SV Valley   
English & Social Studies





This course builds on the student’s writing, reading and comprehension.  Special attention will be paid to moving the student from a functional application of the rules of grammar to applying those rules to more advanced techniques of paragraph, essay and research writing. The course will review editing basics such as fragments, run-ons and recognizing parts of speech. Moreover, through the incorporation of masterpiece sentences and detailed revisions, attention will be paid to creating more complex and interesting written work. Students will begin to understand and develop their own writing style. Complementing the emphasis on writing skills, the course will use fiction, biography, poetry, drama and non-fiction to develop an understanding of important language arts skills as well as identify how themes and ideas are conveyed through various types of writing. This class overlaps with Computer Literacy so that students can practice applying technology to their writing and researching processes. Literature includes, but is not limited to, Of Mice and Men by Ernest Hemingway, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, and The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.



This course is designed to build on skills previously learned in ninth grade English. Building on the foundation students already possess, the class focuses on the development of literature analysis and the writing process. Students will read a variety of literature including, short stories, novels, non-fiction, poetry and drama to develop literary skills. Comprehension will be gained through class discussions, individual and group projects, and written analysis. Emphasis will be placed on preparing students for the CAHSEE exam. The course adheres to California Content Standards for grade 10 and is divided into four different sections: poetry, drama, non-fiction and fiction. Each section will feature reading selections, compositions and projects designed to improve and develop overall reading comprehension and writing skills. Literature includes, but is not limited to, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Antigone by Sophocles, Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.



In 11th grade, students extend and apply knowledge previously targeted in earlier grades in the context of the historical genres and literary traditions of American Literature. In writing, they work with text structures such as biographical narratives and response to literature utilizing primary and secondary sources.



This course is designed to give students an overview of some of the major works and authors of American literature. Students will develop literary analysis skills through individual and group projects as well as written composition skills including narrative and expository writing, creative and descriptive writing and applied literature analysis. Literature includes The Crucible by Arthur Miller, A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.



This semester focuses on the writing process. Students will write a variety of essays that demonstrate an understanding of the writing process, expository and narrative composition and creative writing. Projects will combine writing, organizational and comprehension skills with creativity to highlight analysis and understanding of ideas, issues and events. Writing assignments and essays are designed to expand students’ abilities in literary analysis, expository writing and creative expression.



Given that this is a senior level course, a main emphasis will be placed on preparing students for college-level curriculum and success.  Time- management and personal responsibility are critical components of this class. This course gives an overview of ancient and modern literary works from around the world.  In addition, students will explore the history and customs of each country/region studied and how literature is a reflection of each unique culture.  Comprehension will be gained through class readings and discussions, individual and group projects and written analysis.  Literary concepts and styles of writing will be explored.

This course is divided into five sections, each section reflecting a different geographical region.  Each section will feature reading selections, compositions and projects designed to improve and develop overall reading comprehension and writing skills.  Reading selections will be taken from literature anthologies and from assigned novels. Examples of selections are Oedipus Rex, Beowulf, Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane, Balzac and The Little Chinese Mistress by Dai Sijie, and Aura by Carlos Fuentes.



This accelerated English course offers opportunities for students to work with sophisticated literary devices, to apply higher-level thinking skills, and to read more demanding literature. The pace, depth and independent work requirements offers a more challenging curriculum for students that have demonstrated excellence in previous English classes. Written assignments will be of a more extensive and analytical nature.  In addition to the English 12 reading requirements student will read selections such as Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, The Underdogs by Mariano Azuela, and The Burning Plains by Juan Rulfo.








This course is an introduction of geography.  Students will learn about the importance of geography as we look at our solar system, our planet and our country.  Students will also learn about geography in other countries such as Latin America and Europe, and how the different aspects of geography affect us in our every day lives. Students will complete a research project on a country of their choice and do a presentation to the class.



The objective of this class is to study different cultures throughout the world and recognize the effects of culture, surroundings, and institutions to help students define themselves in relation to others.  Our main focus will be on Ancient India, Ancient China, The Byzantine Empire, Russia, East Africa, Mongol Empire, Ming Dynasty, Korea and Japan. Students learn about the Indus Valley Civilization, Ancient Chinese Life and Culture, The Rise of Russia, and the Dynasties of Korea and Japan.




Students study major turning points that shaped the modern world, from the late eighteenth century through the present, including the cause and course of the two world wars. They trace the rise of democratic ideas and develop an understanding of the historical roots of current world issues, especially as they pertain to international relations. Students develop an understanding of current world issues and relate them to their historical, geographic, political, economic, and cultural contexts. Students consider multiple accounts of events in order to understand international relations from a variety of perspectives. Students learn a broad range of topics starting with the First Civilizations and ending with The Contemporary Western World, Africa and The Middle East.




This course covers important events that have shaped the United States from 1900 to the present. During the year students discuss our country’s beginnings, the development and implementation of our democratic ideals and the global impact the United States has on the world today.  Students will acquire the ability to evaluate historical evidence, make comparative analysis, and to develop sound historical arguments based on the use of factual evidence. Examples of topics covered are Colonization, The Civil War, Native American Culture, The Industrial Revolution, World Wars I and II, Watergate, The Cold War, and The War on Terrorism.




The English 11/U.S. History double period allows students to explore the connections across the two subject areas. By teaching these courses as a block, students work with historical documents as literary documents. They explore literature as a reflection of history, reading speeches by the founders, autobiographies of major American figures and literary commentaries such as The Crucible. Then, students use writing to explain, interpret and analyze events. Much of the learning is project based. For example, one project has students compare depression era media and satire with media and satire from the current recession. Students create presentations and write summaries to teach their peers about major events leading up to the Civil War. Another project allows the student to be reporters filing video and transcripts from the battles of WWII. Students end the year with a research paper about a major event or issue from modern American history. The course allows a more holistic approach to content and competencies.




This class surveys the institutions and fundamentals of American government. The course looks at the foundations of democratic systems, the evolution and practice of checks and balances, an in depth look at each of the three branches, an examination of the constitution, and the process of making and changing public policy. By investigating and evaluating current events, students will become participants in a democratic government. In addition, literature, film, and the arts will be incorporated into the class in order to bring alive the facts and circumstances, themes and issues of the class.



Students concentrate on the principles of micro and macro economics. They examine the theories which underpin the US economic model including supply; demand; the effect of taxes on supply and demand; opportunity cost; market inequalities and externalities; budgeting and forecasting; entrepreneurship; labor markets; the stock market; international trade; the intersection of politics and economy; and most importantly, responsible money management and budgeting.

Curri Mid High (1)