English 10 syllabus
Mr. Hatten's hows, whys and whats ...

Edina High School                                                                                                                                English 10

Mr. James Hatten                                                                                                                           Course Syllabus

Room 389




“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.  It is a tool for daily life in modern society.  It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories.  Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity…For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”

                                                                                                                                                           Kofi Annan

“Books are the deepest way to communicate about what it is to be a human.”  Peter Weer


Course Description

English 10 encompasses the language arts skills of literary analysis, writing, research, speaking, listening and media literacy.  Students read contemporary and classic works that reflect diversity in race, gender, age, economics and geography.  Students will develop critical thinking skills through Paideia seminars and other discussion strategies.  In addition, students will read choice texts each quarter.


Regular instruction in vocabulary will use both explicit lessons and vocabulary specific to the literature being studied in class.


Intensive writing instruction will help students develop thinking skills and a personal voice. Students will write in multiple genres including descriptive, narrative, persuasive and critical analysis. Grammar and usage review will include explicit lessons, but focus on using correct conventions in writing. Writing instruction and assessment will use the Six Traits of writing, rubrics and exemplars.  Research skills will be taught throughout the course. 


Students will also develop and practice effective speaking skills in individual presentations and group discussions.


In addition to these traditional literacy skills, English 10 will introduce and incorporate a variety of digital literacies, including the use of student blogs for homework and outside reading activities.


Major Units of Study:

Semester 1:  Literature of Struggle and Ethical Consequences

Essential Questions:

  • How do people best overcome conflicts in their lives?
  • How do personal struggles and conflicts enrich a life?
  • In our complex, diverse, and ever-changing world, how do we determine what is ethical?
  • What defines “right” and what ideals are worth fighting and dying for?



  • Excerpts from NPR This I Believe Series
  • Excerpts from I Thought My Father Was God
  • Harper Lee Letter to Oprah
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby


Justice and Ethics:

  • All My Sons by Arthur Miller
  • Research Skills and writing


Shakespeare: Macbeth





Semester 2:  Exploring Literature of World Cultures and Political Persecution

Essential Questions:

  • How do the stories of today’s world reflect who we are?
  • How does literature increase global understanding?
  • What cultural values are universal?


In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez


The Odyssey, Homer, Fagles translation


Night, Elie Wiesel


Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi


Ongoing areas of study:

  • Visual literacy, including photography, film, and other print and digital images
  • Poetry
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar, usage, and mechanics
  • Outside reading to be completed each quarter


Some notes about literature selection in Edina Public Schools:

1. Literature that is studied and read as part of a course has been sited for excellence by an independent source (for example it has won literary awards, received positive reviews by independent book reviewers and/or recommendations from professional organizations, etc.) and/or the author has been sited

for excellence by an independent source.


2. Students should read and analyze a variety of literature in print, auditory and visual texts including:

Fiction, poetry, drama and nonfiction;

A variety of diversity topics/themes including: race, gender, age, economics, and geography;

Contemporary and classic selections. Approximately one classic and 2-3 contemporary selections in each course read by all students.


3. In grades 9-12 literature is adult, full-length novels/non-fiction as well as short stories, poetry and drama.



  • Work:  Show up for class—physically and mentally.  Your fellow students and I need you here.  Your primary purpose here is to participate in your learning and to produce work that contributes to the good of our class community.  As Michael Hartoonian, scholar of education and public policy, says, “Work that we do to improve our personal circumstances always affects others.  If we do good work, that good radiates to others.  Of course, poor or bad work also radiates to others, causing a general decline in the wealth of the community.”  Knowledge, which you gain through work, is key to successful citizenship in a multicultural world.  To this end, expect homework each night and prepare to speak in class each day.
  • Respect:  At all times, be respectful of scholarship, of yourself, of each other, and of me.  The use of cell phones, calculators, or iPods distract from your learning and the learning of other students and will not be tolerated.  I reserve the right to confiscate these items if used during class.
  • Belong:  Foster community by welcoming others, take care of each other, be ready for anything, and appreciate the differences that each person brings to class.
  • Water ONLY is allowed in this room.   In the computer lab and television studio areas, no food or drink of any kind is allowed.



Requested Supplies:

All students need a single subject notebook to be used exclusively for English 10, A Pocket Style Manual by Diana Hacker (this can be purchased for $15.00 in the school store), and writing utensils.  I happily accept donations of tissue and loose leaf paper, which we can all use.


Scholarship Credit:

The single most important thing a scholar can do to ensure his/her success in English 10 is to be in class on time and every day.  Because I firmly believe this, I give each student 10 points of extra credit at the beginning of each quarter just for being here.  Any time a student is tardy or takes a personal break to the restroom or water fountain, I deduct five points from that ten.  Further, an unexcused absence results in the loss of all points.  Please take time to review the School Board’s attendance policy as stated in the Student/Parent Handbook on pages 35-39.  Extra credit will be added to grades on the last day of the quarter following a final review of the official attendance report.


Late and Make-up Work:

Late work will not be accepted except on Amnesty Days, which occur once per quarter on the 10:15 late start days.  Students will be served on a first come first serve basis.  Work handed in on these days will receive, at most, 75% credit for that assignment. 


Make-up work will be handled according to the guidelines in the Student/Parent Handbook.  In a nutshell, students are responsible for initiating make-up work.  Previously announced projects, including quizzes and tests, are due immediately upon return to school.  There will be no credit given for make-up work due to an unexcused absence.  Retesting is not allowed.  Be prepared for tests the first time.



Grades are figured according to the following scale based on cumulative point totals:


            100-93%          A                     79-77   C+                    69-67   D+

            92-90               A-                    76-73   C                      66-63   D

            89-87               B+                    72-70   C-                    62-60   D-

            86-83               B                                                          59-0     F

            82-80               B-                                                       


Please pay attention to penalties for scholastic and academic dishonesty outlined on page 18 of the handbook.


Keeping in Touch:

If you have any questions or feel as though you need additional help throughout the semester, please ask!  My first priority is helping you be successful in this class.  I am available most days before and after school in my classroom.  Please call or email with any questions or concerns.  I’m looking forward to sharing a productive and enjoyable year together!


Mr. James Hatten                                                                                                                                                   

Room 389