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Mrs. Jeanne Mayers

English II



Welcome to English II – 10th Grade Literature – This class will focus on reading and responding to world literature, both as a class and independently, writing as a response to literature, presenting literature in a variety of ways, and analyzing how grammar and language play a role in both reading and writing.  The class is divided into 5 units, and each unit contains:

• A novel or short story collection that students read independently (on their own) that connects to the reading/writing they are doing in class

• An end of the unit Oral Presentation, based on a project, usually writing or technology based, completed in class

• An essay which goes in a cumulative end of the year portfolio

• A unit test based on class readings and discussions, grammar skills that are covered in each unit, academic vocabulary covered in each unit, and ACT test prep/EOC test taking skills that are covered weekly.


Other grades come from homework, class activities, group work, participation, journals, EOC test preparation practice quizzes, etc.  It is very important that you attend class each day.  There are no free days in this class.  If you miss a day of class, you are missing something important.  It is very fast-paced and each day builds on a new skill.  In addition, there are lots of group activities, group discussions, and group presentations, which means that if you miss school, than your group suffers.  Your classmates do not want a person in their group who is not going to complete his or her part.  Every role in group work will be equal, which means that if you do not do your part, you are hurting your group significantly and may be pulled out and forced to work on your own.  Others will not be penalized for your laziness.  With that being said, I will do anything in my power to help you succeed in this class. It is my goal for you to understand, appreciate, and enjoy literature and writing.  In addition, because you must pass an EOC (End-of Course) State Test at the end of the year, it is also my goal to prepare you for this test.  Please do not hesitate to raise your hand and ask questions if and when you are confused.  There are no stupid questions, and I will never be angry at you for asking questions.  It is when you are not asking questions that I begin to worry. ;)

You will need the following materials every day for this class:

•             Pens/Pencils – pens must be blue or black only

•             Loose-Leaf Paper (either in your binder or notebook pgs. with perforated edges)

•             Notebook/Binder – split into the following sections: (class notes, vocabulary, test prep activities,

                Writing assignments, handouts/graded papers/etc)


 The following pages contain a rough breakdown/outline of the class, unit by unit, with the theme and selections for each unit.  At the beginning of each unit – you will also get a day to day outline that has more details on what is going on every day in class, such as activities, workbook pages covered, etc.  This will be good for you not only to stay on task but also to see what is coming up, especially if you know you are going to be absent.  Remember if you are absent, it is your responsibility to catch up on your missed assignments/notes/etc. 

Unit 1:  Voices of Modern Culture

Readings/Selections Covered:

Poem: “My Mother Pieced Quilts,” by Teresa Paloma Acosta

 Memoir: Excerpt from Funny in Farsi, by Firoozeh Dumas

Poem: “Theme for English B,” by Langston Hughes

Poem: “Where I’m From,” by George Ella Lyon

Poem: “Legal Alien,” by Pat Mora

Film: Clips from Grease, directed by Randal Keisler

Song Lyrics: “Imagine,” by John Lennon

Photography by Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lang, Annie Leibowitz, Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali, Chris

Van Allsburg, and Shaun Tan

Monologue: “Brace Yourself,” by Debbie Lamedman

Monologue: “The Crush,” by Debbie Lamedman

Monologue: “The Job Interview,” by Debbie Lamedman

Monologue: “The Date,” by Debbie Lamedman

Monologue: “Off the Court,” by Debbie Lamedman

Monologue: “Dinner Guest,” by Debbie Lamedman

Monologue:  “Sure You Can Ask Me a Personal Question,”by Diane Burns

Novel: The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Independent Reading)

Portfolio Essay 1: 

 Argument/Solution Essay on a controversial Global/Cultural Issue

Oral Presentation:

“Presenting Two of My Voices”

Grammar Skills:

Subordinate structures, syntax, reciprocal pronouns, anaphora and parallelism


Unit 2:  Cultural Conversations

Readings/Selections Covered:

 Art: The Builders, The Family (1974) by Jacob Lawrence

Art: This is a Family Living in Harlem (1943) by Jacob Lawrence

Essay: "Thanksgiving: A Personal History" by Jennifer New

Satire: "Us and Them" by David Sedaris

Film: Clips from Bend It Like Beckham (2003), directed by Gurinder Chadha

Article: "Matrimony with a Proper Stranger" by Miguel Helft

Poetry: "Father and Son" by Tomasz Jastrun

Essay: "Where Worlds Collide" by Pico Iyer

Memoir: from Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez

Art:  The Builders, The Family by Jacob Lawrence

Art:  This is a Family Living in Harlem by Jacob Lawrence

Essay: "An Indian Father's Plea" by Robert Lake (Medicine Grizzly Bear)

Satire: from Dave Barry Does Japan by Dave Barry

Essay: "Going to Japan," from Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver

Short Story: "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker

Portfolio Essay 2:

 Writing A Synthesis Paper (Group Essay)                                             

Oral Presentation: 

Power Point Presentation on Essay


Grammar Skills:

 coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, word choice in writing, verbs as other parts of speech, participial phrases, gerunds, simple/compound/complex/compound-complex sentences, transitive and intransitive verbs, subjunctive forms of verbs, restrictive and non-restrictive clauses


Unit 3:  Community

Readings/Selections Covered:

*Novel: Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe

Illustrated Books of Folk Tales

Poetry: "Prayer to the Masks," by Leopold Sedar Senghor

Poetry: "The Second Coming," by William Butler Yeats

Interview: "An African Voice," by Katie Bacon

Portfolio Essay 3: 

 Writing a literary analysis of a novel

Oral Presentation:

Comparing Cultures (Group Presentation)

Grammar Skills:

Pronouns (personal, demonstrative, possessive, reflexive, interrogative, reciprocal, indefinite, relative), formal and informal diction, verb moods (indicative, imperative, subjunctive), clauses (noun, adjective, and adverb), review common punctuation marks

Unit 4:  Justice

Readings/Selections Covered:

Drama: Excerpt from The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

Editorial: "Time to Assert American Values"

Article: "Rough Justice," by Alejandro Reyes

Proclamation: Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Speech: President Mandela's Statement on International Children's Day, by Nelson Mandela

Essay: "School's Out for Summer," by Anna Quindlen

Article: "An Immodest Idea," by Anna Mulrine

Editorial: "Comment," by Pat Lancaster

Article: "Germany Divided Over Hijab," by Andreas Tzortzis

Article: "An Unfair Dress Code?"

Song:  “What’s Going On?” by Marvin Gaye

Movie Clip:  Mighty Aphrodite directed by Woody Allen

Testimony: "Religious Expression," by Nashala Hearn

Speech: Excerpt from "On Civil Disobedience," by Mohandas K. Gandhi

Letter: Excerpt from "Letter from Birmingham Jail," by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Informational Text: "Kohlberg's Six Stages of Moral Reasoning"

Essay: "One Word of Truth Outweighs the World," by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Art: Guernica, by Pablo Picasso

Article: "Guernica: Testimony of War"

Photo Essay: "Children Behind Bars," by Steve Liss

Drama: Antigone, by Sophocles

Nonfiction: Excerpt from Making Comics, by Scott McCloud

Portfolio Essay 4:   Persuasive Essay

Oral Presentation:  Creating a Living Text / Photo Essay

Grammar Skills:

Prepositional phrases, active voice, varied sentence starters, parallel structure, reciprocal pronoun review

Unit 5: Building Cultural Bridges

Readings/Selections Covered:

Song: "I Need to Wake Up," by Melissa Etheridge

Film: The Day After Tomorrow, directed by Roland Emmerich

Online Video: "Global Warming 101," by National Geographic

Film: Life in the Freezer: The Big Freeze, directed by Alastair Fothergill

Film: March of the Penguins, directed by Luc Jacquet

Film: The Eleventh Hour, directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Peterson

Interview: "DiCaprio Sheds Light on 11th Hour," by Scott Roxborough

Speech: "Inhofe slams DiCaprio and Laurie David for scaring kids in two-hour Senate speech debunking

climate fears," posted by Marc Morano

Article: "Global Warming: No Urgent Danger; No Quick Fix," by Patrick J. Michaels

Article: "Jeremy Clarkson and Michael O'Leary Won't Listen to Green Cliches and Complaints about Polar

Bears," by George Marshall

Declaration: Excerpt from United Nations Millennium Declaration

Article: "A Roaring Battle Over Sea Lions," by Bill Hewitt

Article: "Stay of Execution for Sea Lions at Bonneville Dam," by the Humane Society of the United States

Portfolio Essay 5:

Comparison/Contrast Essay

Oral Presentation:   

Group Skit

Grammar Skills:

Review anaphora, punctuating quotations, pronoun agreement, subjunctive mood of verbs, punctuating restrictive and non-restrictive clauses