Survey of Literature

Course Description:
According to the Oxford American Dictionary, “survey” means “to look closely and thoroughly at something.” Survey of Literature at Harper High School, as its name suggests, is therefore a close and thorough study of English at the 9th grade level. The course provides students with the basic foundations for studying literature by focusing on six particular areas: reading, writing, literature, grammar, vocabulary, and listening and speaking.

The class is separated into eight units designed to take approximately 5-6 weeks to complete. Units expose students to a wide variety of literature from multiple genres (short stories, poetry, novels, and plays). While studying each unit, students consider essential questions and develop their answers to those questions based on the texts they explore and the writing they undertake.

Course Objectives:
  • In Survey of Literature, students will have opportunities to:
  • Read literature from a variety of sources and understand the connections between what they read and the context in which it was written
  • Distinguish between the various genres of literature
  • Read selected literary texts in a way that is significant to themselves
  • Incorporate appropriate grammar, spelling, usage, and punctuation in all public work
  • Participate in discussion by listening thoughtfully to others and presenting their own ideas cogently and persuasively
  • Write sentences of increasing maturity and complexity
  • Write paragraphs and short essays that demonstrate a logical progression of ideas and clear coherence between ideas
  • Participate in the process of writing from the inception of ideas to revision
  • Develop a personal style and voice, varying it according to the needs of the subject and audience
  • Use skills learned in English to relate to the world around them and act as productive and helpful citizens in a global society

College Readiness Standards:
Students will master all of the objectives in the 20-23 level of the College Readiness standards for English, Reading, and Writing.
Mastering these objectives will help students to succeed in their sophomore English class, and eventually on the PSAE and the ACT.

Illinois State Goals:
Students will master the five Illinois state goals for English:
  1. STATE GOAL 1: Read with understanding and fluency.
  2. STATE GOAL 2: Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras and ideas.
  3. STATE GOAL 3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
  4. STATE GOAL 4: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
  5. STATE GOAL 5: Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate information.

Students’ mastery of objectives will be assessed through: in-class assignments, weekly quizzes, unit exams, projects, presentations, independent reading journals, and research papers.

Grading Criteria:
Students will be graded based on rubrics which are introduced before any assignment is submitted. The rubric for all written assignments will be standard and will not change, whereas rubrics for tests, projects, etc. will be formatted to fit the particular assignment.

Grading Scale:
The grading scale for Survey of Literature is the following:

100% - 90%
89% - 80%
79% - 70%
69% - 60%
59% - 0%

Student’s overall grades are divided into the following categories. Each category is weighted and represents a certain percent of the final grade students receive at the end of the marking period.

Weight on Overall Grade
Participation/Do Now

Class Expectations - Student Contract

These are the following expectations that I have for each student in my class:
  • Preparation> Everyone is expected to come to class with their notebook, notebook paper, and pen. Pencil work is not accepted. These are the tools we work with. It is your responsibility to have these for the work we do.
  • Attendance and Tardies> Excessive unexcused absences will cause you to receive an F. Ten (10) or more unexcused absences per quarter is considered excessive and you will receive an F for it. After the tardy bell rings, you are required to have a tardy slip or you will be marked tardy. Excessive tardies will get you detentions and you may miss work.
  • Class Work> There will be notetaking, in-class assignments, tests and quizzes, project and papers, and homework. All of these may be graded. Some may be used as study guides, which are used to prepare for tests and quizzes, and may not receive a grade. They should be done nonetheless. Your papers that are graded will receive a fractional grade. For example, an in-class assignment may receive 8/10, a quiz 18/20, and a test 40/50. At the end of the quarter I add your grades on top and divide it by the total number of points you could have received for the quarter. In the example above, the student earned 66 out of 80 points for 83%, which would be a B.
  • Participation & Behavior> I pay attention to your work ethic. I ask myself whether you have done your assigned work and whether it is done in a manner befitting a 9th grade high school student. I ask myself whether you are attentive or disruptive, serious or clowning, add to or take away from my lesson, whether your behavior has or has not been appropriate. The rules of conduct in the Student Code of Conduct book applies, as well as the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have other do unto you.” This means that I expect you to respect yourself, respect your classmates, and respect me. There will be a grade based on how I perceive you as a student.

I understand this, and that what we do in the classroom is special, as it affects my future. Furthermore, I understand that my teacher needs me to cooperate for us to be able to work together as a class, and for me to be successful as an individual in the class.


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