English Honors Seminar



English Honors Seminar


Nampa High School








The English Honors Seminar: A Community of Learners


Vision of the Honors Seminar


            The vision of the Honors Seminar is to stimulate the growth of a school-wide community of high-level thinkers who want to challenge themselves. It has been many years since an Honors option was made available to the entire student body, and it is our hope that the students who want to challenge themselves academically participate and enjoy this process. The entire English Department will also be participating in this process, along with the students, by reading the novels, attending prep sessions, participating and evaluating the final seminar as well as being a resource for all students who need assistance or just want to discuss the novel. Our vision for the future is that these students have an avenue to learn, develop, and display their advanced skills in order to better prepare them for post-secondary and life-long learning.


What is the purpose?


            The Honors Seminar is a program designed to encourage you to take the extra step and challenge yourself to excel academically. You will display your abilities to produce high level work within your English class as well as produce advanced work outside of your English class by participating in a seminar with your peers. If your written work and participation demonstrate advanced work, you will receive an Honors designation for your English course work on your transcript (i.e. English 5/6 Honors).


What is the Honors Seminar?


            The Honors Seminar consists of reading a pre-determined novel within a set amount of time. One written element will be required, as well as your participation in the Honors Seminar, which will take place outside of school hours with all of the Honors Participants and the English Department. The Seminar’s main focus will be to discuss the literature with other high-level thinkers. In order to be eligible for the Honors designation, students must also earn an 80% or higher in their general English class for each semester.


Who May Participate?


            Any Nampa High School English student may participate. Freshman and sophomore students will form the Junior Varsity group and participate together, and junior and senior students will form the Varsity group.



How do I work towards the Honors Seminar?


·         Read the novel

·         Read additional companion pieces to draw connections to the novel

·         Complete and finalize the required piece of written work

·         Attend the two preparatory meetings

·         Successfully participate in the final seminar (required)


What are the two preparatory meetings?


            There will be two prep meetings prior to the final seminar.

·         The first meeting will focus on the actual seminar and how to prepare for the final book discussion. Strategies, suggestions, and tips will be offered during this meeting.

·         The second meeting will provide an opportunity to share your written piece with your peers and teachers for help with revision and editing.


What are the required novels?




What is the final seminar?


            There will be two final seminars each semester; Junior Varsity (freshman & sophomore students) and Varsity (junior & senior students). All students will come prepared (see: What to Bring) and then a student-led review, analysis and criticism of the novel will take place. Participants must share their thoughts, ask questions of their peers, respond to each other’s questions and comments, as well as offer new learning and insight into the novel and its connections to our culture, history, society, and the world.


Who will evaluate the Honors Seminar?


            The Nampa High School English Department will be following a pre-determined scoring guide to determine your Honors status. The results will be based on your written piece and your participation in the final seminar.


What should I bring to the final seminar?


·         The novel

·         Your written piece with signed review sheet

·         Prepared questions

·         Prepared topics of interest



Helpful Resources

Here is a list of websites, books, and study guides that may be beneficial.



¨      Purdue Online Writing Lab

¨      Learning Tips on Critical Analysis

¨      How to Do a Close Reading


Academic Integrity Reminder

Due to the advanced nature of the Honors Seminar, please remember the Academic Integrity Form you signed at the start of the school year. All work should be your own original ideas or cited appropriately to give proper credit.


Looking for some supplemental reading?


Here is a list for each of the novels - happy reading!

A Separate Peace
• Readings on A Separate Peace by Jill Karson
A Separate Peace (Paramount 1982 film)
A Separate Peace: Four Decades of Critical Response by Lois Rauch Gibson
A Separate Peace: A Special Time, A Special School by John Knowles
Dead Poet’s Society (1989 film)
• Literature Notes
• A Separate Peace: A Study Guide
Peace Breaks Out by John Knowles
Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
Confessions of Wayward Preppie by Stephen Roos
A Separate Peace: The War Within by Hallman Bell Bryant (non-fiction)

• Catch-22, A Conversation with Joseph Heller:
• Catch 22: 50 Years Later by Chris Cox
Catch-22, 1970, film