2013-2014 English III Honors
British Literature
Mr. Oakley, Room 113
Warren Hills Regional High School
[email protected]; 908-689-3050, ext. 3575
Educational Goals
Graduation is fast approaching! Most students participating in Warren Hills’ English III Honors
course will be receiving their high-school diplomas in about 21 months from the start of the
current school year. Thus, a central goal of this course is to ensure that all students have the skills
necessary to succeed in college and in their future careers. The Common Core State Standards
(CCSS) are a necessary component for reaching this goal. The New Jersey State Board of
Education and the New Jersey Department of Education have adopted the CCSS to ensure that
students master expectations in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. The standards
were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, and education experts from
across the United States to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare students for
college and the workforce. The CCSS are designed to create literate individuals who can:
 demonstrate independence by constructing effective arguments and conveying intricate or
multifaceted information.
 build strong content knowledge across a wide range of subject matter by engaging with
works of quality and substance.
 respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline.
 comprehend as well as critique: Students work diligently to understand precisely what an
author or speaker is saying, but they also question an author’s or speaker’s assumptions
and premises and assess the veracity of claims and the soundness of reasoning.
 cite specific evidence when offering an oral or written interpretation of a text.
 use technology and digital media strategically and capably.
 appreciate that the 21st century classroom and workplace are settings in which people
from often widely divergent cultures, and who represent diverse experiences and
perspectives, must learn and work together.
Course Textbooks
Prentice Hall Literature: The British Tradition. Boston: Pearson Education Inc., 2007.
Shostak, Jerome. Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary Workshop. New York: William H. Sadlier
Inc., 2002. Print.
Various supplemental texts – particularly dictionaries and complete novels – will be
provided to students during specific units of study.
Types of Themes
Individual and Social Responsibility: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus delves into a
man’s obsession with expanding the reach of modern science while risking his own humanity.
This gothic-romantic work, often considered the first true science-fiction novel, serves as a
follow-up to the gothic-oriented summer reading assignment, Dracula and Wuthering Heights.
Heroism: Beowulf, the tale of an epic hero; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Morte de
Arthur, two medieval tales from King Arthur; and Macbeth,
William Shakespeare’s spellbinding play of bewitching
Identity: establishing identity in excerpts from The
Canterbury Tales and what happens when identity is
threatened or lost as in 1984, a classic novel of science
Expressions of Life and Love in Verse: early ballads as
short stories for the illiterate masses, plus the emotionally
penetrating love sonnets of Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip
Sidney, William Shakespeare, and others.
Turbulence and Conflict: Jonathan Swift makes fun of religious warfare in an excerpt from
Gulliver’s Travels; Alexander Pope examines morals and human nature in An Essay on Man and
creates a mock epic in the poem The Rape of the Lock.
The Power of Dreams and the Imagination: The Romantic poets William Wordsworth,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lord Byron changed poetry forever.
A Closer Look at Life through Short Stories: The stories of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and
Joseph Conrad remain relevant today by connecting themes to current issues.
Self-Selected Texts: Students will choose their own readings, and share their knowledge of
authors and themes both past and present, through a “Pick-a-Brit” project.
CCSS English Language Arts Standards for Vocabulary, Grades 11-12
Vocabulary acquisition plays an important role in the CCSS for language. In this course,
vocabulary studies will go beyond lessons from the orange Sadlier-Oxford Vocabulary
Workshop to cover analysis and critical thinking associated with the interpretation of text.
Students should be familiar with the following CCSS standards that will be addressed:
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11–12 reading and content,
choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4a Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence,
paragraph, or text; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the
meaning of a word or phrase.
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4b Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes
that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., conceive, conception,
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4c Consult general and specialized reference materials
(e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the
pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of
speech, its etymology, or its standard usage.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4d Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning
of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5
Demonstrate understanding of
figurative language, word
relationships, and nuances in word
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5b
Analyze nuances in the meaning of
words with similar denotations.
 CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.6
Acquire and use accurately general
academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing,
speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate
independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or
phrase important to comprehension or expression.
High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA)
Toward the end of Marking Period 2 and the beginning of Marking Period 3, students will study
and practice HSPA English Language Arts requirements to prepare for the annual statewide
assessment, which is scheduled for the first week of March 2014. Warren Hills’ 11th-grade
students will take the HSPA (pronounced HESS-puh) at this time. State law requires that
students pass the HSPA in order to qualify for high-school graduation.
Our goal each year is to create an environment that supports a community of readers and
writers. We expect each of us to write, read, listen, respond, engage, and react. We anticipate that
we will engage in these activities not as solitary learners but as co-participants who respect each
other’s needs and knowledge. We hope that each student will experience this class as a chance to
deepen his/her understanding of the writing process and of a variety of genres, authors, styles,
and voices of texts, and to develop writing and reading practices that continue well after the
course has concluded. Finally, we hope that through shared engagement with all texts
encountered in this class that our students leave with a greater understanding and respect of not
only self, but other.
Suggested ideas to help your year in English Language Arts run smoothly:
 Maintain a folder or binder to store your returned assignments. We will be going over
those assignments at the end of the school year as part of a portfolio project. Keep all of
your returned assignments so that you do not fail the project!
 Carry with you a supply of unused, lined notebook paper whenever you enter the
classroom. This is an English Language Arts course, so expect to be writing (as well as
reading) in class.
 Handwritten assignments should be completed in blue or
black ink; pencil, pink ink, secret disappearing ink, etc. are
usually too difficult – or impossible – to read.
 Bring to the classroom any book (vocabulary workbook,
textbook, novel, non-fiction book, etc.) related to whatever
subject we happen to be studying at the time.
Assignment Deadlines
To earn full credit for an assignment, you must be prepared to hand
it in upon entering the classroom on the day it is due. Late assignments will lose 10 percent of
their total points for each day they are late for up to three school days, after which they will not
be accepted. Deadlines are extremely important in college and in the workforce. One missed
deadline sometimes is enough to get an employee fired from a job or to leave a student with a
grade of “F” in a college course. Now is the time to get used to meeting deadlines!
Evaluation of Student Work
Grades are calculated on a total-points system. You will be told the point value for each graded
assignment. Our goal is to accumulate between 800 and 1,000 points per marking period. Even if
work is not graded, it still counts!

Educational Goals - Warren Hills Regional School District