Sylmar high school “Building on Excellence”

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Building on Excellence”

American Literature Fall 2013 Ms. Kornblau

The major purpose of this course is to provide a balanced language arts program that emphasizes reading American Literature in depth, completing complex writing assignments, and presenting extensive oral presentations. American Literature and Composition meets the eleventh grade requirements for graduation and fulfills University of California and California State University Subject Area Requirements. It is also a prerequisite for the twelfth grade composition course. The course organization corresponds to the Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools

Essential Learnings

Representative California Standards

EL1 Students will present well-organized and rehearsed oral projects using practiced techniques of rhetoric

Listening and Speaking Strategies Students formulate adroit judgments about oral communication. They deliver focused and coherent presentations that convey clear and distinct perspectives and demonstrate solid reasoning. They use gestures, tone, and vocabulary tailored to the audience and purpose.

1.4 Use rhetorical questions, parallel structure, concrete images, figurative language, characterization, irony, and dialogue to achieve clarity, force, and aesthetic effect.

EL2 Students will identify and recognize elements of a bibliography and complete a research project using MLA style

Writing Strategies

1.6 Develop presentations by using clear research questions and creative and critical research strategies (e.g., field studies, oral histories, interviews, experiments, electronic sources).

1.7 Use systematic strategies to organize and record information (e.g., anecdotal scripting, annotated bibliographies).

EL3 Students will complete essays using word processing software

Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics) Students combine the rhetorical strategies of narration, exposition, persuasion, and description to produce texts of at least 1,500 words each. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.

EL4 Students will create and present a multi-media project

2.6 Deliver multimedia presentations:

a. Combine text, images, and sound by incorporating information from a wide range of media, including films, newspapers, magazines, CD-ROMs, online information, television, videos, and electronic media-generated images.


Academic performance is based on:

Class work, homework, essays, projects, oral presentations, quizzes & semester exams

I also evaluate and take into account class participation in discussions, readings, and group work assignments, which requires the students’ regular attendance to class.



Homework/ Projects




In class writing/ Informal Essay


Tests and Quizzes


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B =



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D =



F =



Late Work:

Late work is defined as any work not completed and handed in by the due date, except in the case of legitimate absence.

Grading Policy for Late Work

Late assignments will be reduced 35% of earned credit if turned in late, or within one week of the established due date. The highest possible grade is a 65%. Assignments turned in after one week of the established due date (up to the pre-established homework deadlines) will receive 50% of earned credit. The highest possible grade is 50% Assignments will not be accepted after the pre-established homework deadlines and will be recorded as a 0%. Students will not be allowed to make up these assignments (see below).

Late Work Deadlines:

Four (4) late work deadlines have been established to coincide with the ending of grading periods. Late work will be accepted until one week prior to the end of the grading period.

Late work not turned in by these deadlines will be entered in the gradebook as a zero (0%) and

students will not be allowed to make up these assignments

  1. Deadline: September 6, 2013

  2. Deadline: October 4, 2013

  3. Deadline: November 1, 2013

  4. Deadline: December 13, 2013

**Students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan may be exempt from the Late Work Policy based on homework accommodations outlined in their plan.

School Policies: All school policies regarding student attendance and behavior apply to this class. Students are expected to behave in a manner conducive to learning. Students are required to adhere to the school dress code. Students found cheating on tests or assignments will be subject to the school’s cheating policy. Students are expected to be in class daily and on time. Students are expected to bring necessary learning materials (notebooks, pens, paper, etc.), and any assigned textbooks to class each day. Textbooks must be covered and maintained in the condition in which they were issued.
Required textbooks: Anthology: The Language of Literature
Student Materials: Each student is required to have a single subject spiral notebook dedicated to this class, pens and a student planner which was distributed during registration.
How to help your child succeed: Help your child set a consistent block of time aside each day to work on homework and other class assignments. Provide a quiet study area in which your child can study uninterrupted. Encourage him or her to form study partners or study groups with other students in his or her classes. Should your child fall behind in one or more of his or her classes, encourage your child to attend the after school tutoring that is available in the Sylmar School Library. Please feel free to contact the school or instructor should you have any questions or concerns about your child’s educational progress or learning needs.

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