Junior English is an American Literature course that will introduce students to a variety of selections meant to enhance their understanding of the American character. Many of our reading selections are found in the adopted text, Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. During the first semester, we will open by exploring the basics of rhetoric through language analysis which will eventually culminate with an essay. We will then embark on a chronological journey of literature classified under the realms of Puritanism, Rationalism, Romanticism, and Realism. Famous works from the likes of Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Jefferson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau, to name just a few, will accompany classroom assignments and activities. Supplementary non-fiction essays will also be included where appropriate.

As many of you are aware, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have brought some changes to the curriculum of previous years. The CCSS aims to introduce all students to the critical thinking, reading, and writing skills which will provide the foundation necessary for successful progression into the adult world. Our district has adopted the principles of the CCSS and curriculum teams created two units per semester which adhere to these new standards. Each unit surrounds an essential question, and students will be assessed with a performance task which will gauge student acquisition of the required skills.

During everyday activities, considerable class time will be devoted to analyzing readings through discussion and writing. Students must begin to think critically about the various pieces of literature we cover and then use their skills to develop relationships and connections between the pieces we read.


Due to our district’s adoption of new grading requirements, I will use the BSD Total Points Scale (50-100%). I do not round at the quarter break, but do use classroom participation to decide whether or not to round at the end of the semester. There will be three categories within Infinite Campus.

  • Current Work – this will be an unweighted category. Here you will be able to see scores for specific assignments as well as which assignments have been turned in and which have not. This category will be updated weekly depending on student submissions.
  • Unit Assignments – 35% of the grade. This category will be updated at the end of each unit or unit chunk. Points will be totaled from the assignments within each unit (assignments will be listed individually in the “Current Work” category), and a score will be entered indicating total points earned for that unit's assignments.
  • Formal Assessments – 65% of grade. This category will contain all quiz, test, essay, and major presentation scores. The formal assessment category will be updated as soon as each item is scored.

Students are welcome to and encouraged to engage in re-assessment as it corresponds to district policy and department steps. The goal of reassessment is to help students identify areas where they can work for mastery through focused peer and teacher assistance and utilization of the recursive writing process. Reassessment is only available for students who agree to complete a holistic revision of the essay or assignment. Students intending to reassess a quiz or test will take a new version of the original assessment. Per district policy, any and all reassessments must be completed “within five days after the original grade was received”.