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MYP English 10 - Honors

Honors English 10 Syllabus

Ms. Brown Kappes

Room 309

 This course fulfills the MYP Language A Level 5 requirement of International Baccalaureate. This year long course provides exposure to the genres of the short story, the novel, the essay, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. The emphasis is language learning in context, language acquisition, and literature, with a strong emphasis on communication through writing and speaking.  Language A (English) class provides skill development in using language as a vehicle for thought, creativity, reflection, learning, self-expression and social interaction;  listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing and presenting in a variety of contexts; and development of critical, creative and personal approaches to studying and analyzing literature.

2017-2018 Course of Study: Literature Units and Major Writing Assignments

 First Semester: American Literature – Short Story, Novel, Poetry, Nonfiction

1st Semester MYP Units: "What is American Mythology?"  "How do writers work their magic?"

We start by studying the forms and strategies found in literature to see how writers "work their magic", that is, create reactions and meanings for readers. At the same time we will look for trends and patterns that reveal the American Mythology. During the course of the semester, we'll examine short stories, poetry , nonfiction, and the following longer texts:

Excerpts from The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie. 

A memoir, The Color of Water by James McBride

The novel, Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.

The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. 

Two major writing assignments per quarter will constitute a major portion of the grade. 

     1st Quarter: Creative writing (short story) and literary analysis

     2nd Quarter: Literary Response and Literary Analysis.


Second Semester: World Literature - drama, independent study - research, postmodernism in novel

3rd Quarter MYP Units: "What is the value and evolution of tragedy as a genre?"  and    "What are the forces that shape a writer's work?"

We examine the origins of literature through a study of dramatic art, in particular, tragedy. How has the genre changed over time? Why has it been so prominent? An in-depth study of an author of your choice is the only homework for this quarter, and that includes reading a book by the author. The other texts will be read dramatically in class:

     Greek Theatre, Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. 

      Macbeth by William Shakespeare. 

     A work by a writer of your choice as part of the research project.

One major writing assignment, graded in three parts, will constitute a major portion of the grade: Research Paper - an independent study on a self-selected author.

4th Quarter MYP Unit: "What is truth?"

Back to more modern times with an examination of two postmodern novels that connect in interesting ways:

     The novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien.

     The novel, Life of Pi, by Yann Martel

     Final Project: Public Speaking:  Demonstration speech.

Major writing/oral assignments will constitute a major portion of the grade: Creative Narrative,  Speech.


*All quarters include study of general vocabulary, grammar, literary terms, note taking, and speech/communication as a corollary of thematic literature units.


Grades are determined primarily by the degree to which a student masters the skills of composition and literary interpretation. Missing assignments will impact the grade when mastery cannot be determined from the amount of work submitted. 

Mastery of writing tasks is essential to receiving an A. Writing tasks will follow the writing process for best results -  brainstorming, organizing, and revision. Students who complete writing assignments before deadlines will have the opportunity for feedback from the instructor before final submission. Take advantage of this opportunity for best grade results.

English Notebook is an important component of the total grade – taking notes in class, responding to literature, and journal writing are all part of the English Notebook grade. It is a major homework component of class and is collected at the end of study units for grading. Occasionally the response journal will be checked/graded in class without warning. It's essential to keep up with the journal and bring it to class every day along with the current text.

Always be prepared for class by reading assigned material, and be ready to comment in class. Every person's comments are valuable and add perspective for all members of the class (including the teacher), so being prepared for class by completing homework reading in a timely matter, and preparing personal reflections is essential and will be reflected in the final grade each quarter.

Late assignments result in reduced grades. Occasionally, there are legitimate reasons for late work. The best way to negotiate this is by advance notice, or by conference with the instructor.

 Attendance is taken at the beginning of class. A student who is tardy may be marked absent. Attendance must be corrected in the main office. When absent, the student is responsible for getting missed notes and assignments.

Behavior in class is always based on courtesy and mutual respect -- respect for people and the classroom environment. Respect for various points of view. Practice professional behavior in class in terms of language, dress, conduct, and by stowing electronics during class. Inappropriate use of electronics will be dealt with ranging from communication with parents, to confiscation of devices.

Members of this class should observe strict policies of academic honesty. Any instances in which cheating, including plagiarism and unauthorized use of copyrighted materials, computer accounts, or someone else’s work is determined, will be referred to Student Services and will be investigated to its full extent. Refer to the Southwest Handbook. Consequences range from a zero on the assignment to an F for the quarter grade. Be mindful of this and do original work.

Supplies needed for this class: One spiral - or similar - notebook per quarter (– not the large multiple size notebooks, please). The notebooks will be turned in occasionally, so they should be used for English material only. You’ll need an ample supply of blue or black pens. A highlighter or post it notes might be a good idea. Art supplies in your preferred medium (colored pencil, markers, paints, charcoal pencils, ink, or ?) will come in handy and may be kept at home.

If it is possible, purchase the texts listed on the reverse side so that books may be marked with personal annotation. This is not required, however, and we’ll discuss alternative ways to annotate in class.