• Course Syllabus

    North Attleboro High School?

    Junior HonorsEnglish: American Literature?

    Instructor: Miss Neves                                                                             School Year: 2016-2017

    American Literature Syllabus Course Central Motif:

    Establishing an American Identity

    Students will examine both nonfiction and fiction texts, as well as poetry and drama representative of American Literature examining the nation’s voice as it develops from the Native Americans to present day modern Americans. Throughout the course, students will determine what it means to be American, as well as evaluate the process that Americans have taken to establish an identityStudents will complete a journal entry before beginning literary movements noting their positions on the following core questions:  

    • What does it mean to be an American?

    • Why do we bother to study/examine the past, present or future? 

    • Is there an "American voice" or are there several "American voices?"

    • What is the relevance of studying texts from various American perspectives

    • How is our understanding of American culture and society constructed through and by language? 

    • How does literature reveal the values of American culture in a given time period?

    • What are enduring questions and conflicts that American writersgrappled with hundreds of years ago that are still relevant today?

    • What are the core values of/in America, and are they attainable?

    Each text that we read this year will challenge us to consider these questions from different perspectives. As a result, we will gain a greater understanding of ourselves as individuals, and as members of the American collective.

    These core questions will be revisited at the end of each literary movement through writing and discussion. Students are expected to respond to such questions from the perspective of the philosophical ideas presented from each movement and from within each text examined within the movement. All responses must use evidence from texts examined during the unit for support. Students are asked to reflect and respond to peers in order to assist in formulating an overall opinion on what the American identity is and its effects on individuals and society. 

    Units and Approximate Order of Study:?

    Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary (Level G)

    Early American Literature (Native American Literature, American Puritanism—The Scarlet Letter and The Crucible, Colonial Literature)

    Literature of the American Revolution (argumentative speeches and documents involved in the founding of the United States government)

    Literature of Slaves (narrative, poetry, and film study)

    Transcendentalist Literature (essays and excerpts from Walden)

    Literature of Immigrant Factory Workers (excerpts from The Jungle)

    The Harlem Renaissance (Their Eyes Were Watching God, poetry)

    Modern War Literature (Slaughterhouse Five and The Things They Carried)

    Modern American Drama (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? A Streetcar Named Desire)

    Postmodern American Memoir (Angela's Ashes)

    Note: Some of these materials include mature themes and?language.? If for any reason you or your parents feel uncomfortable with a specific work, another work of equivalent length and equal literary merit will be provided for you.? It is your responsibility to share your concerns with the teacher?

    As you can see, this course is like a buffet—there's a little something for everyone here, and my hope is that you will take advantage of the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. The literature we will be studying will give us insight into the transformation of the United States from multiple perspectives. While I have structured these units to deepen your understanding of American literature and history, I have also designed them to help prepare you to take the SAT (if you plan on doing so). On the SAT, you will be asked to read and analyze passages similar to the ones you will encounter in this course. You will also be asked questions that challenge you to analyze rhetorical and literary strategies that a writer uses, and to think about aspects of one's writing such as point of view, diction, and tone. Therefore, many of the exercises we will be doing in this course will mimic the type of critical thinking that will be required of you on both the SAT and in college. 

    Course Objectives:?

    Students will continue to develop the following skills:?

    • Determining the meaning of difficult vocabulary through context clues?

    • Identifying,?analyzing, and applyingrhetorical and literary elements, techniques and themes?

    • Identifying, explaining, and analyzing significant quotes from the text?

    • Brainstorming, writing, editing and revising multi-paragraph essays?

    • Defending claims in a concise, analytical manner while providing appropriate support from the text?

    • Engaging in active class discussions on a regular basis?

    • Analyzing the structure of poetry and drama?

    • Creating independent research-based papers or projects?

    • Demonstrating proficient use of MLA format?

    Class Activities:?

    Class activities include: reading aloud, answering reading comprehension questions, working in cooperative groups, completing weekly vocabulary lessons, taking tests and quizzes, giving formal and informal oral presentations, and working in the?Media Center.? An emphasis is placed on writing in the form of open responses, reflections and five-paragraph essays.?

    Class Materials:?

    • Vocabulary book

    • Three-ring binder with dividers (1 divider for each unit of study)?

    • A spiral-bound notebook for vocabulary homework exercises

    • Journal for writing prompts (composition book or single-subject notebook)?

    • Pen or pencil?

    • Assigned text?

    Academic Expectations:?

    • Come to class prepared and ready to learn?

    • Complete daily?homework?

    • Participate in class discussions?

    • Be attentive during reading sessions, discussions and videos?

    • Demonstrate a desire to succeed?

    Behavioral Expectations:?

    • Follow the rules and policies of the NAHS Student Handbook?

    • Be on time and prepared for class—you?will not receive a locker pass to retrieve materials for class?

    • Be respectful of others’ opinions and personal space to ensure a safe and secure classroom environment?

    • Use appropriate language during in-class discussion and group activities?


    Grading:? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??This?course will be graded on a point system.? In general, minor assignments done at home or in class will be worth 5 to 20 points each, depending on the effort required.? Quizzes are worth 20-30 points; tests and projects are worth 50-100 points.? Your grade?in this course will be calculated by dividing the number of points you have earned by the total points assigned.? For example, if you earn 440 out of a possible 500 points, your grade is 440 divided by 500 = 88.?

    **NOTE: It is very important that you are able to use your Office 365 account for this course, as it is the primary method we will be using to submit and receive feedback on writing projects, and to make arrangements to receive makeup work during absences. I am very passionate about paper conservation and helping the environment, thus I prefer to go "paperless" whenever possible! With that said, please make sure that you have access to your school email username and password.

    Participation:? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? You are expected to come to class prepared and constructively contribute to class discussion daily.? You will receive full credit for the week if you receive two participation checks each day.???

    Attendance:? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?  You are expected to attend class every day. Absence due to illness is sometimes unavoidable, but students who are habitually absent jeopardize their chances of successfully completing this course.???

    ?Make-up Work:?

    • Makeup work can be obtained one of two ways: via email through OneDrive (Oftentimes I can "share" a document with you), or with a paper copy from the Makeup Work Station located in the classroom. Makeup work may be turned in via email or in the Makeup Work Folder in the classroom.

    • Pre-announced tests and quizzes must be taken even if you were absent the day before. These are tests announced?at least 4 days in advance. If you miss class the day of an announced test or quiz, you must see Miss Neves during the school day to arrange to do the work.?

    • Per the NAHS student handbook, work associated with an?excused?absence will be allowed the length of the absence, plus one day, for make-up.??Class work, quizzes and tests not made up within this timeframe will receive zeros.???

    • If you miss class because of an unexcused tardy, you will receive a zero on any assignments or quizzes/tests taken during class?that day.?

    • Schoolwork missed due to a school-sponsored field trip will be due the day after the trip.? See me the day before the field trip for upcoming assignments.?If you are absent,?you?are responsible for obtaining any assignments.?


    Late?Work:                              Late?homework assignments will be accepted a day late for half credit, but any work turned in after this will receive zeros. Larger assignments, such as essays and quarterly journals, will be accepted late but will receive a 10% deduction per school day that it?is late. Please note that?I?do not assign extra credit work on an individual basis, so turn in your work on time.?

    Extra?Help:                              I?am available after school almost every day by appointment. I encourage any student to seek extra help.? Please check with me one day in advance to make sure that I am able to give you the time you need.?

    Special?Note:                            Plagiarism?and cheating?(including copying homework assignments)?are inexcusable under any circumstances, and will result in a zero for the?assignment.? I am interested in seeing your?original?work.? If you have any questions or concerns regarding your assignment and/or citation, please see me.???

    Contacting?Me:                       If?you or your parents need to contact me with questions or concerns, there are two methods you can use: my email address, lneves@naschools.net or by sending me a text using the Remind App (more to come on this later).

    Please sign below to indicate that both you and your parent/guardian have read and understand the courseexpectations.?