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High School English Courses


English 9

Credits: 1

This is the first course in a four-year program designed to ensure that students will develop the highest degree of personal literacy necessary to succeed in college. Each student is expected to build an extensive portfolio of self-initiated as well as teacher-assigned reading and writing. The study of assigned literature will be primarily by genre, but students will have ample opportunity for self-selected reading as well. Personal management skills are essential to success in this course as in college. This course also consists of basic aspects of grammar, usage, and diction; interest-creating literature, including mythology, short stories, and contemporary young adult novels; composition; and an introduction to public speaking.


The student will:

  •  Understand and appreciate some of the literature of our culture.
  • Explore the varied kinds of literature and the value of each.
  • Understand that through literature one can explore his own growth, his relationship to his family and peer groups, and his search for values to live by.
  • Expand one’s vocabulary.
  • Understand the structure of the language.
  • Use English effectively in communication.
  • Express oneself and in effect gain insight into one’s own feelings and beliefs.

Reading List

  • Pharaoh’s Daughter: A Novel of Ancient Egypt (Paperback) by Julius Lester
  • The Scribes from Alexandria by Caroline Lawrence
  • Inside the Walls of Troy (Laurel-Leaf Books) (Mass Market Paperback) by Clemence Mclaren
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • Non-Fiction Book of Student’s Choice
  • The Odyssey
  • Self-Selected novels for reading workshop

English 10

Credits: 1

This course builds upon the basic framework of our English 9 course with a particular emphasis on the historical periods of from the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe. This academic English course stresses the comprehension and appreciation of literature by reading short stories, modern plays, Shakespeare, and novels. Writing  concentrates on development techniques, literary analysis, and personal writing. Vocabulary, grammar, and 3D virtual world play production is aimed at improving oral and written expression. This English course is designed to complement our World History 2 course but may be taken individually.

This English course gives students:

1) A recognition that certain universal human concerns appear at all times and places and that an understanding of the past and the unfamiliar is a necessary part of a valid concept of what it means to be human.

2) An aesthetic appreciation of the forms and styles of literature that are the products of diverse cultures.

3) An ability to communicate their perceptions effectively and creatively. In this course, students study works written from the Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, as well as participate in a reading and writing workshop with a focus on the genre of historical fiction to supplement English skills. Studying these works will increase awareness of the diversity of human cultures and of their underlying similarities.


  • To develop your ability to read literature with understanding and enjoyment.
  •  To help you gain an understanding of diverse cultures and their literature.
  • To become familiar with several important works and genres of world literature.
  • To use writing to explore, develop, and communicate your responses to the reading assignments.
  • Know the historical terms and characters of The European Reformation.
  • Describe the major thinkers of the Enlightenment and their achievements.
  • Describe the development of England and France in 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the people and events that influenced the economics, politics, and culture of the Middle Ages.

Reading List

  • The Canterbury Tales: Geoffrey Chaucer
  • Selected readings from Project Gutenburg
  • Shakespeare Study
  • Romeo and Juliet

Historical Fiction


English 11

Credits: 1


By the end of this course, students will be able to understand:

  •  The nature of literature and approaches to its study, with particular attention to the concept of world literature.
  •  The nature of aesthetics and ideas about literary art, including the meaning of being human.
  • How major ideas, issues, values, and institutions in world societies have shaped cultures, and the effect these have on individuals.
  •  The evolution of literary forms and genres, including examples of scriptural-ethical treatises, myths, epics, dramas, narrative prose, and poetry.
  • The ways in which literature reflects the ideas and views of human nature and the relation of human society to the cosmos, i.e., the ways in which different world societies view themselves.
  • The particular expression of human emotions and their reflection, in the overall human context, of the individual’s relationship to him/herself, society, and environment.
  • How the literature reflects the major social, political, and individual concerns of world societies.
  • How the arts reflect the major social, political, and individual concerns of world civilizations.
  • Evaluate and identify the scientific, industrial and philosophical changes of the 19th century.

Reading List


Virtual World Builders


American Literature

Native American Voices– Unit One

This American literature unit focuses on Native American literature. The four lessons in this unit ask the student to research Native American myths and legends, participate in a storytelling, and write two poems based on modern Native American works and create a 3D author studies world.

Colonial America Beginnings to 1745 – Unit Two

Unit Two in the full course sequence in American Literature, has eight lessons. This American Literature unit focuses on the colonial period in literature. The eight lessons in this unit as the students to research various authors, use the Internet as a tool, write letters and journal entries, and prepare presentations.

Age of Reason– Unit Three

Unit Three in the full course sequence in American Literature, has eight lessons. This unit includes a study of the literature from the Age of Reason. The unit includes discussion, writing assignments, Internet activities, research and a project.

Romanticism- Unit Four
Romanticism, Unit Four in the full course sequence in American Literature, has fifteen lessons. This unit includes a study of the literature from the Fireside Poets, Irving, and others. The unit includes discussion, writing assignments, Internet activities, research, and a project.

American Renaissance– Unit Five

American Renaissance, Unit Five in the full course sequence in American Literature, has five lessons. This unit includes a study of the following authors: Poe, Emerson, Hawthorne, Thoreau, Melville, Dickinson, and Whitman. The lessons include WebQuests, research, projects, presentations, discussions, and writing assignments.

The Scarlet Letter– Unit Six

The Scarlet Letter, Unit Six in the full course sequence in American Literature, has 14 lessons. This unit provides multiple activities for use with the novel as well as a unit test.

The House on Mango Street – Unit Seven

In this unit, students will explore the novel The House on Mango Street, the author’s style, the novel’s literary elements, and Hispanic culture. The lessons include discussion, questions, writing assignments, 3D projects, posters, and other activities.


Journalism Studies

Credits: 1

Journalism Studies is concerned with helping students grow in their language skills–particularly writing. The course will help students learn to gather, write, edit, publish, and produce news and other information for print and electronic media. In this course, students will also become knowledgeable about journalism and learn to organize their time, meet deadlines, think objectively, develop original styles, and gain experience in communicating clearly and effectively.

Secondary Level journalism experiences can help students write, speak, and represent more precisely, more clearly, and more persuasively. Students can become better listeners, readers, viewers, and thinkers, as well as consumers of oral, print, and other media texts. A course in journalism allows students opportunities to communicate important information to others. It encourages them to use creativity and imagination while demanding discipline, responsibility, and ethical behavior.

Several principles underlie this course:

This course places language and, in particular, journalism in the context of communication. Throughout each module, students are encouraged to apply the “5W+H” questioning process to each communication situation:

  • Who is communicating?
  • What is being communicated?
  • To whom is it communicated?
  • What medium is used?
  • What is the purpose of the communication? To inform and instruct? To persuade? To entertain?
  • How effective is the communication?

This course places an emphasis on writing in a range of formats, for a variety of purposes and audiences. Regardless of the medium, students will have an opportunity to practice the writing process, including:

  1. Prewriting–collecting and generating ideas and opinions
  2. Drafting–shaping and exploring the various forms and styles of journalistic expression
  3. Revising–critically evaluating, editing, and proofreading their own and others’ work
  4. Publishing or producing–finding a forum for their polished works.

In this course, students also learn how the particular mode of publication affects the presentation of an event or issue. A particular issue or story may be written in a variety of ways, depending on whether its publication or production will be in a print medium or in an electronic broadcast medium. Students should also understand the relationships between various types of media and the effects of technological innovations upon the traditional styles of presentation.

Throughout this course, students will have the opportunity to explore the principles governing the publication or production of each medium. They should understand the social, ethical, and legal obligations of a journalist, including:

  • The duty of journalists to serve the truth
  • The public’s right to know of events of public importance and interest
  • The foundations of journalism–truth, accuracy, and objectivity
  • The legal obligations and restraints on the press
  • The ethical considerations of journalism.

This course is activity-based. Students learn by doing. Language learning thrives when students are engaged in meaningful use of language. Students should be given many opportunities to experiment and explore the various media used by journalists and the issues associated with these media. Students should be invited and encouraged to become involved in analysis, inquiry, and hands-on activities related to journalism.


Fantasy Writing

In this course, students explore science fiction and fantasy authors and writing styles and then create a 3D fantasy world of their own. After an introduction to the sub-genres of science fiction and fantasy, students learn how to research ideas to make their 3D virtual fictional worlds viable. Developing characters, plotting, constructing a scene and narrative voice are part of any good fantasy novel or short story. Students complete exercises that enhance their understanding of these essentials. In the last part of the course, students concentrate on symbolism and how to develop it.
This course focuses on two distinct literacy types of imaginative literature; science fiction, fantasy. The special characteristics of each group will be defined and applied to specific literary works. As a culminating project, students create a 3D Fantasy virtual world  and give others a chance to read and travel through the 3D story.

Books read include:

  • The Enchanted Forest Chronicles
  • Science Fact and Fiction, The Science Fiction Hall of Fame 
  • The Last Unicorn
  • The Hobbit
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

English Courses

Reading and Writing Workshop

Students participate in Avatar Storytellers program where they write their own short stories, tall tales, mysteries and other genres of writing.

Interactive Learning

WiloStar’s online virtual school program is designed to give students a healthy online learning environment where they can interact with their peers and teachers during the school day. Students have live class meetings and online study hall requirements.

Learning Accommodations

WiloStar believes in treating each student as an individual and respecting their unique needs. We are one of the very few virtual schools that make learning accommodations for students! Incoming students are given appropriate placement screening and an ILP is created.

Problem Solvers

WiloStar staff and faculty believes there is no problem that can’t be solved. The key here is communication. If a parent sees something is not working for the student there at home, they let us know and we mobilize to find ways to adapt the learning and find solutions that will help the student.

Stellar Support

The WiloStar Student Support team is at the ready to help with extra tutoring, counseling and tech support. For struggling students, we offer several strategies to help get back on track. For techincal issues, we have a skilled and dedicated team ready to help solve your issues.

Learning Stations

Students enrolled in the WiloStar3D Academy learn how to build, design, and code their virtual levels and regions. One strategy WiloStar uses to help students engage in learning is our Learning Pathways.  Learning Pathway builds are embedded in all WiloStar courses and modules. 

This is a screenshot of a gallery walk.

Learning Progression

Learning Pathway builds are Embedded in all WiloStar courses and modules. Each student Learning Pathway region has 12 building stations. Teachers assign building projects for each station along the pathway. Students share, present and do peer evaluations for visitors to their stations.