• English 10 Course Syllabus

    Instructor:   Mrs. Allison Becker

    Help Availability: Room D118 and D212  and the Writing Center 2.2 (and by appointment)

    Contact Info: ajb33@scasd.org


    Course Overview

    This course is the second in a 09-12 sequence of English courses designed for students of varied language arts abilities. The emphasis in this course is on developing critical thinking skills through the analysis of a variety of literary genres, with emphasis on classic and world literature, including graphic novels.  Through practice in producing a variety of forms of writing for different audiences and purposes, students work to develop a personal style while improving research, argumentative, and creative writing skills. Grammar, usage and vocabulary instruction are integrated into the study of literature and writing. Expectations include a willingness to take risks, contribute, and work creatively.  Assessment is based on the quality of written assignments and tests, engagement in class activities, oral presentations, participation in group work, and the consistent practice of reading for pleasure. Please see the English dept website for a comprehensive list of possible texts. Students will select and read their own choice books as a yearlong part of the course.


    ELA Curriculum Overview - English 10


    Curricular Focus

    Unit 1

    (8-10 weeks)

    Unit 2

    (8-10 weeks)

    Unit 3

    (8-10 weeks)

    Unit 4

    (8-10 weeks)


    Writing, Speaking and Listening and Research

    Developing Empathy in the Face of a Single Story

    Writing Focus: Analysis

    Reading Focus: American Born Chinese, Persepolis

    Analyzing and Crafting Effective Rhetorical Argument

    Writing Focus:  Persuasion

    Reading Focus:  A wide variety of speeches

    Shakespeare: The Art and Craft of the Playwright

    Writing Focus:  Argumentation

    Reading Focus:

    Shakespeare’s MacBeth

    Examining Societal Conflict

    Writing Focus: Research Paper  

    Reading Focus:

    Night by Eli Wiesel

    Core Assessments

    Comprehension Test on The Danger of a Single Story

    Text Dependent Analysis of narrative structure

    Open Letter

    Rhetoric Quizzes

    Rhetorical Analysis

    MacBeth Analysis  

    Comparative Analysis

    Research Presentation

    Socratic Discussion


    Most of our materials will be found on Canvas, so it will be important to  bring your charged chromebook or personal device with you every day.  When I issue books, bring them regularly.  I


     This class is graded on a “points” basis. You accrue points based on the sophistication of your work, your discussion, and your completion of exercises.  There will be at least one major writing assignment each quarter, and there will be small reading and discussion assignments nearly every day. The more you engage and are prepared for class, the more you learn, so engagement in and the quality of discussion will be used to help determine borderline grades.


    ** PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL THE REQUIRED PRE-WRITING, AND A PAPER IS COMPLETE AND TURNED IN ON-TIME, MAJOR PAPERS CAN BE REWRITTEN AS MANY TIMES AS NECESSARY TO EARN THE DESIRED GRADE, up to the week after the end of the curricular unit.   Isn’t that amazing? That means that you can honestly earn whatever grade you desire on those major writing assignments, as long as you are willing to work for it.

    Work Accepted Policy


    • Student Make Up Work Procedure


    In the event that a student is absent from class unexpectedly, the student will make arrangements to submit his/her work, take a test/quiz, and get assignments that were missed.

    • It is the student’s responsibility to check teacher websites and / or contact the teacher for work.
    • Students are expected to make up all work missed within a time period not to exceed the total number of  class days absent.

    Example: Student is out Monday (A), Tuesday (B), and Wednesday (A). Student will get A day work on Friday, and it will be due two classes later on Thursday. Student will get B day work on Thursday, and it will be due Monday. Thereafter, a 10% deduction may be taken for each class meeting day the assignment / assessment is late.

      • Students are strongly encouraged to make up missed work and keep up with assignments while they are out.
      • Extensions may be given at the discretion of the classroom teacher.

    Unexcused Absences

    If a student cuts class and is unaccounted for in the attendance system, s/he cannot earn higher than half of the credit that was earned for the assignment.  The assignment/assessment is due the class period that the student returns to class.


    1. Late Work

    It is the expectation that all students will turn in assignments on the given due date.  Late work is an assignment not turned in by the established due date/class period. Students have up to three class periods past the due date to turn in a late assignment.  Ten percent will be deducted for each class period that the assignment is late. A student who turns in the assignment more than three class periods past the due date will receive half of the credit that they earned on the assignment.  In order to receive credit for late work a student must turn in any late work by the end of the unit.



    ​Plagiarism is defined as the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.  Intentional plagiarism occurs when a student knowingly submits someone else’s words or ideas as if they were his/her own. Unintentional plagiarism occurs when writers and researchers use the words or ideas of others but fail to quote or give credit (perhaps because they don't know how).  When in doubt, students must check with a teacher or librarian.


    Examples of plagiarism may include but are not limited to:

    1) purchasing or copying work produced by others (homework, reports,     take ­home exams, tests, research papers, music, art, images, etc.)

    2) direct copying (“cutting and pasting”) of selected sections (words, phrases,     sentences, paragraphs) from another source without quotation marks and/or documentation.

    3) paraphrasing, summarizing, or otherwise rewording another’s original work    that is not common knowledge without documentation.

    4) failing to document the use of charts, graphs, diagrams, statistics, or other     materials not created or compiled by the student.

    5) working together on an independent assignment and then submitting individual copies of the assignment as one’s own individual work.

    6) fabricating data or in any way falsifying the results of an experiment or inquiry  process.

    Cheating includes, but is not limited to, a student copying an assignment or test and submitting it as his/her own; allowing someone to copy an assignment or test and submit it as his/her own; unauthorized use of or communicating with notes, calculators, computers, textbooks, websites, cell phones, etc. during an exam or project; telling other students what is on a test or quiz or providing specific questions or answers before or after the test.


    **The consequences for these infractions are detailed in the student handbook. Please, if you are in a bind, unsure of what to do, or need help in anyway  TALK TO ME BEFORE YOU CHEAT. I can always answer any question you have, give you an extension, or negotiate with you about the assignment.

    Access to Work & Absences

    All assignments are posted in Canvas. It is expected that you will use Canvas to turn in any work assigned (other than what I ask you to do on paper).  Please check Canvas prior to planned absences and see me with any specific questions regarding those assignments. When absences are unplanned, check the online resources as soon as possible and complete work in a timely fashion.  E-mail the teacher with questions and concerns; do not wait for someone to reach out to you as it is the student’s responsibility to take charge of his or her work.



     I want to propose a mindset for this year, one that has helped me a great deal in my own growth to become an interesting and interested person.  The mindset is one of open inquiry and trust, where we see every activity as a place for learning to happen if we make it happen. In other words, every activity you engage in can be made meaningful or it can be made into busy work, depending on your desire to learn from the activity.  On my part, I want to make you a promise not to assign work that I see as having little ability to help your reading, writing, understanding, and critical literacy skills. You’ll have to trust that I won’t give you busy work and you will have to agree not to treat potentially meaningful activities as such.


    I am also committed to the idea of  “teaching up,” which means that I will set high standards for academic success, and make sure that you are personally supported in ways that makes it possible (if you provide the hard work) to reach a level of excellence in your understandings and writings.


    Finally, I want all of you to know that I am unconditionally dedicated to your success. I am in your corner, and I try as hard as I can to put what is best for you at the forefront of my thinking at all times.  I am a teacher, and I am a mother, and I will work as hard for your success as I would want a teacher to work for my sons or daughter. But most of the responsibility for success rests on your shoulders. Carry it well.

Last Modified on August 23, 2019