As a Gould English student you will have the opportunity to study English with great teachers/writers AND:
- Work in a Writing Tutorial
- Create a Digital Portfolio to showcase your academic and personal passions
- Publish a Literary Magazine
- Connect through Writing Across the Curriculum
- Engage in the Richard Blanco Writers Series
English develops careful and avid readers who think clearly, test ideas in empathetic discussion, and move those ideas through forceful writing. The five modes of English are a process of continual understanding. Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Thinking are a means of finding success in life, no matter where one’s passion leads.
Students employ design thinking, project based learning, portfolios, speeches, and debates among other means to understand their place in the world. Students connect their learning in all realms of the academic, athletic, and residential life.
College professors, writers, and doers from all walks of life engage English students in class regularly. Students read about and work with Richard Blanco and the writers he brings to Gould Academy each year through the Richard Blanco Writers Series.
Four years of English: all students must be enrolled in an English course at all times.
English Course Classes Include:
Students in this course experience a shared curriculum with Human Geography and strive to develop a geographic imagination and to develop a skill set needed for the succeeding years. Textual annotation, the writing process, the Socratic method, group work, project management, academic organization, and media presentation skills are built into the curriculum. The course reflects the regions studied in human geography and explores the regions through poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels. Texts may include The Translator, The Alchemist, Tsotsi, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, My Land Sings, Sideways on a Scooter, India Calling, Dreaming in Chinese, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Persepolis, Real Time.
(Ninth grade requirement)
Students in this course experience a shared curriculum with World History and develop an understanding of the history of western culture through literary analysis. Developing the analytical vocabulary to reason, to write, and to discuss competently about the underpinnings of western culture and society as it is reflected in literature is the foundation of the curriculum. Students will journey through the history of western literature by reading drama and poems from Ancient Greece, the Medieval period, the Renaissance, and the 20th Century as well as more modern genres of literature such as the novel and graphic novel. A variety of creative, analytic, and reflective assignments will assist students’ development of analytical thinking skills, the writing process, academic organization, and an understanding of themselves as learners. Texts may include a collection of stories from Greek mythology, Antigone, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Everyman, The Tempest, Galileo, Frankenstein, Watchmen.
(Tenth grade requirement)
During Gould Academy’s eleventh grade year of English, students will be exposed to a variety of poems, essays, stories, plays, and novels that illuminate the central themes of the course: identity, voice, life, freedom and justice, transcendentalism, and decisions. Students will journey through the five realms of English (reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking) focusing on literature and language through critical thinking and analytical skill development. Each textual analysis starts with essential questions based on each trimester’s themes. Students will consider texts in relation to themselves, the world, and other texts. Students will use the essential questions from the course to construct their own essential questions for each assigned project. In addition to a teacher-edited anthology of poems, short stories, and essays, texts may include The Tribes of Palos Verdes, The Great Gatsby, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Eleventh grade requirement unless enrolled in AP English Language and Composition)
In this introductory college-level course students read and analyze a broad range of challenging nonfiction prose selections, deepening their awareness of rhetoric and how language works. Through close reading and frequent writing, students develop their ability to read, write, speak, listen, and think while gaining an awareness of purpose, strategy, and style. Course readings feature expository, analytical, personal, and argumentative texts from a variety of authors and historical contexts. Students examine and work through essays, letters, speeches, and images. Students conference on their writing in class and in the Writing Center. Summer reading and writing are required. Students enrolled in this course will be expected to take the AP English Language and Composition exam.
(Eleventh grade offering by departmental recommendation.)
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition is a yearlong challenging course which approaches literature and its themes from a global perspective. We will delve into some of the universal themes of humanity through close readings of a variety of works within the evolving literary canon. The goal will be to read, discuss, and write about these works with precision, sensitivity, clarity, and imagination. The overarching questions will include: How does our past shape our vision of ourselves and our world, our hopes, or our future? What is the nature of evil and its punishment? What does love teach us about life and ourselves? What is literature, and why are we driven to create it? Possible reading selections may include Beloved, The Things They Carried, Hamlet, Crime and Punishment, The Stranger, The Poisonwood Bible, Heart of Darkness, Great Expectations, and selections from many poets. Students will conference on their writing in class and in the Writing Center. Summer reading and writing are required. Students enrolled in this course will be expected to take the AP Literature and Composition exam.
(Twelfth grade offering by departmental recommendation)
This course will address what is meant when a book is considered both “contemporary” and “classic.” How can a text be both? What do the texts have in common thematically? How were the texts influenced by the time in which they were written? What effect did the texts have on the world? Is it important to read them? Why? How can what we learn from these texts and their characters and can they expand our understanding of ourselves, the world, and the study of literature?
It is said that in South America there is no surrealism. Everything is magic. These novels, although rooted in the real, somehow slide toward the magical. Stories from both South and North America ask the reader to question reality and believability. Selections may include: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Going After Cacciato, House of Spirits, and Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges.
In Western cultures, identity often tends to be defined in binary terms: an individual is either black or white, male or female, native or immigrant. This course seeks to explore the nature of identity by focusing on texts in which categories of identity — specifically those of race and nationality — are represented as fluid rather than concrete. Texts may include Dreaming in Cuban, Interpreter of Maladies, A Thousand Splendid Suns, among others.
“Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.” – Barbara Kingsolver. Students will study contemporary short stories and poetry while writing and workshopping their own pieces in both genres. Students will keep a writing journal that incorporates expression in other media to tap creative energies as components of the writing process. The course culminates in a portfolio presentation.
This course explores the First Amendment and its importance to our country and culture. We will consider why books and films are challenged, who does the challenging, and why some books and films are ultimately banned. Through reading, discussion and writing, students will reflect on themes and ideas found in the text and on the screen and then delve into what makes them so “dangerous” or “inappropriate” to deserve harsh criticism and objections. Texts may include The Chocolate War, The Handmaid’s Tale, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Films may include The Last Temptation of Christ, Clockwork Orange, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
This course has three movements. First, understanding the history of contemporary Urban Poetry. Second, acquiring the language to read, write, speak, listen, and think about these texts. Thirty-three literary terms will be used to study poetry, with insight from many notable writers. The terms include rhyming couplets, rhyme pattern, stressed/unstressed syllables, scansion, feet, internal rhyme, end rhyme, and slant rhyme among others. Third, critical analysis of each text. Students will write many single and multi-paragraph papers and present two multi-media presentations.
English Department Faculty
Mrs. Manning attended Simmons College, where she earned her B.A. in English and Education. She worked briefly in public schools before embracing the boarding school life. She has taught ninth, tenth, and twelfth graders, headed Davidson Hall, coached Girls’ Soccer, and led the Rugrats Program. She enthusiastically supports Gould’s Four Point Program and the Advising Program, and serves as an advisor with her husband, History Teacher Mr. Rob Manning. Sometimes, when Mrs. Manning isn’t working with students, she has time to read and cook! She and her husband, and their dog, Luna, live on campus in the Hutchinson House. Their son, Alec, attends Kenyon College.
Mr. Bean has taught full-time since 1991 in public and private schools in Utah, Massachusetts, and Maine. His fiction, non-fiction, journalism, and poetry are widely published, and his commentaries have appeared on National Public Radio. He and his wife, Ms. Brooke Libby, Director of College Counseling, live near campus with their daughters Zoe ‘17 and Lilo ‘19; and son, Utah. Mr. Bean enjoys protecting and wandering wild places.
Mr. Riley first imagined teaching after an inspiring experience in 11th grade English at The Noble & Greenough School. Graduating from Bates College, he then earned a M.B.A. from Northwestern University. Mr. Riley studied in Avignon and Paris, France for parts of both college and graduate school. His 30-year business career included over 20 years in the medical device industry, initially as a company owner and ending as the chief executive officer of a New Hampshire subsidiary of The Roche Group of Basel, Switzerland. He enjoys helping students learn the real-world benefits of learning to read and think well so they can write clearly and persuasively. Mr. Riley is an enthusiastic skier and cyclist, has climbed a variety of peaks in the French and Swiss Alps, and has enjoyed ski mountaineering trips including the Haute Route and the Shackleton Traverse across South Georgia Island. He served on Gould’s Board of Trustees from 2003-2010, chaired Gould’s 2006 Strategic Planning Committee, and delivered Gould’s commencement address in 2011. Two of his three children graduated from Gould.
Mr. Ben Stonebraker has been steeped in New England independent school tradition. He was born and raised at Hebron Academy where his father chaired the English Department and his mother was Librarian in Chief. Ben attended Holderness School before matriculating at Colby College where he majored in English and Poetry. After graduating, he pursued his passion for the out-of-doors in the vast expanse of Western Montana. His love of skiing, white water, and the mountains served him well as a ski coach and kayaking instructor. Aspen, Colorado was a logical next step for Mr. Stonebraker. During all his years in the West, he never lost sight of his roots in Maine or his desire to return to them. In the summers he migrated to the shores of Moose Pond to continue as the Counselor Training Director at Camp Winona. When a position in Gould’s English Department became available, Mr. Stonebraker rushed for the opportunity to continue the Stonebraker legacy of instilling a love of literature and wilderness and the minds of the youth.