English I Teacher: Mr. Kendall

Course Length: Full year Course Credit: one credit


Course Description:

English I is an in-depth introduction to the appreciation of literature by exploring how a writer conveys a theme. We read several major works–three novels, and two plays–which we study in a variety of ways. We also read major units of short stories, non-fiction, poetry, and mythology. Our primary objective in writing is to get students to express themselves with variety and vigor, with some attention to structure and focus. Therefore, in addition to four or five large, out-of-class pieces, the course emphasizes weekly shorter, in-class pieces of writing, centered around paragraph development skills and journal writing. Less formal assignments shape students' imaginative responses to what they read. The course includes a unit of research skills and writing a research paper, done in conjunction with the History Department. Students also cultivate study skills of note-taking, listening and reading both in a formal unit at the beginning of the year and indirectly throughout the year.. Students develop vocabulary knowledge through regular examination of words used in the literature.


Texts and Materials:

Secret Life of Bees, The by Sue Monk Kidd

Catcher in the Rye, The by J. D. Salinger

Glencoe Literature Anthology, Course 4, which includes:

º Twenty short stories,

º Fifteen excerpts of non-fiction (biography, autobiography, scientific observation, personal expression)

º Thirty poems

º Unit on Mythology, including excerpts from The Odyssey, and a unit on

science fiction and fantasy

º Miracle Worker, The, by William Gibson

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

• How to Study Unit (hand-outs in class)

Little Brown Handbook (grammar, style handbook)

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare


Course Content and Requirements:

First Quarter

Week 1: Summer reading exercises, including discussion and writing about Fahrenheit 451 and works on "the short list;" review study skills

Begin vocabulary exercises (then repeated regularly throughout the year)

Weeks 2-3: Review basic grammar in Little Brown Handbook;

Cover relevant study skills in How to Study unit;

Begin Short Story unit—Theme 1: "Matters of Life and Death" (e.g. authors such as Saki, O’Henry, Louise Erdrich and Edgar Allan Poe);

Use the unit as examples of reading notes, lecture notes and preparing for tests; vocabulary exercises

Weeks 4-5: Second Short story unit-Theme 2: "Filling a Void" (e.g., James Thurber, William Saroyan, Judith Oritz Cofer and Guy de Maupassant); First unit test on stories read so far

Practice the techniques of paragraphing (focusing and developing ideas; topic sentences, details, rhetorical strategies);

Write character analysis

Weeks 6-7: Third Short story unit-Theme 3: "Looking Back" (e.g. Amy Tan, Eugenia Collier and James Hurst); vocabulary exercises

Review phrases in grammar book;

Week 8: Second Unit test on short stories

Gibson’s The Miracle Worker

Second Quarter

Weeks 9-10

Begin Non-Fiction Unit—Theme 4: "In the Face of Adversity" (e.g., Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Elie Wiesel, Sandra Cisneros and Naomi Shihab Nye,); vocabulary exercises;

Non-Fiction Unit—Theme 5: "Portraits" (e.g Truman Capote, Margaret Truman, Yoshiko Uchida, and Farley Mowat)

Culminate unit on non-fiction with autobiographical writing; vocabulary exercises

Weeks 11-13: Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees

Week 14-16: Read Romeo and Juliet; watch excerpts of the laser disc of Franco Zepherelli's film of Romeo and Juliet

Mechanics unit from Little Brown Handbook;

Review for Mid-Term Exam

Third Quarter

Weeks 1-3 Myths and Legends : Excerpts from The Odyssey and short modern works from Margaret Atwood, Edna St. Vincent Millay and C. P. Cavafy

vocabulary exercises

Unit on science fiction and fantasy (e.g., Arthur C. Clarke, Gore Vidal, and May Swenson)

Mythology writing assignment about heroes in the Twentieth Century

Week 4-6: Begin English/History Research paper, due during fourth quarter.

Unit from Little Brown Handbook

Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

Week 7: Poetry Unit—Theme 6: "Life Lessons" (e.g. Theodore Roethke, Mary Oliver, Gary Soto and e. e. cummings);

Week 8: Poetry Unit—Theme 7: "Expressions: (e.g., Emily Dickinson, Denise Levertov, Robert5 Burns, Jimmy Santiago Baca and Edgar Lee Masters)

research paper work continues

Fourth Quarter

Week 9: Poetry Unit—Theme 8: "Inspirations" (e.g, William Wordsworth, Pablo Neruda,, Wendell Berry,, Joy Harjo, and Walt Whitman)

Weeks 10-12: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Week 13: Edit final draft of research paper due early this quarter

Weeks 14-16: Great Expectations

Little Brown Handbook grammar unit

Week 16:Great Expectations; review for Final Exam


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