English II Accelerated

Course Overview

Instructor: Mrs. Bethany McQuiston

Email: mcquistonb@fchs77.org

Phone: (618) 539-5533 Ext. 286

Website: https://sites.google.com/fchs77.org/mcquiston (located on Freeburg High School Website)

Texts: Anthem, Elements of Literature: Fourth Course, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, selected Young Adult titles for literature circles

Course Description:

This course is designed for the advanced sophomore English student. English II Accelerated is a full unit course that focuses on building on the skills and appreciation developed in English I Accelerated. This course reviews grammar, parts of speech, vocabulary, and spelling to improve oral, written, and reading skills. Various genres and types of literature (short story, Post-colonial, drama, American, Shakespearean, prose, poetry and novel) are read for analysis and appreciation. Grammar/composition skills are combined with a study of literature (analysis/appreciation) to raise the level of interest, meaning and comprehension. Writing is ongoing throughout the year; students will write a minimum of five papers including persuasive, expository, either narrative or descriptive, literary and film analysis, and a research paper in accordance with MLA guidelines. This research project is based on a controversial topic and will be written in an argumentative structure. A speech will accompany the research paper. Students will also read novels independently and will complete various projects and literary analysis for each. Students entering this class must have at least a B in English I Accelerated or have an A in English I along with the recommendation from their English I teacher.

Grading Scale:

A: 90-100 - 5.0

Superior - Independent learner; superior work; all work completed on time at an exceptional level of quality and effort

B: 80-89 - 4.0

Above Average - Semi-independent learner; above average work; all work completed on time with few flaws

C: 70-79 - 3.0

Average - Dependent learner; average work; most completed on time showing average effort

D: 60-69 - 2.0

Below Average - Work completed shows minimal effort; missing and late assignments; rarely made up missed work

F: 59 and below 1.0

Failing - Work does not meet standards or expectations; many missing assignments/projects; rarely or did not participate in learning activities.

I: Incomplete - 0

Students will be awarded .10 for enrolling and completing English II Accelerated.

Semester 1 Grade = 80% (Semester 1), 20% (final exam)

Semester 2 Grade = 80% (Semester 2), 20% (final exam)


Semester 1


  • Reviewing Literary Elements


  • Exploring Short Stories
    • “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket” (Textbook p. 16)
    • “The Masque of the Red Death” (Textbook p. 366)
    • from Into Thin Air (Textbook p. 504)
      • Everest (Film)
  • Postcolonial Studies
    • Colonialism and British Imperialism (Notes and Study)
    • “Real Princess - A Portrait of Pocahontas” (Textbook p. 1100)
    • “The Danger of a Single Story” (Ted Talk)
    • Rabbit-Proof Fence (Film)


  • William Shakespeare and Roman History
    • The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (Textbook p. 830)
    • Persuasive Writing - Tragic Hero Analysis (2-4 pages)
  • Conducting and Presenting Independent Research
    • Paper (4-6 pages)


  • Conducting and Presenting Independent Research (cont.)


  • Conducting and Presenting Independent Research (cont.)
    • Speech (5-7 minutes)
  • Semester 1 Final Exams

Additional Weekly Activities

  • Mindfulness Mondays
  • Trivia Tuesdays
  • Win it Wednesdays
  • Critical Thinking Thursdays
  • Free-writing Fridays

Semester 2


  • Russian Film and Literature
    • Russia’s Last Tsar (Documentary)
    • Dr. Zhivago (Film)
    • Film analysis paper (2-3 pages)


  • Russian Film and Literature (cont.)
    • 2014 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony (TV Special)
    • Anthem (Novel)
    • The Giver (Film)
    • Anthem Projects (various student options)


  • Genocide and Human Rights
    • A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Trunk Text)
    • Zlata's Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo (Trunk Text)
    • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (Documentary)
    • Socratic Seminar


  • Literature Circles
    • All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds
    • Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
    • Salt to Sea by Ruta Sepetys
    • Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
    • When We Collided by Emery Lord
    • Group Reflection Paper (10+ pages)


  • Poetry (cont.)
    • Song Analysis (Presentation)
  • Semester 2 Final Exams

*Subject to change