• Southland College Prep Charter HS

    Course Syllabus

    English III: British Literature

    “This above all: To thine own self be true.” 

    -Polonius from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

    TEACHER: Mrs. D. Epson PHONE:  (708) 748-8105

    ROOM: 318 EMAIL:  DEpson@schps.org



    This is a full year, 1-credit course required for graduation.  


    Students in grade eleven will continue to emphasize previously targeted skills. 

    • Domains addressed: reading, writing, written and oral English conventions, speaking, and listening  
    • Students will read great literature selections that:
      • Stretch their imaginations, sharpen their senses, and enrich their lives 
    • Students will read: 
      • Short stories, novels, plays, and poetry written by British authors
    • In addition, students will have opportunities to write various types of documents according to major text structures: 
      • Argumentative paper, essays, poems, character critiques, plot summaries/analyses, and more.


    The major difference between British Literature and British Literature Honors is the number of books that are read and their inherent difficulty, the mode of instruction in the classroom, the student initiative required, and the number of writing assignments and their increasing and varying difficulty.


     Common Core Reading Anchor Standards:  Analyzing key ideas and details, interpreting an author’s craft and structure, integration of knowledge and ideas through evaluation and expanding a student’s range of reading level and complexity within literature. 

    1. Common Core Writing Anchor Standards: Creating pieces of various types and purposes, taking part in the production and distribution of the writing process, researching to build and coherently presenting knowledge and expanding a student’s range of writing.
    2. Common Core Speaking & Listening Anchor Standards: Prepare for comprehension and collaboration in a range of settings, present knowledge and ideas.
    3. Common Core Language Anchor Standards: Demonstrate command of Standard English conventions, analyze knowledge of language and how it functions in reading, writing and listening and demonstrate vocabulary acquisition and use.

     Studying English is about communication, an invaluable skill that is necessary no matter which path is taken later in life.  A successful student in this course will develop and refine his/her writing, reading and speaking skills.  Students will utilize a systematic approach to writing and analyze various literary genres to identify and explore literary devices, historical/societal influences and universal themes across literature.  Students will demonstrate their mastery - individually and in groups -through oral, written and creative form, apply effective reading strategies, continue developing vocabulary, explore the structure of language, and apply critical thinking techniques.  

     Teaching techniques include: direct instruction, student presentations, discovery learning, modeling reading strategies and writing skills, analyzing sample work, and individual conferences.  

     High quality work is expected, and students will be given opportunities to repeat some individual work until it meets the standards specified during instruction.  To help meet this requirement, students will learn how to constructively critique their own work as well as the work of others through self and peer evaluation.  Every day students are required to not only be physically present in class but to be active participants in the learning process. 


     Lord of the Flies, William Golding

    Canterbury Tales (selected excerpts), Geoffrey Chaucer

    Macbeth & Sonnets 29, 106, 116, and 130, William Shakespeare

    Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

    *This list does not include other nonfiction and fiction texts, which will be used to supplement each unit.  


     Pre-Reading Research Projects/Presentations for Major Works of Literature: In order to help you build your background knowledge (schema) to read, all units begin with research.

    1. Memory Book Project: This project is ongoing throughout the entire school year and requires critical thinking and honest reflection.
    2. Grade Level Skills (Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking): Semester Exam, Final Exam, Interim Assessments
      1. Reading: This is a large component of English; we will read in class to model reading strategies, and you will be required to read outside of class.  Success in this course depends on your diligence in reading the assigned materials.
      2. Written Assignments: Written Reflection, Extended Response, timed Literary Analysis, Persuasive (Argument) Essay/Paper.


    • Novel Assessments: You can expect these for each unit in the form of multiple choice, short answer responses and in-class essays.
    • Vocabulary and Grammar Quizzes, plus Cumulative Tests: Each week, you will be responsible for ACT/SAT vocabulary words and specified grammar rules obtained by completing weekly homework sheets (Monday-Thursday).  You will be assessed every week. It is not enough to simply memorize the vocabulary word or the grammar rules; you need to be able to use these in context (e.g. in writing).
    • Daily Class Participation: The daily points are comprised of SAT bell ringer points and active learner points.  Class activities and bell ringers are meant as a way to practice what you are learning so that you can succeed on the exam, which is why you earn participation points for completion.  Expect to receive daily feedback from me to ensure you are achieving mastery.  


    1. How Your Grade is Determined

    Grades will be posted regularly.  Your grade is calculated as follows:

    • Formative Assessments  30%
          • Bell Ringers: 20-30 Points Per Day
          • Class Participation: This includes analysis questions, written reflections, discussions, notes, etc: 20 Points Possible Per Day.
          • Weekly Homework Sheet: 50 points possible daily.
    • Summative (Formal) Assessments 70%
          • Weekly Summative Assessment (Exam): 80-100 Points
          • Quarterly Formal Papers (timed and drafts): 100 Points
          • Projects: 100+ Points
          • Interim Assessments: Fifty Points



    Class Participation Requirements

    20 Points

    Student completes work satisfactorily without verbal redirections from the teacher, participates thoughtfully in class discussions, has all class materials, and contributes to a positive learning environment.

    15 Points

    Student completes work satisfactorily, but may need a verbal redirection from the teacher, and/or does not participate in class discussion; missing one or more class material(s) .

    10 Points

    Student needs verbal redirections from the teacher to complete work and may participate negatively to the learning environment (e.g. excessive talking, other disruptions); missing one or more classroom material(s).

    0 Points

    Student is off task and is not prepared for class with classroom materials.

    1. Grading Scale







    Exceeds Expectations; Independent learner; superior work; all work completed on time at an exceptional level of quality and effort; 



    Meets Expectations; Semi-independent learner; above average work; all work completed on time; did quality work with a few flaws; 



    Passing but does not meet some standards; Dependent learner; average work; most completed on time showing average effort; 



    Passing but only meets minimum standards; Dependent learner; average work; most completed on time showing average effort; 



    Failing, does not meet minimum standards; Failure; does not meet standards or expectations;


    1. Components of the Quarter Grade

    Class Participation:     25%

    Classwork: 25%

    Homework: 15%

    Quizzes/Tests: 20%

    Projects: 15%


    1. Calculation of Semester Grade

    1st quarter grade  40%  

    2nd quarter grade 40%

    Semester Exam 20%  

    Final Semester Grade 100%


    2. Materials: Each student must bring the following to class daily:
          1. Pen & 2 No. 2 Pencils – Blue OR Black ink 
          2. iPad – Every day; only take out and use when instructed.
    1. Personal Planner – Must be present in class everyday
    2. Notebook for class notes ONLY
    3. Loose-leaf paper
    4. Highlighters (at least 2 colors)
    5. Current novels/readings 


    1. Absence and Tardy Policy 

    If you are absent, you have two school days to make up all missing assignments.  If you are absent for an extended amount of time, other arrangements may be made.  It is your responsibility to check Google Classroom, Edmodo, and/or confer with a classmate to ensure you receive what you missed while out of class. 


    It is also your responsibility to schedule a time to see me regarding any work you missed by emailing me at DEpson@scphs.org.

    If you have a planned absence (such as a family vacation), you are required to collect all assignments before your last day, and it is due the first day you return.  


    If you are tardy for class:

    • Enter silently, and get settled.
    • Keep in mind if you are more than five minutes late (and do not possess an excused pass) that is considered a class cut.  
    • If you miss all or part of the Bell Ringer due to unexcused tardiness, you forfeit all or part of the Bell Ringer points.


    Tardy means you are NOT in your seat when the bell rings... NO EXCUSES!


    In accordance with the Student Handbook: 

    Tardy #1 – Verbal Warning

    Tardy #2 and Each Subsequent Tardy – Detention


    1. Late Work Policy

    I do not accept late work. All assignments are due in class, WHEN class BEGINS.  Pay attention to deadlines and due dates. If you are absent on the day an assignment is due email me with Subject Line: “Absent Work” your name, class period & submit on Google Classroom if assignment was expected. It must be an excused absence to receive credit; otherwise it will not be accepted. You have however many days you were absent to submit your assignment and email. For example, Absent Monday, assignment due Wednesday. HOWEVER, although we miss you, class does go on without you, and it is your responsibility to get ALL assignments off Google Classroom and check in with a reliable classmate for notes if need be. 


    1. Requesting Teacher’s Assistance

    If you require additional assistance, please ask me during class when working on an assignment, after class, or contact me via email. Keep in mind, you must go through the proper steps before requesting help. 

    • Re-read the question being asked
    • Look up any words you don’t know and/or action verbs (Use IPAD)
    • Use prior knowledge and/or review notes from previous classes
    • If it’s partner/group work as your classmates how they got their answer
    • Give your best effort and educated guess
    • Be ready to ask poignant questions versus “I don’t know how to do this” OR “I am confused”. Be explicit on what you’re confused about or what you need assistance with. 


    1. Turning in Work 

    Work will be turned in to the appropriate class bin OR on Google Classroom at the beginning of class or when completed before the final bell of the class period. If the bell rings and you have not turned in your homework in the appropriate bin or Google Classroom submission IT IS LATE. See late work policy above.


    Periodically, students will be required to turn in assignments through Turn It In, Edmodo, and/or, Google Classroom website. Check your schedule and make sure to keep up with deadlines. Assignments will close at a certain time and WILL NOT reopen. 


    1. Returning Work

    When work is ready to be returned to you, it will be in the designated bin for your class, there will be feedback on Google Classroom OR a student(s) will be asked to pass back work. 


    1. Summative Assessments

    There will be a summative assessment each week worth between 80-100 points. This will include weekly vocabulary, grammar and analysis of studied reading material.  The format will include questions of the following types: fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, short answer and essay.


    1. Posting Grades

    Grades will be posted regularly. There should never be a time when you are   unsure of your status in this class.  All assignments, projects, tests, quizzes and academic resources will be posted.  Be mindful that you should be aware of the grading scale and reflective on your classroom actions to determine why you earned the grade you earned for that day. 

    1. Academic Honesty

    You are expected to do your work - and only your work – independently at a LEVEL 0, unless you are instructed to do otherwise.  


    There will be assignments, which will require you to work with a partner or a group, in which case collaboration is expected.  


    Plagiarism, cheating, copying, etc. will not be tolerated and will result in zero credit for an assignment and further disciplinary actions.  Copying and pasting information from the internet is considered plagiarism. If you claim to have written something that is not in your words, it is plagiarism.  If you fail to cite sources where you retrieved information, it is plagiarism. 


    1. Daily Expectations: Classroom Rules/Consequences
    1. Be ready!
    2. Respect and contribute to the environment: Be open to learn & accountable for your actions. 
    3. Be fully present and actively listening.
    4. Persevere through academic and social challenges. Be your best self, even when you don’t FEEL like it. 
    5. Refrain from grooming (brushing, combing, picking, undoing braids) in class; this is not a beauty/barber shop, all combs, hairpicks, brushes should be put away. Grooming is for the bathroom. 
    6. There is no gum, food, drink (except water) of any sort in class, unless otherwise directed by me. After you are advised on this as a class, if you choose not to follow directions, there will be consequences. 


    To protect all of us, the following sequence of responses to minor rule violations will be implemented.  For major violations, the severity may require a different course of action.

    #1 Teacher Warning/Student Apology

    #2 Student Conference/Phone Call Home

    #3 Referral to Dean – possible removal from class


    I SHOULD NOT have to tell young adults instructions and repeat expectations multiple times. PLEASE read, read, and re-read instructions always. In addition, consequences will follow those who do not act their age, disrespect me and/or your classmates, this learning space, and/or our time together. 


    1. Entering and Ending class 

    Please enter the room quietly appropriate manner, take your seat, and begin doing the Bell Work, which will be on the Promethean Board. 


    When the bell rings you are at a level 0 (silent) working on the Do Now/Bell Work unless otherwise instructed.

    At the beginning of class, once the bell rings there is no getting up to sharpen pencils, throw away anything, etc. class has begun. If you do so, it will be a tardy. During class, raise your hand for permission to move about the class. 


    The bell does not dismiss you; I dismiss you.  Please wait for my cue before leaving the room.  Be sure that when you leave, all materials are put back in their proper place and chairs are pushed in. If the room is not back in order you WILL NOT be leaving. 


    1. Hall Passes and Use of Bathroom

    You are expected to come to class prepared, and you are expected to visit the bathroom during passing periods; however, there are cases for emergencies.  


    You will be issued 4 passes to use each semester.  Once you have utilized your four passes, you will not be given a pass from me for the rest of the semester.

    Do not come and ask me or tell me you are going to the bathroom to prevent being tardy. Go after your previous class and get back to class on time. No excuses. If you are not in your seat when the bell rings you are tardy.


    1. Food/Drink

    According to the Student Handbook, no food, drinks, gum, candy, throat lozenges etc. are permitted in class.  If you come into class with any food/drink, gum, candy, throat lozenges etc. it will be thrown away and a referral to the dean will be written. No excuses. 


    1. Electronic Communication Devices

    According to the Student Handbook, you should not bring electronic communication devices to class; this includes cell phones.  


    There will be no verbal warning if I see your cell phone or any electronic devices not granted in class, they will be confiscated. In addition, there will be a phone call home, and dean referral. 


    Ipads are a privilege- NOT a right. If you are using your Ipad improperly, have it out at an inappropriate time, and/or are caught with another person’s Ipad, further consequences will take place. 



    Strong parent-teacher communication is key to student success in the classroom. This syllabus (outlining course requirements and student behavior) is sent home to give a clear view of the expectations and responsibilities in class. Progress and grade reports are sent home and parents are also contacted by phone and email. You may reach me by phone before or after school at by email: DEpson@scphs.org.


    Please sign and return this sheet to Mrs. Epson by Friday, August 23, 2019 to indicate that you have received and read the syllabus/rules for British Literature.  This is one of your first grades for this class, and it is worth twenty points. 

    Student Name (print)__________________________________________


    I have read the British Literature Course Syllabus and Rules and understand the expectations, requirements and behavioral consequences for this class.

    Parent/Guardian Printed Name: __________________________________

    Parent/Guardian Signature_______________________________________

    Student Signature______________________________________________

    Current Home Phone___________________________________________



    What is the best way for me to contact you?  Please check the best option and complete the information below.


    _____ Email address: ___________________________________


    _____Work phone number: ___________________________________


    _____Home phone number: ____________________________________

    _____Cell phone number: ____________________________________