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English 2 spotlights the recursive moves that matter in preparing students for the rigors of college-level reading and writing. While English 1 introduces the foundational routines of close observation, critical analysis, and appreciation of author’s craft, English 2 requires students to apply those same practices to a new host of complex texts—the types of texts they will soon encounter in AP English courses, college classes, and on the SAT. As readers, students develop a vigilant awareness of how the poet, playwright, novelist, and writer of nonfiction alike can masterfully manipulate language to serve their unique purposes. As writers, students compose more nuanced essays without losing sight of the importance of well-crafted sentences and a sense of cohesion.

Areas of Focus

Each Pre-AP course focuses on a small set of discipline-specific instructional priorities that support both teacher practice and student learning within the discipline. These areas of focus reflect research-supported reasoning practices that should receive greater emphasis in instructional materials and assessments than they often do. Pre-AP recognizes that many teachers and schools already embrace these disciplinary practices, and now we're offering resources that specifically emphasize these areas of focus.

Pre-AP English 2 Areas of Focus:

  • Reading closely: Students read closely and analyze a range of complex literary and informational texts.
  • Valuing evidence: Students value textual evidence and incorporate it effectively in writing and speaking.
  • Noticing language choices: Students understand how writers and speakers use specific words and sentences to move the thoughts, emotions, and actions of readers and listeners.

Underlying Unit Foundations

These big ideas are addressed across all units:

  • Engaging with texts 
  • Constructing texts 
  • Focusing on language 
  • Investigating through research
  • Entering the conversation 

Course at a Glance

The table below shows the four main units in Pre-AP English 2, the recommended length for each unit, and the key topics in each.

Unit 1: Moves in Argument
Featured text types: Nonfiction
Timeframe: 7 weeks

Focus skills:

  • Analyzing and appreciating authors’ choices in arguments
  • Writing to explain how an author builds an argument
Unit 2: Persuasion in Literature
Featured text types: Fiction and drama
Timeframe: 7 weeks

Focus skills:

  • Evaluating how characters exert influence through language
  • Writing to explain how one character influences another
Unit 3: Voice in Synthesis
Featured text types: Nonfiction
Timeframe: 7 weeks

Focus skills:

  • Examining multiple perspectives on an issue
  • Writing a synthesis argument
Unit 4: Purpose in Poetry and Prose
Featured text types: Poetry and prose
Timeframe: 7 weeks

Focus skills:

  • Analyzing works that praise, mourn, or mock
  • Writing a part to whole analysis

    Instructional Resources

    Schools that officially implement a Pre-AP course will receive access to instructional resources for each unit. These resources don’t constitute a full day-by-day curriculum. Instead, they provide support and modeling as teachers design instruction for each unit.

    Pre-AP English 2 instructional resources include:

    • A course framework, curated, high-quality texts, and targeted model lessons that provide examples and support for teaching the course.
    • Pre-AP resources that can be used alongside local school or district materials to address the objectives of the course framework.

    Assessments for Learning

    Each unit includes many opportunities for meaningful feedback:

    • Curriculum-embedded assessments: short writing tasks scored by teachers 
    • 2 learning checkpoints: short online assessments with automated scoring and reporting
    • 1 performance task: a writing prompt that builds readiness for AP English exams and the SAT essay, with scoring guidelines for teachers