English 9: Modes of Reading and Writing

Students read, analyze, and discuss works by Sandra Cisneros, Aldo Leopold, William Shakespeare, Homer, and Michel de Montaigne, among others. Using literature inspiration for discussion and composition, students write in a variety of genres and modes including the personal narrative, descriptive poem, science essay, romantic poetry, short fiction, and analytical essay. This course offers a framework for students to develop reading, writing, and research skills important to success in high school and beyond.

English 10: Literary Analysis and Rhetoric

Put simply, this is a course in rhetoric: the art of finding the most effective way to communicate well-developed ideas. In addition to reading rhetorical theory, such as Aristotle’s Rhetoric and Plato’s Gorgias, students will research a variety of topics and write their own arguments. They will also read and analyze speeches, essays, letters, plays, and literature that explore the concept of civil disobedience.

IB English I—SL/HL

In the first year of IB English, students develop their reading, speaking, thinking, and writing skills through understanding how form and context construct meaning in texts. In this course, “text” refers to any type of expression, whether verbal, written, or visual: speeches, advertisements, plays, podcasts, websites, novels, and cartoons all count as texts, and students develop the skills and knowledge to understand the value of each text in its original context. Students will develop their skills through seminar discussions, formal presentation, and written work. HL work includes higher‑level assignments and assessments.

IB English II—SL/HL

In the second year of IB English, students continue to develop their reading, speaking, thinking, and writing skills and enhance their ability to contextualize a variety of texts. Students approach texts in a more thematic manner, looking at themes such as how gender is presented and constructed in popular media and how politicians use language to persuade and shape public opinion. Students also explore literature’s place within society and culture, as well as the distinguishing features of literary genres (drama, fiction, poetry, and prose). HL work includes higher-level assignments and assessments.


Electives

Student Newspaper

Elements is the MCDS student-run newspaper. Students write and edit stories as part of a monthly publication.