Tuesday, October 13, 2009


English:  11th Grade

Class syllabus

This course is designed to expose students to a broad cross-section of American literature. Students are also expected to increase their composition skills through a variety of writing experiences. Students will be expected to have a number of pieces ready by semester's end that can be included in senior portfolios.

Credit for English I and II

Topics to be covered

Expect to:

•Read two or three novels by American authors on your own, and complete a full set of assignments related to your reading. At least one novel will be studied as part of a literary circle, where you will meet with 4-5 other students to discuss your novel. In addition, one novel will be studied in-depth by the entire class. Past novels have included Huck Finn, Fahrenheit 451, and The Fellowship of the Ring.

•Complete a research paper and class presentation on an original research idea. This is a major project that is designed as a college preparatory activity. Failure to complete this project can endanger your semester grade. Internet research is usually a major part of the project, so be sure you have internet permission.

•Memorize one famous literary passage of 1-2 minutes in length. This is usually the entire Gettysburg address, or six stanzas from Poe’s “The Raven,” although an appropriate substitute passage can be chosen with instructor approval.

•Complete a least four writing projects/papers that are portfolio-quality. Included among these will be a personal narrative or memoir, a short story and several poems.

• Work on grammar daily. We will begin each day with the Daily Oral Grammar series.

• Have weekly vocabulary tests. Vocabulary worksheets will be given out on Mondays or Tuesdays, and they will be graded two days later. Vocabulary tests will be on Fridays. These words are not easy, and most students find it takes study to pass Friday’s test.

• Read in class. During the latter half of class on Fridays, we will often have SSR—Sustained Silent Reading. You will be expected to have reading material with you.

• Spend quite a bit of time exploring U.S. history as we examine the literature selections.

• Read 15 or more short stories, sermons and non-fiction passages from the text.

• Have homework several times each week, especially early in the semester.

• Have spelling tests on a weekly basis--usually Thursdays.

• Watch films of books by American authors.

• Read a drama play out aloud in class – either “The Crucible” or “The Glass Menagerie.”

• Travel to see a play performed, if funds are available. I try to take each junior class on a field trip to view a live stage production of a play or short story collection. Eligibility for this trip can depend on class behavior.

Order of material to be covered
• Short story unit.
• Non-fiction unit
• Drama Unit
• Poetry Unit
• Drama Unit
• Research Paper Unit

Major papers and writing projects are interspersed throughout the semester.
Resources to be used
• Textbooks
• Videos that correlate with reading selections
• Media Center
• Internet
• Guest speakers
• Field trip to view play production

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