An Adventure into Literature: English 3 Literature Survey and Composition

Do you enjoy literature and spending your free time curled up reading a good book? If so, then TPS’s English 3 Literature Survey and Composition is the class for you.

English 3 Literature Survey and Composition, taught by Mrs. Thomas, Mrs. Fredrick, Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Shearon, and Mrs. Yagel explores a variety of literary genres. Throughout this class, students grade 9th-12th will taste a sampling of short stories, poetry, film, drama, and a novel. Weekly, students will complete a reader response paragraph and a quiz. Over the school year, students will write four essays including a compare and contrast essay, research essay, poetry explication, and film review. In my interview with Mrs. Gray, she describes her love for literature and experiences teaching English 3 Literature Survey:

Ainsley: How long have you taught at TPS?

Mrs. Gray: I began teaching with TPS in the Fall of 2011–so 8 school years now. I had apprenticed with Nikki Troxell the year prior, in one of her sections of Advanced Comp. And I was a TPS student during my high school years as well, so I’ve been a part of the TPS community for over 15 years.

Ainsley: What is your favorite book?

Mrs. Gray: Isn’t this the hardest question to ask an English teacher? I have such an appreciation for great literature that I can always find something to value and enjoy. But the three at the top of my list right now are PersuasionPeter Pan, and Little Women.

Ainsley: What is your favorite part to teach of the class?

Mrs. Gray: I love the literature discussions. I really want the bulk of class time to just be talking about what we’ve read. I talk about books a lot in my everyday life (my husband is an author and avid reader as well), but most people aren’t quick to have those conversations with me. This class is a great outlet for me. I think the more years I spend talking about great stories, the more I grasp how talking about books is really the same as talking about life. Great writing mirrors the human experience, so when we talk about our favorite stories, or even our least favorites, we’re really talking about life.

Ainsley: Do you have any advice to a student wondering if this course is a good fit for him/her?

Mrs. Gray: Yes! I think it’s a good fit for more students than you might think. It’s not an easy course (it is at the Honors high school level), but hard in all the best ways. The class really aims to develop a strong ability to read broadly and think deeply. We’re not interested in “fluff”; we want to find truth in what we’re reading, whatever we’re reading. I think any student who wants to learn to dig deep into what she reads, fiction or nonfiction, short or long, that student will thrive in this class. It’s certainly a commitment, both in time and mental energy, but I think it’s worth it.

Starting off the year, students will explore a variety of short stories. While reading the short stories, students will learn various annotating techniques which will help with reading comprehension. At the end of the short story, unit students will write a compare and contrast essay.

The next genre of literature students will explore is the novel. In past years, students will work through The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Through in-class discussion, students will learn a variety of literary techniques Hawthorne uses in his novel. At the end of the novel unit, students will write a research article on the novel.

After Christmas break, students will begin the poetry unit where they will learn poetry terms as well as how to identify a poem’s rhyme and meter. Throughout this unit, students will explore different types of poems such as the sonnet, pastoral, and villanelle. Summing up the poetry unit, students will write the poetry explication analysis a poem of their choice.

Next, students will explore film. They will watch and analyze films such as The Help, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Hugo. Students will learn how to take notes on movies while enjoying the film’s plot line. They will learn film terms such as production design and costume design as well as learning how to identify between a good and a bad actor. Closing out the film unit, students will complete the film review. In this last essay, students will review one of the films they watched and decide whether the movie is well done or poorly done.

The last unit in English 3 Literature Survey is the drama unit. In this unit, students will explore a variety of plays such as The Taming of the Shrew and Antigone. Students will be exposed to great playwrights such as William Shakespeare and will experience both tragedy and comedy. Closing out the year, students will complete a final test which covers all the literary terms in each of the five units.

English 3 Literature Survey is designed for students who love to read and write. Students who take pleasure in reading will enjoy the in-depth class discussion regarding the different genres of literature. Throughout this course, students will read intriguing books and improve their writing skills. See if this fantastic English course is a good fit for you!




  1. This is making me excited for class! Or at least for the last 2 units and the novel unit! 🙂

  2. heyyy my favorite english class xD

    ngl this class was insanely fun and so worth it =D

  3. I’m doing English 3 this year and this article was very helpful. I really am learning how to dig deep into literature as we’re closing out the short story unit and it’s really fun! (:

  4. English 3 LS was one of my favorite English classes! I hope everyone gets the chance to take this course. It’s the best English class I’ve ever taken 🙂

  5. Just one quick thing. “Mrs.” Shearon in this article is actually Miss Shearon. Nice article though! Well written.

  6. I am contemplating taking the English 3 class. This is definitely an argument in it’s favor!

  7. I HIGHLY recommend taking this class; it’s amazing. Please, please take it. I took it with Mrs. Fred, but with any teacher, you are guaranteed to learn a lot.