English 4 Syllabus
Web page: http://sph.rock-hill.k12.sc.us/teachers/mrjoekoon.aspx
Voice mail: 803-985-4907
Course Description: Focusing on British literature, English 4 students refine and expand
their skills in language through structured study and independent reading of literary and informational
works. Both inside and outside of class, they read and view a variety of informational texts as well as
four major types of literary texts: fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Through literary texts,
students study the author’s craft by making inferences, determining point of view, analyzing theme,
and figurative language. In reading a variety of informational texts, students analyze an author’s
development of a thesis and examine the ways that bias is revealed in texts. In addition, English 4
students continue to create a variety of responses to what they read and to develop and use in their
reading, writing, and oral communication a knowledge of vocabulary that includes roots, affixes,
euphemisms, and idioms.
As these students increase the sophistication of their writing, they produce coherent and well
organized writing that includes a thesis and supporting evidence. In implementing the writing process,
they create various types of written works, including informational (expository/persuasive/
argumentative) pieces and narratives. They proofread and edit their work for the correct use of the
conventions of written Standard American English, and they use revision strategies to improve such
elements as voice, content and development, and organization.
In carrying out the research process, students identify a topic, collect information from
primary and secondary sources, and present their findings and conclusions in oral, written, and visual
formats. They must determine what particular type of information they need for a specific topic, and
they must know how to locate that information efficiently. Students must also evaluate the validity of
their sources. In addition, after incorporating their own ideas with ideas from other sources, they must
distinguish their own ideas from those of others by providing accurate and complete documentation. In
this capstone English course, high school students assimilate and strengthen the reading, writing,
communicating, and researching skills they have acquired in previous courses as solid preparation for
entering college or the workplace.
Retesting policy and academic honesty definitions are included on school-wide
Don’t do that. We all have to move on with our lives. On major assignments such
as writing assignments or projects, I will take late work at a 20% discount for one week
beyond the due date. After that, it is OVER! If you miss a day for any reason,
responsibly check to make up the work you missed or these late rules will still apply.
“But I wasn’t here,” is not an excuse without YOUR sincere efforts to find out what you
Students will understand the expectations of the course.
Students will participate in various group projects, some of which will include
Students will understand the writing process and will demonstrate this knowledge
by producing drafted, revised, and finished works.
Students will continue to practice the appropriate use of grammar and mechanics.
Units of Study: Students in English 4 focus on British literature and read four major
types of literary texts: fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, and drama. In the category of
fiction, they read the following specific types of texts: adventure stories, historical
fiction and contemporary realistic fiction. In the category of literary fiction, they read
classical essays, memoirs and autobiographical and biographical sketches. In the
category of poetry, they read narrative poems, lyrical poems, humorous poems, free
verse, odes, songs/ballads and epics.
Assessment: Formative assessments such as classwork, skills practice, and observed
processes (especially reading) count 20% of the nine weeks grade. (Homework will
count NO MORE than 10% of the total grade). Summative assessments such as writing
pieces that go through a monitored process, major projects, and final tests count 80% of
the nine weeks grade. The district requires that the final exam count 20% of the course
grade. Students will compile a reflective writing portfolio demonstrating growth through
process as 60% of the final exam grade, and 40% of the grade will come from the
school’s common assessment for English IV.
Summative Assessments (80%)
Writing pieces, projects 40%
Literature tests 20%
Language usage tests 20%
Formative Assessments (20%)
Class work, skills practice 20%
Cumulative semester exam, including the portfolio, counts 20% of the final course
Resources/Materials: Students will be assigned a Holt literature textbook. They will
use grammar books for in-class assignments and in their rewriting of drafts. Notebook
paper, a blue or black ink pen, and a pencil should be brought to class each day.
Students may bring laptops on specific days, and I highly recommend that each student
purchase a small USB storage device (at least 256 k) or make use of School Web
Locker at http://southpointe.schoolweblockers.com/default.aspx.