• Course Syllabus


    Course Overview:

    Students explore a variety of nonfiction and fiction selections including biographies, short stories, novels, drama, and poetry.  They expand vocabulary – including their understanding of literary terms.  Opportunities will be provided for students to practice in order to increase their ability to analyze and interpret information from a variety of reading, listening, and viewing selections.  Students write essays based on the selections as well as analysis of literature. 


    Course Objectives:

    Students should be able to:

    • analyze and interpret samples of good writing, identifying and explaining an author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques;


    • apply effective strategies and techniques in their own writing;


    • create and sustain arguments based on readings, research, and/or personal experience;


    • demonstrate understanding and mastery of standard written English as well as stylistic maturity in their own writings;


    • write for a variety of purposes;


    • produce expository, analytical, and argumentative compositions that introduce a complex central idea and develop it with appropriate evidence drawn from primary and/or secondary source material, cogent explanations, and clear transitions;


    • demonstrate understanding of the conventions of citing primary and secondary source material;


    • move effectively through the stages of the writing process, with careful attention to inquiry and research, drafting, revising, editing, and review;


    • write thoughtfully about their own process of composition;


    • revise a work to make it suitable for a different audience;


    • analyze image as text; and


    • evaluate and incorporate reference documents into researched papers.


    Major Units:

    • The Short Story and Literary Elements
    • The Genre of Drama and the Idea of Fate
    • Honor (Racism, Heroism, Tolerance, Coming of Age)
    • Reflection (Nonfiction)
    • Identify and Adversity (Nonfiction)
    • The Loss of Innocence/Coming of Age (Isolation, Youth, the Use and Abuse of Power, Loyalty and Betrayal)
    • Nonfiction reading, grammar practice and vocabulary will be included throughout all major units.

    Essential Questions:


    • What is the purpose of literature?
    • What do I need to know in order to succeed in high school English classes?
    • How can a person’s decisions and actions change his/her life?
    • To what extend does power, or lack of power, affect individuals?
    • When should an individual take a stand in opposition to an individual or larger group?
    • Is it worth it to rebel against social norms?
    • How does the individual deal with grief?  


    Reading Selections:


    • Animal Farm by George Orwell
    • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
    • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • A House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
    • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
    • A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
    • Independent Reading Selections
    • A variety of poems, short stories, and nonfiction selections


    Other textbooks:


    • Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop
    • Sadlier Writing Workshop
    • Sadlier Grammar for Writing



    Grading Scale:


    100 – 90% = A         89 – 80% = B              79 – 70% = C          69 – 65% = D           <65% = F


    Class work will be weighted as follows:

    • Test/Essay/Projects: 50%
    • Quiz: 30%
    • Classwork: 20%

    Classroom Procedures:



    • Sit down in your assigned seats.
    • Have your homework out and ready to be collected or submit homework via Google Classroom as directed before class begins.**
    • Complete Do Now or Follow Board Directions


    **Credit will be deducted to late work.



    • Write down your homework in your planner/agenda book.
    • Clean the area around your desk.
    • Check the homework in case there have been changes made.
    • Make sure all books, handouts, etc. have been taken with you.


    **Turning in work on time will result in speedy and helpful feedback from your teachers and will keep you up-to-date in the class and prepare you for final assessments. We will be practicing responsible work habits throughout the year.

    Materials Needed:


    • Fully charged Chromebook


      • Binder/loose-leaf paper, college ruled
      • pencil/pen/highlighter
      • required textbook/ text/ worksheets


    • Somerville Student




    Our classroom will be a comfortable and safe place for all who enter.  No one will be allowed to interrupt your learning.  Each of you deserves a place to work that can sometimes be quiet and peaceful and at other times be fun and interactive.  We fully expect each of our students to know what is appropriate, and if you are not sure, we will teach you. To receive full credit, you will need to turn work in on time. No work will be accepted after a unit has ended.


    All school rules will be enforced:  we will practice appropriate use of technology; school dress code will be enforced; please finish snacks before class in the hallway; you are welcome to bring water.  


    • Be on time or have a signed and dated pass. (You only get 1 “free” late before a detention)


    • Be seated and ready to begin class when the bell rings with your notebook and a pen. Respect yourself and the people and property of your surroundings.


    • Use appropriate language in class.


    • Be prepared for every class with all necessary classroom materials including the current text we are reading.



    • Check homework online at Google Classroom via your computer or any other mobile device.



    • Maintain an organized notebook. Keep handouts in a folder separate from your notes.


    • Raise your hand, wait to be called upon before you speak, and do not interrupt others.


    • Obtain the phone number/e-mail address of a reliable classmate. Contact this person when you are absent to find out assignments and announcements. Check homework online as well.


    • Do not be afraid to ask for help. Please schedule a time with us for extra help before an assessment. We will gladly help you with your work.


    • *Respectful behavior means being polite and accepting everyone’s right to his or her own opinions and beliefs. A variety of viewpoints and backgrounds add culture and value to our classroom community.


    If a student chooses to break a rule there will be consequences:

    • 1st Offense: Verbal warning
    • 2nd Offense: Teacher/student conference after class/school and/or detention. Parents/ guardians may be contacted.
    • 3rd Offense: Teacher will write a discipline referral. Serious disciplinary action may be taken as warranted by teacher and administration.


    *Any severe disruption: The student will be sent to the office immediately.




    Please read carefully and sign, along with your parents, the attached consent form regarding academic integrity.  Plagiarism and/or cheating will not be tolerated.  There are severe consequences for those involved with academic dishonesty.



     Please keep in touch with me.  If you are struggling, or if you need more of a challenge, please let me know. You can also email me at any time, especially if you have questions from home.


    Parents, I encourage you to ask questions or address concerns.