: Beowulf, Chaucer’s The Canterbury
Tales, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Mary
Shelley’s Frankenstein, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Rhys’
Wide Sargasso Sea, Stoppard’s Arcadia, Adiga’s The White
Tiger, English Workshop: Complete Course; The Little
Brown Handbook
ENGLISH 4 ADvANCED PLACEMENT ENGLISH
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 12
Prerequisite: Permission of the English Department
This year-long class is designed especially for students
who plan to take the Advanced Placement Examination in
Literature and Composition. It is the equivalent of a first-year
college English course. In a seminar format, students engage
in a close study of poetry, drama, and the novel. Writing
focuses heavily on the critical analysis of literature, although
less formal writing of a variety of kinds is also required work.
Through close reading, discussion, and frequent writing,
students sharpen reading, thinking, and writing skills while
exploring a wide variety of classic and contemporary literature.
Representative texts:Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Austen’s
Pride and Prejudice, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Faulkner’s As I
Lay Dying, Morrison’s Beloved, Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse
Five, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Shaffer’s Equus, Camus’
The Stranger, as well as a variety of lyric poetry drawn from
Hall’s To Read a Poem and from The Norton Anthology of Poetry
English 4 Semester Electives
Semester Courses: Five class meetings per week.
One-half credit.
Electives: Grade 12 (more than one elective each semester
is permitted)
Prerequisite: Admission to Grade 12
The English program for seniors provides students with the
opportunity to select from a variety of elective courses.
While the department seeks to give students their first
choice of elective, this is not always possible for all seniors.
Elective choices range from genre to more thematic studies.
All electives are intellectually challenging courses, intended
to furnish substantial and valuable preparation for the
demands of college English. All electives require close reading
of literature, discussion, collaborative work, oral reports,
and a range of writing from frequent informal responses
to passage analysis to formal critical essays. Lists of
representative texts are just that: representative of works
that have been taught in each course in the past. Once
staffing is complete, final decisions on texts for a course
are made by the teacher of the course.
First Semester Electives
CRIME AND DETECTIvE FICTIoN
This course traces the rich history of crime and detective
fiction, a genre that the reading public embraces though
critics have often wrongfully dismissed it. In fact, crime and
detective fiction has historically dealt with such issues as
the psychology of evil, the existence of absolute truth, racial
tensions in the U.S., moral relativity, and so on.
Representative texts:Short fiction by Edgar Allan Poe,
Isaac Asimov, Jorge Luis Borges, Arthur Conan Doyle,
Woody Allen, and Dorothy Sayers; excerpts of Dostoevsky’s
Crime and Punishment; Capote’s In Cold Blood; Himes’
Cotton Comes to Harlem; Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn;
Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice; McCarthy’s No
Country for Old Men; and Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.
GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN LITERATURE
In this elective, students will read and write about a host of
texts that will encourage them to think more extensively
about the ways that sexual and gender identities exist as
social constructs rather than as biological facts. Using both
pieces of contemporary theory and works of fiction, students
will examine how various socially prescribed gender roles,
issues relative to sexual orientation, and prevailing yet shifting
conceptions of masculinity and femininity shape our individual
and communal selves in profound and often restrictive
ways. Our concentration on themes relating to gender and
sexuality will inevitably intersect with discussions of race,
religion, ethnicity, class, and nationhood. As a result, students
will be encouraged to examine how our conceptions of
gender and sexuality shape—and are shaped by—the other
pivotal aspects of our complex human identities.
Representative texts:James Baldwin’s Another Country,
Winterson’s Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, Morrison’s Sula,
Kushner’s Angels in America, excerpts from Robert Bly’s
Iron John
12
LITERATURE oF CHANGING TIMES
This course focuses on literature that portrays historical,
social, and political change in various historical periods.
Attention is given to the background and causes of change,
but the major emphasis is on universal themes of faith, love,
goodness, and the will to survive in times of turmoil.
Representative texts and films: Hugo’s Les Miserables,
Doris Lessing’s The Memoirs of a Survivor, Faulkner’s The
Sound and the Fury, Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a
Song of Despair, David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago (film)
LITERATURE oF THE SEA
The sea may be a nasty, dangerous, or lonely place. It may
also be the theater of heroic action and personal discovery.
It is, in fact, one of the most universal symbols in literature, a
symbol which transforms itself through the vision of different
writers in every generation. The sea has been personified
into personalities as varied as the changes in the wind. This
course explores short stories, poetry, novels, fiction, and
non-fiction that incorporate “water, water, everywhere.”
Classics as well as contemporary literature will be studied.
Representative texts:Hemingway’s The Old Man and the
Sea, Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea, Melville’s Moby-Dick,
Junger’s The Perfect Storm, Martel’s Life of Pi, selected
poems and essays
LITERATURE oF WAR
One of the most celebrated and vilified pursuits of humankind,
war has been a subject of every literary genre in nearly
every era. Predictably, horrors of all kinds are depicted, but
humor, love, and friendship also flourish amidst the evil, as
testimony to the human spirit. The course examines the
conflicts of war waged on the battlefield and explores the
toll exacted on individuals and societies years beyond and
miles away from the front.
Representative texts: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, Shakespeare’s
Henry V, Giraudoux’s Tiger at the Gates, O’Brien’s The Things
They Carried, and Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a
Boy Soldier. Representative films: Cimino’s The Deer Hunter,
Takahata’s The Grave of the Fireflies
NARRATIvE AND PoETIC TECHNIqUE
The purpose of this course is to develop and enhance a
beginning writer’s knowledge and appreciation of imaginative
writing through the craft of writing itself. Students concentrate
on writing poetry and short fiction. Through various writing
exercises, techniques of craft, and reading assignments,
the class explores the process of creating a poem and a
s
hort story. Class time is devoted to the rigorous analysis
of narrative and verse technique, in theory and in literary
application, as well as to workshops in which students
critique and discuss their own work and the work of their
fellow students.
Representative texts:The Practice of Poetry, eds. Behn
and Twichell; Contemporary American Short Stories, eds.
Douglas and Sylvia Angies; selected short stories and articles
SHAKESPEARE
The course focuses on five or six of Shakespeare’s plays,
representing the major dramatic genres. Material about the
London of Shakespeare’s time and the Globe Theatre is
also read. Several films of the plays are used to foster an
understanding of multiple interpretations of the texts.
Representative texts:Othello, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Much
Ado About Nothing, and King Lear
WE ARE THE STUFF oF MYTHS
This course examines the universality of human experience
by looking at myths across human cultures and through
time, from ancient Hebrew and ancient Greek literature to
the Harry Potter phenomenon in modern, global culture.
The course is interdisciplinary in nature, incorporating
psychological, anthropological, theological, and historical
perspectives in an attempt to identify archetypal patterns
and values that shape our society. Modern myths are
explored both in relation to their meaning in our society and
as windows to the ancient cultures that created them. The
exposure to a wide range of myths from different cultures
and civilizations aims at developing students’ sensitivity to and
respect for our differences as well as our shared heritage.
Representative texts:Selections from the Old Testament
or Torah, Euripides’ Alcestis, stories from One Thousand
and One Nights, excerpts from Cervantes’ Don Quixote,
Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, Saul Bellow’s
Henderson the Rain King, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and
the Deathly Hollows, George Lucas’ Star Wars, Episode IV.
To enhance the study of myth there will be readings from
the following interpretive texts: Barthes’ Mythologies,
Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and Otto
Rank’s The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological
Exploration of Myth.
13
Second Semester Electives
THE CHAINS THAT BIND US
This course examines social and psychological prisons in
which we live and explores ways in which the human spirit
seeks to break free. Some works are literally set in prisons,
and, in them, prison becomes a metaphor for the human
condition. Some works consider how society limits or, even,
oppresses the individual. Some works explore psychological
chains like alienation. Through comparison of these works,
students are invited to probe the nature of human society
and human nature itself. The course offers a range of great
works from around the world.
Representative texts:Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground
and the chapter “The Grand Inquisitor” from The Brothers
Karamazov, Mistry’s A Fine Balance, Mandela’s Long Walk To
Freedom: the Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, Anderson’s
Feed, excerpts from Foucalt’s Discipline and Punish: The
Birth of the Prison
CoMIC RELIEF: HUMoR, SATIRE AND JoKES IN LITER-
ATURE THRoUGHoUT THE AGES
This course offers an interdisciplinary examination of the
role and function of the comic in society and in literature
across time. We will study satire and irony as rhetorical
devices and as subversive tools of writers. We will study
the use of the comic in Tragedy and Comedy as well as in
a variety of genres such as cartoons, stand-up comedy,
and movies. The course also aims at understanding the
psychology of jokes and humor in terms of how we use
them to communicate and for pleasure.
Representative texts:Aristophanes’ The Frogs; Shakespeare’s
The Taming of the Shrew; Molière’s The Misanthrope; Jean
Genet’s The Thief’s Journal; Henri Bergson’s “Laughter:
An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic”; Oscar Wilde’s The
Importance of Being Earnest; Larry David’s Curb Your
Enthusiasm (1999–present); Aristotle Poetics, Sigmund
Freud’s “Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious”;
Jorge Luis Borges’ “The Aleph”; Twain’s The Diary of Adam
and Eve; West’s Miss Lonelyhearts
MAGIC REALISM
“...magic realism is a literary device or a way of seeing in
which there is space for the invisible forces that move the
world: dreams, legends, myths, emotion, passions, history.”
Isabel Allende
Magical realism originated as an art form in painting. In
literature, magical realism is commonly conceived as a
genre associated with the boom in Latin American literature
of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Yet magical realism may more
properly be understood as an international movement that
has become a key component of postmodernist fiction during
the past fifty years. In examining the use of magical realism
by a few world authors, students will explore not only what
magical realism is but also what universal qualities it shares
with traditional literature. In addition, the course will take a
look at magical realism in film.
R
epresentative texts:Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology,
David Young and Keith Hollaman, eds.; Garcia Marquez’s
One Hundred Years of Solitude; Morrison’s Beloved; Mu-
rakami’s Kafka on the Shore. Representative films: Alfonso
Arau’s Like Water for Chocolate and Fellini’s La Strada.
MoDERN DRAMA
This course will examine the development of Western
(primarily British and American) drama from the early modern
period through the 20th century. We will read approximately
nine plays, drawn from the following list.
Representative texts:A Doll’s House (1879), Henrik Ibsen;
The Children’s Hour (1934), Lillian Hellman; All My Sons
(1947), Arthur Miller; A View From the Bridge (1955), Miller;
Waiting for Godot (1954), Samuel Beckett; The Birthday
Party (1959), Harold Pinter; Blues for Mister Charlie (1964),
James Baldwin; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
(1966), Tom Stoppard; Equus (1973), Peter Shaffer; The
Dining Room (1981), A.R. Gurney; ‘Night, Mother (1983),
Marsha Norman; Fences (1983), August Wilson; Angels in
America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (1992), Tony
Kushner
NATIvE AMERICAN LITERATURE
This course aims to provide students with the opportunity
to read works by and/or about Native Americans. We will
examine how Native Americans have been represented
in popular culture, and we will also look at ourselves, our
nation, and our history from the perspective of Native
American experience. Topics for consideration will include
Native American experience and history in the United
States of America, the American Indian Movement, Native
American ritual and spirituality, and representations of Native
Americans in film, specifically in “the Western” genre.
Representative texts:Ceremony (Leslie Marmon Silko),
Tracks (Louise Erdrich), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
(Ken Kesey); The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
(Sherman Alexie), The Grass Dancer (Susan Power), Lines
from a Mined Mind: The Words of John Trudell (John
Trudell), Dances With Wolves (film), Incident at Olgala: The
Leonard Peltier Story (film)
14
SCIENCE-FICTIoN
This course will trace the evolution of science fiction from
“boys’ adventure” tales to its current position as serious
literature. We will focus on how science fiction, with its
particular narrative freedoms, provides a singular means of
understanding what it means to be human. The course will
address how science fiction reflects the issues and anxieties
o
f the era that produced it. We will thus examine a number
of issues: fears of nuclear/technological annihilation,
Cold War fears of totalitarian control, the ethics of genetic
engineering, life after environmental catastrophe, and so
on. In short, we will examine the issues raised in science
fiction classics since the late Victorian era.
Representative texts:Wells’ The War of the Worlds;
selected stories by Lem, Clarke, and Bradbury; Dick’s Do
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Moore’s V for Vendetta;
McCarthy’s The Road; Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven;
Asimov’s I, Robot
SEARCH FoR SELF
This study of twentieth century literature from various cultures
focuses on the universal quest for identity and dignity in our
multicultural society. The course, while examining our
differences, seeks to foster a better understanding of
ourselves and our neighbors as we recognize the similarity of
our goals and our struggles to adapt to an ever changing world.
Representative texts:Shreve’s Testimony, Roth’s American
Pastoral, O’Brien’s In the Lake of the Woods, Haddon’s The
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Eugenides’
Middlesex, Thompson’s Blankets, selected short stories,
poems, and articles
THE SHoRT SToRY
Everyone has time to read a story! How is it possible that
certain literary geniuses can achieve the wit, emotional
depth, linguistic eloquence, and thematic complexity in a
short story that other authors require hundreds of pages to
develop? In this course, we will study the short story genre
both from the viewpoint of the writer and from the viewpoint
of the critic. The elements of stories (plot, character, point
of view, setting, tone and style, theme, and symbol) will
be examined in relation to classics of the genre. Various
approaches to literary criticism will also be examined with the
same stories. In addition, each student will read a collection
of short stories by one author and give a critical presentation
to the class about that author’s stories. Students will also try
their hand at writing a short story. Through these varied
approaches to learning about short stories, students will gain
a deep and lasting appreciation of this unique literary genre.
Representative Work: An Introduction to Fiction, X.J.
Kennedy and Dana Gioia, ed.
THE oUTSIDER AND THE oTHER
Who are the others? Who defines them? Is being outside
bad? Outside of what? How do we see and define ourselves
and each other? What are the confinements and comforts
of family, community, and society? How much choice do
we have in our positions, views, and relationships? This
course examines perspectives and prejudices and looks at
m
oral choices made as characters struggle to escape being
or becoming the other or the outsider.
Representative texts:Camus’ The Stranger, Wright’s Native
Son, Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation, Alvarez’s How the
Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, O’Brien’s In the Lake of the
Woods, selected short stories, poems, and articles
WRITING SCREENPLAYS
In this course, students will explore the process of writing
a screenplay, which is a particular way of telling a story. The
course will consider different types of screenplays from TV
commercials, to half hour sitcoms, to hour long dramas, to
full length feature films. Also, students will begin to learn
the language and formatting of screenplays through the aid
of screenplay writing software.
In exploring the process of screenwriting, students will be
practicing the art of storytelling. Thus, students will deepen
their understanding of storytelling techniques such as
character development, plotting, and sequencing. The use
of these components will be studied in existing screenplays
and practiced through steps that guide the students in
constructing their own screenplays. As with any course of
this kind, the writing workshop will be an important element
of the class, and students’ own work will be at the center
of class discussions.
Representative texts and materials:Selected screenplays
(e.g. Dead Poets Society, Spider-Man, When Harry Met Sally);
Syd Field’s The Screenwriter’s Workbook, Robert McKee’s
Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of
Screenwriting; Movie Outline 3 (screenplay writing software)
YEARBooK JoURNALISM
Full year course: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisites: Department permission
This course is required for all students interested in being
a member of the yearbook staff. Students develop abilities
in gathering information, writing copy and captions, under-
standing components of quality photography, copy editing
skills, and techniques of headlines. Students are introduced
to and begin to develop skills in the use of InDesign.
Emphasis is placed on developing skills in layout and
design, graphics, and the use of InDesign. Students assume
responsibility for planning and coverage of spreads in
15
Reflections the Ransom Everglades yearbook. Second year
students continue to develop their knowledge and skills of
both journalism and InDesign. Students are encouraged
to assume a leadership role by holding an editorial staff
positions. Advanced students assume greater responsibility
for the publication’s planning and production. Third and
fourth year students must hold an editorial position on staff in
which they participate in all aspects of yearbook production.
Students not only mentor less experienced students but
also continue to develop their own advanced skills in InDesign
and assume responsibility for the planning, designing, editing,
and proofing of spreads. Students assume nearly full
responsibility for all areas of production issues concerning
the publication. After school and weekend work sessions
may be required.
Texts:1 2 3 Student Yearbook Guide: The Ultimate Yearbook
Book, Jostens; Scholastic Yearbook Fundamentals, Martha
Akers, Paul Ender, & Laura Schaub
Mathematics and
Computer Science
ALGEBRA 1
An introduction to algebra for students who have not
completed Algebra 1.
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Required: For graduation (or equivalent) - normally taken
in grade 9
Prerequisite: None
This course provides a strong foundation in the fundamentals
of Algebra. Topics of study include: real number properties,
problem solving with variables, polynomial operations,
factoring polynomials, linear functions, systems of linear
equations, inequalities, rational and irrational numbers,
quadratic equations, laws of exponents, solving absolute
value equations and inequalities, simplifying rational
expressions and solving rational equations.
Text:Algebra I, Dolciani
ALGEBRA 2
A continuation of algebra for students who have completed
Algebra 1.
Full year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Required: For graduation (or equivalent) - normally taken in
grades 9 or 11
Prerequisite: Algebra 1 (or equivalent)
The main topics covered include properties of real numbers,
simplifying algebraic expressions, solving linear equations
and inequalities, absolute value, systems of linear equations,
linear functions and their graphs, linear programming, poly-
nomials, rational expressions, number systems (irrational
and complex), solving quadratic equations and inequalities,
quadratic functions and their graphs, variation, solving
polynomial equations, analytic geometry, exponential and
logarithmic functions, sequences and series, matrices and
determinants.
T
he goals include strengthening the skills learned in Algebra
I,improving the student’s written communication skills in
mathematics and using the graphing calculator as a learning
tool and problem solver.
Text:Algebra 2: A Unique Approach, Duty and Stavisky
GEoMETRY
An introduction to a mathematical theory of space.
Full year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Required: For graduation (or equivalent) - normally taken in
grade 10
Prerequisite: Algebra 1 (or equivalent)
Topics included are: Deductive systems: undefined terms,
definitions, postulates, theorems, proof, indirect proof. Sub-
sets of space: points, lines, planes, segments, rays, angles,
triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, and polygonal regions.
Real numbers and measurement: betweenness, distance,
angle measure, area, volume, convex sets and separation,
incidence, perpendicularity, and parallelism. Equivalence
relation: congruence, proportionality, and similarity.
The Pythagorean Theorem. Circles, tangents, arcs, chords,
regular polygons, circumference, sectors. Prisms, pyramids,
cylinders, cones and spheres. Right triangle trigonometry.
Text:Geometry, McDougal Littell
GEoMETRY HoNoRS
An introduction to a mathematical theory of space.
Full year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Required: For graduation (or equivalent) - normally taken in
grades 9 or 10
Prerequisite: Algebra 2 (or equivalent), grade of B+ or better,
and department permission
This course emphasizes a rigorous approach, utilizing the
student’s ability to handle abstractions and to generalize
and apply concepts to concrete examples. Topics from regular
geometry are covered as well as some others.
Text:Geometry for Enjoyment and Challenge, McDougal
Littell / Houghton Mifflin
16
PRE-CALCULUS
This course reviews a few Algebra and Geometry topics and
includes the study of trigonometry and analytic geometry.
Full year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective: Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and Geometry
This course provides a review of functions, both linear and
quadratic, graphing and interpreting data from graphs,
e
lementary theory of equations, logarithmic and exponential
functions. From geometry the following topics are reviewed:
parallel and perpendicular lines, congruent triangles,
polygons and circles. This course also includes the study
of trigonometric functions, trigonometric identities, solving
trigonometric equations, and its applications, as well as the
study of sequences and series and the conic sections. This
course is recommended for those students who experienced
some difficulty in algebra and/or geometry. The graphing
calculator is used throughout the course.
Text:Pre-calculus, Larson and Hostetler
PRE-CALCULUS HoNoRS
A course designed to prepare students for Calculus, AP
Calculus, or AP Statistics.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective:Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2, Geometry or Geometry Honors and
department permission
A rigorous course in problem-solving and analytical function,
stressing individual initiative and creativity in applying tech-
niques. Some or all of the following topics will be covered:
functions (polynomial, absolute value, piecewise, rational,
exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric), composition and
inverses of functions, techniques and concepts of graphing,
mathematical induction, the Binomial Theorem, summation
notation, and arithmetic and geometric sequences and series.
Text:Pre-Calculus, David Cohen
ADvANCED PRE-CALCULUS ToPICS
A general survey of Pre-Calculus mathematics.
First Semester: Five class meetings per week.
One-half credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus or Pre-Calculus Honors
A rigorous course in problem-solving. The topics covered
in this course are: trigonometry, complex numbers in polar
form, polar graphs, parametric equations, vectors, sequences
and series, recursive functions, applications of exponential
functions, and data analysis.
Texts:Excerpts from the following books are used: Con-
temporary Precalculus, N.C. School of Mathematics and
Science and Precalculus Larson and Hostetler.
DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS
A rigorous review of trigonometry and an introduction to
calculus.
Second Semester: Five class meetings per week.
One-half credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Advanced Pre-Calculus Topics
The topics covered in this course are: Applications of
t
rigonometric functions. Introduction to calculus: limits,
derivatives, applications of derivatives, rates or change,
characteristics of functions as related to their functions
and introduction to integrals and concepts of graphing
(transformations).
Text:Brief Calculus; Larson Edwards
CALCULUS
A calculus course for students who do not plan to take
the AP exam in mathematics.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Differential Calculus
or department permission
An introduction to calculus as a laboratory science. Emphasis
is on development of the concepts of the derivative and
integral through applications, using the Excel spreadsheet
and the graphing calculator as the major laboratory tools.
Topics may include limits, related rates, optimization, zero-
finding algorithms, differential equations, average value,
volume, normal probability distribution, antiderivatives,
definite integrals and numerical methods, for students who
will repeat calculus in college or who do not need college
calculus.
Text: Calculus, Paul Foerster, Key Curricular Press
ADvANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS 1
A course designed to meet the requirements of the Calculus
AB Advanced Placement Examination.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week One credit
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus Honors or Differential Calculus
or department permission
This course is designed to meet the requirements for
the Calculus AB Advanced Placement Examination and to
prepare students for AP Calculus 2. Other topics will be
explored as time permits.
Texts:Calculus; Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards; Cracking the
AP Calculus (AB + BC) Examination, The Princeton Review
17
PRoBABILITY
An introduction to probability for students who have
completed Algebra 2.
First Semester: Five class meetings per week.
One-half credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2
Probability Topics – Sets and their operations, counting
p
rinciples, definition of probability and probability axioms,
conditional probability, Bayes Theorem, independence,
Bernoulli trials, discrete random variables, binomial random
variable, permutations and combinations, the Binomial
Theorem.
Text:The Practice of Statistics, Moore and McCabe
Statistics
AN INTRoDUCTIoN To STATISTICS.
Second Semester: Five class meetings per week.
One-half credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2
Statistics Topics – Exploring data with graphs and numbers,
the normal distribution, scatterplots and correlation, the
Binomial and Geometric distributions, sampling distributions,
sample proportions and means, confidence intervals, tests
of significance, Chi-square distribution.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective:Grades 12
Prerequisite: Pre-calculus Honors and Department Permission
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a very popular field of study for
college students majoring in computer science, math, and
engineering. The field of AI explores the feasibility and
applications of designing computers that can function at
the human level or better. Work in Artificial Intelligence
began in the 1940s by mathematicians who came up with
many algorithms that are still used today. Over the last 70
years, mathematicians and computer scientists have
applied AI principles to many complex problems. Sample
applications include robotics, search engines, medical
research, database mining, and automated speech. This
course will involve a lot of reading and analysis of AI
algorithms. Students will present concepts, lead discussions,
write papers, and design their own algorithms.
Text: Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd Edition)
by Russell and Norvig.
MATH SEMINAR HoNoRS:
HISToRY THRoUGH PRoBLEM SoLvING
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Co-requisite: AP Calculus 1
The course is a survey of a variety of mathematical problems
from an historical perspective and an exploration of strategies
and techniques that enhance problem solving skills. Students
are expected to do the required reading, solve mathematics
problems, discuss their thoughts about the readings, and
provide well-reasoned presentations of their solutions to
mathematics problems regularly. The class is organized in
the fashion of the Harkness Method of teaching.
Text:TBA
ADvANCED PLACEMENT STATISTICS
A course designed to prepare students for the AP
examination in Statistics.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus (or equivalent) and department
permission
By meeting the requirements of the AP Examination, this
course will prepare students for further study in any field
making application of Statistics: engineering, psychology,
sociology, biology, health science, business, economics,
physics, mathematics, and many more. The main themes
of the course are: (a) exploring data with graphical and
numerical techniques, (b) planning a study and collecting
data, (c) producing mathematical models using probability
and simulation, (d) confirming models using statistical
inference. Students will explore real life applications through
the Minitab Statistical Software Package.
Text:The Practice of Statistics, McCabe, Moore, Yates. TI-83
calculator required.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT CALCULUS 2 AND
MULTIvARIABLE CALCULUS
A course designed to meet the requirements of the Calculus
BC Advanced Placement Examination and cover topics
in multivariable calculus and differential equations.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grade 12
Prerequisite: AP Calculus 1 (B or better), a score of 3 or
better on the AP Calculus AB Examination and department
permission
In addition to meeting the requirements of the Calculus BC
Advanced Placement Examination, this course will cover
topics in multivariable calculus, partial differentiation, multiple
18
integration, parametric equations and applications, vectors
and vector calculus, line integrals, Green’s Theorem, polar
coordinates and applications, Taylor polynomials, sequences
and series, various advanced integration techniques and
improper integrals. This course will also cover differential
equations at a rigorous level. Applications to real life situations
will be explored.
T
exts:Calculus, Larson, Hostetler, and Edwards; and Cracking
the AP Calculus (AB &BC) Examination, The Princeton Review
F
oUNDATIoNS oF CoMPUTER SCIENCE: PRoGRAM
DESIGN, ALGoRITHMS AND DATA STRUCTURES
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and department permission
Provides a thorough introduction to programming in Java.
Students will learn to develop efficient algorithms that contain
branch structures (if/else), iteration (while/for loops), strings,
characters, arrays and array lists. Object oriented program-
ming will also be covered through the use of classes. Other
topics may include inheritance, polymorphism, recursion,
and sorting. This course is a prerequisite for AP Computer
Science.
Text:Java for Everyone, Cay Horstmann
ADvANCED PLACEMENT CoMPUTER SCIENCE
A course designed to meet the requirements of the
Advanced Placement Computer Science Examination.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective: Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Foundations of Computer Science and
department permission
A rigorous coverage of the syntax of the JAVA language,
variables, constants, sequence, selection, iteration, functions,
reference parameters, building classes, strings, one dimen-
sional and two dimensional arrays, array lists, sorting,
recursion, inheritance, and polymorphism. Course includes
a rigorous analysis of the current case study as provided
by the College Board.
Texts:Big Java, Cay Horstmann; AP Computer Science A,
Barron’s; Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science A, Litvin
ADvANCED CoMPUTER SCIENCE ToPICS:
DATA STRUCTURES AND ANALYSIS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week; One credit
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: AP Computer Science, or equivalent, and
department permission
A rigorous review of the AP Computer Science topics with
the addition of advanced algorithms and data structures,
stacks, queues and binary search trees. Also includes a
rigorous GUI component through which students design
several projects.
Texts:Big Java, Cay Horstmann; AP Computer Science A,
Barron’s
World Languages
REMINDER: The World Languages graduation requirement
is two (2) credits of one (1) language (although 3 or more
credits are strongly urged). Language studied prior to
grade 9 may give advanced placement, but 2 credits of
study in one language are required in grades 9 through 12.
French
FRENCH 1
A beginning course in French.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
The student is introduced to French through the listening
and repetition of dialogues and simple sentence patterns.
Individualized questions are used after a student has mas-
tered a structure. Grammar is introduced first inductively
and then explained deductively. The four language skills of
listening, speaking, reading, and writing are used to present
material in thematic units. The understanding of French
culture is increased through simple reading selections.
Text and Workbook:Bon voyage 1, Glencoe
FRENCH 2
An advanced beginning course in French.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: French 1 and department permission
French 2 offers a balanced approach to speaking, reading,
and writing French. New grammar, vocabulary, and cultural
material are taught thematically. By the end of the school year
these students should have mastered the basic structures
of French grammar and will have been introduced to French
culture and geography.
Text and Workbook:Bon voyage 2, Glencoe
19
FRENCH 2 HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Superior Achievement in French 1 and
department permission
French 2H is similar to French 2 but moves at a faster pace
and covers the material in greater depth. The student will
read and speak more French, working toward a good accent
and fluency.
Text and Workbook:Bon voyage 2, Glencoe Readers (EMC
Paradigm): Anne et l’ordinateur, Répétition pour un crime,
Parce que je t’aime
FRENCH 3
An intermediate course in French.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: French 2 and department permission
The primary objective of French 3 is to continue developing
communication skills so that by the end of the course students
will be able to express themselves with confidence in most
common situations. The course emphasizes all language
skills (listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing)
with particular emphasis placed on correct pronunciation,
conversational skills and vocabulary development. Students
use technology to give in-class oral presentations, and
attention is given to French and Francophone cultures
through readings, videos and work on the Internet.
Text and Workbook:Bon voyage 3, Glencoe Reader:
Intrigue à Paris
FRENCH 3 HoNoRS
An advanced-intermediate course in French.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Superior achievement in French 2H and
department permission
The honors course in third-year French uses the same main
text as French 3 for grammar review and vocabulary devel-
opment. However, students in this class do more reading
and writing, and the quantity and level of difficulty of
assigned work are greater across the language skills.
Considerable time is dedicated to reading and discussing
news articles, short stories, poetry, and adapted novellas.
Students use technology to give in-class oral presentations,
and attention is given to French and Francophone cultures
through readings, videos and work on the Internet.
Text and Workbook:Bon voyage 3, Glencoe Readers
(National Textbook Company): Roussy de Sales, Histoires
célèbres; Alexandre Dumas, Le comte de Monte Cristo and
Les trois mousquetaires
FRENCH 4
An advanced course in French
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grade 11 & 12
Prerequisite: French 3 and department permission
This course aims at refining and perfecting the student’s
knowledge of French grammar through the study of its fine
points. This advanced review of French grammar will be
coupled with the reading of contemporary French, both in
newspapers and magazines, and in French literature.
Greater emphasis is placed on reading comprehension of
complex material and on the occasional writing of longer
compositions. The course is conducted in French and oral
participation in French is expected.
Text and Workbooks:Interaction, Thomson Heinle; Reprise,
Glencoe
FRENCH 4 HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grade 11 & 12
Prerequisite: Superior Achievement in French 3 Honors and
department permission
This course is designed to develop the student’s ability to
discuss in French, through the reading of articles and literary
passages, a variety of subjects dealing with French literature
and culture. Writing skills are a vital part of this course.
Grammar is reviewed throughout the year.
Text and Workbooks:Interaction, Thomson Heinle; Reprise,
Glencoe Novels: Sagan, Bonjour tristesse; Mauriac, Thérèse
Desqueyroux ; Mme de Lafayette, La Princesse de Clèves
ADvANCED PLACEMENT FRENCH LANGUAGE
An advanced course designed for the superior French 4H
students with minimal knowledge of literature who wish
to develop their proficiency in French.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 12
Prerequisite: Superior Achievement in French 4 Honors and
department permission
The goals of the Advanced Placement course in the French
language are a high degree of competency in reading,
listening, writing and speaking. Meeting the following goals
prepares the students for the AP exam in French language:
20
(a) Ability to understand spoken French in various conver-
sational situations.
(b) The development of a vocabulary sufficiently ample for
reading of newspapers and magazine articles, modern
literature and other non-technical writings without
dependence on a dictionary.
(c) Ability to express oneself in French accurately and
resourcefully both orally and in writing with reasonable
fluency.
(d) Extensive training in the organization and writing of
compositions.
Workbooks: Une fois pour toutes, Longman; En d’autres
termes, Wayside; AP French: Preparing for the Language
Examination, Prentice Hall Novels: Maupassant, Pierre et
Jean; Voltaire, Candide; Molière, L’école des femmes; Laye,
L’enfant noir
Chinese
CHINESE 1
A beginning course in Chinese.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
The main focus of this course is to guide students through
listening, speaking and interactive practice to develop their
capabilities to effectively use the language for communication.
Besides basic language training, grammar learning and
calligraphy practice, students will have the opportunity to
gain better understanding of the Chinese culture through
movie watching, story reading, arts and crafts making, etc.
Text: Chinese Link: Level 1, Part 1; with matching Student
Workbook; CDs and online resources.
CHINESE 2
A continuing course in Chinese
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One Credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Chinese 1 or equivalent and department
permission
The key word for this course is action. Students are encour-
aged to further develop their Chinese language communication
skills through listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Grammar will be taught through situational practice to help
students better understand and use the language; effective
methods of learning are introduced to help students expand
their vocabulary. Besides learning the language, students
will form a better understanding of the Chinese culture and
begin to understand China in the 21st century.
Text: Chinese Link: Level 1, Part 2; with matching Student
Workbook, CDs and online resources.
CHINESE 3 HoNoRS
This is the entry level Chinese to prepare students to take
AP Chinese
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One Credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese 2 and
department permission
Chinese 3 Honors is a competitive course that requires
students to be fully prepared for interactive classroom
activities. This course will focus on listening, speaking and
writing. Besides learning the language, Chinese culture
related topics will be presented to help students better
understand the importance of learning Chinese. Students
are encouraged to become active participants and take part
in out of the classroom experiences such as the summer
exchange program and summer programs related to Chinese
studies.
Text:Chinese Link: Level 2, Part 1 and 2, with matching
Student Workbooks, CDs and online resources, Pearson
Prentice Hall.
CHINESE 4 HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One Credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese 3 Honors
and department permission
This honors class is taught to students who have taken
Chinese 3 and want to continue with their language and
culture studies. It will focus on these areas: listening,
speaking, reading and writing. The teaching materials will
come from multiple sources to help students not only learn
the language but also the Chinese culture with up to date
information about China. The main focus of this course will
be in the areas of spoken and writing.
Text:Chinese Link Book III, Student Workbook/Character
Book, matching CDs and online resources, and supplementary
materials and handouts.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT CHINESE
This is the highest level of Chinese offered at Ransom
Everglades Upper School.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One Credit.
Elective:Grade 12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Chinese 4 Honors
and department permission
21
AP Chinese is a challenging course for students who are
prepared to focus on their Chinese studies with consistency
and determination. Students must have a solid foundation
in the Chinese language with strong communication skills,
such as in the areas of listening comprehension and writing.
This course is designed for those who plan to continue their
career in college in the areas of Asian Studies, East Asian
Studies, International Studies, International Business, etc.
Because of the nature of the course, only selected students
will enter into AP Chinese studies.
Text:A New China (2 vol. set), Princeton University Press;
Anything Goes, Princeton University Press; Barron’s AP Chi-
nese Language and Culture, Barron’s Educational Series Inc.
Spanish
SPANISH 1
A beginning course in Spanish
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
Spanish 1 is an introductory course designed to develop
the student’s ability to communicate in Spanish through a
variety of teaching methods. As the student develops aural,
oral, writing, and reading skills he is introduced to the
vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, grammatical structures
and usage of the most common verbs in the present tense
as well as preterit tense of the indicative mood. The student
will learn to develop simple and complex patterns of
speech common to educated Spanish speakers, and gain,
through simple reading selections, an understanding of and
appreciation for the culture of the Hispanic world.
Text:Spanish for Mastery 1, DC Heath; Reader: La guitarra
misteriosa, EMC
SPANISH HERITAGE 1
A first year course designed for the heritage language
speaker
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Spanish Heritage 8
and department permission
Spanish Heritage 1 is designed to address the strengths
and weaknesses of those heritage language speakers who
already have a level of proficiency in the aural/oral uses of
Spanish. Through readings of short stories, poetry, articles,
and a play by well known Spanish and Spanish American
authors, students will increase their competency in listening,
speaking, reading and writing. The course seeks to teach
the students to express themselves with more precision
and sophistication in conversation as well as in written
work. Spanish Heritage 1 assumes that the students have
a working knowledge of spoken Spanish, therefore, it is
taught entirely in Spanish. However, where necessary, we
will contrast the differences in Spanish and English when
grammar and vocabulary are presented. Emphasis will be
placed on the application of grammar and written forms in
compositions and oral presentations.
Texts: Abriendo Paso: Lectura (selected works), Prentice
Hall; ¡En Marcha!, Prentice Hall.
INTERMEDIATE SPANISH
A continuation of Spanish 1.
Full Year: Five class meeting per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Spanish 1 and department permission
Intermediate Spanish provides the student with a thorough
review of Spanish 1 and a solid introduction to the material
taught in Spanish 2. For those students needing a better
foundation, Intermediate Spanish serves as a bridge
between levels 1 and 2. Students will review the present
and past tenses and will be introduced to the present perfect,
imperfect and commands. Students will read conversations
and cultural lessons in Spanish that use the vocabulary and
grammar discussed in the lesson. Student participation in
oral presentations, small group work and conversation during
class complement written work which will include short
paragraphs and dialogues, written drills in workbooks and
worksheets. Students who successfully complete Interme-
diate Spanish (C or better) are eligible to enter Spanish 2.
Texts:Ven conmigo, Level 2, Holt, Rinehart, Winston;
Ven conmigo Practice and Activity Book, HRW; Reader:
Los secretos de familia, EMC
SPANISH 2
An advanced beginning course in Spanish.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Intermediate Spanish or Spanish 1 and
department permission
Spanish 2 is a challenging course designed to provide
the grammatical foundation needed to succeed in future
Spanish courses as well as to communicate effectively in
the language. Thematic vocabulary and grammatical topics
will be presented which address the four skills of listening,
speaking, reading and writing.
Texts:Buen Viaje, Level II and Buen Viaje, Level II Workbook,
Glencoe
22
SPANISH 2 HoNoRS
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Superior Achievement in Spanish 1 and
department permission
Spanish 2H is similar to Spanish 2, but moves at a faster pace
and covers the material in greater depth. There is more
emphasis on spoken Spanish and more reading. Students who
plan to enter Spanish 3H must maintain a solid B+ average.
Texts:Spanish for Mastery 2, D.C. Heath; Spanish Two
Years Workbook, AMSCO Readers: Leyendas de España,
NTC; Marcelino pan y vino, EMC
SPANISH HERITAGE 2
A second year course designed for the heritage language
speaker.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Spanish Heritage 8
or Spanish Heritage 1, and department permission
The student will review the basic grammatical structures of
the language both orally and through written exercises and
compositions. Students will learn correct syntax through
the study of grammatical structures and will expand their
vocabulary through specific exercises as well as in context
in literary selections. Students will be introduced to literature
through short stories and readings from recognized Spanish
authors. Contemporary magazines and newspaper articles
will also provide a valuable point of departure for discussion
and opinion papers.
Texts:Una vez más, Longman Publishing; Nuevos mundos,
Wiley.; Abriendo paso (Lecturas), Diaz and Collins; La dama
del alba, Alejandro Casona; En un acto, Dauster and Lyday
SPANISH 3
An intermediate course in Spanish.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Spanish 2
Students will review the basic grammatical concepts covered
in Spanish 2 and will continue with more complex grammatical
structures in order to complete the foundation needed for
more advanced study of the Spanish language. Students will
be expected to speak in Spanish during class and emphasis
will be placed on having students learn to communicate
effectively in everyday situations in order to increase fluency.
An introduction to Spanish and Latin American literature is
presented through readings in the text.
Texts:Buen Viaje, Level 3 and Buen Viaje, Level 3 Workbook,
Glencoe
SPANISH 3 HoNoRS
A more rigorous study of Spanish grammar with a greater
emphasis on writing and literature. Students who plan to
enter Spanish 4H must maintain a solid B+ average.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grade 10-12
Prerequisite: Superior Achievement in Spanish 2H and
department permission
T
exts:Spanish for Mastery 3, D.C. Heath; Spanish for
Mastery 3 Workbook, D.C. Heath Readers: La Celestina,
Fernando de Rojas, NTC; La gitanilla, Cervantes, NTC.
SPANISH HERITAGE 3 HoNoRS
A third year Spanish honors course designed for the
heritage language speaker.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 10-12
Prerequisite: Spanish Heritage 2 and department permission
The course will enable students to understand Spanish as
spoken by educated native speakers. They will develop
their ability to discuss sophisticated topics in Spanish by
comprehending modern Spanish prose and poetry written
by Spanish and Latin American writers. In addition, the
course will develop the students’ ability to write essays,
increase their vocabulary, and review and study advanced
grammatical concepts in detail. Last but not least, the
course will increase the students’ appreciation of Hispanic
culture, values and traditions.
Texts:La lengua que heredamos, Sarah Marques; Los
funerales de la mamá grande and Crónica de una muerte
anunciada, Gabriel García Márquez; Santa, Federico Gamboa;
Rimas y Leyendas, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
SPANISH 4
An advanced course in Spanish.
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Spanish 3 and department permission
The Spanish 4 course aims at refining and perfecting the
student’s knowledge of Spanish through a thorough review
of the basic grammatical structures, as well as the study of
all the tenses of the indicative, imperative and subjunctive
moods. The student will learn more sophisticated syntax
and will do extensive vocabulary work strictly in Spanish.
The reading of Spanish literature and the writing of compo-
sitions are an integral part of the course. The entire class is
conducted in Spanish, and the student is expected to
speak only Spanish, thereby developing his/her aural-oral
skills. Upon satisfactory completion of the Spanish 4
course, a student, with departmental approval, may go into
the Spanish Civilization and Conversation class.
23
Texts: Una vez más, Longman; Breves cuentos hispánicos,
Prentice Hall; Fuenteovejuna, NTC; Réquiem por un
campesino español, EMC; Don Juan Tenorio and La casa
de la Troya, Santillana
SPANISH 4 HoNoRS
An advanced course in Spanish.
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: Superior Achievement in Spanish 3 Honors
and department permission
Spanish 4 Honors is a more rigorous course and covers the
material in greater detail with a greater emphasis on writing
and literature. Several works in the original are taught at
this level and students are expected to be able to work
independently. Students who want to enter into AP Spanish
Language must have a B+ average or better.
Texts:Avanzando, Wiley; Convocación de palabras, Heinle
& Heinle; El burlador de Sevilla, NTC; Mosén Millán, Ramón
Sender; La zapatera prodigiosa, García Lorca; El túnel,
Ernesto Sábato.
SPANISH HERITAGE 4 HoNoRS:
LITERATURA HISPANICA
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Spanish Heritage
3 Honors and department permission
This honors course is offered to native speakers as a
continuation of Spanish Heritage 3 Honors. Students will
read literary works in the original and focus on improving
their reading and writing skills in Spanish. The reading of
authentic material (text) drawn from a variety of sources will
be the basis for instruction and discussion. The students
will be able to demonstrate an increasing sophistication
and complexity in their language skills as well as in their
interaction with the reading and listening materials. Both
oral and written proficiency will be emphasized and are the
ultimate goals of the course.
Texts:Avanzando, Wiley; Aproximaciones al estudio de la
literatura, Cátedra; Don Juan Tenorio; Niebla; La vida es
sueño, Continental; La zapatera prodigiosa, Alianza; Yerma;
Gabriel Gárcía Márquez, El coronel no tiene quien le escriba;
José Luis Borges, Ficciones
SPANISH 5 CIvILIzATIoN & CoNvERSATIoN
An advanced course in aural-oral skills and Hispanic culture
and civilization.
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Successful completion of Spanish 4 and
department permission
Spanish 5 is designed for the student who is not eligible to
t
ake the Spanish Advanced Placement Language course,
but who would like to continue to improve his/her aural-oral
skills, learn more about the culture and civilization of the
Hispanic world and review grammatical structures. Through
reading selections, the newspaper and video/films, the
student will develop an awareness of and an appreciation
for the customs and traditions of the Hispanic people. The
class is conducted entirely in Spanish and the student is
expected to communicate only in the target language, as
well as do oral presentations to the class frequently. Upon
satisfactory completion of the Spanish 5 course a junior
may, with a B+ average and department permission, take
the Advanced Placement Spanish Language course.
Texts:Conversación y Repaso. Copeland, Kite, Sandstedt;
Holt Rinehart, Winston Civilización y Cultura. Copeland,
Kite, Sandstedt; Holt Rinehart, Winston; Literatura y Arte.
Copeland, Kite, Sandstedt; Holt, Rinehart, Winston
ADvANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LANGUAGE
An advanced course intended for outstanding Spanish 4
Honors students who wish to develop their proficiency in
Spanish without emphasis on knowledge of the literature.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Superior Achievement in Spanish 5:
Civilization & Conversation or Spanish 4 Honors, and
department permission
The course in Spanish Language emphasizes the use of
language for active communication in view of the following
objectives:
(a) Ability to understand spoken Spanish in both formal and
conversational situations.
(b) The development of a vocabulary sufficiently ample for
reading of newspaper and magazine articles, contem-
porary literature, and other non-technical writings without
dependence on a dictionary.
(c) Ability to express ideas accurately and resourcefully
both orally and in writing with reasonable fluency. The
latter is emphasized and weekly compositions are an
important part of the course.
24
Course content reflects intellectual interests shared by the
students and the teacher (the arts, current events, literature,
sports, etc.). Materials will include recordings, films, news-
papers, and magazines, as well as the texts below. The
course seeks to develop various activities and disciplines
rather than to master any specific body of subject matter.
Texts:Abriendo Paso: Gramática, Prentice Hall; Abriendo
P
aso: Lectura, Prentice Hall; AP Spanish: Preparing for the
Language Examination, Longman; Federico García Lorca,
Bodas de sangre; Gabriel García Márquez, Crónica de una
muerte anunciada
ADvANCED PLACEMENT SPANISH LITERATURE
A highly advanced course in the Spanish language with
emphasis on literature.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Advanced Placement Spanish Language or
Spanish Heritage 4 Honors: Literatura Hispánica and
department permission
This is a college level course which surveys the literature
of Spain and Latin America, beginning with the Middle Ages
up to contemporary times. We will examine the literary
movements and the authors who portrayed their environment
and their vision of that world. A rigorous study of all major
literary genres will also be part of the course. This will be a
lecture-type class which will put heavy emphasis on class
discussion. Grades will be determined by a combination of
essays, quizzes, reading comprehension, major tests and
literary text analysis.
Texts:Works of over thirty different authors will be studied.
Abriendo puertas, Tomos I y II, Prentice Hall
Social Sciences
History Courses
WoRLD CIvILIzATIoNS SINCE 1500
A one-year study of the history of civilization from the
16th century to the present.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week + art history rotation.
One credit.
Required: Grade 9. Transferred students in grades 10, 11, and
12 may substitute an appropriate upper level social science
elective with department permission to meet this graduation
requirement.
Prerequisite: Admission to grade 9
This course, a continuation of the World Civilizations program
begun in the eighth grade, allows the student to become
familiar with the development of civilizations in the West,
the East, and the developing world. The ninth grade section
of the course, which is interdisciplinary in content, is integrated
with an art history rotation. The course is both thematic and
chronological, starting with the Age of Exploration and
finishing with a study of globalization and its discontents.
The development of proper study skills is a major focus of
this team-taught course.
Outward Bound Trip:Students are strongly encouraged to
participate in this experiential learning program.
Texts:Ways of the World (Strayer), Things Fall Apart (Achebe),
Night (Wiesel), selected primary sources and additional
readings.
UNITED STATES HISToRY
A broad survey of the development of American society
from the founding of the North American colonies to the
present.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Required: Generally taken in Grade 10
Prerequisite: World Civilizations or equivalent
Building consciously on content and concepts from previous
social studies classes, this course seeks to provide students
with both knowledge and appreciation of the people and
events responsible for the development of the United States.
While heavy emphasis is placed on political and social history,
considerable attention is also paid to the economics,
geography, religion, sociology, literature, music, the visual
arts, and popular culture of American history.
Students are required to read widely from a comprehensive
text and from outside source materials, including the internet
and primary and secondary source documents. Selective
use is made of films, maps, and video programs. Students
undertake a variety of assessments (projects, debates,
Harkness discussions, trials, essays, etc.) to broaden their
understanding of the material covered.
Text:TBA
UNITED STATES HISToRY HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 10
Prerequisite: World Civilizations or equivalent and department
recommendation
This course is designed to provide a challenging study of
United States History, by examining the major issues and
periods in the history of the United States. Students will be
exposed to major themes in American social, political,
economic, and cultural history. Although the course will
loosely survey this history, several issues and periods will
be highlighted, with ample time afforded to in-depth analysis
25
of primary sources and for students to develop their own
ideas about the history of the United States – in fact, that
will be expected. A rigorous regular reading schedule,
frequent writing assignments requiring students to develop
an argumentative style, discussion-based assessments, and
projects requiring individual research will all be expected.
Readings:Give me Liberty! by Eric Foner, Second Edition;
P
rimary/secondary source readings will be distributed
throughout the year.
A
DvANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES HISToRY
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10, 11, or 12
Prerequisite: World Civilizations or equivalent and
department recommendation
In this course we will seek an understanding of the history
of the United States from the colonial period through the
present day. Our goals will be to better appreciate the
relevance of the history of the United States in our own lives
and also to prepare to sit for the Advanced Placement
Examination in United States History. We will examine the
history of the United States by focusing on five major
themes that run throughout the course: sectionalism, the
context of class, the heterogeneity of Americans, the idea
of American exceptionalism, and the role of morality in
American life. The reading schedule includes not only a
traditional, though compelling, textbook, but also a collection
of articles and case studies on topics as diverse as pirates,
the “Wizard of Oz,” sports, and “The Invasion of the Body
Snatchers.” As well, students will read a variety of primary
sources representing political, economic, social, and cultural
history of the United States. In addition to learning the said
content, we will also seek to improve communication (oral
and written) and critical thinking skills. Thus, the course will
be based on a significant reading schedule, regular writing
assignments, and an active classroom setting. Given that
a score of 3 or above on the AP Exam will, in many cases,
result in a college or university granting credit for the
course, the course will be conducted in as similar a manner
to that of a college course as possible.
Assigned Readings:Give me Liberty! by Eric Foner, Second
Edition; Randy Roberts and James Olson, American Expe-
riences,Vols I and II; The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson;
primary sources as directed by the instructor.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT EURoPEAN HISToRY
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
This course will cover the period of European history
from the early Renaissance through the present day, with
particular focus upon the cultural, political, social and
economic developments that played a fundamental role in
the development of the modern world. Students will acquire
the analytical, written and organizational skills needed for
the AP examination through a considerable reading load,
as well as regular written assessments and tests. This is an
intensive reading and writing course and since many
colleges and universities award college credit for scores of
a 3 and above on the Advanced Placement examination,
the expectations and responsibilities of students selecting
AP European History will be quite similar to that of a college
or university-level course.
Texts:A History of Modern Europe, Merriman; Discovering
the Western Past, Weisner; Animal Farm; George Orwell;
Primary/Secondary Source readings will be distributed
throughout the year.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT WoRLD HISToRY
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
The objective of this course is to familiarize students with
the ideas and concepts in the field of world history, and to
prepare students to sit for the Advanced Placement Exam-
ination in World History. The primary focus of the course
will be a survey of the major themes and ideas in world
history, including world religions, trade and commerce,
conquest and contact, the development of technology,
gender in world history, and the environment in world history,
to name a few. The course will begin with a survey of the
“foundations of civilizations” before the year 500CE (world
religions, the origins of concepts such as democracy, and
the earliest trade routes, etc.), and then survey ideas and
themes in world history since the year 500CE as they apply
to the major societies and systems. Major societies and
systems include, the Indus River, Han China, the Inca
(Peru), Mali (West Africa), the Safavids (Persia), the Mughal
(India), and Russia under the Czars, and the Indian Ocean.
There will be a heavy emphasis on comparative inquiry in
the course, such that much of our learning will revolve
around questions comparing major societies, cultures, and
systems, important themes and topics, and significant
trends and developments. The reading schedule will not
include a traditional textbook, but rather a extensive selection
26
of journal articles and a diverse collection of primary
sources representing all of the civilizations that we study.
Given that college credit is often awarded by colleges and
university for scores of 3 or above on the AP Exam, the
course will be conducted in as similar manner to that of a
college course as possible.
Readings:Selections from The American Historical Review,
T
he Journal of World History, Saudi Aramaco World, and other
journals; The Human Record, Alfred Andrea and James Over-
field, eds.; Experiencing World History, Paul V. Adams, et.al.
Note: The course descriptions for Art History, Art History Honors
and AP Art History can be found under the Fine Arts section.
Social Science Courses
ECoNoMICS
An introductory course with emphasis on economic
principles, current economic debates, and consumer
choice.
Semester/Full Year: Five class meetings per week.
One-half credit per semester or one credit for the year.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations and United States History
The central purpose of this course is the development of
economic literacy and to provide students with thorough
understanding of the principles of economics and the world
around us. After a general introduction to economic principles
the first semester focus is on microeconomics, the study of
individual economic decision-makers, and the role that
government regulation and policy play in the economy. During
the second semester the focus is on macroeconomics, the
study of the principle of economics that apply to the
economic system as a whole. In terms of the daily structure
the course relies heavily on student-centered learning and
self-directed inquiry. Students will develop opinions on current
economic issues facing our communities and nation today
along with extensively researching the economic profiles of
other countries, which will equip them for informed, active,
engaged, and globally minded citizenship.
Texts:Economics, Krugman and Wells; Taking Sides: Clashing
Issues on Controversial Economic Issues, Dushkin
PSYCHoLoGY: AN INTRoDUCTIoN To PSYCHoLoGY
AS A SCIENCE
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilization and United States History
The course is an introduction to psychology as a social
science. The primary aim is to provide the student with a
global understanding of underlying psychological concepts
that serve as the foundation on which modern psychology
builds, both theoretically and practically. An overview of the
history of psychology, the major psychological theories,
and some of the most recent scientific findings, as well as
their influence both in the research and professional fields
of psychology is presented. Special attention is paid to
incorporating these theories into each student’s world-view,
as they apply to their life experiences and current life situation.
Upon conclusion of this course, students should have
gained an appreciation for psychology both as a professional
field and a field of study. Completion of this course should
ease transition into the study of psychology at the college level.
Texts: Psychology, A Journey of Discovery, Stephen Franzoi
(textbook, printed and online version) Ed.: Atomicdog, 2000;
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver W. Sacks;
Love’s Executioner, Other Tales of Psychotherapy, Irvin D. Yalom
SPEECH AND DEBATE 1
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Instructor permission
This course will serve as an introduction to the basic elements
of competitive interscholastic speech and debate. Students
will have the opportunity to study Lincoln-Douglas, Policy,
and Public Forum styles of debate. Additionally, students
will be exposed to foundational elements of Extemporaneous
Speaking and Student Congress. Specific attention will be
paid to universal debate theory, argument construction,
flowsheeting, presentation techniques, audience adaptation,
and research methodologies. Students will be required to
participate in a minimum of two interscholastic tournaments
during each semester and assist with the hosting of any
tournaments held at Ransom Everglades.
SPEECH AND DEBATE 2
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Speech and Debate 1or instructor permission
This course will focus on enhancing tournament-ready skills
and builds upon the knowledge and skills developed in
Debate I. Students will be expected to declare a primary
event focus (Lincoln-Douglas, Policy, Public Forum, Student
Congress, or Extemporaneous Speaking) at the beginning
of the term. Within each event, Intermediate-level theory
and practices will be addressed, in addition to Intermediate-
level presentation and research techniques. Students will
be required to participate in a minimum of two interscholastic
tournaments per semester, and to judge/coach novices at
one interscholastic tournament per semester, in addition to
assisting with the hosting of any tournaments held at Ransom
Everglades.
27
SPEECH AND DEBATE 3
Full year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Speech and Debate 2 and instructor permission
This course is designed for students who intend to compete
in national-level competitive interscholastic speech and
debate tournaments, and builds upon the knowledge and
skills developed in Debate II. Students will be expected to
declare a primary event focus (Lincoln-Douglas, Policy,
Public Forum, Student Congress, or Extemporaneous
Speaking) at the beginning of the term. Advanced debate
theory and practices will be addressed, in addition to
advanced audience adaptation techniques, extensive original
research, and advanced argument construction. Students
will be required to participate in a minimum of three inter-
scholastic tournaments per semester, and to judge/coach
novices at one interscholastic tournament per semester, in
addition to assisting with the hosting of any tournaments
held at Ransom Everglades.
SPEECH AND DEBATE 4
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grade 12
Prerequisite: Speech and Debate 3 and instructor permission
This course is designed for students who intend to compete
in national-level competitive interscholastic speech and
debate tournaments, and builds upon the knowledge and
skills developed in Debate III. Students will be expected to
declare a primary event focus (Lincoln-Douglas, Policy,
Public Forum, Student Congress, or Extemporaneous
Speaking) at the beginning of the term. Advanced debate
theory and practices will be addressed, in addition to
advanced audience adaptation techniques, extensive original
research, and advanced argument construction. Students
will be required to participate in a minimum of three inter-
scholastic tournaments per semester, and to judge/coach
novices at one interscholastic tournament per semester, in
addition to assisting with the hosting of any tournaments
held at Ransom Everglades.
UNITED STATES GovERNMENT
An introduction to the American political system,
concentrating on the structures and processes of the
federal system and policy making domestic and foreign
in a changing world.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations and United States History
United States Government is designed to survey the U.S.
political system. Though we will start with an examination of
the philosophical underpinnings of our constitutional system,
the focus will be on analyzing current trends, institutions,
and practices, and the evolution of U.S. government to its
current state. Primary focus will be placed on the national
level, with a brief examination of the states and how they
function within the federal system, as well as how their
governments differ from the national government. The
course will look at some general comparisons of the U.S.
system with those of other countries, in order to highlight
unique aspects of the U.S. system. Reading assignments
will include both primary and secondary sources, and there
will be frequent writing assignments that ask students to
analyze/respond to ideas, policies, legal opinions, political
speeches, and a variety of other materials. Students will be
expected to keep up-to-date on current events, and to be
able to apply their knowledge of those events to the concepts
in the course.
Texts:American Government (Dautrich & Yalof); Primary
and secondary readings will be assigned separately
throughout the year.
WoRLD RELIGIoNS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations and United States History
With so much uncertainty in the world, both individuals and
whole societies increasingly look to religion for answers.
Students will examine the religions of the world: their origins,
evolution, and modern-day relevance. The curriculum will
include an exploration of both positive and negative effects
of the various religions, including how the interplay of religions
has influenced history. In addition, students will consider
the psychological role that religion plays on individuals.
Although Western religions will be discussed and the less
familiar histories and aspects of such religions will be
explored, the emphasis of the class will be on non-Western
religions and more secular philosophies. Among these less
familiar religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto,
Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism. We will consider through
course work the following questions: What is religion? What
is the difference between being religious and being spiritual?
Why has religion created peace for so many people yet
conflict for so many others? What is the future role of
religion in the world? This course does not promote or deride
any particular religion. It is an academic course that intro-
duces students to intellectual analysis of beliefs and tenets
that millions of people have held for thousands of years.
Texts:Living Religions, Mary Pat Fisher; A World Religions
Reader (to be decided upon); The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff
28
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
Latin American History Honors traces the major events and
communities that have shaped the political and cultural
landscapes of Latin America and the Caribbean in the hopes
that students will be able to gain a better understanding of
current-day events in an area which is both culturally and
geographically “close” to our city and to our community.
The course will survey the chronological periods of
pre-Colombian America, conquest, three centuries of colo-
nialism, independence and modern-day Latin America. We
will investigate alternate views of these key periods and
events and assess the perspectives and experiences of a
variety of groups, as diversity - of race, gender, and class -
is one of the key themes of the course. In addition, we will
be learning about the richness of Latin America’s religious,
literary, artistic, cinematic, musical and even culinary land-
scapes through a variety of means such as film screenings,
guest speakers, field trips to local resources and, it is hoped,
even a cooking class, a dance lesson, and potluck meals.
Tentative Texts: A History of Latin America, Benjamin
Keen/Keith Haynes; Malintzin’s Choices, Camilla Townsend;
The Martyr: Luis de Carvajal, a Secret Jew in 16th Century
Mexico, Martin Cohen; Lieutenant Nun: Transvestite in the
New World, Catalina de Erauso; Child of the Dark, Carolina
Maria de Jesus; Americanos, John Charles Chasteen;
Heaven of Drums, Ana Gloria Moya, Born in Blood and Fire:
Latin American Voices John Charles Chasteen; The Stories
of Eva Luna, Isabel Allende; Tango!, Simon Collier; The Latin
Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United
States, John Storm Roberts; The Underdogs: A Novel of
the Mexican Revolution, Mariano Azuela; Autobiography of
a Slave, Juan Francisco Manzano
MIDDLE EASTERN AND JUDAIC STUDIES HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
Understanding the Middle East is critical to understanding
our world today. Rich in history, religion, and oil, no other
region demands attention and ignites passion like the Middle
East. In order to provide a context for the Middle East
today, the course will start in ancient times and study the
civilizations in the region. The second portion of the course
will begin with the Zionist movement, World War I, and the
Holocaust and analyze their effect on the creation of the
Modern Middle East. Students will examine the geo-political
and economic issues confronting the peoples of the Middle
East today. The discussion of current events is a prominent
aspect of the course within the context of the Arab Spring
and recent development that started in Tunisia on December
17th, 2010. Middle Eastern and Judaic Studies Honors will
cover material from several academic disciplines and offer
enrichment activities inside and outside the classroom.
Since this is an honors course, students will have to read
and analyze a broad range of texts and challenging primary
source materials. They will be responsible for not only
understanding the material, but for developing viewpoints
and creative solutions. The course employs student-led
(Harkness) discussions as its teaching method; thus,
students will have to explore and defend their positions in
class every day.
Tentative Texts:Jews, God, and History, Max I. Dimont; The
Israelis, Donna Rosenthal; Peace to End All Peace, David
Fromkin; The Wannsee Conference and the Final Solution,
Mark Roseman; The Drowned and the Saved, Primo Levi,
Middle Eastern and Judaic Studies Course Pack, Dr. Aloni
PHILoSoPHY HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One Credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
This is primarily a course in how to think about the large
questions “what” and “why?” What, for example, is “the
truth?” How do we know the truth? Why do we exist, if indeed
we do, and what does that mean? What are communities,
and why do human beings organize themselves in this
way? What is virtue and how do we know? What is love,
and why do we do it? Is there such a thing as free will—to
what extent do individuals have an ability to make choices
that shape their lives? These are big and important questions,
questions that we take for granted. It is not, however, the
intent of this course to resolve these questions for all time.
Rather, during the course, we will discuss ways to think
about these questions, and hopefully encourage the
members of the class to begin to think about ideas that
they might not have thought about before. We will read and
discuss major contributions of great thinkers in world
philosophy ranging from Socrates to Buddha to Descartes,
Foucault, and Appiah, we will think about American cinema
and Japanese Tea Ceremonies, and formulate and discuss
and challenge our own convictions about the issues posed
by the course. We will also consider the role of philosophy
in popular culture—film, television, popular music—among
other aspects of the world in which we live. We will think
about what we think about, or don’t think about but should,
in our daily lives. This course is a discussion-based course
with a reading schedule of both interpretive and primary
source readings. Because this course is conducted in the
style of a seminar, it is essential that students are comfortable
29
and willing to participate in discussions on a daily basis.
Reflective writing and research will allow students a great
deal of latitude to develop and challenge a variety of
responses to the big questions raised by the curriculum.
Selected Readings:Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Truth:
A History and a Guide for the Perplexed: Brian Green,
The Elegant Universe; Gary Kessler, Voices of Wisdom:
A
Multicultural Philosophy Reader; Andre Comte-Sponville,
A Small Treatise on the Great Virtues; Ayn Rand, The Foun-
tainhead, selections from William Irwin, et.al., The Simpsons
and Philosophy: The D’oh of Homer; Bernard Gendron,
Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music
and the Avant-Garde; we well as selected excerpts from the
great thinkers in world philosophy to be distributed by the
instructor
ADvANCED PLACEMENT CoMPARATIvE
GovERNMENT & PoLITICS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
The AP Comparative Government and Politics course is an
introduction to the comparative study of state systems and
their political components. This course gives students a
critical working perspective of these government systems.
The work involves the study of political science theory and
methodology as well as the analysis of specific countries.
A cross section of modern governments will be studied
including Great Britain, Russia, China, the United States,
the European Union, and the developing nations of Nigeria,
Mexico, and Iran. A primary goal of the course is to increase
the students’ understanding of the institutions, political
culture, political traditions, values, and structures of
comparative systems. In addition, students will learn how
to compare the types of systems to one another using
characteristics common to all political models. Some
historical perspective will be included in order to accurately
frame each country’s political and economic development to
the present time. A last major emphasis throughout the year
is the effect of globalization on each of these governments.
Resources:Summer Reading: “The New Geo-Politics of
Food” by Lester Brown in Foreign Policy Magazine; Text:
Comparative Politics Today: A World View. (Tenth AP Edition);
G. Bingham Powell, Jr., Russell J. Dalton, and Kaare Strom;
Pearson/Longman Publishers, 2011; Chinese Lessons; Five
Classmates and the New China John Pomfret; Holt Paper-
backs, 2006; Londongrad; From Russia with Cash. The Inside
Story of the Oligarchs; Mark Hollingsworth and Stewart
Lansley; HarperCollins, 2010; Before I am Hanged; Ken
Saro-Wiwa; Literature, Politics and Dissent; Edited by
Onookome Okome; Africa World Press, Inc. 2000; Persian
Girls: A Memoir; Nahid Rachlin; The Penguin Group, 2006.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT MACRoECoNoMICS /
MICRoECoNoMICS
Designed for those students wishing to prepare for the
College Board Advanced Placement Examination in
Microeconomics and Macroeconomics.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
This course follows the AP Syllabus for Macroeconomics
and Microeconomics and prepares the student for both AP
exams. The first semester focuses on the principles of
macroeconomics: the principles that apply to the economy
as a whole including, the study of national income, price
determination, and the measurement of economic perform-
ance. Special attention will be given to monetary and fiscal
policy, as well as international capital flows. The second
semester focuses on microeconomics: the functions of
individual decision-makers—both consumers and produc-
ers—within the larger economic system. Special attention
will be given to the four market structures, the resource
market, public choice theory, and the role of government in
microeconomic decision making.
Text:Economics, 19Ed. McConnell, Brue, & Flynn; Study
Guide to Economics; New Ideas from Dead Economists,
Todd Buchholz; Selected readings and additional texts TBA
ADvANCED PLACEMENT PSYCHoLoGY
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
Chemistry
AP Psychology is the equivalent of a college level introductory
psychology course that presents students with a general
overview of this discipline’s primary focus of study, as well
as the most important theories included in research and
mental health practice today. Major areas covered include:
the history and approaches of psychology; research methods;
the biological bases of behavior; sensation and perception;
states of consciousness; learning; cognition; motivation
and emotion; human and personality development;
testing and individual differences; abnormal psychology;
psychotherapy; and social psychology. Students will be
prepared for the AP exam in Psychology.
Text:Psychology 8th edition, David Myers; An Anthropologist
in Mars, Oliver Sacks; The Gift of Therapy, Irvin Yalom;
Emotional Intelligence, Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,
Daniel Goleman.
Summer Reading:No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human
Individuality, Judith Rich Harris
30
ADvANCED PLACEMENT UNITED STATES
GovERNMENT & PoLITICS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: World Civilizations, United States History and
department permission
The AP United States Government and Politics course is
designed to survey the U.S. political system. Though we will
start with an examination of the philosophical underpinnings
of our constitutional system, the focus will be on analyzing
current trends, institutions, and practices, and the evolution
of U.S. government to its current state. Primary focus will
be placed on the national level, with a brief examination of
the states and how they function within the federal system,
as well as how their governments differ from the national
government. The course will look at some general compar-
isons of the U.S. system with those of other countries, in
order to highlight unique aspects of the U.S. system. Reading
assignments will include both primary and secondary
sources, and there will be frequent writing assignments that
ask students to analyze/respond to ideas, policies, legal
opinions, political speeches, and a variety of other materials.
This course looks at government structure and function
in-depth, and students are expected to keep up with a
rigorous reading schedule that will include Supreme Court
opinions, analytical articles, and textbook assignments.
Students will be expected to keep up-to-date on current
events, and to be able to apply their knowledge of those
events to the concepts in the course. Students are expected
to sit for the AP test in United States Government and
Politics at the conclusion of the course in May. Class will
be conducted in the format of an interactive college seminar,
given the college-level work that the class entails.
Texts:American Government: Power & Purpose, 12th Edition
(Lowi et al.); The Enduring Debate, 4th Edition (Canon,
Coleman, and Mayer, eds.)
Science
BIoLoGY
A biochemical approach.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Required: Grade 9 or Grade 10
Prerequisite: Recommendation of 8th Grade Science Teacher
The course is based on a molecular or biochemical approach
to Biology. It is an integrated course of lectures, discussions,
and laboratory experiments with the emphasis on student
involvement. The structure and life processes of living
organisms are studied, together with the major scientific
theories and discoveries of the past century. The intent of
the program is both to impart the basic factual information,
and to develop in each student an attitude of inquiry that
will foster problem-solving.
Representative Text: Biological Science, BSCS 8th Edition
CHEMISTRY
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Biology, Algebra 1 and recommendation of
Biology teacher
This course is designed to provide the student with an
overview of the basic principles of chemistry. The subject is
presented so as to underscore the importance of chemistry
in understanding the personal, community, and global issues
related to this discipline. Frequent lab work and hands on
activities are designed to facilitate mastery of the concepts.
Basic algebra is used to enhance this understanding. Ideas
to be studied include the scientific method; atomic structure;
organization of the Periodic Table; chemical bonding and
the characteristics of ionic and covalent compounds;
chemical reactions and equations; the gas laws; acids and
bases; and nuclear chemistry.
Representative Text: Chemistry: Concepts and Applications
Glencoe
HUMAN ANAToMY AND PHYSIoLoGY
An in-depth study of the structure and function of the
human body.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Biology and a course in Chemistry
A full year course using the basic biology course as a step-
ping stone for an in-depth study of the structure and function
of the human body. The first unit, which deals with cellular
and molecular biology, serves as an introduction to
the study of the human organism at the cellular, organ and
system levels. The remainder of the year involves a survey
of the various systems, their interactions, and their abnor-
malities. Topics covered include blood and immunity, the
cardiovascular system, body fluids and the urinary system,
metabolic systems, and endocrinology. The laboratory
portion of the course focuses on the health-related
components of fitness. The lab serves to tie together
aspects of the theoretical presented in class with applications
that will lead to better wellness and fitness.
Representative Text:Principles of Anatomy and Physiology,
by Tortora & Grabowski
31
INTRoDUCTIoN To ENGINEERING
An engineering project-based course focusing in
applications of math and science.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Biology and Chemistry
Co-requisite: Pre-Calculus
This is an engineering project—based course focusing on
a
pplications of math and science. The math topics covered
are: trigonometry, applied derivatives and integrals, Boolean
Algebra, data analysis, and elementary programming.
The physics topics covered are mechanics, electricity,
magnetism, and applied circuits. A project will be assigned
each quarter in which students will be expected to work in
groups of 2 or 3 to complete it. The student’s grade in the
course will be determined by the student’s results on the tests
and quizzes, and how well the group completed the project.
Each project will be accompanied by a report documenting
the group’s progress and supporting the group’s findings.
Text:This text will change on an annual basis
MARINE BIoLoGY
Life in the sea.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Biology
This course is designed for students who have a strong
interest in the sea. It provides an introduction to the marine
environment and its characteristics, and includes a survey
of marine animals and plants and their interrelationships.
This class contains a number of field experiences to explore
marine life on Florida’s coast.
Representative Text:An Introduction to the Biology of
Marine Life, J.L.Sumich
PHYSICS
Fundamentals of physics with emphasis on life applications.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Chemistry, Geometry and the recommendation
of math instructor
This course introduces some of the basic principles of
classical and modern physics, including the study of
mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, magnetism, sound,
light, the theory of relativity, and elements of astronomy and
quantum mechanics. The course places more emphasis on
understanding and describing the physical world, and less
on the use of complex mathematics; applications from
algebra 1 and geometry will be used throughout the course
and other necessary math concepts will be developed as
needed. Emphasis will be placed on laboratory activities to
develop skills in the manipulations of apparatus and in the
observation, description and interpretation of physical events.
Representative Texts:Physics, Wilson
SoUTH FLoRIDA ECoSYSTEMS
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Biology
This course is designed to introduce students to the multiple
ecosystems of South Florida and the key ecological concepts
and principles that govern how each of these systems
work. Emphasis will be placed on the interactions of flora
and fauna species found in the Everglades communities,
mangrove communities, sea grass communities, and coral
reef communities here in south Florida. There is a strong
component on field studies in Biscayne Bay aboard our 27
foot vessel, the Barbara L.
CHEMISTRY HoNoRS
An accelerated course in general chemistry.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10, 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Biology, Algebra 2 and recommendation of
both teachers
The course covers the basic concepts of chemistry, including
the following topics: the concepts of atomic structure;
principles of chemical reactions; properties of gases, liquids
and solids; chemical bonding; molecular geometry and
polarity; oxidation and reduction reactions; thermodynamics;
equilibrium; and electrochemistry. Laboratory work is an
essential part of the course since all experiments are closely
related to classroom material. Students are required to
perform laboratory experiments to get hands-on experience
working with the concepts that are covered in class.
Representative Text: World of Chemistry - Zumdahl et al
PHYSICS HoNoRS
A rigorous, algebra-based approach to the study of physics.
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Chemistry and the recommendation of both
math and science teachers
Co-requisite: Pre-Calculus
This course introduces most of the fundamental concepts
of physics, placing special emphasis on the application of
physical principles. In addition to the understanding and
description of physical principles, by the end of this course
32
students will be able to generalize and integrate these
principles using mathematical tools from algebra 1, geometry,
algebra 2, and trigonometry. Topics include mechanics,
electricity, magnetism, wave phenomenon, fluid dynamics,
thermodynamics, special relativity, and basic quantum
mechanics, which make the curriculum not only satisfying
and demanding, but appropriate preparation for college-
level science courses. The laboratory is used to develop
necessary critical thinking skills as well as the ability to
measure, interpret, and predict physical events.
Text:Physics Wilson, Buffa, Lou
ToPICS IN ENvIRoNMENT AND SoCIETY HoNoRS
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Biology, Chemistry and department permission
This course is designed for the serious science student with
a strong interest in environmental science and the related
societal issues facing us in the 21st Century. Students will
study first how each part of the earth, atmosphere, hydros-
phere, lithosphere and biosphere functions and naturally
interact. Discussions, activities and labs will then focus on
how human population growth and intervention into the
natural world has had an effect on these natural systems.
The underlying question is, “how can we have a sustainable
society without a sustainable world?” We will explore ways
that humans can have less negative impacts on the earth
while still fulfilling a satisfying and productive life.
ToPICS IN LIFE SCIENCES HoNoRS
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry and department permission
This course is designed for students who are interested in
biology and want an advanced treatment of many of the
concepts covered in 9th grade Biology. The topics covered
are often student driven; however topics may include:
Evolution and Diversity of Life, Cellular and Molecular Biology,
Ecology and Environmental Biology, and/or Plant and animal
Physiology. Because there are no real time constraints
associated with this course, students may linger longer on
specific topics. The instructor provides a laboratory expe-
rience that complements ideas being examined and helps
to develop laboratory technique. Again the specific labs
change from year to year, depending on student interest. In
addition, current scientific newsworthy topics are discussed
each week as they occur.
With the changes in AP Biology that are occurring,
Advanced Topics in Life Sciences serves as transition
course between 9th grade Biology and AP. For the student
who needs to improve base knowledge before attempting
an AP, the course provides that material. For the student
who is not prepared for independent laboratory research,
this course provides the experience necessary to develop a
more confident and proficient lab-oriented student. Finally,
this course stands alone for the student who is not interested
in AP, but who wants a more detailed examination of
biological topics.
Admission Into Science
Advanced Placement Courses
Admission into AP courses in the sciences is not guaranteed.
In order to maintain rigorous academic treatment of the
subject matter, certain minimum standards must be met.
First, each AP has its own set of prerequisites. The courses
needed are listed in the description of each AP. Any questions
regarding these requirements should be directed to the
instructor of the specific course. Secondly, scores in either
the PSAT or SAT II in biology or chemistry are used in
determining acceptance to the APs. A minimum score of
600 on the PSAT math and critical reading is necessary.
Grades in Biology and Chemistry are considered with a
minimum expectation of B+ work. Current Math and English
grades for the semester are evaluated with again a minimum
expectation of student achievement in the appropriate
math at the B+ level. Finally, classroom attendance, other
AP courses taken, and the recommendation of the present
science teacher are considered before the student is
admitted to a science AP.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT BIoLoGY
Introductory College Biology and preparation for Ad-
vancement Placement Biology Examination.
Full Year: Seven class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry or Chemistry Honors, and
department permission
The course is designed to provide the student with a solid
educational base in the biological sciences. This allows the
student adequate preparation for the Advanced Placement
Biology Examination. The basic format is a lecture-discussion
course with laboratory. The course covers in depth: cellular
and molecular biology, organismic biology, and ecology-
evolution, at an introductory college level.
Representative Text:Biology, Campbell
33
ADvANCED PLACEMENT CHEMISTRY
A second year course in chemistry equivalent to first-year
college chemistry.
Full Year: Seven class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Chemistry or Chemistry Honors, and
department permission
Corequisite: Pre-Calculus or its equivalent
T
he Advanced Placement Chemistry course is designed to
cover the material presented in the general chemistry
course offered by most colleges and universities. Emphasis
is placed on the understanding of fundamental principles
and reasonable competence in dealing with chemical prob-
lems. Students completing the course are expected to take
the Advanced Placement Examination in Chemistry.
The first semester includes an in-depth study of such topics
as gas laws, structure of matter, thermodynamics, chemical
bonding, quantum theory, and molecular geometry and
polarity. The second semester emphasizes the study of
chemical equilibria, solution chemistry, kinetics, acid and
base theory, oxidation and reduction processes, and elec-
trochemistry.
Representative Text:Chemistry by Brady, Wiley and Sons,
5th edition.
ADvANCED PLACEMENT ENvIRoNMENTAL SCIENCE
An introductory college level class in Environmental Science
Full Year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 11 and 12
Prerequisites: Biology, Chemistry or Chemistry Honors, and
department permission
The course is designed to prepare the student for future
studies in Environmental Science at the college and university
level. It is designed to prepare qualified science students
for success on the AP Environmental Science exam.
Emphasis is placed on: history of the earth’s resources,
scientific principles of resources, population dynamics, use
of our resource base, biodiversity and ecological integrity,
environment and society, and future worldview. A significant
component of the course includes field activities and labo-
ratories on land and on the water. Frequently labs are held
on Biscayne Bay and a several days are spent in the
Everglades removing exotics.
Representative Text:Living in the Environment, G. Tyler Miller
ADvANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS B:
(WITHoUT CALCULUS)
Introductory College Physics and preparation for the
Advanced Placement Physics B Examination
Full year: Seven class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Pre-Calculus or equivalent, and Chemistry or
Physics, and department permission
T
he course is designed to cover the material presented in
an introductory algebra-trigonometry based college physics
course. Problem solving and understanding of underlying
principles are emphasized. Topics covered will include
mechanics, kinetic theory, thermodynamics, electricity, mag-
netism, geometrical optics, wave optics, and quantum theory.
Representative Texts:College Physics, Serway and Faughn;
Pocket Guide to Accompany College Physics, Lind; Schaum’s
Outlines-College Physics, Beuche and Hecht
ADvANCED PLACEMENT PHYSICS C – MECHANICS
Prepares students for the Advanced Placement Physics
C examination
Full year: Six class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11 and 12
Prerequisite: Calculus, and Physics, Physics Honors or AP
Physics B, and permission from the Department Chair or
special permission from the AP Physics C teacher
This is an introductory Physics course at College level;
it requires strong algebra and knowledge of basic calculus
(derivation and integration). The Mechanics program covers
linear kinematics and dynamics, rotational kinematics and
dynamics, work, energy, power, momentum, collisions,
gravitation and oscillations. Laboratory experiments illustrate
essential principles.
Representative Text: Fundamentals of Physics, Halliday,
Resnick & Walker
34
Fine Arts
visual Art
All art courses will make use of audio-visual materials,
lectures, and demonstrations as an aid to a fuller under-
standing of techniques and materials.
STUDIo ART 1
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
The purpose of the course is to develop creative skills through
“hands on” experiences as well as to develop knowledge,
understanding, and appreciation for the creative process.
This class will investigate specific problems in design
focusing on the use of various tools and media. Projects will
be designed to explore two-dimensional techniques (drawing
and painting.) Each unit will focus on a particular aspect
of techniques, with classes particularly designed for a
combination of “hands on” experiences, lectures, audio-
visual presentations, demonstrations and critiques.
STUDIo ART 2, 3, AND 4 HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Studio Art 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and
department permission
These courses are designed for students who have a strong
visual arts background. These courses are geared toward
challenging projects in design, painting, and printmaking.
Creative concepts and designs, as well as carefully executed
projects and a final portfolio are expected. Slide shows,
lectures, and field trips are planned as part of this course.
The portfolio preparation is beneficial for college application.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: None
Through media presentations, lectures, field trips and
hands-on experiences, students will investigate solutions to
architectural problems. This class is designed to act as a
foundation for students interested in learning more about
architecture. Historical solutions will serve as guideposts for
creative innovative designs. Projects will include architectural
planning, site planning, floor plan drawing, elevations and
building scale models. Sculpture and Design is strongly
recommended for students interested in Architecture.
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Architectural Design 1 and department
permission
Architectural Design Honors is for those students who wish
to explore architectural design forms and continue to hone
their technical expertise and increase knowledge of archi-
tectural forms learned in Architectural Design. The course
is limited in size and by permission of instructor only.
SCULPTURE AND DESIGN
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
This hands-on studio course explores principles of sculpture
and design. Its goal is to develop and expand aesthetic,
construction, craftsmanship, and problem-solving abilities.
Students experiment with a wide range of materials as they
explore the possibilities inherent in working three-dimensionally.
The course is divided into units that will include short-term
exercises, “green” recyclable sculpture, wearable sculpture
and jewelry, and environmental sculpture.
ART HISToRY
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Department permission
This course will provide a cursory, chronological exploration
of visual imagery and aesthetic concepts. The format of the
class will be a mixture of formal lecture and seminar discussion.
Architecture, sculpture, two dimensional design, photography,
graphics, and utilitarian products will be selected from
throughout Western, Near Eastern, and Ethnographic cultures.
This art will be examined in terms of visual style and in an
interdisciplinary context. The principal goal of the course is
to reveal the creative process of making art and its subsequent
interpretation as an engaging visual language.
ART HISToRY HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Department permission (Art History is optional,
but recommended)
This course constitutes an intensive, intermediate study of
the visual traditions of the western, near, and ethnographic
cultures. This chronological examination will run from pre-
historic to postmodernist art. This is a highly recommended
class before seeking entry into the Advanced Placement
Art History Course.
Text:Art History. Stokstad and Cothren
35
ADvANCED PLACEMENT ART HISToRY
Preparatory course for the AP Art History exam.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: United States History and department permission
(Art History or Art History Honors are highly recommended)
This course is a chronological study of the history of archi-
tecture, sculpture and painting, from prehistory to modernism.
I
nstruction is geared to preparing students for the format
and complexity of the nationally administered AP exam.
The development of art will be examined in interdisciplinary
concerns of geography, sociology, history, magic and
superstition, religion, utilitarian needs and visual aesthetics.
Text:History of Art, H. W. Jansen / The Annotated Mona
Lisa. Strikland / Barron’s Art History
PHoToGRAPHY 1
An introduction to black and white photography.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Instructor’s permission
Requirements: A 35mm camera (students will also be
responsible for purchasing their own film and paper, supplies,
and other material as needed).
This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of black
and white photography. Students will learn camera
anatomy and operation, basic film processing, and dark
room procedures. During the second semester of this
course, students will be exposed to digital imaging and
photography.
Text: Photography, Upton & London
PHoToGRAPHY 2 HoNoRS
Advanced work continuing where Photography 1 left off.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Photography 1 and department permission
Recommend: A digital SLR camera is recommended.
This course is designed for students with a continued
interest in photography. Digital imaging, digital printing
techniques and alternative processes will also be part of
the experience. This course entails a strong emphasis on
digital media and manipulation as well as discussions of
alternative media and alternative printing processes. The
projects will require more lateral thinking and creative
solutions than in Photo I and the students are heavily
encouraged to problem solve throughout the image making
process. They will also be required to do an occasional
creative writing assignment to help them better understand
their subject matter.
Text: Photography, Upton & London; Photoshop CS5 for
Photographers, Martin Evening; Light, Science and Magic,
Fil Hunter, Paul Fuqua
PHoToGRAPHY 3 HoNoRS
An advanced course including the history of photography.
F
ull Year: Five Class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grade 11-12
Prerequisite: Photography 2 Honors and department
permission
Recommended: A digital SLR camera is recommended.
This course examines the history of photography along with
perfecting the quality of the printed image as it relates to
specific readings and periods within the medium. Class
discussions, digital imaging, alternative processes, tests,
slide shows, and photography critiques will provide the
bases for evaluation.
Text:Photoshop CS5 for Photographers, Martin Evening;
Photography, Upton & London; Light, Science and Magic,
Fil Hunter, Paul Fuqua
vIDEo PRoDUCTIoN
Students will research, write, produce, film and edit videos.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
This course is designed to further develop and enhance a
student’s video production skills. The video production
class will give students maximum exposure to the concepts
and skills involved in the production of studio and field
based television Public Service Announcement (PSA),
advertising and video art. All participating students will be
held accountable for the writing, filming and editing of their
assignments. Grading is based on conceptual and aesthetic
merit as well as technical execution and effort.
Text:Introduction to Video Production: Studio Field and
Beyond, Ronald J. Compesi & Jaime S. Gomez
Optional Texts:Digital Filmmaking 101: An Essential Guide to
Producing Low Budget Movies, Dale Newton, John Gaspard;
The Filmmaker’s Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for
the Digital Age, Steven Ascher; The Low Budget Video Bible,
Cliff Roth
36
CERAMICS 1
An introduction to clay.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: None
In this course, an introduction to clay as a material, and
ceramics as a process, will be explored. Basic hand-building
techniques will be attempted with exploration of different
f
iring and glazing processes. An appreciation for and an
understanding of the craft and its historical importance will
be realized. Priority will be given to seniors, then juniors,
then sophomores, as class size is limited.
CERAMICS 2 HoNoRS
Continuation of advanced techniques and complex projects
with clay.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Ceramics 1 and department permission
In this course, a continuation of all items in ceramics, plus
an introduction to the throwing process and involvement in
basic firing techniques and studio responsibilities. Exploration
of more creative and sculptural forms will be attempted with
emphasis on problem-solving skills. Course accountability
will include research papers and tests. Priority will be given
to seniors and juniors.
CERAMICS 3 HoNoRS
A continuation of advanced techniques and complex
projects in clay.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 12
Prerequisite: Ceramics 2 Honors and department permission
Students will continue to control and expand on the
techniques learned in the previous courses with a more
involved commitment to experimentation and an emphasis
on personalization of their style. Course accountability will
include research papers and tests. Priority will be given to
seniors and juniors.
Performing Arts
Suggested sequence in Drama: Acting 1 (Grades 9-12);
Acting 2 Honors (Grades 10-12); Musical Theatre (Grades
10-12); Acting 3 Honors - Rehearsal & Performance (Grades
1
1 and 12); Senior Directing Workshop Honors (Grade 12)
C
HoRUS 1 & 2
An opportunity for those who enjoy singing to develop
musical and vocal skills in a choral environment.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
This class offers the opportunity for students to perform
solo and choral literature of all periods and styles. Emphasis
is on the continued growth and development of music and
vocal skills through rehearsal and performance. The group
will be required to perform throughout the school year to
gain experience in creating a musical performance as a
demonstration of combined skills.
CHoRUS 3 HoNoRS & 4 HoNoRS
An opportunity for 3rd and 4th year chorus students to
receive academic credit for an added emphasis on individual
performances and evaluations.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Chorus 2, Chorus 3 Honors respectively
Students will be required to participate in all choral ensembles
and the FVA Concert/Sight singing Music Performance
Assessment. Students will also be required to participate
in several of the following activities: ACDA Honor Choir
Auditions, FMEAA All-State Auditions, UM Honor Choir,
FVA Solo and Ensemble Music Performance Assessments
and/or “Live at Lunch” performances. An exam grade will be
given each semester based on the director’s assessment
of the individual performances.
MUSIC THEoRY HoNoRS
An intensive intermediate music theory course.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Basic understanding of written and aural theory
and instructor’s permission
This class is designed to teach students college-level music
theory. Areas covered in class will include ear-training
(which involves rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation),
written theory, and form and analysis.
37
ADvANCED PLACEMENT MUSIC THEoRY
A course in college-level music theory.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Basic understanding of written and aural theory
and instructor’s permission (Completion of Music Theory
class, private instrumental study, and Ensemble enrollment
is recommended, though not required.)
T
his class is designed to teach students college-level
music theory and prepare them for the AP Music Theory
Examination. Areas covered in class will include ear-training
(which involves rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic dictation),
written theory, and form and analysis.
MUSICAL THEATRE
Full Year: Five meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisites: None
This course is for students who have very little experience
in Musical Theatre or experienced students who would like
to improve their performance. Some musical theatre history,
vocal technique and exercises, plus how to sell a song —
singer or non-singer — will be covered.
Text:Broadway Musicals Show by Show, Green
STRING ENSEMBLE
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Prior ensemble experience and instrumental
proficiency preferred
String Ensemble is a course open to orchestral string players
in grades 9-12. Instruction will be offered for violin, viola,
cello, and string bass. Prior ensemble experience and
instrumental proficiency is preferred but not required. In
addition to the full class performing as an ensemble, solos,
various small ensembles, and Broadway musical pit orchestra
will also be offered.
BAND 1, 2, 3 & 4
Development of musical skills and understanding through
rehearsal and performance
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Previous instrumental training and permission
of instructor
This class provides an opportunity for students to perform
a wide variety of band literature. Emphasis will be on the
development of musical skills and understanding through
rehearsal and performance. Concert performance is required.
Solo and ensemble music will also be studied and performed.
Additional emphasis will be placed on the development of
music reading skills, phrasing, interpretation, articulation,
tone, and awareness of musical style and form. Additional
rehearsals may be scheduled as needed. A select jazz
ensemble will rehearse on given days, with remaining students
released. Purchase and preparation of a solo on the FBA
list, grade 3 or higher, will be required.
BAND 3 HoNoRS & 4 HoNoRS
A
n opportunity for 3rd and 4th year band students to receive
academic credit for an added emphasis on individual
performances and evaluations.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Band 2, Band 3 Honors respectively
Students will be required to participate in all Symphonic
Band activities and the FBA Music Performance Assessment.
Students will also be required to perform a solo for the FBA
Solo and Ensemble festival and audition for the Florida
All-State Band. In addition, student will be recommended
for participation in Live at Lunch, FBA District 20 Honor
Band, South Florida Honor Band, and FBA Small Schools
Honor Band. An exam grade will be given each semester
based on the director’s assessment of the individual
performances. Purchase and preparation of a solo on the
FBA list, grade 5 or higher, will be required.
GUITAR 1
An opportunity for experienced guitarists to perform in
group settings and expand their repertoires
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Middle School Guitar, or equivalent training,
and instructor’s permission
This class offers a performance opportunity for young
guitarists. Performance settings will include solo, duet, trio,
quartet, and large group settings. Classical guitars will be
provided by the school. This class will also offer opportunities
on electric guitar, bass, percussion, and other stringed
instruments. Enrollment will be limited to the top 15 students
as determined by the instructor, including auditions if needed.
All musical periods from Medieval to Contemporary will be
covered. A wide variety of playing styles will be explored,
including classical, folk, rock, blues, jazz, and others.
DVD’s, listening, and historical discussions will also be a
part of the course. Concert performances will be required
as a part of this course.
38
GUITAR 2
An opportunity for experienced guitarists to perform in
group settings and expand their repertoires. Guitar 2 students
will perform with the entire ensemble as well as in advanced
groupings of Guitar 2 students only.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Guitar 1, or equivalent training, and permission
of instructor
This class offers a performance opportunity for young
guitarists. Performance settings will include solo, duet, trio,
quartet, and large group settings. Guitar 2 students will be
grouped as a sectional, performing with other students of
like level. Specifically, Guitar 2 will entail higher left hand
positions, though IX, advanced harmonies, including 9th,
11th, 13th, diminished, half-diminished, and augmented
chords, as well as all possible combinations of these
advanced harmonies, as presented by the selected
performance repertoire. Also as presented in the selected
performance repertoire, students will learn to count and
perform advanced rhythms such as triplets, dotted 8th
16ths, ties, and asymmetrical meters and the associated
bar line groupings. Guitar 2 will also perform separately on
recitals and other performances, as well as en masse with
the students of other guitar levels.
ACTING 1
An introduction to theatre, acting and public speaking.
Students will develop these skills through improvisation,
acting exercises, monologues and scene study.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
ACTING 2 HoNoRS
A continuation of theatre study and advanced acting
techniques.
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Acting 1 and department permission
This course is a continuation of Acting 1, using more advanced
scene material. Students will be encouraged to enter Thespian
competition in Duet Acting and Monologue.
Text:The Actor’s Scene Book, Owen
ACTING 3 HoNoRS REHEARSAL AND PERFoRMANCE
Full Year: Five class meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Acting 2 Honors and audition or department
permission
The purpose of this course is to further develop and solidify
the skills learned by the advanced actor through challenging
theatrical exercises, scene work, and audition techniques.
Students will be expected to perform in after-school drama
productions as well as in competitions.
SENIoR DIRECTING WoRKSHoP HoNoRS:
INTRoDUCTIoN To DIRECToRIAL TECHNIqUE
Full Year: Five meetings per week. One credit.
Elective:Grade 12
P
rerequisites: Acting 3 Honors and department permission
This course is designed to offer the senior drama student a
beginning experience in the basics of directing. The students
will learn the elements of staging, production logistics,
casting, script analysis, and rehearsal technique from a
director’s point of view. Throughout the year, the students
will have the opportunity to direct short scenes with students
from an Acting class. A final directing project, chosen by
the student, will be presented in the showcase at the end
of the year.
Text:Sense of Direction, Ball
TECHNICAL THEATRE
Full Year: Five class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: None
This course is a “hands – on” exploration of technical theater
emphasizing on professional knowledge and skills. Beginning
with the basics components of behind the scene safety and
proper procedure, the journey extends to the preparation
and running of any type of stage production. Continued
education will explore Lighting, Scenic and Sound Design,
covering drafting, rendering, and design presentation.
Throughout the year a core group of students from this
class will be behind the scenes for school assemblies,
selected special events and the seasons Drama Department
productions.
FILM STUDIES
Semester/Full Year: Five class meetings a week.
One-half credit or one credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisites: None
Film Studies can be taken as either a semester or a year-
long course. The class will view, discuss and write about a
captivating selection of international classics. The movies
that will be examined represent a broad spectrum of genres,
including drama, comedy, suspense, psychological thrillers,
westerns, science fiction period pieces, avant-garde, and
foreign films. Throughout the first semester the concentration
will be on foreign cinema, and second semester will be
39
dedicated to American productions. The class will explore
a series of past cinematic milestones and contemporary
classics to reveal movies as a viable art form distinguished
by a rich tradition of styles and techniques.
DANCE 1
Full Year: Five class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 9-12
Prerequisite: Department permission
The purpose of the course is to provide a beginning study
of contemporary dance forms and dance history. Dance
techniques will be developed through training in jazz, ballet,
modern and improvisation exercises.
DANCE 2
Full Year: Five class periods per week. One credit.
Elective:Grades 10-12
Prerequisite: Dance 1 and/or department permission
The purpose of this course is to provide an advanced study
of dance techniques training and stage performance, dance
history, and student composition for the concert stage.
Dance techniques will be developed through training in
jazz, ballet, modern and improvisation exercises.
DANCE 3 HoNoRS
Full Year: Five class periods per week. One credit.
Elective: Grades 11-12
Prerequisite: Dance 2 and department permission
This course is designed for students who have completed
Dance 1 and Dance 2. Honors Dance is an intensive study
of choreography, composition, and the art of creating
dance. Students must complete Dance 1 and Dance 2 to
be admitted into Honors Dance and receive credit.
Physical Education
PHYSICAL EDUCATIoN - GRADE 9
Full Year: Four class meetings per week. One credit.
Required: Grade 9
The purpose of the course is to instill knowledge of health
and skill-related components of fitness and to continue the
development of appreciation for the value of participation
in a meaningful and enjoyable physical activity.
All students are required to successfully complete four
quarters of Physical Education. A variety of activities are
offered. The activities are designed to provide students with
the opportunities to explore and discover experiences that
will help them pursue a wellness lifestyle. Experiences will
include aquatics, bay studies, Outward Bound preparation
activities, fitness education, fitness assessments and team
and individual games.
LIFE SKILLS - GRADE 10
One Semester: Four class meetings per week.
One-half credit.
Required: Grade 10
The course is intended to help motivate and guide students
toward informed, responsible decisions affecting their overall
well being. The course is designed to enable students to
acquire and refine the knowledge, skills and abilities to plan
and enhance their personal health, community, and family
life in order to effectively manage the change encountered
in the transitions they will face throughout life.
PHYSICAL EDUCATIoN - GRADE 10
One Quarter: Four class meetings per week.
One-quarter credit.
Required: Grade 10
The course is designed to expose students to a variety of
physical activities. Experiences may include aquatics, bay
studies, fitness games, individual and partner games, team
games and training modalities, as well as fitness assessments.
Students will be exposed to experiences that assist in
attaining and/or maintaining a physically active lifestyle.
SAILING SKILLS - GRADE 10
One Quarter: Four class meetings per week.
One-quarter credit.
Required: Grade 10
The purpose of the course is to promote lifelong skills
relating to sailing. It encompasses sailing theory, safety on
the water and sailing practice. The class is 75% on the water
learning and 25% classroom work.
Each student is required to demonstrate proficiency in double
handed (2 person) sailing of a 15 foot sloop. Each student is
required to show content knowledge relating to boat handling,
safety and tradition. And, as part of a larger crew, the student
will acquire experience in sailing the school’s flagship antique
schooner, the Winslow II.
40