English Honors 9

Welcome to Southwest High School Ninth grade is a year of academic challenges and personal growth.  The curriculum for honors classes is intended to be challenging.  Much of “the real work” takes place not only in the classroom, but at home or in the library, when concentration is essential.  Apply yourself consistently to the work at hand, and you will find that you are making consistent progress. 


This MYP course will help prepare you for the rigorous higher-level English courses of your junior and senior year.

This class will also:

-increase your knowledge of the genre of literature and associated terminology

-develop your technical skills for the writing of paragraphs, essays, and literary analysis

-encourage you to be a careful and critical reader of literature

-challenge you to listen well and to question effectively

-help you practice formal oral presentation skills


Grading: Major essays and projects will receive a numerical score, with higher point values for the most important assignments.  Many homework assignments receive a ‘+’ or ‘-‘ score, though these assignments also translate into a numerical score.  Extra credit assignments are offered infrequently during the school year (usually during winter or spring vacation), and allow students to compensate for average-to-poor results earlier in the school year.  Reading a selected novel or work of nonfiction, along with an accompanying review, is the most common extra credit assignment.


Tardies: Be on time.  There are days that weather or personal circumstances might delay you, but make every effort to be in class and ready to start before the tardy bell rings.   Repeated tardies will result in a lowered grade for the quarter, unless you serve after-school detentions.


Papers and Projects: Research papers and essays must be typed, unless highly unusual circumstances prevent this. (Instructor permission required for handwritten papers.)  Typed format: double-spaced, 12 pt. font.  Assignment deadlines are enforced.  Late papers will typically be lowered one full grade each day they are late and will not be accepted if more than two days late.  If you need additional help to undertake or complete the assignment, it is your responsibility to set up an after-school appointment.  Homework deadline extensions must be requested in advance and may sometimes require a note from home.  If printing problems arise (and they often do), you are responsible for e-mailing the paper to yourself and then printing it in the media center before school or during lunch.  Do not expect to print the paper during class time.


Homework: Homework turned in late will receive a lower grade, and each day it is late the grade will be lowered.  This does not apply in the event of excused absences on the day homework is due, or the immediate days prior to the due date.  However, it is your responsibility to find out what assignments you have missed during absences, and to get a revised due date.   Failure to do so may result in your not being allowed to make-up the assignment(s) in question.


Honor before Grades: Cheating and turning in work that isn’t your own will result in serious and immediate consequences.  If you plagiarize the work of others (whether from the internet or your own classmates), you can expect that your parents will be informed and an F will be assessed for the particular assignment.  If the incident is major, or there are repeated instances of cheating, the school IB coordinator will be informed and you will likely be placed on probation.


Electronic Devices: Not allowed in the classroom. Cell phones and iPods that are used in class will be confiscated. The only exception is if you have written permission from a school administrator to be using personal electronics during class time.  (Note: This is both school district and Southwest High School policy.) 


Supplies: You are expected to bring a spiral notebook (exclusive to this class), pocket folder, pen or pencil, and a highlighter to class each day.  


Books: It is strongly recommended that you obtain your own copy of the three books listed below, for purposes of annotation.  Southwest no longer sells books to students.  However, the school does have a partnership with Magers & Quinn, in Uptown.  It addition, it is not difficult to obtain second-hand editions.  If book purchases represent a financial hardship, please see me ASAP.  Scholarship funds are available.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie

The Bean Trees, by Barabara Kingsolver

Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe