- * Non-Fiction
- * English AP
- * Farm, Food & Sustainability
Grades 9-12Elizabeth Simpson English
Elizabeth wants her English students to learn to think critically, to master their own language, and to know what’s in the box before they think outside of it. When her former students triumphantly return for the summer and tell her they can do anything their college classes demand – she knows she has succeeded. “They learn skills and books and habits and ways of looking at the world that will last them a lifetime,” she says.
Students in the Farm, Food & Sustainability elective make regular visits to the nearby biodynamic farm that Simpson and her husband operate, learning about soil science, animal husbandry, sustainable systems and even food preparation and preservation.
Before coming to Lopez High School in 1994, Elizabeth taught at Chehalis High School, Skagit Valley College, Univ. of Washington and the Univ. of Göttengen in Germany. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Univ. of Oregon and her Ph.D. from the Univ. of Washington.
Click here to email Elizabeth Simpson.
Advanced Placement English
Advanced Placement English is a college-level course, developed in keeping with the academic standards of The College Board. Students in advanced placement classes can earn college credit by passing examinations that are given, nation-wide, each spring. Classes at Lopez Island High School are on a two-year cycle, alternating between Language and Composition, and Literature and Composition. In these classes, we
Read and discuss challenging literary works, including novels, essays, poetry, and plays. In addition to the works designed in class, students read two books of their own choice each semester.
Learn about the historical and philosophical contexts of the texts we read, and how each text manifests the worldview of the culture it came from.
Learn the basics of literary criticism – some of the different ways texts and be read and interpreted.
Write formal and informal essays on the texts. These require students to employ particular analytical and writing skills, which differ from paper to paper. It is very important that students complete all papers. They must be turned in by the due date – there are substantial penalties for late work. Each quarter students will choose at least one paper to place in their portfolios.
Do timed writes every other week. These may be of my own creation, or come from previous Advanced Placement exams. They provide practice for the AP exams and for examinations in college, and they hone students’ writing and thinking skills.
Take vocabulary tests every week. We focus our study on Greek and Latin roots: every root students master will give them the keys to hundreds of words.
Take grammar and usage quizzes every week, and review and practice the sentence patterns and rhetorical devices introduced in 9th and 10th grades.
Create a glossary of literary terms and rhetorical devices. This is a year-long assignment, and students will be working on it on a weekly basis.
Students in advanced placement classes tend to be self-disciplined and highly motivated. They are expected to be responsible for their own learning, including seeking help from me if they need it. If I feel that a student has ceased to be productive in class, I will contact the parents. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like to discuss your child’s progress.