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10th Grade English Syllabus


Teacher Information



Room Location + Extra Help

Mr. DiDonato

Room 237

Extra Help Day - Wednesday

General Information

Description and Goals

Everything a writer does has a purpose. Nothing is placed into a piece of writing without careful consideration of why it is there. Every writer has a unique identity that is present in their work that they hope readers will respond to. The goal of this English course is to help students further discover what kind of writer, thinker and learner they are through the study of classical and contemporary literary fiction, drama, poetry, non-fiction and journalism.

In this course, students will develop their skills in English Language Arts through critical analysis of a text and constructing a wide range of written products (argument-based or persuasive essays, creative writing, etc.). Each unit will be based around a series of themes as students work to build knowledge, analyze ideas, and further develop skills in writing, communication and collaboration with these specific works. Students will be asked to consider the role of the writer of a given work and in turn their own roles as writers and thinkers. By considering such elements as point of view, the historical context or setting of a work, and how fate and free will intertwine, students will learn to appreciate literature and writing through various strategies.


Students and teachers are expected to

  • Respect and be polite to each other and each other’s property.
  • Be on time by being at our desks before the bell rings.
  • Come prepared with the necessary materials needed for class.
  • Recognize that there is “one microphone”. When one person is talking, everyone else is listening.

Students are also expected to follow the additional rules outlined in their student handbook and code of conduct established by the district.

Standards and Skills

As students move through the school year, their instruction will be partially guided by the New York State Common Core Standards. More detailed information about each individual standard can be found at These are representative of the skills that students will be called upon to access.

Some skills that students should become familiar with include

  • Discussing various topics associated with a text.
  • Demonstrating comprehension of a text through analysis and writing composition.
  • Defining and utilizing various literary terminology.

Sidebar: Students will be regularly asked to engage with their texts and their own writing. As a class, we will work to define what “engagement” really means. In addition to what is asked of us by the New York CCSS, it is my personal goal and wish for each and every student to engage with their reading and writing on a personal level. Everyone has a passion and everyone has a voice It is my intent to help each and every student to further discover theirs!

Course Materials

Required Materials

  • College-ruled paper notebook.
  • Black or blue ink pens.
  • A highlighter of any color.


Main Texts

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Additional complimentary texts to be assigned as the year progresses.

Course Schedule Outline.




Essential Question

Unit 1

Traditions of storytelling, sacrifice and autonomy.

The Joy Luck Club

How do settings and time period inform character?

Unit 2

Suffering, race, ethics and mortality

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

 How does point of view inform intent?

Unit 3

Fate vs. free will


How does fate and free will determine the course of our lives?

Additional Information


In additional to assessments given during and at the end of each unit, there will be a midterm and final exam that focuses on writing.

Late Work Policy

Homework and other assignments are expected to be handed in on the designated day. A set number of points will be deducted each day the assignment is not turned in.


100-90 – A

89-80 – B

79-70 – C

69-60 – D

Below 60 - F

Final Grade-

25%- Participation and attendance.

25%- Tests and quizzes

50%- Homework, classwork and projects

Disruptive Behavior

Anyone who disrupts class is subject to a verbal warning, call home, or detention/referral to office based the severity of their disruption. Multiple warnings can lead to a call or referral.

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