Sophomore English

Welcome to English II

This is a comprehensive course incorporating all aspects of the English curriculum and is aimed at developing experience and expertise in reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Instruction will include but not be limited to the reading and writing of persuasive, narrative, expository, and technical materials; extensive vocabulary development; and introduction, review, and mastery of correct English grammar usage.

 Course Objectives:

  •  To expose students to a wide variety of fictional narratives, non-fictional informative, persuasive, and technical reading and writing
  • To introduce various authors from a variety of historical periods, cultures, and genres
  • To develop strong written and verbal communication skills
  • To expand critical and analytical thinking skills
  • To improve students’ English language understanding and usage
  • To increase vocabulary knowledge and retention
  • To move toward mastery of Six-Trait writing components
  • To incorporate new organizational and study skills
  • To develop research abilities, MLA documentation rules, database and technology utilization
  • To compile a writing portfolio
  • To foster an appreciation and desire for lifelong learning
  • To utilize knowledge already possessed by the student and his/her classmates in order to further the learning experience
  • To develop intrapersonal and interpersonal skills
  • To prepare for a variety of local, state, and national tests including Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), Kansas State Assessments, and American College Testing (ACT)

 Academic and Classroom Expectations:

  •  Arrive on time to class, ready to begin instruction when the bell rings; bring pass from prior teacher if late
  • Demonstrate respect for others and expect the same from your classmates and teacher
  • Ask for assistance as needed. That’s why I am here. Most of you know me, so don’t be shy.
  • No gum, candy, snacks, or pop in the classroom as determined by school policy. Water consumption from clear containers is encouraged.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to school. You will be sent to the office in cases of indecent attire. Hats are prohibited in my classroom. Leave them in your locker or put them in your book bag. (See pp. 17-18 of Student Handbook)
  • When school work is due, it is DUE. Academics supersede athletics/activities. I will give you a pass to practice once your work is completed, if necessary. All assigned work is due PRIOR to leaving for an activity.
  • See the Student Handbook (pages 12-13) for information regarding excused and unexcused tardies and absences. A student who receives three unexcused tardies in a semester will receive a detention to be served the following school day. Parent(s) will be notified. This supersedes any athletic practices. Unexcused absences will result in a zero for any work due that day, including daily work, quizzes/tests, major term papers/essays, or other projects. Use the restroom before or after lunch in order to be on time for this class 5th hour.
  • Cheating or plagiarism on any type of assignment results in a zero. A student who allows someone to cheat by reading/copying his/her paper or providing questions/answers will receive an identical grade. Plagiarism is the willful copying of another person’s work without giving credit to the rightful author.It gets you nowhere and will result in severe consequences. Do not play me for a fool!
  • Computer use is a privilege, and we use computers several times per week all year long. Inappropriate use of a school computer or Chrome Book will result in suspension of that privilege for whatever period of time the teacher and principal deem appropriate, up to the rest of the school year. Computers are to be used only for school work. No games or access to social sites are allowed, including but not limited to Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram, etc. Additionally, expressed approval to send personal email must be cleared with the instructor beforehand. This is the only warning you will receive. Consequences for circumventing blocked websites or damaging equipment will be severe.
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices should be turned off in class and kept in your book bag, not on your person. Confiscated devices will be turned over to the principal. Do not wear ear buds in class without permission; however, please keep a set of earbuds with you for specific assigned purposes such as classroom audio research and testing.
  • Students are expected to use their class period for English/Language Arts only. Once work is completed, a student may work on assignments from another class, BUT ONLY AFTER RECEIVING PERMISSION from Ms. Strnad. (Should you desire to work on English assignments during another class, you MUST receive permission from the instructor first. A student working on an English assignment in another class without permission will receive a zero for the assignment. This includes A.R. reading. YOU MUST ASK THE INSTRUCTOR FIRST!
  • I am at school by 7:45 a.m. and usually remain until 4:00 or after. See me if you are having difficulty with an assignment, require clarification on any issue, or just need to talk about this class. I want to hear from YOU if there is a problem. Do NOT wait until class time to seek information regarding an assignment due that day. Parental, administrative, or counselor involvement will be sought as the need arises. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!

Grading Policies:

 Students and parents may access grades online through GoEdustar.  I do not plan to give extra credit for those who fail to be productive. Grades are based on daily assignments, homework, writing assignments, tests, projects, presentations, and other activities.

You will be required to complete 15 Accelerated Reader points per quarter. This will comprise 15% of your grade! Grading is based on the number of correct answers received upon taking an AR test in my classroom or in Mrs. Bruna’s room (when she is available). Remember, there are also books in Ms. Strnad’s classroom that may be checked out directly from her. Some of these do not have A.R. tests; be sure to check with Ms. Strnad prior to removing any book from the classroom.  Reading time will be set aside periodically and also occurs indiscriminately. All students are expected to have reading material with them at all times. This is a great time to read for A.R. points. Anyone who cheats or plagiarizes on any A.R. test or report will lose ALL points for the nine weeks. Parents will be notified.

Each grade is based on the length and difficulty of the assignment. Research papers, other writing assignments, and daily grades will vary from 2 points to 300 points (or more, if appropriate). Check the website for grade updates or request a personal copy from the instructor. Updates to grade books are completed each week. Rubrics for major assignments will be posted on the board or handed out while work is progressing. Questions cannot be answered unless they are asked. Please notify me of any questions you have regarding grades, assignments, or other expectations. I have made mistakes, so don’t hesitate to question me if you believe a grade has been entered incorrectly. SERIOUSLY!

 Late Work:

 Work is to be completed and turned in when due. The only exception to this will be in the case of an excused absence based upon illness or other extenuating circumstances. Communicate with me! If you are to be gone for any reason, you must hand in your daily assignment and ask for the next assignment PRIOR to the absence. This includes all early dismissals for athletics, club activities, doctor or court appointments, etc. It is YOUR responsibility to get the assignment ahead of time. No excuses unless I have discussed the issue with you either personally or in class. Do not expect that excused absences marked “Parent Permission” means you may turn in work upon your return. Make plans to e-mail the assignment or to drop it off in my mailbox in the office. Remember: Absences marked “Parent Permission” are not necessarily excused absences. (See Student Handbook, p. 12-13.)

 Assignment Example: If you are to be dismissed early for an athletic/extra-curricular activity or a doctor/court appointment, etc., the assignment for that day MUST BE turned in or e-mailed to me PRIOR to leaving and the assignment for the next day received. If it is not turned in prior to leaving, you will receive a ZERO for that assignment. All subsequent assignments are due on time as well. Do not expect me to hunt you down to give you or retrieve your assignment.


“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”—Aristotle

 I want you to succeed. If you haven’t, than neither have I. But “no man is an island.” We must work together, be honest, straightforward, and communicative. If you believe I have been unfair in some way, or that there is a problem within this classroom, it is your responsibility to discuss the issue with me. In addition, I will reciprocate on all classroom issues. You will, unquestionably, know how I feel—and I feel great just having you here.

Topics and Projects


BEE Amazing!

What is Common Sense?

Grammar, Conventions, Language Usage, and Vocabulary throughout the year

Poetry Unit: Narrative and Lyrical Ballads and Odes; vocabulary review; EVOKER strategy for poetry analysis; poetic form, imagery, rhythm, etc.

Non-fiction texts and close reading

Cultural relevance in storytelling and writing; student poetry authorship with cultural references and figurative language examples

Expository Writing: A travelogue to local attractions

Narrative Reading: Magical Realism—Gabriel Garcia Marquez; discussion, “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings”

Narrative Essay composition: Magical Realism with selected prompts

Begin Science Fiction and Fantasy Unit: Kurt Vonnegut author study with comparison and contrast essay of three sources; multiple narrative readings, expository writing; contextual clues; vocabulary development


Science Fiction and Fantasy Unit continued

Compare and contrast of a poem and a narrative

Applying science fiction today: technical writing; research and analysis

Fantasy, fables, tall tales, legends, and trickster tales: selected readings and original student works

Arthurian Legend: “The Crowning of Arthur” and “Sir Launcelot du Lake,” point of view, descriptive detail, dialogue, characterization, diction, and tone

Newspaper Project: Interpreting children’s literature into journalistic style including narrative, technical, and persuasive writing, editorial and letter composition

Narratives: Creating a science fiction super hero! (If time)


Novel Unit: To Kill a Mockingbird—Heroes and Heroic Choices; societal changes; vocabulary development; text structure; character and theme recognition and analysis; figurative language; testing (3 parts)

Letter writing

DBQ: Data Based Questions (research and composition)

Expository writing: “All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum


Analysis of four American short stories (TBD)

Oral and written comparative literary analysis of two selections: character dissection, relationships, historical significance, symbolism, theme, thesis writing, plot structure


Shakespeare/Drama Unit: Macbeth; Shakespeare’s language and metric pattern; characterization; stage directions; Elizabethan view of “The Chain of Being”; King James and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 (Guy Fawkes Day); divine right of kings; Film adaptation of Macbeth

Novel Unit: Of Mice and Men; dissection of Robert Burns’s poem, “To a Mouse”; theme recognition; character archetype analysis; plot structure; migrant experience discussion with photos; vocabulary development; testing (2 parts); film adaptation (if time)

Modern World Literature
Grammar, conventions, and punctuation exercises are completed throughout the year.