10th Grade Courses

Two Term Courses

These course meet two out of three terms and earn 10 credits. Students in grades 10-12 seeking permission for Honors work in English and/or History may do so in the first term next year.

English 10: American Literature

American Morality (Required)

What does it mean to be American? From the revolution that defined our independence to the very cases contended today in the Supreme Court, in this required course we address all elements of Americanism, the beautiful and the sordid. In doing this, we turn to great American writers whose professed goal it was to define generations of American citizens. We turn to F. Scott Fitzgerald for his perspective on the Roarin’ Twenties in New York City, James Baldwin’s ex-patriot experience abroad in Paris, and other short story selections that will help us begin to answer the question: What does it really mean to be American?

For the second term of American Literature students choose one of the following courses:

American Identity

There are myriad tangible and intangible ways that we define ourselves–from large scale identifiers like nation and religion, to the little things, like choosing what shoes to wear in the morning. The Identity Term looks at identity through varied American lenses–a 15-year-old Native American boy attending a primarily white school in upstate Washington, a family of Dominican immigrants living in New Jersey in the 80’s, and an African-American Floridian woman searching for love in the 1930’s. All of these perspectives help inform our own perspectives of who we are and why we believe the things we do.  

American Journeys

From westward expansion to road trips on spring break, movement and travel have always been quintessential parts of the American experience. In this class, we will read William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and meet the Bundrens as they travel in 1920s Mississippi to bury their mother, Addie. We will also examine journeys of immigration through reading Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story collection Interpreter of Maladies. Through these journeys, we hope to get a better sense of the role of movement and travel within the American experience and experiment.

Global History II: US and World History

From Power to Superpower (Required)

From Westward Expansion to the “War on Terror,” this course will explore the evolution of the U.S. as a global superpower, its territorial expansion, its foreign policy and involvement in different wars and conflicts. You will examine how governments garner popular support for military and humanitarian interventions abroad and how the outcomes of these actions have affected and been affected by political decision-making and geopolitical interests.

For the second term of Global History II student choose one of the following courses:

A Time for Change

From the advent of modern steel-making and new forms of communication like the telegraph to the election of the first African American president, you will explore change and evolution in politics (role of government, gender, race), culture (music and art), and technology and examine how the U.S. developed as the nation it is today. This course is a bird’s eye view of major political, cultural, social, scientific, and technological changes that have affected the nation and the world at large.

Economic Powerhouse

With its national debt rising relative to its increasing productivity, the United States has recently been supplanted by China as the world’s largest economy. What has been the impact of the U.S. economy and its deficit on American society in terms of both growing prosperity and economic inequality? What is its role in a globalized world? How have economic interests and institutions shaped and influenced American political decision-making? You will examine the structures of the U.S. economy, their domestic and global effects, and how the U.S. became an economic powerhouse.

Math: Geometry

This course takes a discovery-based approach to Euclidean geometry, allowing students to develop an understanding within the context of explorations and applications. Coding will play a significant role in helping students develop their logical reasoning skills.

Prerequisite: Algebra 2 and departmental permission. Offered at the Honors and S1 levels. Honors level requires departmental permission.

Modern Language: Chinese I

This introductory course for Mandarin Chinese is designed for students who have no previous exposure to the language. It stresses the building blocks of spoken and written communication- pronunciation, tones, stroke order and radical recognition. Students will be able to engage in basic daily interactions in Chinese using speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Grammar is introduced incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: introductory greetings, family, dates and time, hobbies, visiting friends, making plans, studying Chinese and school life. Students will also study cultural and historic elements of the Chinese-speaking world. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation. By the end of the first year, students should know approximately 300 words.

Modern Language: French I

This introductory course provides students with the basic skills to read, write, speak and understand introductory-level French. The emphasis of the class is to acquire language through constant exposure to comprehensible input with the use of storytelling and reading. In the second term, the teacher uses French exclusively in class. Vocabulary will be taught communicatively through stories and with some thematic units including greetings, telling time, weather, school, sports, food, making plans, family, and clothing. Grammar will be acquired mainly through listening and reading, although there will be some direct instruction. Students completing this class will be able to comfortably use the present tense of common regular and irregular verbs, articles, subject pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, commands, question formation, possessive adjectives and more.

Two terms course.

Modern Language: Spanish for Native Speakers

This course offers Spanish-speaking students the opportunity to study Spanish formally in an academic setting in the same way that native English-speaking students study English language arts. In this course students will review grammar structures and develop academic vocabulary that will help them critically analyze a text, write essays, and acquire new information in different content areas. Students will examine not only linguistic but socio-cultural issues, developing a greater understanding of their Hispanic heritage. Students will develop their ability to think, write and speak maturely and persuasively in Spanish as they debate a variety of contemporary polemics. The course is divided into units, each one focusing on a particular Spanish-speaking author. Reading selections written in standard academic Spanish will serve as a departure point for discussion, writing and grammar activities. The instructional approach integrates language and content with emphasis on grammar and acquisition of new vocabulary, as well as developing techniques to write academic papers in Spanish.

Two terms course.

Modern Language: Spanish I

This introductory course provides students with the basic skills to read, to write, to speak, and to understand introductory-level Spanish. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics discussed include: introductory greetings, friendship, school, sports, leisure activities, food, family, clothing, the home, and health. Grammar is learned incrementally, and the topics introduced include: indefinite and definite articles, subject pronouns, the present tense of regular verbs, the present tense of irregular verbs, adjective agreement and placement, possessive adjectives, direct and indirect objects, and the preterit tense of regular verbs. Students also study aspects of various Spanish-speaking countries. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Two terms course.

Performing Art: Acting - Intermediate

Intermediate Acting continues the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation and scene work. Students learn to discover their inner resources and use them to inform their acting work. Students’ work will focus on actions and objectives, sense memory, subtext, and character analysis and creation. Individual and group exercises culminate in scene work from comic and dramatic plays.

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theatre or permission of instructor

Performing Art: Acting and Technical Theater - Foundations of Theater

This introductory course is an overview of the major components of theater including acting, technical theater, public speaking, and script analysis. Students will begin the year working on developing the Actor’s Process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation and scene work. Students will learn about specific script analysis tools and the design and production aspects of theatre. Practical hands-on stagecraft is taught in the various theatres and theatre-related spaces such as the scene shop and control booth. The aim of the course is to prepare students to implement and perform in a public production at the end of the spring term.

This course meets for two terms and is a prerequisite for students entering the Upper School Theater Program.

Performing Art: Choral - A Cappella

A Capella builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Circa and the Men’s Ensemble while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the term by working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading music and exploring diverse repertoire. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller quartets and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to arrange and rehearse a cappella vocal music independently and to perform in public concerts throughout the term. This course can be taken more than once.

Can be take for one or two terms.

Prerequisite: Men’s Ensemble or Circa or permission from the instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Art: Instrumental Ensemble II

The Instrumental Ensemble II course builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Beaver Ensemble. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills.The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Two Term Class
Prerequisite: Beaver Ensemble or placement audition.

Performing Art: Instrumental Music - Instrumental Ensemble I

Instrumental Ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing their instrument with at least one year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

Two Term Class

Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.

Open to all grade levels.

Visual Art

In this class you will have the opportunity to work in all the visual art studios and with all the visual art faculty. Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. Try something new or pursue your lifelong passion. 

This class may be taken more than once. No prerequisite


One Term Courses

These courses meet one term, Fall, winter, or spring and earn 5 credits each. English and history students seeking Honors designation sign contracts in the first term of next year to earn that credit.

BVR-X: Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs drive our nation’s economy and lead the way when it comes to both job creation and innovation. This class will expose students to all elements of a startup company, including market research, writing a business plan, building financial projections, securing funding, pitching the business to outsiders, and launching a product. Students will work regularly with founders of startups (both successful and unsuccessful) as well as venture capitalists and other investors of early-stage companies. Students will work in teams to develop an idea for a new and innovative company, and, at the end of the course, will pitch their ideas to local venture capitalists. Companies must be designed not only to be profitable, but also to make a positive impact on an industry or on society.

BVR-X: Game Design

What makes a great game?  The right balance of strategy and luck?  A compelling story and an immersive experience?  Unique rules and mechanics?  In this course, after analyzing successful board games, card games and video games, students will generate their own ideas and create virtual and/or physical prototypes.  Storytelling, coding, graphic design, artificial intelligence and systems thinking will all be incorporated within this course.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Paradigm Shifts

At various moments in human history, perspective has changed in dramatic ways.  The most famous example might be the Copernican Revolution: the shift from an earth-centered view of the universe to widespread acceptance that the earth orbits the sun.  In the modern world, attitudes about issues like sustainability, gender and technology are evolving rapidly.  In this class, students will examine historical and current paradigms shifts, interviewing experts in a range of fields about their outlooks.  Students will also attempt to anticipate the next wave of paradigm shifts: how might we view our world differently 50 years from now?

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

BVR-X: Podcasting

In this course, students will develop and produce their own podcasts on topics of their choosing.  By listening to and studying professional podcasts, students will learn about both technical and narrative components.  We will also examine the particular challenges and opportunities presented by the podcasting format.

Open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Prerequisites: None

Independent Study

Students have the opportunity to explore English, History, Mathematics, Science, Language, or Arts topics of interest under the supervision of a member of the appropriate department. After designing a project with a faculty member, the student presents a formal proposal to the Department Heads for approval. (An Independent Study may not duplicate the content of another course already being offered by the department because of schedule conflicts.) The student works in his or her own time and meets with the specified department member during one scheduled period per week for discussions and planning. Application forms are available from the Upper School Director. Proposals must have been submitted by the regular course selection dates.

Modern Language: Advanced Chinese

In Advanced Chinese, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: dining, shopping, asking for and giving directions, and expressing opinions. Students will study the culture and diversity of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of culturally rich images, videos, music, and some authentic texts. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, skits and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate Chinese skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate Chinese and Departmental Permission.

ADVANCED CHINESE COURSES:
Cuisine and Culture:
Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients, dining out and the kitchen. They will learn different expressions as well as units of measurement used in Chinese-speaking countries. They will also learn about the typical dining etiquette.

Travel and Transportation:
Students will learn practical topical vocabulary around travel, asking for and giving directions while developing their skills of reading authentic Chinese signs, understanding Mandarin of various accents and expanding their vocabulary.

Modern Language: Advanced French

At the Advanced level, students will utilize their superior reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to engage with content at a high level. At this level, students are expected to use the language exclusively to engage with complex and challenging topics. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice. Grammar is addressed primarily in the context of student work, though students will learn a few advanced compound tenses while refining their written and oral communication. These classes only use authentic materials to guide both language learning and discussions.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate French skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate French. Departmental Permission Required.

ADVANCED FRENCH COURSES:

Art Culture & Current Events of the Maghreb:

This class focuses on contemporary issues taking place in the French Maghreb: Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Students will use contemporary texts, films, music, and art to learn more about this region which was colonized by France. The Maghreb is a region where both Arabs and ‘Berbers’ have lived for centuries and a place that Jews and Muslims have called home. Students will engage in debates, write blog posts, keep a journal, and do presentations on various current topics such as the situation in Western Sahara, what it means to be colonized in the Maghreb, the tension between the indigenous people of the Maghreb and the Arabs, race and identity, post colonization, the role of religion, just to name a few topics. The class will be taught entirely in French. Works studied will include stories by Tahar Ben Jelloun, Fatima Mernissi, Music by Cheb Khaled and Idir, films by Yamina Benguigui and Nabil Ayouch, Art by Andre Elbaz and Yto Barrada.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate French skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate French. Departmental Permission Required.

Hell is Others: Personal and Political Relationships in the Francophone World:

How and why we treat and interact with one another is an enduring theme as relevant to the oral tales of precolonial West Africa as it is in our own lives. This course will follow the theme of personal relationships through French and Francophone films and plays. Starting with Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis clos in which he makes the argument that “l’enfer c’est les autres” (hell is others), students will explore the effects that location, age, culture and power have on relationships. We will analyze classic films such as Le Grand Voyage about a father son road trip to Mecca, and Chocolat a film that examines the complex relationships between French colonialists and the Cameroonian people. Each film and play will connect to our theme, but will also introduce us to different cultures and stories from the Francophone world. Students will refine their French skills while readings plays, engaging in discussions and writing their own analyses of the texts we study.

Revolutions: France, Haiti and Beyond:

This course will look at Revolutions across the Francophone world and their effects on national identity. We will begin with the enlightenment philosophy that fueled the French Revolution and other revolutions since. We will look at significant moments in and the causes and aftermaths of the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution and other revolts and revolutions across the Francophone world. We will look at these revolutions through different lenses using a variety of primary and secondary sources, from official documents to novels, plays, movies and more. The class will also address current conflicts happening in the Francophone world such as in Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Modern Language: Advanced Spanish

At the Advanced level, students will utilize their superior reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills to engage with content at a high level. At this level, students are expected to use the language exclusively to engage with complex and challenging topics. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice. Grammar is addressed primarily in the context of student work, though students will learn a few advanced compound tenses while refining their written and oral communication. These classes only use authentic materials to guide both language learning and discussions.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Intermediate Spanish skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Intermediate Spanish. Departmental Permission Required.

ADVANCED SPANISH COURSES:

Environments in Crisis:

This course focuses on current environmental challenges across Latin America. Students will be encouraged to analyze the connections between the social contexts and contemporary environmental crises. Through case studies, students will explore the interrelationships between human activity and environmental change. The topics to be studied will include the destruction of the rainforest, water pollution, exploitation of natural resources, habitat destruction and endangered species. Students will examine how social media, community engagement, and advocacy initiatives have played key roles in the positive outcomes of environmental problems.

Gender & Society in the Spanish Speaking World:
In this course, students will study gender roles and inequality throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Through literature, film, current events, and personal stories, students will have an opportunity to think critically about the impact that gender has on individuals, families, and societies. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding and express their opinions in discussions, essays and projects. One of the goals for the course is for students to make connections to their surroundings and and to effectively leverage social to actively express their views.

Social Justice in Latin America:

In this course, students will investigate the key social justice issues facing the Spanish-speaking populations of the Americas. We will examine struggles for equity among various groups, including indigenous populations, political dissidents, and the poor and disenfranchised. Using a variety authentic sources from the media, such as news articles, video clips, music, brief literature and poetry, we will compare and contrast the multiple perspectives of people of Latin American descent. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding and express their opinions in discussions, essays and projects. One of the goals of this course is for students to understand the cultural forces that shape the beliefs and attitudes of diverse groups of people.

Modern Day Colombia:
While discovering what Colombia is like today economically, socially and culturally, students will gain a better understanding of the country as a whole from different angles. Students will research and learn about the drastic changes that have taken place in the last twenty years, especially in certain regions, that have revamped and revived Colombia to as it stands today.

Latin American Social Movements:

How do writers, filmmakers, painters and other intellectuals grapple with national histories? What social and political movements have shaped contemporary Latin America? By examining contemporary literature, film and other cultural products students will discuss the interplay of social and political movements, justice and forgiveness, memory and forgetting. Students will polish their reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension skills as they debate, discuss and reflect on these complex contemporary topics.

Modern Language: Foundations of Chinese

Foundations of Chinese builds on students’ basic proficiency established in Chinese I. Students may enroll in this course having demonstrated proficiency equivalent to completion a full-year high school course. This course will continue to develop students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: hobbies, weather, dining, celebrations, shopping and asking for directions. Students will continue to study the culture of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of language use, traditions and current events. Audio and video materials along with computer software, games, projects, and presentations will be used to foster student interaction and participation. The following non-sequential, Foundations of Chinese courses will be offered in 2017-2018. Most students will want to sign up for both courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate Chinese the following year.

Make a Good First Impression: Students will learn to introduce themselves in culturally appropriate ways and learn about formal and informal speech.

Friends from the Start: Students will learn vocabulary related to background information, hobbies, leisure time and celebrations.

Modern Language: Foundations of French

In Foundations of French, students will continue to develop their language skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Vocabulary will be taught through stories and accessible texts chosen around the themes of each one-term class. The class will be driven by comprehensible input; in other words, listening and reading that is understandable. Through readings and research students will also expand their cultural understanding of France and the Francophone world. Students completing this class will be able to comfortably use verbs in the passé composé and imperfect, direct and indirect pronouns, reflexive verbs, some relative pronouns and negative expressions. Students will show the language that they can produce creatively through writing assignments, videos and projects.

Prerequisites: French 1 or MS French C. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate French the following year.

FRENCH FOUNDATIONS Courses:

Health and Wellness:

In this course, students will explore topics including exercise and eating habits, access to healthcare, and the cultural context and politics of food.

The Marketplace:

Students will develop their oral and written skills in French as they learn about the buying and selling of goods in the French speaking world. From groceries and clothing to hotels and restaurants, students will learn to barter, compare and contrast. Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients and cooking. They will also learn about typical prepared foods that can be found in the marketplaces of francophone countries.

Modern Language: Foundations of Spanish

In this course, students will continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way. Grammar is learned incrementally, and the topics that are discussed include: the present progressive tense, direct and indirect object pronouns, estar + adjectives, reflexive verbs, verbs like gustar, comparatives and superlatives, the imperfect tense and the preterite tense. Students will study the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the form of language use, customs, celebrations, art, historical figures, and current contributors to Latin American and Spanish society through a series of two or three one-term Foundations of Spanish courses. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Intermediate Spanish the following year. Course topics are briefly outlined below.

Prerequisites: Spanish 1 or MS Spanish C.

SPANISH FOUNDATIONS Courses:

Social Life: Students will study vocabulary related to family, friends and social life in the Spanish-speaking world. Students will build their communication skills as they tell stories about family and friends.

The Marketplace: Students will develop their oral and written skills in Spanish as they learn about the buying and selling of goods in the Spanish speaking world. From groceries and clothing to hotels and restaurants, students will learn to barter, compare and contrast.

Cuisine & Culture: Students will learn vocabulary related to groceries, ingredients and the kitchen. They will learn different expressions as well as units of measurement used in Spanish-speaking countries. They will also learn about the typical gastronomy of different countries.

Customs and Celebrations: In this course, students will explore assimilation and acculturation, cultural syncretism, and how globalization shapes communities.

Travel & Tourism: In this course students will know about different Spanish-speaking countries, their most important historic places, the urban and rural environment and will also practice the necessary skills and vocabulary to plan a trip and make reservations.

Modern Language: Intermediate Chinese

In Intermediate Chinese, students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Grammar is studied incrementally through storytelling as functional chunks for meaningful communication. Vocabulary is practiced in a thematic and communicative way, and the topics that are discussed include: making recommendations, giving directions, expressing doubt and certainty, and expressing opinions. Students will study the culture and diversity of the Chinese-speaking world in the form of culturally rich images, videos, music, and some authentic texts. Audio and video materials, computer software, games, projects, skits and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of Chinese skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Foundations of Chinese and Departmental Permission. Students will eventually need to take at least two of the Intermediate level courses.

INTERMEDIATE CHINESE COURSES:
Home, School and Work: Students will learn to talk about their life at home, school and their plans for their future education and careers. They will learn the necessary vocabulary to express their likes and dislikes concerning their present life, education and future goals.

Meeting Our Needs: Students will discover vocabulary related to people’s feelings, physical and mental states, courses of actions and routines. They will also learn about people’s lifestyles and customs in China and other Chinese-speaking regions.

Social Life: Students will learn how to get to know people better through more in-depth conversations about their backgrounds and interests. They will practice necessary skills and vocabulary to plan outings, pay visits, or invite friends over for homemade meals.

Modern Language: Intermediate French

In Intermediate French, students will improve their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater autonomy with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Vocabulary is acquired through exposure to authentic texts and communicative practice, and the topics that are explored include: making recommendations, expressing doubt and certainty, and expressing opinions. Grammar is refined incrementally. Students will learn a few more tenses while refining their written and oral communication. The class will use more authentic texts and documents from the Francophone world to guide both language learning and discussions. Students will study culture and diversity in the form of current events, film, music, and famous novels and stories.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of French skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Foundations of French. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Advanced French the following year.

FRENCH INTERMEDIATE COURSES:

France: A Nation of Regions

As a country, France is known for, among many other things, its cheese and gastronomy; but each dish and each cheese comes from its own distinct region. What makes a country roughly the size of Texas have so many distinct regions with their own distinct cultures? In this class we will look at the regions of France and see what makes them unique and proud including gastronomy, art, poetry, music, literature and history. We will look at the French idea of terroir and why the foods from one area are unique to that area and cannot be reproduced elsewhere. The class will also look at how the French government and the regions themselves attempt to preserve their cultural heritage in the face of a changing world and globalization.

Action and Romance: This course will use abbreviated versions of some of the most important pieces of French literature. Students will be exposed to new tenses and review the past tense, while reading works such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Count of Monte Cristo, and or the Phantom of the Opera. Using these stories as a starting point, students will build mastery in the future and conditional tenses by reworking and re-imagining the tales.

Place & Identity: Students will explore cultural identity and how it is related to place. We will look at themes such as immigration and rural vs urban environments. Students will look at a variety of authentic sources that explore places and the people that inhabit them including Butterfly in the City and Jean de Florette, as well as representations of place and identity in poetry and music. Finally, we will look at how places have influenced and been represented in art.

Modern Language: Intermediate Spanish

In Intermediate Spanish, students continue to develop their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. At this level, students have greater independence with the language and are encouraged to use it creatively and authentically. Vocabulary is acquired in a thematic and communicative way. Grammar is practiced incrementally, and the topics that are practiced include: imperfect, familiar, formal and nosotros commands, future and conditional, present subjunctive, present and past perfect, and past participles as adjectives. Students also study the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the form of authentic literature, historical and literary figures, customs, celebrations, and music. Audio and video materials, Skype conferences, computer software, games, projects, and presentations foster student interaction and participation.

Prerequisites: Demonstration of mastery of Foundations of Spanish skills, usually 10 or 15 credits of Foundations of Spanish. Most students will want to sign up for two of the following 5-credit courses in order to be prepared for Advanced Spanish the following year.

SPANISH INTERMEDIATE COURSES:

Health & Wellness: In this course, students will explore topics including exercise and eating habits, access to healthcare, and the cultural context and politics of food.

Me, Myself and I: In this course, students will explore their personal histories and origins, relationships with their communities, how their choices shape their future.

Urban Life: In this course, students will explore changing landscapes, displaced communities, and migration in the context of the Spanish speaking world.

Storytelling: In this course, students will explore aspects of storytelling including short stories, journalism, poetry, and oral histories and the art of the interview.

Business & Entrepreneurship: In this course, students will explore how Hispanic and Latino businesses shape communities, creating business plans tailored to the needs of Spanish-speaking communities, and designing, producing, and marketing products.

Performing Art: Choral - A Cappella

A Capella builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Circa and the Men’s Ensemble while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will begin the term by working on developing vocal technique through warm-up exercises, reading music and exploring diverse repertoire. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller quartets and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to arrange and rehearse a cappella vocal music independently and to perform in public concerts throughout the term. This course can be taken more than once.

Can be take for one or two terms.

Prerequisite: Men’s Ensemble or Circa or permission from the instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Art: Choral - Circa - Women's Vocal Ensemble

Circa introduces female singers to the fundamentals of ensemble singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and artistic expression. Students will begin the term working on developing their voices through warm-up exercises, music reading, and vocal improvisation. They will also cultivate a working knowledge of fundamental music theory. In Circa, we will study and perform music of different styles, ranging from classical to pop. Interested students will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals such as leading vocal warm-ups or serving as section leaders. The aim of the course is to develop confident musicians and prepare for a public concert at the end of the term. This course can be taken more than once.

No prerequisite.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Art: Choral - Men’s Vocal Ensemble

Beaver’s Men’s Ensemble introduces male singers to the fundamentals of ensemble singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and artistic expression. Students will begin the term working on developing their voices through warm-up exercises, music reading, and vocal improvisation. They will also cultivate a working knowledge of fundamental music theory. We will study and perform music of different styles, ranging from classical to pop. Interested students will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals such as leading vocal warm-ups or serving as a section leader. The aim of the course is to develop confident musicians and prepare for a public concert at the end of the term. This course can be taken more than once.

No Prerequisite.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12.

Performing Art: Technical Theater - Mainstage Design Independent Study

Mainstage Design Independent Study is a course for students with experience in Theatrical Design who are ready to design or assistant design on a mainstage production at Beaver. Students will learn and utilize design, rendering and communication tools and strategies while gaining an assistant designer or designer resume credit. The successful student would practice skills and strategies related to communication, planning and collaboration, as well as exercising creative thinking and problem solving methods essential to producing a theatrical design. Students taking this course must also take the Technical Theater Afternoon Activity in the same term. This course can be taken more than once.

One Term Class

Prerequisite Tech Theater/Design Lab and permission of instructor.

Science: Biology Foundations - The Structure & Function of Life

From the development of antibiotics to solar panels, the living world has provided countless solutions to the most challenging problems we have faced as a human race. These solutions have all been developed from a deeper understanding of the relationship between structure and function, a major theme in biology. Using the lens of the microbiome, this course gives students the opportunity to study this relationship, beginning at the molecular level and continuing up through the cellular and organismal levels. More specifically, topics to be covered include biochemistry, enzymes, cellular biology, genetics, evolution, and comparative anatomy and physiology.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Chemistry Applications - Quantitative Analysis

In Quantitative Analysis, students will build on the basic chemical concepts and skills learned in the foundations course. The concept of a mole will be explored and students will use stoichiometry to predict and analyze products of chemical reactions. Students will be able to assess their experimental efficiency by determination of percent yield in the different reactions/experiments. Additionally, students will explore acids and basis as well as gas laws through both conceptual and quantitative lenses.

Prerequisites: Chemistry Foundations. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Chemistry Foundations - Atoms and Reactions

Chemistry Foundations covers essential core content, while providing hands on opportunities for students to learn how to think like a chemist. In this course, the structure and bonding characteristics of atoms are emphasized. The organization of the Periodic Table will be explored as students discover common characteristics between families of atoms. Topics covered include atomic structure and theory, ionic and covalent bonding, molecular geometry, balancing chemical equations, and classifying types of reactions. Students will learn to identify clues that indicate a chemical change is taking place, and to predict and test reaction products. Students begin to develop skills around formalizing scientific writing skills. The course will culminate with a research project and presentation on a common drug molecule.

Prerequisites: Conceptual Physics A & B or departmental permission. Honors section with departmental permission.

Science: Forensic Science – CSI BCDS

Forensics is the application of science to solve crimes using evidence that will be admissible in a court of law. A multidisciplinary approach that encourages analytical thinking and problem solving in biology, chemistry, and physics will be used. Students may cover the following topics: deductive reasoning, fingerprinting, qualitative analysis of substances such as hair, blood, metal, soil, glass, and fibers; toxicology, forensic entomology, DNA fingerprinting, document analysis, and ballistics. Along with lab work, students may do research projects, look at the legal aspects of forensic science, take field trips, keep a science journal, and solve mock crimes.

Open to 11th and 12th graders or by departmental approval.

Prerequisites: None.

Science: Physics and Engineering Applications

In this course, students will explore the phenomena of the mechanical world and develop the toolkit and mindset of an engineer. Learners will use their engineering skills and apply their understanding of physics to analyze situations and design new solutions.

This elective explores a selection of physics concepts (based on student interests and experience, ranging from mechanics to E&M to waves), develops foundational engineering and design approaches (ranging from research and documentation to modeling and prototyping to iteration and troubleshooting), and exposes students to a variety of tools (power tools, 3D modeling and printing, laser cutting, coding and arduinos, etc.).

This course is designed for students who (a) would like to explore physics but did not take Conceptual Physics in ninth grade, (b) would like a follow-up course to freshman physics without the mathematical rigor of Advanced Physics, (c) would like an introduction to the tools and techniques of engineering.

Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th graders.

Prerequisites: Algebra II or equivalent.

Visual Art

In this class you will have the opportunity to work in all the visual art studios and with all the visual art faculty. Identify your own artistic interests, build on past creative experiences, and develop the technical skills you need to make your ideas visible. Instruction will cover a range of materials, tools, and techniques. Regular discussion of The World of Art and Art History will provide context for our work. Critiques, documentation, and presentation will be essential elements of the class, with an emphasis on both process and product. Try something new or pursue your lifelong passion. 

This class may be taken more than once. No prerequisite


Three Term Courses

These course meet 4 days per week for 3 terms during G block and earn 10 credits.

Modern Language: Foundations Arabic

Unlike our other languages, we do not offer a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Foundations Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class. Other students must also be enrolled in a Spanish, French or Chinese in order to fulfill their graduation requirement. Once a student progresses satisfactorily through Foundations Arabic, (s)he may enroll in Intermediate Arabic. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Foundations and Intermediate Arabic are 5-credit classes.

Modern Language: Intermediate Arabic

A continuation of Intermediate Arabic. Unlike our other languages, we do not offer a full 3-year program in Arabic. This means that Intermediate Arabic is open to any student, but only students who have fulfilled their language requirement may take Arabic as their only language class. Other students must also be enrolled in a Spanish, French or Chinese in order to fulfill their graduation requirement. Arabic classes will meet twice a week during G-block throughout the school year. Foundations and Intermediate Arabic are 5-credit classes.

Performing Art: Choral - Select Singers (Honors)

Select Singers is an all-year course for experienced singers to advance techniques in ensemble singing and develop independent music and leadership skills.  Select Singers will explore the world of choral music beyond Beaver’s walls by attending rehearsals at other institutions, collaborating with other schools and universities in Boston and attending masterclasses in ensemble singing and vocal technique. Students should be highly motivated and committed to learning advanced musicianship skills and be prepared to sing for public concerts in smaller ensembles and quartets. Select Singers will prepare a program of repertoire for concerts at the end of each term. This course can be taken more than once.

Three Term Class

Prerequisite: Audition

Open to Grade levels: 10-12.

Performing Art: Instrumental - Ikonoclastic: All Female Ensemble

Ikonoclastic is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing on their instrument with at least one year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Weekly individual lessons on their instruments are strongly recommended and available on campus to students for an additional fee. Financial aid information for private lessons is available upon request.

This class meets all three terms.
Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.

Performing Art: Technical Theater - Design Lab

Theater Design/Technology Laboratory is a course for students interested in Technical Theater and/or Theatrical Design. Students will have the opportunity to design their own experience through a combination of projects and workshops, allowing them to learn and utilize design and production tools as well as carpentry, scenic painting, props, lighting, and sound.  Student will explore how theater artists use these tools for creative problem solving and to communicate with audience members. The successful student would gain an understanding of shop and theater safe working practices, basic construction skills, knowledge of lighting and sound instrumentation and rigging, as well as how communication, planning and collaboration are central to the health of a theater production. This course can be taken more than once.

Three Term Class

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theater or permission of instructor.

Open to grade levels 10, 11, 12.