Course Syllabus

English 12H

Mr. Finneron                                                                                                                        2019-20

Office 235                                                                                                finneronj@wellesleyps.org

Ext. 4620

 

Welcome to 12th-grade English!  You stand on a threshold between childhood and adulthood, between a familiar past and an unknown future; the English curriculum is tailored to this unique time in your life. It is designed to inspire reflection on where you have been and to hone the reading, writing, speaking, and thinking skills for wherever you are going. Our 12th-grade curriculum will explore and hopefully start to answer these Essential Questions:

 

  1. Who am I? What is my story, and what forces and choices influence this identity?
  2. How does writing help me tell stories? How do I use the stylistic techniques and literary conventions explored last year to tell my stories and the stories of others?
  3. How does literature teach me to empathize and connect with others?

 

In the year to come we will delve deeply into literature – reading it, discussing it, and writing about it. You will make connections between literature and your own life. You will work to refine your powers of self-expression so that you may better articulate the meaning you find in literature and in your world. You will participate actively in this learning community, simultaneously supporting your classmates and pushing them to think in new and different ways.

 

Literature Curriculum and Expectations

We will explore various themes using selections from the following texts:

 

The Sound and the Fury     William Faulkner

Purple Hibiscus    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

*Hamlet     William Shakespeare

Poetry   Various Selections

The Stranger     Albert Camus

Short Stories   Various Selections including Flannery O’Connor and James Joyce

Siddhartha   Hermann Hesse

The Color Purple     Alice Walker

*The Odyssey     Homer

O Brother, Where Art Thou?   Joel and Ethan Coen

An Orchestra of Minorities   Chigozie Obioma

The Matrix    The Wachowskis

*The Things They Carried       Tim O’Brien

 

* Indicates 12th-grade Core text

 

** The order in which we explore these texts will depend upon book availability, fate, and time. We will not read everything here, but we will work from this list and cover most of the titles. 

 

 

Classroom Policies and Procedures

 

Academic Expectations

My expectations for this course are simple. Be here on time. Be prepared for class. Be polite. This means you have completed reading assignments in their entirety and taken reading notes. I expect you to listen and respond to what your classmates and I have to say – this means no side conversations and/or comments while someone is speaking.  I hope you can appreciate that I simply expect you to maintain an atmosphere of respect and cooperation at all times, for one another, for your potential to succeed and for my daily objectives.

 

Assignments and Workload

            As the description of this course in your Program of Studies suggests, you can expect to have up to 50 pages of reading per class meeting. Expect reading quizzes, both announced and unannounced, on assigned readings. You will have vocabulary quizzes throughout the year (See “Daily Words”).  You will have some combination of major papers, projects, tests, or presentations each term, and you will have a number of shorter assignments as well. I will occasionally ask you to lead a class discussion or present your thoughts to the class. Each assignment is worth a set number of points.  A nightly homework assignment, for example, might be worth 5-10 points; quizzes might be worth 15-30 points; and major papers or projects are worth 50–100 points (or more in the case of something like the Self Paper). Your term grade is determined by how many points you earn out of the total points possible. Participation is worth 50 points each term.

 

Daily Words

            Each day there will be two new vocabulary words introduced at the start of class.  You are required to record the words, the part of speech and the definition for each in your notebook.  You will be given a quiz on your daily words every ten words – this works out to roughly 5 quizzes per term.  Additionally, after the first quiz of the year, which will have 10 words on it, each subsequent quiz will contain 5 random vocabulary words from the previous weeks, for a total of 15 words.  The quizzes will count towards your final grade for the term.

 

Class Participation

Participation in our class discussions is an essential component of your grade for this course. If you are normally a reserved person, I encourage you to strive to make your voice heard. If you love to enter into verbal forays, I ask you to ensure everyone in the class is afforded the opportunity to speak. Please be respectful of others’ opinions, make your own perspective heard and consider other interpretations. Be open-minded, share your insight and challenge one another to provide us all with the most complete textual view.

Course Summary:

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