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Mrs. Allan English III Honors

What is an American?

“You can forgive a child for being frightened of the dark. The real tragedy is the man who is afraid of the light.” Plato “Fiction is like a spider’s web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners.” Virginia Woolf “…the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself…make good writing.” William Faulkner I.

Welcome to Honors English. I encourage you to be close, thoughtful readers, independent thinkers, insightful, mature contributors to discussions and cogent writers. Our Honors class is more than a class; it is a book club and writing club. I firmly believe that we learn best when we are actively involved in a community of scholars.


The Honors English III course is a two-semester program that emphasizes the following: • Critical, close reading of challenging literature • Mature, in-depth discussion of literature with active listening and shared inquiry • Writing analytical essays, using sophisticated diction in an insightful manner • Grasping elements of literary analysis and style, including diction, syntax, point of view, tone and irony


This class is designed for students who like to read, speak up in class, and meet deadlines. A positive attitude, consistent self-motivation and daily diligence are keys to success. The secret to success will not work unless you do.


I will serve as discussion moderator and guide to help you assume much of the responsibility for your own learning. Often times, students will be called on to lead discussions in our exploration of literature. Prepare and jump in! Be your own best teacher. Think about literature as either a mirror held up to life or as a lamp shining on life. Explore what the literary works say about the nature of people and society. Although we may agree or disagree with their views, authors and poets leave us more than their words; they leave us a way of looking at life.

Major Themes: There are two major themes that move through much of what we will read. • The first is the idea of the American Dream—what is it and how much has it changed over the years? How does the American Dream affect the way people look at America and themselves? • The second major theme deals with the individual and his/her society. What should you do when your values clash with societal norms? How much are you shaped by society? Readings: We will read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Catcher in the Rye, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The Great Gatsby, The Things They Carried, many poems, non-fiction pieces, and short stories. I strongly recommend that you purchase these books if at all possible. If the book is yours then you are able to underline, highlight and interact with the text. These strategies have proven to be highly effective in increasing students’ comprehension. Of course, the school will also provide copies for students, but they may not be written on. Outside Reading: You will be asked to read an outside reading book of at least 300 pages per quarter. For the first quarter, you must read a biography. There will be varied assignments. Personal Anthology: This year in English we are reading American authors exclusively. In order for you to expand your horizons and sample many American authors, you will compile an anthology of some of your favorite short works. Your Personal Anthology will consist of works from literature that speak or sing to you. You choose works that you find personally compelling and put them into your anthology (your collection of works. Classroom Procedures Attendance: When you are absent, the work that was due that day will be due at our next class. All work from an absence is due the class period after you return—in addition to any quizzes. I do not contact you to collect work. Grading: You will be graded using a points system. I will provide you with frequent grade reports so there will be no surprises where you stand in my class. Please keep all returned work! I grade by semester; each semester the grading will start over. A= 90— 100%; B=80-89%; C=70-79%; D=60-69%; c Cell phones: Cell phones are to be turned off or switched to the “silent mode” when in class. There will be no text messaging in class. The school policy will be followed in my class.

Food: No food, gum or drinks are allowed. Water is allowed. Course Requirements A. Materials—3 ring binder with the following dividers: Handouts Vocabulary Quick writes Literary Terms Returned work Personal Anthology


Keep all graded work for verification


Late work will be required to be made up Thursday after school. The only extra credit will be essays (typed) evaluating Clayton Valley High School plays. These essays must be turned in on assigned dates.

It is a simple equation—the more active you are in class, the more you will learn in class.