ENGLISH ELECTIVE COURSES
Broadcasting - Studio 131: 1 Credit, MHS
This year-long course enhances 21st century skills with real world experiences in the field of broadcasting and communications. Students will produce live radio segments to be aired daily via Studio 131. In addition, students will produce video features, podcasts, radio shows, commercials, public service announcements and interviews using the editing and publishing features of Adobe Audition. Recordings will be done in our state-of-the-art radio and video studio. Students will be fully immersed into the creation of today’s media. They will personalize their broadcasting experience by focusing on the aspects of the fields which appeal most to them: planning, editing, announcing, engineering or producing.
Making Decisions: An Ethics Approach (Fall) and Philosophy (Spring): .5 Credit/.5 Credit, MHS; Grade 11 and 12 students only
NOT offered in 2024-2025
- Making Decisions: An Ethics Approach (Fall)- designed to offer 11th and 12th grade students the opportunity to investigate some of the most difficult questions concerning what it is to be human. Topics may include business ethics, medical ethics, political corruption, and personal honesty. Students will read from a wide variety of selections and discuss the ethical questions involved in human behavior. Grade 11 and 12 students only
- Philosophy (Spring) - “The unexamined life is not worth living.” These words, famously uttered by the Greek philosopher Socrates during his trial for heresy, lie at the heart of philosophy. This introductory course in philosophy focuses on the examination of life. “Who is Man?” “Why is he here?” “What are his responsibilities to those around him?” “Can we truly know anything for certain?” “Is there an essential meaning to life?” Questions such as these will be explored in this course. While such questions may be unanswerable, students who find lively discussions about such topics interesting are encouraged to take the course. We will begin with an introduction to Metaphysics (the study of being or reality) and Epistemology (the study of knowledge). We will then explore how philosophy relates to the practical reality we experience every day. The course will emphasize discussion, both in the form of debate and Socratic seminar. Students who question the world around them and would appreciate a forum to share those questions will find this a worthwhile course. Grade 11 and 12 students only
Monsters in Print and Film (Fall) and Graphic Novels (Spring): .5 Credit/.5 Credit, MHS
- Monsters in Print and Film (Fall) - This class explores how monstrous characters show us as readers/viewers about our own human flaws, fears and perceptions by looking at “monsters” (both figurative and literal) in myths, literature, film, and assorted other texts. Particular attention will be paid to the most successful monsters in our own culture: vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster, mummies, and zombies.
- Graphic Novels (Spring) - Since the 1980s, the graphic novel, or long-form comic, has become a popular and accomplished literary and artistic form. Transcending its origins in pulp fantasy and adolescent entertainment, this evolving and hybrid medium represents, in the words of author and artist Eddie Campbell, “an emerging new literature of our times in which word, picture, and typography interact meaningfully and which is in tune with the complexity of modern life.” This course offers a survey of some of the best graphic novels of the last thirty years and provides the skills for reading comics and graphic novels critically in terms of what they say and how they say it.
Creative Writing: .5 Credit, MHS
The elective course in Creative Writing allows students to explore the format of the short story, drama, and poetry (both traditional and contemporary), and to create original works in those genres. Students are encouraged to become increasingly sensitive to situations in daily life and to words that will express their sensibilities. They are required to read a variety of works, to maintain a journal of writing, and to experiment with various writing techniques.
Journalism - Multimedia Newsroom: .5 Credit, MHS
Students who take this course will be immersed in a high energy newsroom. They will explore the core principles of field researching, interviewing, and reporting to write journalistic pieces that include topics such as news, sports, opinions, and reviews. Students will be active participants in the process of creating digital journalism through a series of multimedia experiences that reflect media outlets today including digital narratives, blogging, vlogging and photojournalism. Projects will enable students to explore topics relevant to Massapequa High School and the surrounding community. Articles will be published in Massapequa’s very own Chief Newspaper!
Mindfulness Matters - A Novel Approach to Living in the Moment: .5 Credit, MHS
Want to lead your best life, but feel you’re held back by life’s challenges? If so, then you’ll appreciate this elective course where mindfulness matters. Through a study of literature and meditative approaches, this course provides an in-depth look at the universal factors of success to help students get into the habit of behaving intelligently and mindfully. Students will practice strategies suggested by authors to develop a positive growth mindset, respond vs react to challenging situations, and be present in the moment. They will develop the attitudes and dispositions to become better thinkers and problem solvers who know what to do when the answers, in school and in life, are not immediately apparent. Through journal writing and group discussions, students will study the current research on mindfulness and practice these methods to fulfill their potential and lead their best life!
College Public Speaking: .5 Credit, MHS; optional 3 College Credits, LIU/Post
This course will help students present themselves and their ideas more effectively through a workshop environment. Students will develop communication skills that will help them feel more comfortable talking in front of a group. Additionally, they will learn how to organize a variety of speeches clearly, write them memorably, and deliver them confidently. This course will touch upon, various types of speeches such as informative, impromptu, persuasive, argumentative/debate, memoir, and specialty speeches. By the end of the course, students should be able to significantly reduce their fear of public speaking, use rehearsal techniques to develop a strong, vibrant speaking voice, and perform speeches with dynamic movement and gestures. Finally, students will demonstrate the speaking, listening, and interpersonal skills necessary to be effective communicators in academic settings and in their community.
SAT/ACT Prep: .25 Credit, MHS
An engaging course that provides students with the tools they need for success on the verbal portion of each of these exams. First, students will be set up with a diagnostic examination to determine strengths and weaknesses. Then, students will evaluate results and create a “personal study plan” for use over the course of their studying. In class, students will engage in group study activities, use technological aids that track and monitor their progress, stay up-to-date on the latest SAT/ACT news and tips from the experts, and master strategies for each type of question. This class is recommended for any college-bound student who wants to feel more confident walking into that testing room. It’s never too early to start preparing! The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the format of the SAT as well as the types of questions included in the Critical Reading and Writing sections of the exam. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary enrichment, critical reading strategies, and grammatical skills. Students are also prepared for the timed essay portion of the SAT. Grade 11 and 12 students only; Must be taken with Math SAT/ACT Prep
Theatre Arts I (Fall) and Theatre Arts II (Spring): .5 Credit/.5 Credit, MHS
NOT offered in 2024-2025
- Theatre Arts I (Fall) - a creative, student-focused, performance-based course which helps members develop confidence and relieves anxiety related to acting on stage or giving presentations. The environment is nurturing and supportive with lots of hands-on learning exercises. Activities such as pantomime, improvisation, tongue twisters, and role playing will develop fundamental skills of projection, articulation, gesticulation, pacing, and movement. Performances such as monologues, two-to-three person scenes, and a project (a “Character Education” performance created by the class) offer opportunities to showcase these newly-developed talents. This enjoyable course will improve the experienced actor as well as the novice.
- Theatre Arts II (Spring) - Theatre Arts II is only open to students who have completed Theatre Arts I. Students will write, direct and produce monologs and one-act plays as well as direct and produce scenes from chosen movies and plays. In doing so, they shall learn firsthand the responsibilities of the playwright, the actor, the director, the stage manager, and set designer. An additional project will be to create and perform a puppet show for the MHS Nursery School students.
Humanities: How we see ourselves and others, and what it could mean for our future: 1 Credit, MHS
This course is an interdisciplinary investigation of human culture where we ask and answer questions about how we experience, process, and document human life through stories. In this course we will explore questions of what it means to be human by thinking about ourselves, our relationships with others, and our place in the world. Using the mediums of literature, art, music, television, social media, pop culture, and history, we will develop critical thinking skills about how our ideas evolve, impact, and contribute to us becoming more mindful people and valuable members of society. Using journal writing, Socratic Seminars, discussions, and collaboration, we will document and reflect on the human experience. Grade 11 and 12 students only