Language Arts

  • COURSE OFFERINGS

    The following courses are Renton School District Board approved curriculum. However, not all courses are offered at each high school every semester. Please contact the counseling office in your high school for specific courses offered at that building.

    Each course listed in the course catalog earns .5 credits per trimester, unless otherwise noted.

  • English Language Arts Graduation Requirements

    Students in the class of 2019 and beyond must:

    • Earn four credits from high school level ELA courses.
    • Meet requirements on the state ELA exam required of students in their graduating class. Students must:
      • Meet the exit exam score on the Smarter Balanced ELA assessment OR
      • Complete a state-approved CAA alternative option in ELA.

    Students who qualify for special education services under WAC 180-51-115 must:

    • Earn four credits of ELA as designated by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
    • Meet requirements on the state ELA exam required of students in their graduating class as designated by their IEP. Students must:
      • Meet the exit exam score on the Smarter Balanced ELA assessment OR
      • Meet the Washington Access to Instruction & Measurement (WA-AIM) ELA score OR
      • Complete a state-approved CIA alternative option in ELA.

     College Admissions Requirements

    Students intending to go to a four-year college in Washington State must earn at least four credits in English Language Arts.


  • REQUIRED COURSES


    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 9 A, B

    Course Code: PLA012, PLA013
    This first-year language arts course emphasizes and develops reading, writing, and speaking skills.  Students will analyze fiction and nonfiction through the lens of empathy and build their academic toolbox for future ELA work. Students will encounter writing in a variety of forms, both formal and informal, so they can learn to use writing to empower their individual voices.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 9 (HONORS) A, B

    Course Code: PLA014, PLA015
    The honors class has more rigorous expectations of students. The learning pace is accelerated. More in-depth reading, writing, and evidence of critical thinking  are required. Students must be highly motivated and capable of meeting course requirements.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 10 A, B

    Course Code: PLA016, PLA017
    Prerequisite: 10th grade
    This language arts course further develops Common Core ELA standards and skills.  Students analyze a variety of texts and engage in collaborative discussions to look at multiple perspectives.  Students research and analyze authors’ craft to develop their own writing.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 10 (HONORS) A, B

    Course Code: PLA018, PLA019
    Prerequisite: 10th grade
    This honors class has more rigorous expectations of students. The learning pace is accelerated. More in-depth reading, writing, and evidence of critical thinking are required. Students must be highly motivated and capable of meeting course requirements.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 11 A, B

    Course Code: PLA020, PLA021
    Prerequisite: 11th grade
    Students address the Common Core State Standards. This course focuses on engaging in close reading for an analysis of authors’ language, craft, and use of rhetoric and synthesizing ideas across multiple texts. This course also focuses on audience and purpose. Students engage in research, presenting their findings, and writing analytically.

    AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION A, B, C

    Course Code: PLA003, PLA004, PLA005
    Prerequisite: English Language Arts 9 and 10
    This course engages students in becoming skilled readers of prose written in a variety of rhetorical contexts as well as becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Students will develop skills in what it means to be an effective writer through examining genre convections, author intent, and various language attributes. Option to take the Advanced Placement exam with the potential for earning college credit. this course fulfills English Language Arts 11 requirement.  Students are recommended to take a full year.

    ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS 12 A, B

    Course Code: PLA022, PLA023
    Prerequisite: 12th grade
    This course focuses on college and career readiness in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  Students will read contemporary fiction and non-fiction, do projects and presentations, conduct research, and write argumentative, narrative, and evidence-based informative essays. There is an emphasis on students understanding their future roles in a complex world.

    AP ENGLISH LITERATURE A, B, C

    Course Code: PLA000, PLA001, PLA002
    Prerequisite: 12th grade
    This intensive, literature-based study is modeled on college freshman literature classes. The writing strand of the course emphasizes college writing skills. Students who complete the class have the option of taking the Advanced Placement English Literature exam with the potential for earning college credit. Students are recommended to take a full year. This course fulfills English Language Arts 12 requirement.

    HUMANITIES A, B, C

    (option of 3rd trimester for an elective)
    Course Code:  PLA009, PLA010, PLA011  
    Prerequisite: 11th grade
    Students will study what are regarded as the "traditional humanities" of western civilization. The subjects of literature, painting, music, sculpture, architecture and philosophy are studied within the context of important developments in science, technology, economics and general history. A major intent of the course is to help students understand their own world through careful examination of western cultural heritage. The work in this class is centered on reading, writing, note taking, projects, testing and discussion. Priority will be given to seniors. 

    ELECTIVE COURSES


    THESE COURSES DO NOT FULFILL A LANGUAGE ARTS CREDIT REQUIREMENT

    LITERACY SUPPORT (9-10, 11-12)

    Course Code: PLA036, PLA037
    Prerequisite:  Teacher recommendation and test results
    This course is designed to help students with reading in the content areas.  Diagnostic tests are given to determine individual needs. Specific work on building vocabulary, expanding comprehension, improving study skills and increasing reading rate may be covered. This course can be repeated in successive trimesters for additional credit. This course does not fulfill a language arts credit requirement for graduation


    SPEECH AND DEBATE 

    Course Code: PLA035
    This course focuses on students’ speaking, listening and communication skills.  Additionally, students will be involved in the research and the preparation and delivery [JR4] of debate cases on current issues. 

    SCIENCE FICTION 

    Course Code: PLA039
    This course addresses the Common Core State Standards by exploring the science fiction genre. Students will analyze how fiction helps to answer questions about science, our society and culture by reading a variety of texts and engaging in creative projects. 

    MYTHOLOGY

    Course Code: PLA040
    Students study common themes in mythologies from various cultures around the world and analyze how myths help answer questions about nature and what it means to be human.  Students will apply the Common Core State Standards by reading a variety of texts, engaging in collaborative discussion, and applying what they’ve learned through creative projects and writing.

    SPORTS LITERATURE

    Course Code:  PLA041
    Students will practice ELA skills through sports literature, reading both fiction and non-fiction pieces related to contemporary issues in sports.  Students will do projects, research, presentations and writing in several genres.

    FILM STUDIES

    Course Code:  PLA042
    Students analyze how stories told through film can change our attitudes and perceptions of the world around us.  In this course, students will view, study, discuss and write about film, diving into film analysis, building historical context and connecting to literature.  Students continue to develop literacy, writing, and critical thinking skills with a focus on media literacy.

    GRAPHIC NOVEL LITERATURE

    Course Code: PLA038
    Students study the graphic novel genre to build on ELA skills covered in core classes.  Students will study the history of comics and graphic novels, engage in literary analysis of multiple graphic novels and apply what they’ve learned to write their own graphic novel.

    CREATIVE WRITING

    Course Code:  PLA034
    Students explore multiple genres and different writing styles (poetry, fiction, non-fiction narrative) to understand how authors make purposeful choices and develop their own voice through writing.  Students will build a writing portfolio and have opportunities to share their writing in authentic ways.

    EDITOR PRACTICUM

    Course Code: PLA048
    (Language Arts elective or Career and Technical Education credit)
    Editor Practicum is primarily a newspaper production course. Students are expected to fill editorial staff positions and take on final responsibility for paper production:  managing staff, planning, writing, producing and editing stories, writing headlines, layout, placement of advertising, copy editing, proofreading, and distribution of the school paper.  .5 credit each semester (repeatable for credit). See Journalistic Writing course ,

    TECHNICAL WRITING

    Course Code: PLA043
    (Language Arts elective or Career and Technical Education credit)
    Technical writers make complicated information easy to understand.  Students will explore the field of Technical Writing as an exciting Career Pathway.  Using clear explanations, graphic design principles, and real-life examples, the Technical Writing course solidifies the relationship between industry principles and written communications.  Students will (1) learn about design and typographic choices, (2) learn how an industry’s objectives affect writing choices, (3) practice clarity in writing and speaking, and (4) develop techniques in grammar and structure.