• English 4 College Prep


    Instructor Name: David D. Lerner

    Office Location: Room 200 or English Office

    Email Address: dlerner@somervilleschools.org

    Office phone: 908-218-4108

    Office hours: Tuesdays 2:30-3:30 and by appointment


    Catalog Description


    The English 4 CP course is designed for seniors who have successfully completed three years of English. The overall theme of English 4 CP is the relationship between people and nature in various literary time periods, including the present. The course of study focuses on Greek drama, the Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, and Renaissance literary periods, and British literature of the 17th through early 20th centuries. Distinct genres, such as novels, short stories, poetry, and plays, provide the student with varied experiences within the realm of literary endeavors. Written composition, vocabulary, and the practical application of the mechanics of grammar are incorporated throughout the course. Holocaust studies and Women’s issues are infused into the curriculum where appropriate.

    Evaluation Process


    A final average of 65% or better is required to pass and to receive credit for this course. Grades will be determined using a point system.  Averages will be calculated by the total number of points earned over the total number of points possible. Final grades for First, Second, and Third Marking Periods will receive no grade lower than 50%. Final Fourth Marking Period and Final Exam grades will be reported as earned. Throughout the length of this course, students will be evaluated on the basis of:


                                                   i.     Tests and Critical Analysis Papers (from 50 – 200 points each)

                                                 ii.     Research Papers (from 100 – 250 points each)

                                                iii.     Quizzes (from 10 - 40 points each)

                                                iv.     Homework: (from 5 - 20 points each)

                                                 v.     Creative Projects: (from 50 - 200 points each)

                                                vi.     Class Participation: (from 0 – 25 points added per marking period)




    Somerville High School requires independent, honest work on the part of its students, and students are expected to conduct themselves with scholarly integrity. Each confirmed incident of academic dishonesty, cheating, or plagiarism must be reported by administration. Any plagiarism will result in a zero on the assignment and possible referral to the administration.


          Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

    1) Copying answers from a textbook to submit for a grade.

    2) Quoting text or other works without proper citation.

    3) Submitting a paper or essay obtained from a term paper service or taken from the Internet.

    4) Submitting a paper or report written by another student, a parent, or a colleague as one’s own.

    5) Submitting another student’s project, essay, research paper, or computer program as one’s own.

    6) Submitting a paper wholly or in substantial part using the exact phrasing of source material.

    7) Submitting a paper closely paraphrased from source material, where the original source material is simply edited with perhaps minor word changes occurring.

    8) Submitting a paper closely paraphrased from source material, splicing together sentences from scattered segments of the original. (And so on.)


    Texts and Reading Selections



    Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1993. Print.


    Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. Eds.  Adventures in British Literature - Athena Edition.  New York: Harcourt Brace and Co., 1996. Print.


    James, Henry. The Turn of the Screw. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2007. Print.


    Shakespeare, William.  Hamlet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. Print.


    Sophocles: The Oedipus Cycle. Trans. Dudley Fitts and Robert Fitzgerald. New York:

                Harcourt, Inc., 1949. Print.


    [Plus pre-course selected summer reading text(s)]


    Reading Selections [from Adventures in British Literature]


    The Anglo-Saxon Period (449-1066)


    Beowulf (Anonymous) [Excerpts] (Translated by Burton Raffel)


    The Medieval Period (1066-1485)


                “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” (Anonymous) [Excerpt] (Translated by Burton Raffel)

                Geoffrey Chaucer:

                “The Prologue to the Canterbury Tales” (Translated by Nevill Coghill)

                “The Pardoner’s Tale” [Excerpt] (Translated by Nevill Coghill)


    The Elizabethan Age (1564-1616)


                “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” by Christopher Marlowe

                “The Nymph’s Reply” by Sir Walter Raleigh

                William Shakespeare:

                “Sonnet 18”

                “Sonnet 29”

                “Sonnet 30”

                “Sonnet 73”

    “Sonnet 116”

    “Sonnet 130”



    The Jacobean Age


                John Donne [Selections]

                George Herbert [Selections]

                Andrew Marvell [Selection]

                Henry Vaughan [Selection]

    Ben Jonson [Selections]

    Robert Herrick [Selections]

    Sir John Suckling [Selections]

    Sir Richard Lovelace [Selections]


    The Puritan Age


                John Milton:

                “On His Having Arrived at the Age of Twenty-Three”

                “On His Blindness”

                Paradise Lost [Excerpts]


    The Restoration


                “MacFlecknoe” by John Dryden

                “The Diary of Samuel Pepys” [Excerpts] by Samuel Pepys


    The Age of Pope


                “A Journal of the Plague Year” [Excerpts] by Daniel Defoe

                “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift

                Alexander Pope:

     “Epigrams” [Selections]

     “An Essay on Criticism” [Excerpts]


    The Age of Johnson


    Samuel Johnson:

    “Letter to Lord Chesterfield”

    “Definitions from Johnson’s Dictionary” [Excerpts]

    “Preface to Shakespeare” [Excerpts]

                William Blake:

                Songs of Innocence [Selections]

                Songs of Experience [Selections]



    The Romantic Age


                William Wordsworth:

                “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”

                “The Lucy Poems” [Selections]

                “Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”

                “It Is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free”

    “London, 1802”

    “The World Is Too Much with Us”

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

                “Kubla Khan”

    George Gordon, Lord Byron:

    “She Walks in Beauty”

    “Stanzas Written on the Road Between Florence and Pisa”

    Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage [Excerpt]

    Percy Bysshe Shelley:


                “Ode to the West Wind”

                John Keats:

                “Bright Star! Would I Were Steadfast As Thou Art”

                “When I Have Fears That I May Cease To Be”

                “On the Sonnet”

                “Ode to a Nightingale”

                Ode on a Grecian Urn”


    Victorian Poetry


                Alfred, Lord Tennyson:


                “Break, Break, Break”

                “The Eagle”

                Robert Browning:

                “My Last Duchess”

                “Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister”

                “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold

                “In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations’” by Thomas Hardy


    Victorian Drama

                The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde


    The Modern Age


                William Butler Yeats:

                “When You Are Old”

                “Easter 1916”

                “The Second Coming”

                “Sailing to Byzantium”

                “Snake” by D. H. Lawrence

                T. S. Eliot:

                “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

                “The Wasteland”

                “Naming of Parts” by Henry Reed

                Dylan Thomas:

                “The Force That Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower”

                “Do Not Go Gentle into That Dark Night”

                “Loveliest of Trees” by A. E. Housman


    * [We reserve the right to add or remove any reading assignments during the school year.]