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Fall 2014 11

Grade English

American Literature Course Syllabus
Social Justice Humanitas Academy
Ms. Farinas
Room 209
Office Hours: Every Thursday, 7 a.m.

Dear Students, Parents, and Guardians:

Welcome to 11
Grade American Literature! I hope that you will find this class engaging, informative,
challenging and fun! The goal of this course is to provide a balanced language arts program that analyzes
literature in depth, teaches complex writing skills, and incorporates oral presentations. Most importantly, we will
learn to make direct connections between American History and American Literature, and develop the critical
thinking skills required to be successful in everyday life. This syllabus will give you information about how to
become a productive member of our classroom learning community so that you become your very best by doing
your very best. I am looking forward to what we can accomplish this year.

Common Core State Standards Unit Instructional Focus
RI.11.8: Delineate and evaluate the
reasoning in seminal U.S. texts
SL.11.1: Initiate and participate effectively
in a range of collaborative discussions
W.11.2: Write informative texts to
examine and convey complex ideas...
L.11.4: Determine or clarify the meaning
of unknown and multiple meaning
Essential Questions:
What is an American?
What is Ethnocentrism?
Does everyone have rights?
Is a modern terrorist different from a colonial
Summary: Read excerpts from Common Sense, and
Zinns Voices of America as well as additional readings.
Discuss the role of language in the Revolution and
discover how those in power use language as a tool to
remain in power.
RL.11.3: Analyze the impact of the
authors choices regarding how to develop
and relate elements of a story...
RI.11.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple
sources of information presented in
different media or formats
SL.11.2: Integrate multiple sources of
information presented in diverse formats
and media
W.11.7: Conduct short as well as more
sustained research projects to answer a
L.11.2: Demonstrate command of the
conventions of standard English
Progressivism Essential Questions:
What is literacy? Can people who dont know how
to read and write be literate?
Who has the power to bring about change?
Are equal and equity the same?
What is the price of progress?
Summary: Read excerpts from Triangle Factory Fire,
assorted poetry and reformist literature as well as fiction
and firsthand accounts describing immigrant
experiences. Analyze the language of political
movements such as the labor movement. Read and
analyze Sinclairs The Jungle.
RL.11.2: Determine two or more themes of
central ideas of a text and analyze their
development over the course of the text
RL.11.4: Determine the meaning of words
and phrases as they are used in the text
W.11.3: Write narratives to develop real or
imagined experiences or events using
effective technique
L.11.3: Apply knowledge of language to
understand how language functions in
different contexts
The 1920s Essential Questions:
What is modernism?
What is the American Dream?
How do we define what is moral and immoral? Can
excess lead to immorality?
What is privilege, and how does it shape our
choices and understanding of the world?
Summary: Read F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby,
discuss the cultural context of the novel including the
music, art, and class distinction of the Roaring 20s.
Fall 2014 11
Grade English

RL.11.4: Determine the meaning of words
and phrases as they are used in the text
RL.11.5: Analyze how an authors choices
concerning how to structure specific parts
of a text contribute to its overall structure
and meaning
W.11.9: Draw evidence fro literary or
informational texts to support analysis,
reflection, and research.
SL.11.3: Evaluate a speakers point of
view, reasoning, and use of evidence and
The Harlem
Essential Questions:
What legacy is left from the Harlem Renaissance?
What is English Language Arts? Whose English
is considered an art form?
Summary: Listen to Harlem Renaissance music, and
learn the history and structure of the Blues. Read and
analyze poetry, plays and stories from Harlem
Renaissance writers including Langston Hughes. Draw
connections between the cultural achievements of the
period and the work of contemporary poets, artists and


Spiral bound notebook (8 x 11, at least 120 pages, college width)
Pencil and pen
School planner. The school will provide this to students.
Book of choice
Note: If a student cannot afford items from the supplies list, the student must see me, email me, or place a note
in my mailbox at the front office with their name and what they cannot afford.


We will construct our classroom norms and expectations during the first week of school.


100-90% A Breakdown of your final grade:
89-80% B Notebook- 35%
79-70% C Exams & quizzes- 25%
69-0% F Assignments (Class work, homework, and projects)- 40%


All in-class work and homework will be completed in this notebook therefore it should be brought to class
everyday. I will review the notebooks on a bi-weekly basis and enter a grade based on how complete the
notebook is. Students must work together to ensure that all notes and handouts are properly entered into the
notebook each week. (See Notebook rubric for details.)


There will be periodic exams and quizzes at the end of lessons and units.


Class work and homework: Class work may be assigned to groups as well as individuals. Classroom discussions
are considered assignments and every student should come to class prepared to partake in the learning activities.
Student participation is required. There will be at least one homework assignment weekly.

Independent reading: Each student is required to complete 20 pages of reading every week in the book of their
choice. On Fridays, students will complete a reading journal covering all the pages read for that week.
Fall 2014 11
Grade English

Projects: Most units will have an accompanying project to allow individuals or groups to further explore the
areas of study.


There will be opportunities for extra credit throughout the semester.


I expect all assignments to be turned in on the due date. Assignments submitted after the due date will only be
eligible for a maximum grade of C. No late assignments will be accepted after the grading period. For example,
an assignment that is due before the 5-week grading period will not be accepted after the 5-week grades have
been turned in.


In the event of an excused absence, it is the students responsibility to get the work they missed when they
return from a fellow student or from me. The work missed will be due the day after the student returns. If a
student is absent for a quiz or exam, they must make it up the day they return.


To further ensure student success in my class, I may request that students remain after school to spend additional
time on a particular assignment with assistance from an instructor. In some cases, this may occur without the
opportunity to give you, the parent/guardian, advance notice. Please let me know before signing this letter if
that will present a problem for you.


Restroom use during class time are for emergencies only. Students are given plenty of time during passing
periods and the lunch break to take care of bathroom needs. As a school-wide policy, students will not be able to
leave the classroom the first and last 10 minutes of the class period.

This will be a fantastic year and I look forward to working with you all: students, parents/guardians, and
families! If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at the
school at (818) 838-3916 or by email at


Ms. Farinas

Please indicate that you have read this course syllabus for Ms. Farinas 11
Grade English class by signing
below and asking your child to return this form to me by the end of the week. Thank you.

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