Humanities 9
  • Explores the relevance of ancient texts and cultures of the Mediterranean, India, and China to today
  • Focuses on the development of essential reading, writing, presentation, collaboration, critical thinking, and research skills
Humanities 10
  • Presents subject matter within interdisciplinary context and perspective Explores the making of the modern world through history, literature and art
  • Develops writing and research skills, with primary attention on the critical essay, and additional attention to personal, timed and creative essays
English Honors 11
  • Offers a rigorous course of study in American literature, from early American to twenty-first century authors, with a particular emphasis on the twentieth century 
  • Focuses on in-depth analysis of literary texts of all genres  
  • Considers texts in their historical, social, and/or structural contexts
AP English Literature & Composition
  • Emphasizes critical reading and writing based on selected readings from American and world literature  
  • Provides creative opportunities that focus on understanding authorial style
AP English Language & Composition
  • Focuses on critical reading of fiction and  non-fiction as well as the writing of substantial analytical essays  
  • Explores a wide range of expository patterns and develops writing skills through careful study of rhetorical devices and strategies
Senior Thesis
  • Completes weekly small group and individual progress meetings along with frequent workshops while project is in process  
  • Develops extended writing projects that meet a 30 page requirement, and include defense of that project to a reading panel and public presentation to the school
Semester Seminars
The American Dream
Traces the American Dream from its origins in the colonial period, through the 19th and 20th centuries, to today
A Century of Film
Evaluates a selection of significant classic films against the backdrop of their times, countries and artists.
Fairy Tales: An Introduction
Examines the most famous fairy tales of western culture collected by the Brothers Grimm.
There’s No Place Like Home
Examines our thinking about the concept of home and all that home connotes through reading and analysis of both fiction and non-fiction
  • Explores the concept of fear and how authors and filmmakers scare us
  • Includes study of a host of short fiction authors, and films from the genre, and some literary theory on psychology and feminism
  • Students read, discuss and write about professional memoirs and create their own memoirs  
  • Serves as an introduction to writing a compelling college essay
Analyzes how philosophers, writers, artists and composers in the Modernism period sought to answer the profound questions of change
The Outsiders: Literature of Wilderness and Introduction to Field Biology
  • Explores nature and the outdoors through both a literary and scientific lens
  • Uses skills curriculum of the Outdoor Leadership program to teach self-reliance and group problem solving;
  • Fulfills one English credit and one science elective credit
Philosophical Classics
Introduces a range of philosophers including Plato, Hume, Descartes and Berkeley, along with a rigorous method of rational argument
The Russian Bear
Explores how writers have both defined and wrestled with their Russian culture through examining poetry, short stories, novels and plays in their historical context.
Examines behavioral theories about comedy, i.e. why we laugh, and discuss kinds of comedy, including satire, black comedy, and parody, while enjoying a wide selection of comedies in mixed media.
Game Changers
  • Examines a series of writers whose work significantly altered the course of American social change
  • Includes careful study of The Lord of the Flies, The Awakening, and 1984.
The Graphic Novel
  • Introduces critical and creative analysis of the graphic novel as art form and cultural product
  • Culminates with the conception and design of a proposal for an original graphic novel
Introduction to Poetry and Poetry Writing
  • Explores the process of reading and writing poetry and surveys various poetry movements, styles and forms
  • Studies craft elements and choices that poets make, the importance of imagery, word choice, sound and structure
Jewish-American Literature and Culture
  • Examines cornerstones of the Jewish-American experience from 1880 to the present, focusing on the Holocaust in American memory and Jewish humor and pop culture
  • Immerses students in Jewish-American cultures alongside the exploration of literature
Literature of the New South
Examines novels, plays, stories and poems of Southern writers—black, white, female and make—of the late 19th century and 20th century
Media Literacy
  • Explores the medias’ implicit messages about consumerism, gender, race and activism.
  • Surveys scholarly writings, documentaries, blogs and more and includes both media analysis and creation
Philosophy and Justice
  • Studies literary text such as Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice in depth in order to dramatize some of the issues and challenges of the law
  • Explores Mills’ On Liberty and other texts to understand the philosophical foundations of classical liberalism
Story: The Art of Fiction
  • Elevates students’ storytelling skills by exploring the conventions, structure and subtle techniques of short fiction
  • Explores the techniques that various writers use as students write their own short fiction
Ways of Writing the World
  • Examines the question of “what is “style” through modeling, analysis and extensive practice
  • Explores the theories of master stylists including Poe, Sherwood Anderson, Hemingway and Capote
Intensive Courses:
From Wonderland to Hogwarts to Hawken: An Exploration of Children’s Literature and Experiential Learning
  • Explores questions including “What makes the experience of returning to Wonderland, Hogwarts and so many other literary wonderlands so special?” and “Why does children’s literature endure and continue to captivate young and old readers alike?”
  • Includes a study of works by Carroll, J.K. Rowling and theories of John Dewey and James A. Hawken
  • Explores homelessness - the condition itself, its causes and complications, and noteworthy individual and community responses
  • Includes a service learning component with a Cleveland service agency
In the Footsteps of Seneca Falls: Political Rights and Artistic Voices
  • Explores women’s lives in the hundred years between the First Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848 and the Ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.
  • Focuses on the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman, Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton
Examines the history of American journalism, explores the foundational principles of the field, exposes students to several important exemplars of journalism, and then leads students to create their own pieces of incisive journalism
Global Online Academy Courses
(These classes do not satisfy Hawken English department requirements and must be taken as additional electives. For a full description of courses, click here: http://www.globalonlineacademy.org/student-program/courses/)

Explores the creativity, effort and diversity of techniques required to change people’s minds and motivate them to act   Units include persuasive writing, social media, public speaking, informational graphics and more.
Creative Nonfiction
Focuses on the art of shaping real experiences into powerful narratives   Embraces the expression and development of writing skills in a variety of forms including audio, video, graphic novel and traditional text.
Digital Journalism
Teaches fundamentals of reporting and shaping stories in text and multimedia; the implementation of standards for copyright and fair use; and recognition of excellence and bias in journalism.
Fiction Writing
  • Connects students interested in creative writing and provides a space for supportive and constructive feedback  
  • Explores how to effectively critique and discuss each other’s writing in an online environment
  • Develops skills as a reader and writer within a workshop setting
Poetry Writing
Explores identity and seeks to answer the question: How are you shaped (or not) by the community you live in?  Sample assignments include audio and video recording, an online journal, study of performance poetry, peer video conferences, close reading, investigations into process and craft, collaborative poetry anthologies and a class publication
An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, toddler through grade 12

Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Birchwood School of Hawken, 4400 West 140th Street, Cleveland, OH 44135 

Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Mastery School of Hawken, 11025 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

Directions  |  Log in  |  440-423-4446