Tenth Grade Honors Literature and Composition


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Tenth Grade Honors Literature and Composition

Ms. Graham—Room 2219

Texts and Materials



Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes (Platinum Level) - $61

Writing/Grammar Communication in Action (Platinum Level) - $26

Jane Eyre-$12

Lord of the Flies - $12

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest - $12

Macbeth - $9

Twelfth Night - $9

Brave New World - $14

The Catcher in the Rye - $15
*Additional supplemental novels may be issued for literature circles and/or individual reading; students may also procure additional texts through the school or public libraries. Please expect one additional book per semester for this purpose.

Lost/damaged book policy: Students are financially responsible for all books issued by Alpharetta High School. Textbooks may not be left in classrooms, and teachers are not responsible for students’ books once books have been issued to the student. The copy issued to the student must be turned in at the end of the course.  Students will not receive credit for turning in another student’s book, and students may not turn in replacement books.  The cost of replacement will be assigned to any student that fails to turn in the exact book she/he was issued and/or to any student that turns in a damaged book.  If a student is issued a damaged book (i.e. broken binding, torn pages, water damage, writing, etc…), then the book must be brought to room 1330 for a replacement book or to document the damage.  There is a two week grace period for students to document damage before the student will be held accountable. 


  • Pens—black or blue ink only

  • Highlighters

  • Post-It notes

  • Supply of lined writing paper (No spiral notebook paper, please.)

  • Three-ring binder to be used for English only (1½ inches wide)

  • Writer’s Composition Notebook- (nothing large, please)

  • Dividers for 3 sections

  • Required texts for any given day

  • Students should bring all necessary materials to class every day

Classroom Expectations


Class Behavior Rules:

  • All school rules will be enforced (dress code, cell phone, head phones, tardies, etc.).

  • Respect yourself and all others.

  • You are almost an adult, act like one.

Composing Work and Late Work


Rules Relating to Academic Performance:

  • Class Work: All work turned in for grading must be on paper, not torn from a notebook and done in either blue or black ink or pencil.

  • All out of class, formal papers must be typed (Times New Roman font), double spaced, and contain the proper MLA heading. (Immediate deductions: not double spaced – 10; not typed: – 15 points).

  • *****Computer and printer issues do not constitute acceptable excuses for not having work.****** Computer access is available in the media center and AHS Writing Center before and after school as well as during lunch times. Additionally, should printer issues occur, assignments e-mailed to the teacher (acknowledged by a response e-mail from the teacher) are acceptable.

  • Late Work (major assignments): Compositions and major individual projects will be accepted late with a penalty of 15 points each day; nothing will be accepted in excess of three days. (For example, if a 100-pt assignment is due on Monday, the assignment will be accepted on Monday after class or on Tuesday for 85%, on Wednesday for 70%, and Thursday for 55%.)

  • Late Work (minor assignments): Homework will not be accepted late for any reason.

  • Missing Work Log: Each student must complete a missing work log for any assignment not submitted on its collection date (protocol does not apply for minor HW exercises); procedure for logs will be detailed in class.

  • Work that will receive no (zero) credit: see plagiarism statement.

AHS Plagiarism Statement 

A particular kind of honor code violation occurs with plagiarism.  Plagiarism is defined as the use of another’s words or ideas and the presentation of them as though they are entirely one’s own.  Acts of plagiarism include but are not limited to using words or ideas from a published source without proper documentation; using the work of another student (e.g., copying another student’s homework, composition or project); using excessive editing suggestions of another student, teacher, parent, or paid editor.  Plagiarism on any project or paper at Alpharetta High School will result in a zero for the assignment, two days of Saturday school, and an Honor Code Violation.  Unless directly stipulated by the teacher, collaboration on written work is not acceptable.  Students who willingly provide other students with access to their work are in violation of the Alpharetta High School Honor Code. From time to time, students will be required to register with and post assignments to the Fulton County approved plagiarism detection site, turnitin.com.  Should the teacher require posting the particular assignment to turnitin.com, the assignment must have been posted to the website prior to the time the assignment is collected in class or the assignment will be considered late.


Absences and Make-up Work


  • Absences: It is critical for students to be present in class each day. Discussions, class activities, and collaboration cannot be re-created, so absences will affect student grades.

  • Absence-Related Work Issues:

MINOR ASSIGNMENTS: If a student is in class on the day any work is assigned for a future collection date but is absent on the collection date, that assignment is still due immediately upon the student’s return. No extra days will be given to complete an assignment if the student knew about it before his/her absence.

MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS (Assignments for which the students are given a minimum of two-weeks’ notice; typically essays and large projects): If a student is absent the day on which a major assignment is due, the original due date is still in effect. Regardless to reason for absence, the work must still be submitted by the student’s class period. Electronic submission is acceptable. If the assignment is not received on its due date, the late penalty will apply.

  • Make-up Work: Each student is responsible for all work missed. It would be wise to pair off with another student in this class who would be willing to keep you informed of assignments and share class notes. Each class period will have a folder where students may find missed handouts. All missed work should be made up according to the information in the student handbook. I am available before and after school to assist students, but I am not available to discuss missed work with students during class time.

Grades and Honors Distinctions


Honors Philosophy: The honors student must

* be self-motivated and willing to do more than students in the Advanced Placement preparatory course of study, especially where reading is concerned.

* be tolerant of other people's opinions.

* exhibit willingness to improve in all phases of the English program (writing, oral expression, and literature skills).

*take full responsibility for all work missed because of absence.

Guidelines for Honors Classes

Tenth grade honors Literature and Composition is a survey course designed to prepare students for more specific, topical English literature studies in later years of the high school academic career. The course of study is rigorous and should be attempted only by serious readers and writers. On the year-long scheduling program, students will remain in honors classes for the entire year unless the grade falls below 80. In the event the grade does fall below 80, the student runs the risk of being removed from the program at the end of the semester. If, after a conference with the parent and/or appropriate school personnel, it is determined that the needs of the student would be better served in the regular course of study, the student's schedule will be changed. Students who are not able to maintain a satisfactory standing in designated honors courses will not be recommended for placement in an honors course or advanced placement course for the next school year. An honor student’s need to request recovery is also a clear indication that he or she has been misplaced and a course change should be sought.

To earn an A in this class, a student should

1. make attendance in class a priority and make up missed tests, compositions, and projects promptly;

2. always have his/ her homework and compositions done and in class on the day they are due;

3. listen very carefully in class, take good notes, and ask questions (either during or after class);

4. follow directions carefully for all written compositions/projects and improve his/her quality of writing based on teacher's and fellow classmates' constructive criticism;

5. make learning an on-going process as the year progresses (not just cramming for a test the night before, right before class, etc.);

6. demonstrate superior knowledge of subject matter of the course as well as a mature ability to analyze and synthesize in discussion, writing, and testing situations.

Grading Scale

A = 90-100 B = 80-89 C = 70-79 F = any grade below 70

Grading percentages for Honors 10th Grade Literature:

Summative Assessment [Essays, Tests, Major Projects] – 55%

Formative Assessment [Homework, Quizzes, Class work, Minor Projects] – 30%

Final Exam – 15%

RISE and Recovery

RISE—New Re-teaching/Instructional Support Experience policy statement

    1. RISE is an opportunity for students to relearn course standards OR receive other instructional support in the form of more focused instruction from their teachers.

    2. All teachers are available for extra help, should a student want or need it. However, once a student’s course average drops below a 75, RISE policy requires that the student AND parent be notified AND that the student spend a minimum of 30 minutes per week with the teacher for that course (or another teacher of the same course) until the student attains a course average of 75*.

    3. RISE sessions are offered according to the schedule below in order to avoid conflicts with individual teachers’ office hours.

Departmental RISE Schedule:
Mondays: All Electives (Lunch/PM)

Tuesday: Language Arts (AM/Lunch)

Wednesday: Science (AM/Lunch/PM)

Thursday: Math (AM/Lunch)

Friday: Social Studies (AM/Lunch)

    1. RISE is separate from and should not be confused with FCS Recovery policy.

* If the below-75 student average is a consequence of failure to make up work missed when absent, student should follow the teacher’s standard make-up policy.

Ms. Graham’s RISE Hours:

I will be available for RISE at the following times. Please be sure to let me know in advance when you will be coming in for help!

  • Tuesday, 8:00 – 8:30am (Room 2219)

  • I am also available for individual appointments on an as-needed basis.

Alpharetta High School Recovery Policy:

Opportunities designed to allow students to recover from a low or failing cumulative grade will be allowed when all work required to date has been completed and the student has demonstrated a legitimate effort to meet all course requirements including attendance.

Students must contact the teacher concerning recovery opportunities. Teachers are expected to establish a reasonable time period for recovery work to be completed during the semester. All recovery work must be completed ten school days prior to the end of the semester.
The teacher will determine when and how students with extenuating circumstances may improve their grades. To be eligible for recovery, you must have no missing assignments and have not been excessively absent.

Students (YOU) have to start this process!

Course Information


Course Description and Outline:

Tenth grade honors literature and composition is a year long course designed to refine students’ writing and reading strategies, to introduce more sophisticated literature along with strategies for interpretation and understanding. It is a rigorous academic course designed to prepare students for topical courses offered their junior and senior years and ultimately to prepare for more rigorous courses of study. Students will continue to develop vocabulary and apply effective reading strategies to a wide variety of literary and informational texts; to learn about universal themes and symbols common to literary works including the novel, short story, poetry, drama, and nonfiction; to establish effective writing and research habits; and to refine language skills as they apply to writing, listening, speaking, and viewing. During the year, students will write at least 6 formal papers, including a research paper (separate from the writing in Honors sciences), and a number of informal essays and timed writings. Each unit will have a culminating assessment. Students will receive practice and instruction in grammar and vocabulary in every unit. Course Standards and benchmarks may be viewed at www.georgiastandards.org

Introductory Unit

10-day equality (approximately 2 weeks)

In this unit students will remain on-track with their tenth-grade counterparts through an introductory personal presentation, diagnostic grammar and writing evaluations, grammar practice introduction, and writing workshop preparation.

Literature: Selected short stories and articles.

Grammar and Writing: Diagnostic evaluations will be administered in both categories.

Vocabulary: Selected words from the literature

Writing: Introduction to writing workshop, intentional strategy of writing, and GHSGWT practice.
Unit One

Analysis (approximately 8weeks)

Selected short story and poetry selections will accompany this unit—emphasizing the latter as a course of study.

Grammar and Writing: Daily Grammar Practice and periodic quizzes. Refer to Standards and Benchmarks

Vocabulary: Selected words from the literature; quizzes every 2 weeks

Writing: Reader Response Critical Literary Analysis Essay; Timed Writing: Comparison and Contrasting Poetry; various writings related to literature.

Anchor Text: Lord of the Flies

Unit Two

Style (approximately 6 weeks)

Selected short stories and occasional poetry will accompany this unit.

Grammar and Writing: Daily Grammar Practice and periodic quizzes.

Vocabulary: Selected words from the literature; quizzes every 2 weeks

Writing: Writing workshop pieces from first semester and in-class and timed writings; GHSGWT practice.

Anchor Texts [potential]: Brave New World
Unit Three

Persuasion (approximately 9 weeks)
Selected short stories and occasional poetry will accompany this unit.

Grammar and Writing: Daily Grammar Practice and periodic quizzes.

Vocabulary: Selected words from the literature; quizzes every 2 weeks

Writing: Persuasive Essay, Research Paper

Anchor Texts [potential]: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; independent, outside reading; non-fiction selections
Unit Four

Synthesis (approximately 9 weeks)

Grammar and Writing: Daily Grammar Practice and periodic quizzes.

Vocabulary: Selected words from the literature; quizzes every 2 weeks

Writing: In-class essay over synthesis project

Anchor Texts [potential]: Macbeth, Jane Eyre

Technology and Media


Media Viewing Policy

During the course of the year we will view segments of various movies that correspond with literature studied in class. The following selections are being considered: Lord of the Flies (1990, R); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, R); Macbeth (1976, not rated); Scotland, PA (2001, R); Jane Eyre (1983, not rated); Of Mice and Men (2004, PG-13), Speak (2003, PG-13), Thank You for Smoking (2006, R); and other selections as deemed appropriate by the teacher. Students must have prior parent/guardian approval to view any films rated PG-13 or older. Parents should note on the signature portion of the syllabus any movies found objectionable. Signing the syllabus indicates agreement that teacher may show films at her discretion.

Computer Network Policy

Unauthorized intrusion of computer networks is a major disciplinary infraction. Students are prohibited from

  1. unauthorized/unsupervised use of the computer network

  2. shelling-out to network directories

  3. adding software packages of any kind to the network

  4. causing damage to the network environment

Internet Access Guidelines

Access to the Internet is available at AHS. It will be used only as a part of research in the academic area. We believe the Internet offers vast, diverse and unique resources to the community. Our goal in providing this service to you is to help promote educational excellence.

We at Alpharetta H.S. firmly believe that the access to valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may procure material inconsistent with the educational goals of Fulton County Board of Education. Internet access is coordinated through a complex association of government agencies, and regional and state networks. In addition, the smooth operation of the network relies upon the proper conduct of the end users who must adhere to strict guidelines. These guidelines are provided here so that you are aware of the responsibilities you have. In general this requires efficient, ethical and legal utilization of the network resources.

Statements and/or information provided by the Internet's World Wide Web do not necessarily reflect those views held by AHS. Any information you gather from various World Wide Web sites while you are using the Internet is your sole responsibility. This is also true for any damages incurred. This includes loss of data, non-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by the Internet or by your own error(s) or omission(s). Alpharetta High School, Fulton County Board of Education accepts no responsibility for accuracy and/or quality of information obtained through the use of its Internet services.

Additionally, vandalism will result in immediate cancellation of privileges, disciplinary action and may result in school suspension and/or criminal charges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, Internet, or any of the above listed agencies or other networks that are connected to the Internet provider. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses. Moreover, you do not have permission to create "homepages," directories, or establish additional network addresses here at Alpharetta High School.

Contact Information

Sign and return this page to Ms. Graham

Signing indicates your review and acknowledgement of this entire 2011/2012 10th Honors syllabus:

Student printed (block letters) name:_________________________________________________________________________

Student signature:______________________________________________________________________________________________

Student’s personal printed e-mail:___________________________________________________(used for reminders, etc.)

Parent/Guardian printed (block letters) name:_______________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian signature:____________________________________________________________________________________

Parent/Guardian printed e-mail(s):___________________________________________________________________________


(Email will be my primary source of communication.)

Parent/Guardian phone number(s) (please specify home, work, or cell): _____________________________________

Notes to parents:

  • Contacting the teacher: Please feel free to email me at any time with any concerns. I will respond in a timely manner. (GrahamE2@fultonschools.org)

  • Check your student’s grades online via our Home Access program, which offers you the ability to see your child’s current grades in each class (The system updates each night. If any teacher has input new grades, the system will show changes). To sign-up, contact the front office in person to gain your login and password.

  • Your child should bring home progress reports shortly after the six and 12-week marks in the school year—both first and second semester.

I look forward to working with you this year!

Emily Graham


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