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A. Parke

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See also the Hopkins Yearbook Sales Flyer.

Posted 2/11/19

7th & 8th Honors English Courses--Overview

Welcome to a new school year! I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for English and building a successful and productive year with each of you. FUSD honors English is a literature-based and standards-based course that is demanding of students’ time and energy. Every element of English language—from reading and writing to spelling, vocabulary, and grammar—will be developed as the year goes on, as will listening, speaking, and critical thinking skills. This class will both seek to challenge you as learners and to help you to become creative and critical thinkers. 

Honors English differs from the college prep English classes in two main ways. First, my expectations for honors students are higher in terms of responsibility, handling the workload, and quality of work. Second, we will approach all areas of the curriculum in greater depth and complexity. 


The eighth grade course builds upon the work and learning begun in seventh grade and places emphasis on student responsibility and preparing students for the rigors of high school (see MSJHS English Placement Guidelines).

Literature:  We will read several genres of literature this year, including selected works of nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. You will participate in diverse classroom activities—such as discussion and debate, cooperative learning groups, and oral presentations—that will take you into, through, and beyond each work we read.


Seventh grade core readings are The GiverThe PearlAnna of Byzantium, and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.  Possible additional readings include selections from the FUSD adopted grade-level textbook, Chinese Cinderella (a memoir by Adeline Yen Mah), and/or Forbidden City.


Eighth grade core readings are The Outsiders, Whirligig, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Possible additional readings include selections from the FUSD adopted grade-level textbook and The Diary of Anne Frank, by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich, and/or Touching Spirit Bear, by Ben Mikaelsen.

Writing: You will be expected to master standard writing conventions, as well as demonstrate competency in informative/explanatory writing, argumentative writing, and narrative writing. You will also complete mini research projects and participate in different forms of creative writing.


Eighth grade writing includes a creative writing challenge called NaNoWriMo ("National Novel Writing Month"; more information to follow) and regular writing in a Reader’s and Writer’s (RAW) Notebook (see course syllabus for materials). 


Tests and Quizzes: Throughout each quarter, students will demonstrate understanding and apply learned skills through tests and quizzes (including pop quizzes). Each semester will also conclude with a semester final for which students will apply the skills and knowledge they have gained throughout the year. 

Independent Reading: Students will participate in an independent, school-wide reading program that does not include whole-class readings. In this class, students will participate by selecting age-appropriate books from diverse genre, both fiction and nonfiction. As students complete their outside reading, you will use the class resources on scheduled days to complete comprehension and analysis tasks.

Yearbook Overview

Welcome Hopkins Yearbook Staff!  Students in this class will be members of the yearbook production staff.  The course is designed to expose the student to the skills of photography, journalism, and page production, and to assist him/her in acquiring the responsible attitude necessary to meet the demands of a production schedule and a publication deadline.  Students will work in teams to complete a 152-page yearbook ON TIME!


Contact A. Parke  A. Parke Teacher - English/Yearbook



I am keeping a list of contests (see attached link) for interested students.  If you choose to participate, please let me know.  If you have any questions, please see me.


Wise Words Quote Submissions


Do you have any favorite quotes?  Have you ever stumbled across a profound passage?  Submit the wise words which you find meaningful at the Wise Words Google Form (see link below).  Your submission might be posted as a quote of the week.  You will need to log in with your district Google account to access the form.