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Honors English 10 Course of Study


First Semester: The Personal and the Political

  • Short stories  
  • The Mythology of the American West: essays and articles
  • True Grit, Charles Portis (fiction)
  • The Origins of the English Language (its connection to Greek and Latin, with review of    prefixes, suffixes and roots to follow)
  • 1984, George Orwell (literary analysis paper to follow)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston (fiction)
  • The Elements of Style, Strunk and White (throughout the year)
  • Grammar review and vocabulary acquisition (throughout the year)
  • Oedipus Rex, Sophocles (drama)

Second SemesterBlood, Sweat and Mirrors

  • Macbeth, Shakespeare
  • Student film project: scenes from a modern-day adaptation of Macbeth
  • The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (fiction)
  • A Choice of Weapons, Gordon Parks (memoir)

            Research paper: “The truth and fiction of memoir”

  • The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams (drama)
  • Choice novel: The Martian Chronicles, Love MedicineSiddhartha or Animal Farm (Additional choices will likely be included during the school year.)
  • Year-end grammar and vocabulary review

Course and Classroom Expectations

  • Students are to make every effort to be on time to class.  Repeated tardies will result in a lowered grade for each quarter.  A student’s grade will drop one-half grade upon three marked tardies; four tardies will result in a full-grade drop, and so forth.  Students may “remove” tardies from their record by serving after-school detentions; in-school detentions are also a possibility. 
  • In keeping with school and district regulations, the use of cell phones is strictly prohibited during classroom instruction time.   Phones will be confiscated, and the school district policy will be applied: the first time a phone is confiscated, the phone will be returned at the end of the school day.  A second infraction will lead to the phone being turned over to the student’s respective assistant principal.  The third infraction will result in the phone remaining confiscated for the rest of the term.  This district-wide policy will be consistently enforced.
  • Honor Before Grades.  In an honors class, students are expected to recognize plagiarism for what it is, and to avoid it.  Plagiarized work will be returned to the student, graded accordingly, and no additional make-up opportunities will be provided.  In addition, the use of allows teachers nation-wide to verify that student work contains proper citations and is not fabricated or lifted from the work of others.
  • Late work: Late work will be accepted one additional day beyond deadline for minor assignments, but points will be deducted.  Minor assignments will not be accepted more than one day beyond the assigned date.  For major assignments and projects, each overdue day will result in a lowered grade, per day, for that assignment.  Work will not be accepted more than three days beyond the deadline (unless there are legitimate extenuating circumstances, such as sickness or family emergencies).
  • Homework relief: As students now carry seven classes per quarter, I will make every attempt to balance and stagger the dates of homework assignments, so that students do not feel they are under a constant “homework barrage.”
  • Attendance: Students are responsible for whatever work they miss, regardless of the reason.  It is the student’s obligation to determine what has been missed in class; being absent does not excuse the student from the assigned work.  It is therefore strongly recommended that the student remain in contact via e-mail (or have a friend do so), in order to receive the missed assignment(s).  Students will be provided with additional time to make up work for excused absences.
  • Engagement: An unspecified part of each student’s grade per quarter rides on that student’s participation, consistency and effort in the class.  These are difficult and subjective areas to measure, clearly, but the bottom line is this: effort and participation strengthen a student’s final grade.