Junior English

Welcome to Junior English

 This is a comprehensive course incorporating all aspects of the English curriculum and is aimed at building on prior knowledge to develop 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 English grammar. Juniors will prepare for local, state, and federal testing as designated at those levels.

 Course Objectives:

 To expose students to a wide variety of non-fiction and fiction, informative, persuasive, and technical reading and writing

  • To introduce authors from a variety of historical periods, cultures, and genres
  • To develop strong written and verbal communication skills
  • To develop effective speaking and listening skills as well as critical and analytical thinking
  • To improve students’ understanding of the English language
  • To increase vocabulary knowledge and retention
  • To master Six-Trait writing components
  • To incorporate new organizational and study skills
  • To develop research abilities, MLA documentation skills, library and technology utilization
  • To complete a writing portfolio
  • To foster an appreciation and desire for lifelong learning
  • To utilize knowledge already possessed by the student and classmates in order to further the learning experience
  • To develop intrapersonal and interpersonal skills
  • To prepare students for local, state, and federal testing as designated at those levels

 Academic and Classroom Expectations:

  •  Arrive on time to class, ready to begin instruction when the bell rings.
  • Demonstrate RESPECT for others and expect the same from your classmates and instructor.
  • If you do not understand something, ask. Remember that all learning builds on prior knowledge so if you are having difficulty with one task, the next may be even more difficult. ASK FOR ASSISTANCE. Slow me down, if necessary.
  • Always bring extra work to class in the event there is down time (such as when you are finished with a test but others are not). An Accelerated Reader book should be at arm’s length at all times.
  • No food, gum, candy, snacks, or soft drinks allowed in this classroom. I encourage water consumption from a clear container.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to school. You will be reported to the office if dressed inappropriately.Hats are not allowed in the classroom. Keep them in your locker or in your book bag, not on your desk. (See pp. 17-18 of the Student Handbook for clothing guidelines.)
  • See the Student Handbook for information regarding 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. (See Handbook, pp. 12-14) 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.
  • Cheating or plagiarizing on any assignment results in a zero. A student who allows someone to cheat by reading/utilizing his/her paper/work 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.
  • Computer use is a privilege, and we use computers several times per week all year long. Misuse, destruction, or 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 are not to be used in the classroom. Keep any such device turned off and in your book bag, not on your person. Confiscated items will be turned over to the principal. They may or may not be returned at the end of the day.
  • 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 reading for A.R.
  • 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. 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.

 Grading Policies:

 Students may access their grades through GoEdustar.  I do not plan to give extra credit for those who fail to be productive. For those who do not do well on major assignments, we will discuss the matter on an individual basis, with rewrites a possibility for additional credit. Those who do not seriously address assignments, however, will not receive extended time. Grades are based on daily assignments, homework, writing assignments, tests, presentations, projects, 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 classroom (when available).   Remember, there are books available for direct checkout in Ms. Strnad’s classroom as well as in the library. Some of these books do not have A.R. tests. See Mrs. Strnad for point availability if book is not marked. Reading time will be set aside periodically and is often available at indiscriminate times. All students are expected to have reading material with them. This is a great opportunity to read for A.R. points. Anyone who cheats or plagiarizes on an A.R. test will lose ALL points for the nine weeks. Parents will be notified. Do not play me for a fool!

Each class grade is based on the length and difficulty of the assignment. Research papers, other writing assignments, and daily homework grades will vary from 5 points to 300 points (or more, if appropriate).  Any student may ask for his/her grade report.  I encourage students to check their grades online periodically and let me know of any perceived discrepancies. Mistakes are possible. I’ve probably made them in the past (but I could be mistaken). Updates are made to the grade book each week. Rubrics for major assignments will be placed on the board or handed out to students. Questions cannot be answered unless they are asked. Please notify me of any questions you have concerning your grades, assignments, or other expectations. 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 session assignment PRIOR to the absence. This includes all early dismissals for athletics, club activities, doctor appointments, 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 drop it off in my mailbox in the office. Absences marked “Parent Permission” are not necessarily excused absences. (See Student Handbook, p. 13)

 “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.”—Aristotle (Paradox!)

 Success is dependent on many factors, but the first one is you. As juniors you must become self-advocates, ask questions, listen to the answers, act accordingly in an ethical manner, and follow up when satisfaction is not forthcoming. There are reasons why teachers are expectant of you. Realize that being “satisfied” with an outcome does not mean you have gotten your way but that the necessary avenues have been explored and valid reasons given. Prepare to make the most of each activity, each class period, each day. I’m happy to be your teacher.

Topics and Projects (subject to change as time permits/limits)

 First Semester

Grammar, Word Choice, Punctuation, and Sentence Structure exercises (throughout the year)

Accelerated Reader Program (throughout the year)

Early American Literature Unit: “Between Heaven and Hell”

The Declaration of Independence—elevated language, rhetorical questions, repetition vs. parallelism, concession and refutation; persuasive elements; letters to the editor

Early American Puritan influence

Slave narrative, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano”  with additional non-fictional accounts and close reading exercises

Creating extended poetic metaphor

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards

The Crucible by Arthur Miller with “The Examination of Sarah Good” Salem court documents;

Examination of Aristotle’s Tragic Hero

Historical significance of House Un-American Activities Committee testimony; role-playing exercise

Film adaptation of The Crucible

Expository Research Paper: “Growth of a Young Nation” in conjunction with American History class; individual subjects; MLA format with works cited page; thesis statement; supportive materials; APA development

Formative assessments; testing vocabulary review

Figurative language identification and practice


Second Semester

 “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau

“Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Personal essay with quote selection and MLA-dictated citations

Research: The Great Depression; presentation of monologues

Novel Unit: The Grapes of Wrath—text types and structures; vocabulary; John Steinbeck biography; Manichean paradox/shades of gray; The Exodus as plot structure and theme of novel; Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; testing (3 parts); vocabulary test

 “Ghost of Tom Joad” by Bruce Springsteen; analytical worksheet

ACT Practice: English and Reading

Unit on Psychological Realism with excerpts from world literature selections by Dostoyevski, Camus, and Tolstoy

Persuasive Techniques: bandwagon, testimonials and endorsements, glittering generalities; persuasive appeals to reason, emotion, authority, and popularity

Persuasive Writing Essays: recognizing excellence in persuasive writing (6-Trait review and analysis); choosing from 10 prompts for original essay; addressing persuasive appeals; conceding/refuting

 Novel Unit: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt; Irish potato famine; point of view; sentence structure; roadblocks to success; traits of resilient children; testing (3 parts)

“Seed Word” essay on themes from Angela’s Ashes

 (Completion of Career Unit listed below based on time available)

Career Exploration: research of college costs, job outlook, related occupations, locations, aptitudes and interests; phone etiquette; personal acknowledgements; job shadows

Career Unit: Students will be required to complete a one-day job shadowing experience; Mrs. Hagedorn will assist with appropriate professional connections

Power Points on job shadow experiences and presentations to class