• English Bookshelf

  • Welcome to the NNHS English Department!

    The English Department offers a strong program of classic and contemporary literature from diverse voices that act as both windows and mirrors to their own lives.

    Through reading a broad range of genres including novels, non-fiction, poetry, graphic novels, articles, short stories, and plays, we intend for students to experience texts that reflect both characters and authors of diverse identities. Students in all curriculum levels read a core of important works in many genres, including The Odyssey and a collection of myths from varied cultures; Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex; Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God; and selected writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. Other texts that students may read include The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianThe House on Mango StreetAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the UniverseThe Laramie ProjectThe Hate U GiveThe Glass CastleWhen the Emperor was DivineThe Handmaid's TaleThe Great GatsbyTwilight: Los Angleles, 1992, Everything I Never Told You, and The Things They Carried. Through class discussions of the ideas and artistry in these and other works, students learn to read with greater insight, sensitivity, and pleasure as they engage with texts that reflect their own experiences and that allow them to see, know, understand, and empathize with people, cultures, and experiences different from their own.

    With the help of regular, meaningful feedback at every grade and curriculum level, students strive for continuous growth in their ability to focus, clarify, deepen, and expand their thinking. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through a wide variety of assessments, including analytical, personal, critical, and creative writing; individual and group projects and presentations; journals, ruminations, and reflections; and both small-group and full-class discussions.  

    In each of their four years, students will work to organize their ideas and support their reasoning with coherent arguments and specific evidence. They confer regularly with their teachers as they learn to revise, edit, and reflect upon their progress and take responsibility for their own work, recognizing that writing, as well as reading, is a process. Students will also work to collaborate, listen, discuss, and to be flexible in their thinking and opinions. Through the development of these lifelong skills over four years, students learn to see the world as thinkers and to engage with timeless issues that shape our lives.



    Melissa Dilworth         

    Department Head
    Office: 359     Phone: 617-559-6270 
    Email: DilworthM@newton.k12.ma.us