• American Literature Syllabus 

    Susan Skaggs, Melissa Garland, Ashley Connally 

    (sskaggs@gcbe.orgmgarland@gcbe.org; aconnally@gcbe.org) 

    Fall 2018 



    The purpose of this course is to continue developing skills learned in previous literature classes in order to achieve mastery of close reading of literary and informational texts and to achieve mastery of crafting argumentative and narrative pieces of writing.  Further, the course aims to encourage and develop critical thinking in reading and writing, evaluation of literary and informational texts, exploration of the literary canon, and synthesis of these skills into a greater understanding of self and world.   


    The standards of the course align with the Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE).  The full standards may be found at https://www.georgiastandards.org/.   

    Each unit will include short texts as well as extended texts.   

    In addition, some units have a film component which is intended to add to the understanding of the texts we have read (standard ELAGSE11-12RL7: Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, evaluating how each version interprets the source text.)  These films MAY include The Crucible, several short Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner pieces, and An Occurrence at the Owl Creek Bridge.  These films will be viewed after reading the works, not as a replacement for the works themselves.  Please be aware that the rating on The Crucible is PG-13.  If you would prefer your child NOT see PG-13 films, please contact me so I can provide alternate instruction. 

    Students will also be required to complete at least one MLA research project as well as multiple writing assignments in preparation for the EOC (End of Course assessment). 


    In order to meet the rigorous standards prescribed in the ELAGSE students will be given multiple opportunities for assessment. Preparation for the assessments will be thorough, including in-class practice of skills assessed and chances for rewriting essays.  Grades earned on these assessments will constitute 40% of student grades. 


    Materials (to be brought every day) 

    1. Three-inch loose leaf binder with notebook paper 
    1. Blue or black ink pens and/or pencil 


    Grading Procedure 

    18 Weeks Grade: 

    Major Assessments: 35% (tests, essays, projects) 

    Quizzes: 20% (vocabulary, curriculum) 

    Daily Grades/Participation: 25%  

    Homework: 10% 

    Benchmark 1: 5% 

    Benchmark 2: 5% 

    Semester Grade: 

    1st and 2nd Nine Weeks combined: 80% 

    EOC: 20% 


    Behavior Expectations 

    1. Be on time  
    1. Be prepared 
    1. Be on task during the entire class 
    1. Respect all classmates, teachers, and yourself 
    1. Follow all school rules 

    **Cell phones are a constant struggle.  Please do not allow your cell phone to become a distraction to yourself or others.  Doing so will result in disciplinary action.  No phone calls, even from parents or bosses, should be answered in class.  If there is an EMERGENCY, please let a teacher know, and we will dismiss you from the room to handle the situation. 

    Passes:  No passes will be issued during the first or last 15 minutes of the class.  Students must have a pass to leave class or will be considered as skipping. 

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    Academic Integrity 

    In keeping with the policies of Gordon Central High School, students are expected to maintain the highest level of academic integrity at all times.  All graded work should be original work solely done by the student earning the grade.  Any work used for an essay or research project must be cited in proper MLA style. Cheating or plagiarism will constitute a 0 for the assignment and a discipline referral.   


    Student and Parent Signature  

    I have read the syllabus and understand what is expected this semester. 


    Student Name                                                                                                               Date 




    Parent Name                                                                                                                 Date