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2nd Year Program

The NFS Second Year program is open to seventh and eighth graders as an integrated curriculum of American Literature, Performing & Fine Arts, and History. Previously offered in our 1st Year, the intensity and workload of this class demand that students have a mature, focused attitude.

American History

Covers the political, social, cultural, economic, and philosophical history of the United States from pre-European settlement to Reconstruction. Teachers encourage analytical thought through the study of texts, literature selections, and supplementary materials which provide a wide array of important theoretical points of view. Understanding the varied motivations, beliefs, and values of Americans in different time periods provides students with a balanced view of the history of our country.

In this course, students will learn to read and think critically, to study efficiently, and to defend their own interpretations of historical events through written analysis and debate. They will learn how to conduct research, how to formulate a thesis statement, and how to organize effective essays. By recognizing and exploring differing points of view, students will gain the ability to determine accuracy, reliability, and fairness of input.

While investigating relationships between statements and events, past and present, students will learn to make informed, thoughtful judgments about the meaning, accuracy, and worth of information. In addition to writing, projects which will enhance the development of these skills include: debate, conducting oral history interviews, creating a timeline of historical events, looking at the effects of geography on history, and evaluating current events in the context of the history of the United States.


Second Year English

Combines literature selections (novels, essays, poems, plays) from time periods and concepts studied in the American History course with analysis of short stories, creative and analytical writing, and SAT- prep Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spelling.

In Literature, students learn to take notes as they read, looking for evidence that supports their own personal interpretations of a text. Later in class, students will explore the many possible interpretations of the same text, learning, as they hear other points of view, to expand upon, support, or even change their ideas of textual meaning. Many of the literature selections follow our American History timeline, which will add depth, both to the students' understanding of history itself, and to their grasp of the author's viewpoint. By writing summaries of their ideas, and learning to organize their arguments into longer, cohesive essays as the year progresses, students gain a gradual knowledge of clear, focused, essay-writing skills.

Novels in the Second Year include:

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Slave Dancer

The Red Badge of Courage

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Giver

Fahrenheit 451

Students also read short stories, poems, and nonfiction essays as writers in Writing Workshop. Since writers learn to write well by reading what other writers have written, the literature component of Writing Workshop is essential. An essay-writing focus in the SecondYear prevents students from focusing on fiction or other personal pieces as much as they could in the separate Writing Workshop class. However, skills of organization, logic, and grammatical usage are equally essential to any creative writing students do on their own.

Finally, in preparation for the SAT and other standardized tests, we cover elements of grammar, spelling, and weekly vocabulary.


Performing/Fine Arts

Integrated throughout the year into the four-day 2nd Year Program schedule, the fine arts curriculum includes ten hours of performing arts work with Jodie Lea, and ten hours of fine arts with Janet Murphy.

Performing arts classes culminate with a performance at the Alpine Playhouse before Spring Break, while artwork is displayed during the year at the North Fork School until students bring it home.

Students have Fridays "off" to study at home. Most students (and parents) have found this Friday afternoon study time to be tremendously beneficial, as students adjust to the increased workload and expectations of the North Fork School Program.

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Copyright © 2004 Marie M. Furnary All rights reserved.