General Syllabus

Syllabus

Mrs. Julissa Sanchez                                                                  Pre-AP English II World Literature[1]

jsanchez1@sharylandisd.org

 

                                                                                                               English II PreAP - Room 145 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

                This pre Advanced Placement World Literature course is designed to teach creative and analytical writing through fundamental rhetorical theory. This course meets all the requirements of the Texas Education Agency and follows the guidelines described in CollegeBoard’s AP English Course Description.

            Every day we will learn or practice a crucial facet of good writing and reading: rhetorical devices, argumentation appeals, style and grammar, analysis and interpretation. The successful student will view this class as a workshop—experimentation, trial and error, sweat equity are encouraged. In fact, these traits are required.

            We will write personal narrative, persuasive research, poetry, critical analysis in addition to weekly journaling, practice prompts, sketches, and other creative projects. All writing, though, will accomplish understanding, explaining, or evaluating something. Good scholarship combines these approaches to writing.

            For this class to be successful, we will write often.  Some writing will be practice and some writing will be revised and polished into final drafts. Through the writing process, we will examine our diction, syntactic structure, organization and balance, and our ability to create an effective piece of writing. We will also create a portfolio to catalogue our progress as writers.

            I expect hard work, a willingness to try and miss and try some more, careful reading, and meaningful discussion.

TEXTS

            No student is required to purchase each text. However, students will need to provide most of these texts on their own.  iPad or Kindle books are acceptable.
1. The Alchemist (Summer Reading)
2.  Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier 
3.  Night - Eliezer Wiesel
4.   Julius Caesar- Shakespeare
6.  Antigone- Sophocles
7. *Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
* indicates the student is responsible for obtaining copy himself/herself 
*The first two should be obtained by Friday, Sept. 19th *Little Prince / Ender's Game 

 

MATERIALS

  1. USB pen drive
  2. Pens (black and blue only) & Pencil
  3. Binder (min. 1”)
  4. Dividers
  5. College ruled paper
  6. Colors or markers or colored pencils
  7. Highlighters
  8. Whiteout (optional)
  9. Large index cards
  10. Scissors
  11. glue stick
  12. COMPOSITION BOOK
  13. Post-its
     
READING ASSIGNMENTS
 

                One of the most important requirements for this course is that students read every assignment with care and on time. Students unused to literature courses will need to plan time in their schedules for more reading than most courses require. Poetry, though usually not long, is dense and complex and should minimally be read twice. Novels require particular planning. Reading will likely be in excess of 100 pages per week. Don’t be caught unaware.

 

            Additionally, every student is required to choose one book each six weeks to read on his or her own. After reading the book, students will complete a project for credit. The list of projects is forthcoming.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

CRITICAL WRITING

Each student will write several short critical papers explicating poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction that require close reading and annotating texts, and research. Students will also be writing persuasive / argumentative essays which requires them to take a stance and defend that stance.  I will be more specific about the expectations later, but generally each paper will use specific and well-chosen evidence to articulate an argument about poems, drama, and fiction, topics. These critical essays are based on close textual analysis of structure, style, and socio-historical values. I will require papers that will be graded to go through several stages of drafting and revision.


IN-CLASS WRITING, QUIZZES, & EXAMS

            Some of our exams are essays that ask students to synthesize their understanding of the work. Students are given a pre-determined amount of time to respond to an essay question. No extra time will be scheduled. Timed writing is a necessary skill for future AP classes, dual enrollment, and many college entrance exams.

            Students will be asked to regularly freewrite their responses to reading. Students will need a notebook dedicated to this type of journaling, which is designed to help students explore what they learn as they read.

            Quizzes will occur often and unannounced. Do the homework and you will be fine. Reading quizzes will be given during the first few minutes of class. Tardiness will result in not participating in the quiz and losing a grade.

GRADING

Grading is determined by the English department and cannot be changed. Daily grades (participation, quizzes, homework) are worth 40% and major grades (tests, essays, projects) are worth 60% of the total grade.

Some good news: grading is an individualized process. Each student is in competition with him- or herself only. The grade in the class is entirely predicated on the choices a student makes to do the best he or she can.

SOME THOUGHTS

            This class is not about grades, but about learning. PreAP, AP, and Dual Enrollment classes are an opportunity for students to experience college-level learning. College-level learning is not primarily about rigor—though that is part of college—but about responsibility and accepting one’s self as a more mature student, reading and thinking about (and writing) more mature texts. The difficulty of the texts is a stimulus for students to make their own decisions about published authors, about themselves as writers, about their colleagues as writers, about the deep and ongoing questions that relate to what it means to be a responding, acting human being both individually and as part of society: the core of a liberal arts class.

            This course is intended to be stimulating and demanding, one in which students grow in relation to who they are—much more important than in relation to state and federally mandated standards. (A student who actually spends time learning will have success on any standardized test.) True learning and education comes from self-demand. School is one of the few remaining strongholds in this regard: a place where experimentation is encouraged, where ideas are generated to be considered and examined for their own sake and not because there is a quota for so many widgets to be produced. Learning is an organic process. It’s interactive. It is not simply the teacher filling up empty-vesseled students with information. We will learn together.

 

 

 


[1]This syllabus is modeled on the examples from CollegeBoard’s AP Central section of its website. The sections on reading, writing, and grading were heavily influenced by the sample syllabi. In fact, this syllabus contains text from the website. All instances of copied text abide the education rules of copyright law.