WHS English Department

Honors American Literature - Ragtime Project


As the final assessment of the Honors American Literature classes’ work with the text Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, students developed essential questions and explored them through research and discussion to produce a range of creative projects.  Below are links to a few of them.


1. Essential Question:   Where is the intersection of privilege, oppression, power and social change? These students created a website: This is what a Revolutionary War Looks Like


2. Essential Question:  How has the American Dream evolved through American history, who achieves the American Dream, and how does this pertain to contemporary society? Students created a documentary: Click to view


3. Essential Question:  How much does selfishness affect the psyches of seemingly normal and abnormal people, and to what extent does selfishness create hypocrisy in the world?  This student created a fake MCAS test with a math, reading, and essay section, intended to measure the level of one's selfishness and hypocrisy using a few famous and infamous characters in history. CLlck to view The MCAS Test

4. Essential Question:  Are people happy when they achieve their own personal goals or the ideal goals set by the society around them? Students created a video about the popularity of types of  rap music and how artists adapt to the times.: Watch video


5. Essential Question:  How much of your life is under your own control, and how do your choices affect your life? Students created a small choose-your-own-adventure book that takes the reader through the life of four high-schoolers, and uses their high school experiences to show how decisions can impact one’s future. The book starts with a link to a personality quiz that decides one’s character and background. From there, the reader goes through the book and makes individual choices. Click to view quiz



6. Essential Question: How do one’s past experiences and upbringing affect the way that they perceive change in the world around them? Students created a fictional newspaper articles about the March 8th Women’s March from different perspectives. Read the paper



 In recent weeks, poet Jessie Brown has been working with seniors in the Poetry and Poetics class.  Ms. Brown has both explained her own creative process and has aided students in the creation of original poetry.  Thank you WEEFC for funding Ms. Brown’s work with this class!


Students who love poetry and especially love writing it, consider submitting a poem to the Columbia Granger’s World of Poetry contest.

Details can be found here Deadline is April 10, 2017

English teachers are happy to help you polish

your poetry prior to submission.  Just ask!

 Check out the WHS English Department's new blog!

The teachers of the department hope to share news with you about exciting learning and other experiences going on in our classrooms and beyond.


The Big Book Browse


English teachers are always looking for ways to increase student enjoyment of reading.

  By collaborating with librarian Alida Hanson, this September 2016 we turned the library into a mini-book fair so that students in freshman and sophomore English classes could find great free reading books. English teachers and the librarian worked together to find and display books that we know students will love. The WHS English department values free reading, and research shows that students who read for fun build vocabulary, improve school performance, and develop empathy. Ask your student what they’re reading!


Letter from a parent
It was so very good seeing all of you at Back to School night - it is truly wonderful to be back with my third and final WHS student, Aidan!  Frankly, he has a hard act to follow - Jacqueline and Ethan had such a meaningful connection with their teachers here, especially with you in the English and History departments.
I want to thank you for the lasting impact you have made on our kids' lives. In many unspoken ways, the lessons they learned in your classrooms and during one-on-one heartfelt conversations they've had with you in your office are with them as they continue forth in the world and establish who they are. It's exciting and sometimes scary playing bystander to a work very much in progress - however we're grateful your teachings are part of the foundation they're building on.
Best wishes for this school year - keep working your magic!
Jacqueline and Ethan Chen's mom (Mabel)
October 2016




Want to help your child with papers?


To help parents and outside-of-school tutors best help WHS English students with their writing, the English department has created a

 list of suggestions and guidelines


If you have any questions or comments, please contact Kate Lemons, English Department Chair.

The faculty of the Weston High School English Department approaches the teaching of English with the simple goal of assisting students in their journey as they become more critical readers, more thoughtful writers, and more effective speakers.  To achieve this goal, we demand students read carefully, speak deliberately, and revise their writing regularly.  We believe in the merits of empathizing with a character, speaker or even an author whose life or experience may take us beyond our own.  More than anything, we have a love for the word.  In their first few years of English at the high school, students can expect a common experience.  Juniors and seniors are free to choose from an expansive list of electives.
The English courses in grades 9-12 are designed to increase each student's skills in the use of written and oral language. They are also designed to encourage open and clear communication, and foster reading for comprehension, information, and enjoyment. Each course requires homework and student participation in class discussions. In addition, the program is constructed to give students the opportunity to succeed in a wide variety of learning experiences including writing poetry, delivering speeches, reading literature, viewing films, and listening to guest writers.

The correct use of the English language is taught in all English classes. Grammar study is conducted with student writing as a primary resource for instruction. Specific exercises are also used to highlight a particular problem or mistake in usage.
Whenever possible, teachers use art, music and film to broaden students‘ understanding of the theme or setting of a literary work. In addition, mindful of Howard Gardner‘s Multiple Intelligences, teachers design a variety of projects to bring out the best in every student.

All students are required to take English each year. Students enrolling in semester based English electives to fulfill their English requirement must enroll in one each semester. Students should confer with their guidance counselor, English teacher, and/or the English Department Head to determine appropriate course selections where there are options.
Ms. Kate Lemons, 6-12 Department Head
Ms. Lemons was named Department Head as of the 2009-10 school year.  She has taught in the English Department at Weston High School since 2003. She has also served as the advisor to the school newspaper, Wildcat Tracks; as one of three teacher representatives on the High School Council; as a mentor to new English Department faculty, as coordinator of the Mountains Beyond Mountains initiative in 2005-06; and as a member of the Weston Professional Development Academy Committee. Before coming to Weston, she served as team leader and English teacher at Falmouth High School, 1998-2003. Ms. Lemons earned a Masters of Education in Secondary Education from the University of Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Arts from the Harvard University Extension School.
Kate Lemons, Chair WHS English Dept.




Copyright © 2017 Weston Public Schools. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by Getfused