Honors Literature/Writing I
The District 196 Essential Learnings and MN State Standards/Benchmarks taught in this course are posted at the end of the syllabus.
I. Course Description
- In this American Literature course, students will write about the novels, poetry, short stories and nonfiction they read.
- Writing will range from short answers and essay tests to longer papers in which students will react to or analyze the literature they read.
- Successful completion of this course is a district graduation requirement.
- Students enrolled in the honors sections should be strong readers and very able writers who are ready for challenging assignments. Students completing this course with a grade of “C” or higher, may use the credit to qualify for a honors ranking.
- When possible, American fiction and non-fiction will be integrated with the historical frameworks of EHS 10th grade history courses – Advanced Placement U.S. History and U.S. History.
II. Course Objectives
3. Students will analyze seminal U.S. documents analyzing how two or more texts address similar themes or topics
- Students will read, analyze and evaluate traditional works of literary merit from American literature.
- Students will demonstrate how literary works reflect the historical contexts that shaped them, specifically American literature from 1840 – 1940, including the understanding of literary genres: Romanticism,Transcendentalism, Realism, Naturalism and Modernism.
in order to build knowledge and to compare the approaches the author's stance.
4. Students will write about literature persuasively by supporting a claim using arguments that contain valid reasoning
5. Students will apply a variety of strategies to expand vocabulary and appropriately use these words in writing.
Words are selected from Sadler-Oxford Vocabulary Workbook Units 1-5. (Students will not be expected to
purchase a vocab book.)
Unit 1: The Rulebreakers: Freedom of Thought and Form
Students will read excerpts and complete texts of the following early American authors: Washington Irving, James Fennimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson,Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
- American Literature Coming of Age
Students will analyze American literature in the context of the philosophical movement of Romanticism and
- American Literature as a philosophical movement
Students will write a poem explication and a literary analysis essay.
Unit 2: Post Civil War: Initiating Reform in Society
Students will read Huck Finn by Mark Twain.
- American Literature Reflecting Regionalism and Local Color
Students will analyze Huck Finn in the context of Realism.
- American Literature as a philosophical movement
Students will determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Unit 3: Post WWI: Disillusionment and Industrialization
Students will read short stories and poems by e.e. cummings,Ernest Hemingway,F. Scott Fitzgerald and Amy Lowell.
- American Literature Reflecting Post-War Disillusionment and the Isolation of Industrialization
Students will read the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
Students will analyze this literature in the context of Naturalism and Modernism.
- American Literature as a philosophical movement
Students will interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Students will practice writing thesis statements.
III. Grading Policy
Grades will be a combination of smaller assignments, quizzes, tests, discussion and class participation and papers. Please note: This class will have a separate grade category for class participation. I expect you to speak up and contribute your ideas to the literature we are reading. I realize that this is challenging for many of my students. However, each of you is a member of our community of learners and each of you have valuable insight that you can contribute to our discussions. Take a risk and don’t worry about having the “wrong answer.” This is a literature class, not a math class so there are few “wrong” answers. If you choose to remain silent, it will have an effect on your final grade for the class.
88-89% B+ 78-79% C+ 68-69% D+
93-100% A 82-87% B 72-77% C 62-67% D
90-92% A- 80-81% B- 70-71% C- 60-61% D-
Please promptly discuss any grading concerns with me.
IV. Class Policies and Expectations:
1. Late work: In order to receive full credit, all assignments must be completed and turned in on the specified due date. Late work is worth one point. However, three times during the trimester you may turn in
an assignment one school day late for full credit. Late passes may not be used on some assignments such as writing which will be peer edited in class.
2. Work may be returned if it is below expected quality; it will need to be completed acceptably and resubmitted.
3. The EHS plagiarism policy is strictly enforced.
4. Students must bring current texts and supplies to class daily, including a notebook, pen, and folder. Highlighters and small sticky notes are highly encouraged.
- Assume that your work is to be completed individually unless otherwise instructed by the teacher.
- Use of secondary sources (published analysis of literature, term definitions, Wikipedia information, etc.) within your assignments must be always be explicitly acknowledged. When in doubt, cite it.
5. Some of the documents for Honors Literature Writing I can be found on my website.
6. Extra Credit: Attend the EHS fall play, Our Town by Thornton Wilder and write a review of the performance based on the assignment I will provide.
Performance Dates: September, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29.
I enjoy teaching honor sophomores. When you have questions or concerns please come and talk to me. I am always in my room before the school day begins. I typically check my e-mail in the evening so feel free to e-mail me if you need clarification on an assignment or have a question. I am looking forward to a great trimester.
Below is a complete list of the essential learnings, standards and benchmarks for Honors Literature/Writing I:
Course: Honors Literature/Writing I
Minnesota State Standards and Benchmarks
Unit - U.S. Documents
Students will analyze seminal US documents.
English Language Arts 6–12 (2010) Grades 9-10 Reading: Informational Text
9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
184.108.40.206 Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell
Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” and other documents such as those written by Sojourner Truth, Chief Seattle, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton), including how they address related themes and concepts.
Students will analyze literary text for main ideas and supporting details.
Students will examine the impact of literary devices as well as other words and phrases on meaning and tone.
Students will demonstrate the expectations for small group discussions.
Students will understand how the arrangement of words, phrases, and sentence structure affect the reader's interpretation.
Students will build vocabulary by applying vocabulary skills to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words.
English Language Arts 6–12 (2010) Grades 9-10 Reading: Literature
2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and
220.127.116.11 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text,
including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
18.104.22.168 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
22.214.171.124 By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature and other texts including stories, dramas, and
poems, in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Students will support a claim using arguments that contain valid reasoning and evidence.
Students will introduce and organize claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
Students will develop and supply evidence for claims and counterclaims.
Students will cohesion between claims, reasons, evidence, and counterclaims using words, phrases, and clauses to link the sections.
Students will use formal style and objective tone in the writing.
Students will analyze text for main ideas and supporting details.
Students will use a closing statement or section that supports the argument presented.
English Language Arts 6–12 (2010) Grades 9-10 Writing
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
126.96.36.199 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and
relevant and sufficient evidence.
a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
188.8.131.52 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
a. Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]”).
b. Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning”).