Survey of Literature Course Syllabus (2010-2011)
Jones College Preparatory High School
Dr. Achettu email@example.com (773) 534-8600 Ext: 26097
Period 2 Room 405
Department of English Mission and JCP Targeted Instructional Area
The JCP English Department is committed to helping students improve their skills in
rhetoric, writing, and text analysis based on the ACT English College Readiness Standards,
which naturally align with the Illinois state standards. Through their English courses,
students will develop their critical-thinking ability: the well-reasoned problem-solving
process where one examines evidence and decides what to believe, communicate, or do.
Welcome to Jones College Prep and Survey Literature! In this class, you will analyze numerous
literary genres, including nonfiction, essays, drama, short stories, and poetry, as well as
biographical, autobiographical, and informational readings. You will often write in narrative,
descriptive, and expository styles, and gain a variety of other writing skills. The literary focus of
the class represents the diversity of the world and prepares the students for the rigor of Jones
and, ultimately, university English classes, helping students enhance their skills in grammar,
rhetoric, writing, and text analysis according to the English ACT College Readiness Standards
and Advanced Placement Skills. Additionally, the successful completion of a research paper is
required in this course. Throughout this journey you will discover, discuss, and respond to the
issues surrounding various themes, such as truth, conflict, ethnicity, the physical world, gender
equality, and the ever-changing definition of “literature.”
Course Objectives (based on the Early High School English Illinois Learning Standards)
State Goal 1: Read with Understanding and Fluency
1.A.4a Expand knowledge of word origins and derivations and use
idioms, analogies, metaphors and similes to extend vocabulary
1.B.4b Analyze, interpret and compare a variety of texts for purpose,
structure, content, detail and effect.
1.C.4c Interpret, evaluate and apply information from a variety of
sources to other situations (e.g., academic, vocational, technical,
State Goal 2: Read and understand literature representative of various societies,
eras and ideas.
2.A.4a Analyze and evaluate the effective use of literary techniques
(e.g., figurative language, allusion, dialogue, description, symbolism, word
choice, dialect) in classic and contemporary literature representing a
variety of forms and media.
2.A.4d Describe the influence of the author’s language structure and
word choice to convey the author’s viewpoint.
2.B.4c Discuss and evaluate motive, resulting behavior and
consequences demonstrated in literature.
State Goal 3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
3.A.4 Use standard English to edit documents for clarity, subject/verb
agreement, adverb and adjective agreement and verb tense; proofread for
spelling, capitalization and punctuation; and ensure that documents are
formatted in final form for submission and/or publication.
3.B.4c Evaluate written work for its effectiveness and make
recommendations for its improvement.
State Goal 4: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
4.A.4a Apply listening skills as individuals and members of a group in a
variety of settings (e.g., lectures, discussions, conversations, team
projects, presentations, interviews).
State Goal 5: Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate
5.A.4a Demonstrate a knowledge of strategies needed to prepare a
credible research report (e.g., notes, planning sheets).
5.A.4b Design and present a project (e.g., research report, scientific
study, career/higher education opportunities) using various formats from
5.B.4a Choose and evaluate primary and secondary sources (print and
nonprint) for a variety of purposes.
5.B.4b Use multiple sources and multiple formats; cite according to
standard style manuals.
Texts and Rationale for Text Selection
The JCP Department of English selects texts that will help students demonstrate the Grad @
Socially Skilled and Mature
Socially Just and Responsible
Well-Rounded and Holistic
In this class, students will read texts that revolve around these values:
The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khalen Hosseini
Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare
Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe
Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Diverse selections of poetry, short stories and nonfiction selections
The department’s philosophy of rigor defines how curriculum decisions and instructional
approaches support students’ development in accordance with the Illinois State Standards and
ACT® College Readiness Standards. The preceding texts were chosen because they are both
straightforward and more challenging.
Straightforward literary texts tend to use simple structure, have a clear purpose and
familiar style, present obvious interactions between characters, and employ some literary
Straightforward informational texts tend to contain a smaller amount of data, address
9th basic concepts using familiar and conventional organizational patterns, and have a clear
Grades More challenging literary texts tend to make moderate use of figurative language,
have a more intricate structure and messages conveyed with some subtlety, and may
feature somewhat complex interactions between characters.
More challenging informational passages are materials that tend to present concepts
that are not always stated explicitly and that are accompanied or illustrated by
more detailed supporting data, include some difficult context-dependent words, and are
written in a somewhat more demanding and less accessible style.
Assessment and Grading Policies
Students will be assessed by way of regular in-class assignments, weekly homework
assignments, participation, group work, quizzes, tests, and papers. The following are
Major Assessments – 35% Class work and homework – 20%
Tests and quizzes – 20% Participation/Communication – 15%
Final Exam – 10%
The JCP grading scale guidelines will be followed:
A=92-100% B=83-91% C=74-82% D=65-73% F=Below 65%
Grades earned by students generally reflect the following general criteria:
A: Indicates learning at the highest level. The student not only has demonstrated knowledge
and understanding of the material but also has demonstrated an ability to analyze, synthesize,
and evaluate the material with breadth and depth of understanding. An A indicates work that
has gone above and beyond the expectations of an assignment.
B: The student not only has demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the material but
also applies the material. The student will be able, on occasion, to demonstrate an ability to
analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the material.
C: The student has demonstrated a basic knowledge and understanding of the material and
some ability to apply it.
D: The student has demonstrated a limited knowledge and limited understanding of the
material and is not able to apply much of it.
F: The student has not demonstrated knowledge and understanding of the material, and
therefore is not able to apply it.
Students must turn homework and class work in on the date it is due. Each day an assignment
is turned in late brings the grade of that assignment down one full grade. Therefore, an
assignment that earns a B, but is two days late, will be worth a D. An assignment that earns an
A, but is one day late, will be worth a B. A major assignment must be emailed if the student is
absent on due date. Students must save major papers to two different places: ie- memory stick
and on JCP Jonesdom network. Again, you must have two copies of major papers saved in two
Students will be required to come to each class prepared with:
A 2-section spiral notebook to be used only for this class
Blue or black pens (bringing more than one allows for an “emergency pen”)
A folder with two pockets
Novels/Handouts -Loss of these books will result in mandatory replacement fees
A valid library card
Tentative Course of Study, Major Assignments
(works studied may include but are not limited to the following)
Lit: "By the Waters of Babylon" (short story); “My Purple House” (short story); “The Most Dangerous
Game” (short story); Excerpt from “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and one selection from
“Interpreter of Maladies” (short story); (skills: story parts, context of writing, literary devices)
Writing: Using the rubric, developing a thesis statement, writing an introduction, The Personal
Experience Narrative (skills: organization, structure, support, detail)
Lit: The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns (novel) (skills: analyzing conflicting/different
perspectives, family saga, current events)
Writing: Literary Analysis (skills: thesis statements, MLA, referencing the text, inserting quotes within
your own sentence, discussing quotes and relevance)
Lit: Essays: "Ethics of War," "Rape and War," “A Cockroach Can’t Give Birth to a Butterfly”
Research: World Holocaust Research and Literature (skills: group work, research, citation--MLA,
support, detail, speaking)
Language Analysis: Use of propaganda in various historical, cultural, religious, geographic,
educational, and linguistic settings to effect specific behaviors
Writing: Research Paper: Use of propaganda (language, visuals, etc.) to instigate genocide; analysis
of one specific genocide and the methods used by the perpetrators
Video clips from “Antwonne Fisher” and “Dead Poet’s Society”
Lit: "I Am Joaquin" (poem), show from You Tube
Writing/Podcast/Video: Oral History of someone involved from some perspective in immigration
issues today and how that reflects and grows out of past policy (pairs or individual work)
Allusions: Biblical and Mythological (Greco-Roman, Norse, Egyptian, etc.)
Writing: Analytical Allusion Essay or Project
Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) (drama) (skills: decoding complex/archaic language, use/identification
of literary devices, development of theatre and plays)
Scenes from BBC & Nunn Twelfth Night, compare and contrast interpretations and production choices
Test: Twelfth Night Quotes Test
Writing: Prompt for analytical essay on Twelfth Night
Poetry (skills: parsing and reorganizing complex syntax and diction, effective reading aloud,
determining meaning, analysis of theme/tone/meaning, literary devices and effect)
Writing: Poetry Explication, Original Poetry
Lit: Things Fall Apart (skills: analysis and response papers)
Writing: Creative work showing varying perspectives
Lit: Freakonomics (skills: analysis of data and response assignments)
Writing: Varied ways to read data, ask the right questions
Several articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals
Course Policies and Expectations
Both the Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct and JCP policies will be enforced in
the classroom. Please read the plagiarism policy in the student handbook. The following
are of utmost importance to me:
Assignments: Students must write legibly (typed is preferred). If I cannot read it easily, I will
not read it at all and you will have to redo it more carefully. Typed materials must have 12-
point Times or Times New Roman font and must be double spaced. All work is due when the
teacher collects it. If it is turned in after that, it is late and will be marked as such.
Seating Assignments: You must sit in your assigned seats. Do not interrupt the flow of the
class by getting out of your seat while people are speaking. You may get up from your seat (to
throw something away, sharpen your pencil, etc.) during appropriate times only, such as
when you are working in groups, working alone, or the teacher has asked you to move.
Respect: Be respectful of others’ opinions and ideas. No put-downs or laughing. I encourage
discussion, but discourage interrupting others.
Tardiness: Students must arrive to class on time. If you are not in your seat by the time the
bell has rung, you are late and will be reported as such. Tardiness affects your grade, slows
down the pace of the class, and prevents others from learning. Three tardies equal a cut and
consequences will ensue.
Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarizing, cheating or copying another student is a flagrant violation
of ethics, let alone JCP policy. Group work is important and a vital aspect of the class, but the
teacher will clearly let students know when they can work with others. When this is not
expected, do your own work. Use the Internet as a resource only; it will not have the “answers”
Makeup Work: If a student is absent, the student must talk to the teacher (before or after
school, or during a preparation period) to determine what the student missed. The teacher will
not remind you. This is your responsibility as a student. If it is an unexcused absence, what
s/he is able to make up is up to the teacher. Most work cannot be made up due to an
unexcused absence. If it is excused (with evidence), the teacher will give the student an
equal amount of time that classmates had to complete the work. In some cases, an alternative
assignment will be given to the student. If the student knows in advance s/he will be
absent on a particular day, it is a good idea to communicate that with the teacher
before the absence, rather than after.
Revisions: Revising is an important aspect of the writing process. Details for revisions will be
included with each assigned paper.
Email: Students must contact me using their First Class email. Please refrain from using
personal email accounts. Follow email etiquette rules when writing emails.
Locker: You must come to class prepared. I do not allow students to go to their locker. If you
lack supplies, you may have to borrow from another student. If you forgot your assignment,
you will have to turn it in late and face the penalty. This can be prevented by coming to class
with all materials you need.
Bathroom Visits: I recommend you use the facilities before or after class. Please limit
bathroom visits to emergencies only.
Food: No food, drink, gum or candy is allowed in the classroom. Refer to the Student
Handbook for details of consequences for violating this policy.
Electronic Devices: Use of cellular phones, PSPs, iPods or other electronics is
prohibited during class. If the teacher sees them, she will take them and students can
retrieve them from the discipline office.
773.534.8600 ext. 26097 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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(Please keep the syllabus safely in your English folder.)
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