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 Great Gatsby, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

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


  • Unit 1: Literary Review/Preview


  • Unit 2: Short Stories - Suspense
    • “Contents of a Dead Man’s Pocket” (textbook)
    • “The Leap” (textbook)
    • “The Masque of the Red Death” (textbook)
  • Unit 3: Postcolonial Study
    • Colonialism and British Imperialism (Notes and Study)
    • “Real Princess - A Portrait of Pocahontas” (Magazine Article, textbook)
    • “The Danger of a Single Story” (Ted Talk)
    • Rabbit-Proof Fence (Film)


  • Unit 4: Research
    • Paper (4-6 pages)
    • Speech (5-7 minutes)


  • Unit 4: Research (cont.)


  • Unit 5: Russian/Soviet History
    • Russia’s Last Tsar (documentary)
    • Boris Pasternak selections (Poetry)
    • Dr. Zhivago (Film)
    • Film analysis paper (2-3 pages)
  • Semester 1 Final Exams

*Subject to change

Semester 2


  • Unit 6: Dystopian Literature
    • 2014 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony (TV Special)
    • Anthem (Novel)
    • The Giver (Film)
    • Anthem Projects (various student options)


  • Unit 7: Shakespeare and Roman History
    • The Tragedy of Julius Caesar (textbook)


  • Unit 7: Shakespeare and Roman History (cont.)
    • Persuasive Writing - Tragic Hero Analysis (2-4 pages)
  • Unit 8: The 1920s and The Great Gatsby
    • 1920s Mini Research Project (Presentation)
    • The Great Gatsby (Novel)


  • Unit 8: The 1920s and The Great Gatsby (cont.)
    • Literary Analysis Paper (2-3 pages)


  • Unit 9: Poetry
    • Song Analysis (Presentation)
  • Semester 2 Final Exams

Additional Yearly Components

  • NoRedInk (Grammar Exercises)
  • Journal Writing
  • Reading Shares
  • Recap (Video Discussion Boards)