English 11 – American Literature (US255-1)

English 11 – American Literature (US255)
Course Description & Syllabus 2008-2009
S. Hylton
Room 114
Course Description
This course provides a chronological survey of American literature combined with a continued
development of composition and grammar skills. Students will analyze literature routinely. As they
read, students will consider a work’s structure, style and themes as well as smaller-scale elements.
Additionally, they will seek to find thematic and stylistic relationships among the body of literature
studied. Throughout the year students will engage in class discussion and Socratic seminars and will
maintain passage journals as a means of developing their analytical and verbal skills. Through
frequent writing and teacher and peer revision, students will continue to strengthen their composition
skills. MLA will be the standard for formatting. Students will also develop their ability to employ
solid research on a regular basis. Vocabulary building is included. A minimum of two additional
novels will be assigned throughout the year and out of class reading is expected on a regular basis. A
Course Outline is attached to the back of this syllabus.
Course Goals (based on College Board goals for AP Language and Composition course)
to further develop students’ cognitive and analytical abilities through exposure to engaging
to encourage intellectual growth, self-reflection, self-evaluation, and integrity/ethics.
to further develop students’ ability to discuss, interpret, analyze, and evaluate works of
fiction and non-fiction.
to continue to develop students’ ability to edit, revise, and critique their writing and the
writing of others.
to teach students research skills and the ability to interpret, evaluate, and synthesize
information from sources.
to further develop students’ ability to write in a variety of forms
to encourage an enhanced vocabulary
I expect my students to…
do their best on each and every assignment.
do their own work so that I will never have to question their honesty and integrity.*
be open to the ideas in literature, have a sense of humor, and embrace the spirit of any
be involved and attentive during class activities.
be courteous to me and to each other at all times. There is never an excuse for rudeness.
budget their time well both in and out of class so that assignments are completed and arrive
on time.
be responsible for obtaining makeup work.
be present and punctual.
refrain from eating and drinking in class.
abide by all rules and regulations in the Student Code of Conduct.
communicate any concerns, problems, or difficulties with me. Office hours are after school
on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2:45 until 3:30 in my classroom. I can be reached via email at shylton@walsingham.org or by phone at (757)229-6026.
My students can expect me to…
be respectful and courteous.
plan thought provoking assignments.
be prepared.
be willing to help when asked.
be fair and responsive to their ideas.
communicate any concerns, problems, or difficulties with them first.
*Do not plagiarize: Do not copy words or ideas from internet sources, books, scholars, fellow
students, or any other sources without giving proper credit in a parenthetical citation/bibliographical
entry. Remember: a dismal grade brings only disappointment; the dismal choice to cheat brings only
dishonor and an even more dismal grade.
Please come to class daily with the following materials unless otherwise notified.
The Language of Literature; American Literature. Boston: McDougal Littell 2002.
Large three ring binder with dividers
College ruled paper
Spiral notebook (about 200 pages)
Blue or black pens
Jump drive
Other materials that will prove helpful include:
 Highlighters
 Small post-it notes
 Dictionary (for home use)
Students will need to purchase several novels (see course outline) and will need a library card from a
public library.
Your grades will be based on the school’s grading scale.
69 and below
Your grades will be averaged using the following percentages:
Major Assignments
Minor Assignments
Generally, major assignments include tests, essays, and projects; minor assignments encompass all
other work. Vocabulary grades are predominantly quizzes. Late homework is not accepted. Late
projects and essays will be accepted but will be docked one letter grade for each day they are late.
Please allow at least two weeks for the grading of major essays and tests. Reading and evaluating
essays and tests is no small task. I will report/record grades as quickly as possible.
You will find the vocabulary lists for the entire year attached to the back of this syllabus. Definitions
and sentences are due on Tuesdays; questions about the use of the words will be fielded at that time.
Quizzes will be on Fridays and are cumulative. That is, each quiz will involve not only the current
week’s words but any of the others that we have already covered as well.
English 11 – American Literature (US255)
Course Outline
First Semester
Unit I. Summer Reading
John Krakauer’s Into the Wild
Sarah & Elizabeth Delaney’s Having Our Say
Unit II. Puritans & Colonials
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
Anne Bradstreet’s poetry
Excerpts from Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography
Excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s writing and letters
Unit III. Nationalism
Selected stories of Washington Irving
Selected stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Selected stories of Edgar Allan Poe
Unit IV. Transcendentalism
Excerpts from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature
Excerpts from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and Civil Disobedience
Second Semester
Unit I. Regionalism
Edgar Lee Masters’s The Spoon River Anthology
Mark Twain’s epigrams
Excerpts from Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary
Unit II. The American Dream – One Perspective
Lorraine Hansbury’s A Raisin in the Sun
Harlem Renaissance
Unit III. The American Dream – Another Perspective
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men
Selected short stories of Hemmingway and Faulkner
Unit IV. Modern Voices
Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Selected short stories
English 11 – American Literature (US255)
Grading Criteria
Save this and refer to it throughout the year. Carefully consider the description of each grade as you
complete your assignments.
A (superior)
meets all basic requirements, goes far beyond expectations
shows individual style
is unique, creative, imaginative, insightful, analytical
shows little room for improvement, is flawless
represents polished effort and careful attention to detail
indicates an extensive investigation of all aspects of topic
B (well done)
meets all basic requirements but goes a bit beyond expectations
is different, stands out, shows some creativity and imagination
well presented, but has room for expansion and improvement
some ideas could be added for complete development
indicates attention to presentation and successful investigation of topic
C (acceptable)
meets basic requirements, may contain some errors, but mostly correct
all parts are successfully presented, organization could improve
indicates room for growth and expansion, uniqueness could improve
needs addition of ideas and detail
D (poor)
does not meet basic requirements
contains mistakes, lacks polish
includes ideas that may be confusing or illogical
demonstrates a great need for improvement and growth
F (unacceptable)
does not meet basic requirements
indicates a need to start over
shows little evidence of preparation, individual thought, or organization