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Welcome to your American Literature class!
Mrs. O’Connor
Email: [email protected]
Class Expectations
1. Come to class with your planner, textbook or assigned reading material, English
notebook, folder and a writing utensil every day. These materials are required; if
you are unable to attain these supplies, please see me.
2. The school tardy policy will be followed. If you do not have your materials needed
for the day when you walk in the door, you will be considered tardy as you will have
to go get them.
3. Make-up work is your responsibility! You will have a monthly calendar and I
have a website; therefore, you will know the activities of the day. I follow the school
handbook in that you will have one day to make up your work for each day that you
have an excused absence. If you do not make it up within this period and have not
worked out an alternative plan with me, it will be considered a zero. If you have
an unexcused absence, you will receive a zero for any work assigned and/or handed
in that day. Calendars are posted on the bulletin board at the back of the room and
handouts are also in the back of the room.
4. Homework will be assigned frequently. It may be from a novel or other type of read,
an English notebook entry, an information search, an online assignment, etc. It is
due the next school day unless otherwise stated.
5. You will have an English notebook (70 page spiral) in which you will write a variety
of entries. These may include, but are not limited to, daily language practice,
personal journals, reflections upon the literature, lecture/video/text notes, and
literary analysis.
6. There will be a variety of writes expected of you this year. You will always be given
thorough instructions, a rubric, and sufficient time for completion. We will also
continue with the Writing Project in which NMU Education students assist with
teaching the writing process.
7. Formal speeches are a component of the class. Your final exam speech will be
given at the end of the 4th marking period. Take a deep breath, it will be fine; you
will always be given a rubric and ample time to prepare.
8. Projects are my favorite! They will include a wide range of activities from teaching
presentations to illustrating concepts and presenting them to multi- media
presentations. Again, the expectations are thoroughly explained and a rubric is
always given.
9. You will have several quizzes. Homework quizzes will be given as well as others.
You will not always get advanced notice for the quizzes, so be prepared!
10. Tests are to be taken when scheduled. If you are absent the day before a test, you
will still take the test on time. The day before is a review, no new material will be
given. If you are absent two or more days before the test, we will make
arrangements for you to take it after school. You will not be allowed to take the
test during class.
The grading categories used in this class include class work, homework, projects,
quizzes, tests, essays, oral presentations, and participation. The grading policy is based
on total points and the percentage breakdown is as follows:
Below 60%
Grades are updated every Thursday; make sure you have Family Access so you will
always know your grade and how you got it!
Citizenship: Your citizenship grade will be based on the following:
You demonstrate a positive attitude.
You are prepared with materials and completed assignments.
You follow school and classroom rules and procedures.
You act and speak with integrity.
You treat people and materials with respect.
You are on time.
You are here unless excused and your work is made up.
You positively contribute to the class (ex. Answer questions,
speak during discussions, share writing, read aloud, ask for help,
help others)
Citizenship grades are as follows:
2=Above Average
You have consistently met all the described criteria.
You have met all the above criteria, but have had a notable lapse
in area.
You have lapsed in any area to a degree that it has damaged your
learning and/or the progress of the class.
You frequently fail to meet more than one of the above criteria.
Your choices are disturbing the class as well as your own
You are consistently failing to meet good citizenship criteria.
Your actions have required teacher intervention on several
American Literature
Course Syllabus 2008-2009
Course Objectives:
The student will develop competence in written expression and speech communication.
Through a study of the periods of American literary thought, the student will
understand American history’s influence on that literature and examine the
relationships among American political, philosophical, and artistic thought.
Course Content:
The first semester will focus on written expression with an emphasis on persuasive
writing. Students will examine the elements of grammar and writing that encompass
sentence structure and variety. Literature selections will come primarily from the
American literary periods which range from Puritanism to Post-Modernism and
contemporary literature. During the second semester, speech communication will focus
on persuasion as students continue to examine the elements of rhetoric that are essential
to argumentation. The students will also continue with readings from the periods of
literary thought.
Course Resources:
Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience will be checked out through the
bookstore and Prentice Hall: Writing and Grammar is a text used in class.
Both texts are available online to each student who uses a teacher-assigned password.
Novels will be checked out from the classroom teacher; these must be returned in good
condition or the student will be charged for a replacement. These may include:
My Antonia
The Scarlet Letter
To Kill a Mockingbird
Fallen Angels
Huckleberry Finn
Of Mice and Men
The Grapes of Wrath
Fahrenheit 451
The Catcher in the Rye
The Red Badge of Courage
Johnny Got His Gun
The Great Gatsby
Videos may include:
The Scarlet Letter
The Last of the Mohicans
The Great Gatsby
To Kill a Mockingbird
Moby Dick
Dear America, Letters Home from Vietnam
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Crucible
Three Sovereigns for Sarah
Native American Experience
Instructional videos on lives of authors, background information, or techniques in
writing may also be used. Additional materials may be added at the discretion of the
teacher with notice to parents and students.
 The first semester exam consists of a persuasive essay and an objective test.
The test will cover the sentence types, sentence patterns, and other grammar or
writing strategies covered in the semester.
 The second semester exam consists of two parts. The essay section will
respond to literature read in class. The second portion of this exam is a final
persuasive speech. Students CANNOT be exempted from the final speech.
The student must present and meet a minimum of four minutes out of the
5-8 target speech time or he/she will receive a zero on this half of the final
exam. Details will be presented to students and parents in the fourth quarter.
My pledge to you is to be available when you need me; I am here until at least 3:45
(usually later) or email me with your question or concern. We are all working toward
the same goal, your success…so talk to me!
Please review this information with your sophomore, sign the attachment, and have him
or her return just the lower portion to me. Check out the goal that your teenager has for
this year! If you have questions or comments regarding the class, please email me at
[email protected] Make sure your email is registered with the school or I cannot
share confidential student information with you via this source. I look forward to a
fabulous year!
Detach here and return to Mrs. O’Connor
American Literature
Student name:_____________________________________________
My goal(s) for this year _________________________________________________
Parent signature:___________________________________________