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Pre AP English I Syllabus

Highlands High School

230104- Pre-AP English I Advanced

2015-2016 Course Syllabus

Instructor:  Katie Stewart

Phone:  (859) 815-2678

E-mail: Kathleen.stewart@fortthomas.kyschools.us

Grade: 9

Credit: 1

Prerequisites: English 8, Teacher and Counselor recommendation



This course will be an in-depth study of literary and nonfiction genres, such as novels, short stories, poetry, memoirs, informational articles, and essays.  Writing assignments will emphasize the complete writing process and will include brief and longer writing pieces, as well as unpolished and polished drafts.  Such writing assignments will include a personal narrative, text analysis essays, a compare/contrast essay, persuasive writing, informational writing, and research. Formal oral presentations will be required.  Active discussion skills and thinking beyond the literal are expected.  Additionally, students begin to refine grammar, usage, and vocabulary skills.



The main goals of this course are to introduce literary and nonfiction genres to the student and to teach them how to analyze the literary elements and rhetorical strategies authors use to make meaning in a text.  By accomplishing these goals, students have a strong foundation of reading and writing skills, which will prepare them for study in subsequent AP English courses and any other academic discipline that requires analytical reading and reading skills. Students will be expected to express their ideas through class discussions and in writing.  To pass the course, students must complete acceptable portfolio pieces in the following categories: personal narrative, cause/effect essay, text analysis and research.


Course Standards:

Students will:

  • Develop an appreciation for different genres of literature and nonfiction through class readings, discussions, and writing.
  • Enhance their writing skills by crafting ideas, organization, sentences, voice, and word choice as appropriate for the writing purpose and audience. Continue to grow and develop their vocabulary.
  • Cultivate critical thinking and text analysis skills through class discussions and responses to open-ended questions.
  • Improve and build on grammar skills and apply them to their own written works.                
  • Prepare and present class assignments orally.
  • Create an appropriate voice based upon genre of writing and audience.
  • Read and analyze longer works (e.g. novels, plays)



Course Pack (to be downloaded)


 Required Materials:

  • Mac Book/charger
  • Assigned texts                                                          
  • Assigned student planner
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Flash drive
  • Binder with Dividers
  • Pens, Pencils, and Highlighters
  • Google Drive Account for Google Docs



Students will be evaluated based on two assessment categories:  formative (assignments/activities that foster and gauge learning throughout a unit) and summative (assignments/activities that inform what a student has learned at the end of a unit or after studying a text). Formative assessments usually occur several times within a unit of study, may be informal or formal, and may include such assignments as reading checks, text annotations, guided questions, exit slips, graphic organizers, text analysis practice, writing workshop, discussion participation, presentations, etc.  Summative assessments usually occur at the end of a unit of study or end of a text, are formal, and may include such assignments as reading comprehension quizzes, projects, papers, exams, presentations, etc.  Formative assessments are 40% of the total grade, while summative assessments are 60% of the total grade. Students may re-do a FORMATIVE assessment by arranging an appropriate time with the teacher; however, this work must be completed BEFORE the unit’s summative assessment.


Highlands High School Grading Scale:

A - 95-100             C-81-75

B+- 94-92               D- 74-70

B – 91-85               F – 69 and below

C+- 84-82


English Department Technology Policy:  

The use of technology in the classroom is for educational purposes. During classroom hours, the use of technology for anything other than academic purposes is in inappropriate use of that technology.


To maintain the academic integrity of the digital environment in the classroom, all students are expected to

  • charge and keep their devices in working condition at the beginning of every class.
  • update, maintain, and organize class materials on devices.
  • proficiently use all learning platforms such as Schoology, school email, etc.


All students are expected to monitor their own appropriate usage of all technology. Inappropriate usage includes, but is not limited to

  • cyber-bullying
  • the use of social media
  • gaming
  • messaging
  • plagiarism
  • cheating
  • unauthorized web searches
  • capturing and distributing photos and video, unless authorized for academic purposes
  • capturing and distributing secure course material
  • any other expectations specific to the source and/or instructor


The consequences for off-task behavior when using technology include:

  1. a warning
  2. detention
  3. parental contact and loss of technology privileges in the classroom
  4. administrative referral


The consequences for the inappropriate use of technology aligns with those outlined in the Student Handbook and include parental contact, loss of technology privileges in the classroom and/or administrative referral.


Participation and Attendance:

Students are expected to be prompt and prepared for class.  Positive participation and proper behavior are encouraged in order to demonstrate learning as well as to foster intellectual maturation.  Only students with excused absences will be allowed to make up work.  Work will be made up after school and must be arranged with the teacher upon return to school.


Absent/Late Work Policy:

Students have as many days as they are absent to complete missing work as long as their absence is excused. It is the responsibility of the student to pick up any missing work; I will not seek students out and tell them their missing work.  Late work will not receive full credit.  Students may turn in formative assessment work for half credit following the day it is due.  After that day, the assignment will be scored as a 0. Late summative assessments will be reduced by 10% each day they are late until the score reaches 60%. Instructions on turning in late work will be reviewed in class.


Course Content:

Unit 1 – The Best and Worst of Humanity

Various short stories and Lord of the Flies


Unit 2 – Love and Choices

Various poems, short stories, and Romeo and Juliet


Unit 3 – Censorship and the Dystopian Future

Author study of Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451                                                                                 


Unit 4 – Heroism and Bravery

Various poems, articles, and The Odyssey


Unit 5 – Perspective's role in our Understanding of Justice

Various short stories, excerpts, and To Kill a Mockingbird


***There will be multiple writing and project opportunities as well as unit tests in each unit of study.                                                                                                                                




Academic Integrity:

Students must demonstrate academic integrity in this course by: 1) completing all assignments to the best of their ability, 2) completing assignments independently (unless otherwise noted), 3) avoiding plagiarism in all its forms, and 4) avoiding cheating, such as copying from other students or by obtaining answers for assignments in advance.  All assignments must be turned in with a minimally acceptable level, even if no credit is earned because of lateness, in order to receive a grade for the quarter.  A grade of “I” will be assigned until all work is submitted.  The grade of “I” turns into an “F” one week after the quarter ends.



The penalty for plagiarism and cheating will be a zero for the assessment or assignment; furthermore, disciplinary actions will follow according to school policy.

Plagiarism is defined as taking credit for another’s ideas or words without attribution. Plagiarism and cheating for any assignment will result in a 0 grade for that assignment.

Cheating is defined as falsifying one’s academic work or assisting another student to falsify academic work.  The following are examples of cheating:

  • using hidden notes, copying from another student, or helping another student during an assessment or in-class essay.
  • giving assessment questions or answers to a student from another class or obtaining assessment questions or answers from students in another class
  • stealing assessment questions or answers
  • feigning ill to avoid assessments
  • changing answers, comments, or grades on an assessment already graded
  • copying from a student or allowing another student to copy homework (unless collaboration is explicitly encouraged for the particular assessment or assignment)
  • using technology in any way to share assessment questions or answers with other students, to communicate with other students during an assessment, or to reference resources not permitted for completing the assessment or assignment using study aids (e.g., Spark Notes, Cliffs Notes, etc.) in lieu of assigned readings