Course Syllabus

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Teacher: Ms. Alison McCormick

Phone: (781) 446-6290 X4853



OBJECTIVE: To collectively create an inspiring, stimulating, safe, and challenging learning environment  in which students explore ideas and strengthen their skills.


Inclination to engage. Willingness to take risks. Ability to activate the cerebrum. Capacity to imagine, analyze, and synthesize. Penchant for active listening and respectful argument Motivation to hone critical reading, writing, thinking, and speaking skills. Proclivity for good fun! J


  1. SATIRE & COMEDY: Voices of social critique & moral prescription
  2. PERSONAL JOURNEYS: Racism, socio-economic stress, conformity, facades, and human truths
  3. TRAGEDY: It's all Greek to me! (Not quite)
  4. LITERATURE + LIFE: Critical reading, writing, and thinking – why we do what we do


Unit 1            

1984 -- George Orwell

Pride & Prejudice --  Jane Austen  + Selected Literary Criticism

 "A Modest Proposal "-- Jonathan Swift

Taming of the Shrew -- William Shakespeare & Film: Ten Things I Hate About You


Unit 1.5            “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”  -- Joyce Carol Oates 

+ Critical Lens Theory & Selected Literary Criticism


Unit 2            The Inferno --- Dante (excerpts)

Linden Hills -- Gloria Naylor

Song of Solomon -- Toni Morrison


Unit 3            Oedipus Rex – Sophocles                     

Macbeth --  William Shakespeare              


Unit 4         Writing Beyond the Classroom: the craft + impact of rhetorical technique


Unit 4.5           Final Experience


OTHER INTERESTS that shape this class: Literary Criticism & Critical Lenses, Vocabulary, Speech & Debate, Creative-Analytical Projects, Long Essays, Close Reading, Forum Posts, Podcasts, & Activities in our Virtual Classroom Space...


McCormick's Personal Statement

English 11 Honors

Fall 2019

(781) 446-6290

September, 2019


English 11th grade honors students and families    

Wellesley High School                                                 

Wellesley, MA 02481


Dear students and families,

Welcome back to what promises to be an exiting year with many new challenges and successes! I look forward to getting to know you as the year progresses. Junior year is chock-full of new academic and extra-curricular experiences; I believe it can be the most rewarding year of your high school career. To ensure that you maximize the learning opportunities of this class, we should all be on the same page about expectations.

What you can expect from me: organization, structure, and consistent preparation; "method to my madness" -- a pedagogical rationale behind every activity, assignment, and assessment; nightly homework for which you'll be held accountable every class; honesty, integrity, and respect for both you as an individual and for our classroom community; occasionally goofy behavior.

What l expect from you: organization (I respect that we all have our own ideas about what this means but I will gladly help those in need!); punctuality and preparedness (texts, tools, and completed assignments) for every class; respect for yourself and our learning environment (which includes producing your own authentic work); adherence to the school's attendance policy and an email if you are going to be/are absent so I can catch you up on class activities and homework; active (yes, vocal!) participation in our class activities, group work, and discussions; finally: questions, questions, questions -- you owe it to yourself to ask for clarification or raise issues through thoughtful inquiry.

The term grades that you earn are based on a variety of factors and myriad assignments. Papers, assessments, projects, homework, quizzes (reading and vocabulary), journals, in-class writing, preparedness, and personal contributions to daily activities all factor into your grade in this class. My policy regarding late assignments is that a paper or project will have a late penalty of 5 points assessed on the first day late and 3 points for every subsequent day. Weekends and drop days count as late time. I will not accept major late assignments after two weeks, which will jeopardize a passing quarter grade (yikes!). Per the late day policy: save it for the unforeseen issue that surreptitiously arises at the most inopportune moment. After you've used your day, I am not interested in other setbacks. Remember, a paper or project must be in school on the day it is due, even in the unfortunate event that you are not.

Please use me as a resource and a sounding board, and especially for help. I am available before school and after school and via email. It’s best to email me to schedule a meeting time.

 "That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way."                                                                                          -- Doris Lessing, British author


"Play is by its very nature educational. And it should be pleasurable. When the fun goes out of play, most often so does the learning."                -- Joanne E. Oppenheim (20th century), U.S. educator and author



Alison McCormick

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