Bonner Springs High School-Course Syllabus-School year 2013-2014
Mrs. Chris Wood, Room 228......Ph: 422-5121 (school); 441-2620 (home)
Adventures in English Literature (Classic edition)--focusing primarily on Beowulf, Anglo-Saxon dramatic monologs like "The Seafarer" and Anglo-Saxon history readings; The Canterbury Tales, medieval ballads, and history readings of the Middle Ages; Shakespeare's Macbeth, and a modern English unit on critical thinking in modern society.
Courses heavy in reading, writing, speaking and thinking, these senior classes aim to prepare students for college, for future vocational or technical training, or for the world of work. With the inclusion of the formal research paper or a research project and some formal writing and speaking, these classes might seem aimed more thoroughly at the college-bound student, but this does not exclude students who are aiming for vocational/technical training or work immediately after high school.
Two themes run through the writing, speaking and thinking in senior English: 1) How easily minds can be manipulated (and how to avoid the manipulation) and, 2) the underlying inhumanity of mankind which humans must guard against and channel.
While we cover three major works of English literature which have become classics often referred to in the popular culture, we also cover 20th century fiction and non-fiction writing and cinematic literature which emphasize the two running themes of the course.
Whatever we read, however, students can count on thinking about all of it, writing creatively and/or analytically about most of it, speaking formally and informally about much of it, and working productively throughout the year.
OBJECTIVES: Upon completing this course, the student should be able to
· incorporate a variety of language arts skills-reading, writing, speaking and thinking-in projects, especially the Senior Project, which encourages practice in Real Life skills;
· work flexibly with others on projects which include these same language arts skills;
· accept the need for these language arts and cooperative skills in the Real World;
· make constant connections between the work in class and the world outside the classroom;
· understand the need to create a frame of reference for studying new material;
· analyze and evaluate fiction and non-fiction literature which underlines how easily the human mind can be manipulated and the potential underlying cruelty mankind must fight to control;
· compose short and long writing-straight and creative paraphrases, inventive "acronyms," personal and analytical writing, varied letter styles (often using characters from the literature), and the research paper;
· produce written work using the computer;
· speak easily and comfortably, both individually and in group situations;
· think flexibly, understanding and using the terms of Bloom's Taxonomy-knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation;
· feel at ease approaching new work and feel confident that in college or on the job, problem-solving and time management skills will make work easier.
STUDENT ASSESSMENT: In all assessments of spoken, written, reading and thinking work, the students will know the exact requirements of the assignment or project to avoid "mystery grades." For many assignments, the students will have a detailed rubric which lists the precise requirements and the points available for each.
Ø Longer writing assignments will be graded considering the 6-Trait Writing Assessment, which rates six components of well-developed writing (ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and mechanics) on a scale of 6 through 10.
Ø Tests covering reading material and fundamental knowledge will be in the form of quizzes, short written tests, oral tests, and unit exams. Students may retake all tests following some review/relearning work to assure success.
Ø Assignments requiring more intense work will be worth more points, with homework and quicker assignments generally worth 10-20 points and larger, more demanding assignments worth up to 100 points.
Ø In this class feedback is immediate and specific. Generally, papers are handed back the class period after the students submit the work.
Ø In the class, 90-100% is an A; 80-89% is a B; 70-79% is a C; below 70% is an F.
Ø To help students succeed in every unit, I create for them a frame of reference as we enter new material. Also, before we begin a unit, I'll frequently give students a list of specifics which final unit tests will cover.
Ø The easily-accessible Skyward program will allow students to check their personal progress as we move along. The program lists each assignment for the day and the score the student earned on that assignment, along with the student's current grade. I encourage parents to access Skyward! Call Student Services for information/password if you haven't been online with this program before.
MAJOR PROJECTS IN WORLD LITERATURE:
· a research paper following formal development of theme, analytical note-taking, use of on-line resources and approved research paper format and documentation style;
· a number of longer papers stressing logical development, creative approach, strong supporting details, and the use of mature rhetorical structures to strengthen writing;
· individual speeches connecting literature with current life;
· paired presentations (for example, telephone conversations between characters in and out of the literature which reaffirm the themes and significance of the literature);
· group presentations connecting the literature to current life in a creative manner.
SPECIAL SERVICES To help the student succeed in this class and at Bonner Springs High School, the following services are available, among others:
· the Student Planner/Agenda handed out to students, which covers basic school regulations on attendance, tardies, behavior expectations, school clubs and organizations, and additional aspects of school life;
· additional times when students can schedule meetings with individual teachers;
· administration, all of whom will meet with students to clarify school policies and help students work productively with those policies;
· the school media center, which offers a variety of traditional and on-line services;
· the PEER program through Wyandotte County Mental Health;
· the Student Services center, where students may freely go for personal or academic advice and career planning. Counselors meet with students individually and in classes to administer career/interest tests and keep students appraised of timelines for standardized exams and, in the case of seniors, to discuss scholarship and job information.