English III: Syllabus

Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts

Course Syllabus

English III

Mr. Neil Pirch – Room 304


Planning Period: 7th

Phone: 816/418-2275

Email:  npirch@kcmsd.net

Website:  pirch.educatorpages.com


Course Description

This two-semester course, which is based on American Literature, will provide eleventh grade Language Arts students the opportunity to expand and polish reading, writing, research, technology, listening, viewing, and speaking skills while studying a variety of genres. Active reading strategies, process writing, and higher order/critical thinking skills will be utilized to analyze and interpret reading selections from specific time periods. Students will connect to their own lives while demonstrating proficiency of writing process through narrative, reflective, descriptive, persuasive literary analysis, and research writing. Students will demonstrate effective use of technology through a variety of presentation formats.


Prerequisite:  Satisfactory completion of English II


Course Objectives


Reading Literature and Informational Text

You will grapple with works of exceptional craft and thought chosen from among seminal U.S. Documents and the classics of American Literature.  Through wide and deep reading of literature and literary nonfiction of steadily increasing sophistication, you will gain a reservoir of literary and cultural knowledge, references, and images; the ability to evaluate intricate arguments; and the capacity to surmount the challenges posed by complex texts.


Writing and Research

You will use writing as a key means of asserting and defending claims, showing what you know about a subject, and conveying what you have experienced, imagined, thought, and felt. To be college- and career-ready writers, you must take task, purpose, and audience into careful consideration, choosing words, information, structures, and formats deliberately. You will need to know how to combine elements of different kinds of writing—for example, to use narrative strategies within argument and explanation within narrative— to produce complex and nuanced writing.


You will need to be able to use technology strategically when creating, refining, and collaborating on writing. You will have to become adept at gathering information, evaluating sources, and citing material accurately, reporting findings from their research and analysis of sources in a clear and cogent manner. You must have the flexibility, concentration, and fluency to produce high-quality first draft text under a tight deadline as well as the capacity to revisit and make improvements to a piece of writing over multiple drafts when circumstances encourage or require it.



You will have ample opportunities to take part in a variety of rich, structured conversations—as part of a whole class, in small groups, and with a partner—built around important content in various domains.


They must be able to contribute appropriately to these conversations, to make comparisons and contrasts, and to analyze and synthesize a multitude of ideas in accordance with the standards of evidence appropriate to a particular discipline.


Language Study

To be college and career ready in language, you must have firm control over the conventions of Standard English. At the same time, you must come to appreciate that language is as at least as much a matter of craft as of rules and be able to choose words, syntax, and punctuation to express yourself and achieve particular functions and rhetorical effects.


You will build an extensive vocabulary through reading and study, enabling you to comprehend complex texts and engage in purposeful writing about and conversations around content. You will need to become skilled in determining or clarifying the meaning of words and phrases they encounter, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies to aid them.

Course Text

Applebee, Arthur N. et al. The Language of Literature: American Literature.  Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell.

Supplementary materials will be provided as required.


Course Materials

Please bring the following to class every day (unless otherwise instructed): a writing utensil, paper, and your textbook.


Each student will keep a 3-ring binder of course materials, as well as a writing portfolio folder.


Course Topics

Unit 1- Early American Writers

Unit 2- Romanticism and Transcendentalism

Unit 3- Civil War Literature

Unit 4- Regionalism and Frontier Literature

Unit 5- Major American Poets

Unit 6- The Harlem Renaissance

Unit 7- Modern and Contemporary Authors

Unit 8- Multi-Cultural Literature


Description of Assignments, Tests, and Extra Credit

Each unit will include a formal writing assignment and a unit test.


I will give a variety of assignments and projects for individual and group completion.  Each will be assigned a different point value, but the major objectives will contribute to the grade according to the following (roughly, and subject to change):


30%     Reading Literature and Informational Texts

35%      Writing

15%      Communication

20%     Language Study



No extra credit is offered.


Attendance and Late Work

The real world has deadlines and not just for journalists who have an issue going to print that evening or whose story will appear on the six o’clock news. Bosses expect employees to complete work by a specified time. Students have deadlines other than those for assignments, such as deadlines for contests, for scholarship applications, for college entrance applications, for job applications and more. To treat assignment deadlines as less important than other deadlines shows a lack of respect for the job both students and teachers do.

Assignments are eligible for full credit until 3:50 on the day they are due.

When assignments are not handed in on the due date, the gradebook will reflect the fact with a “not turned-in” designation. This designation assigns a zero grade for this assignment. This will change only when the assignment is handed in.


Late work must be handed in before the within the grading period it was due (mid-term, quarter, or semester).  No work will be accepted after the end of the grading period.


After the assignment is graded, 10% will also be deducted from the final score as penalty.


It is each student’s responsibility to know what is missing by updating and checking their assignment log.



Course Requirements

In addition to daily assignments, you will:

            Write a formal portfolio essay or other large assignment for each unit

            Complete 3 independent novel projects (1 each in quarters 1-3)

            Complete a research paper in the 4th quarter, no less than 8 pages in length

            Write a letter home at the end of each grading period describing your progress

            Keep a binder to track notes, log assignments, and organize materials

Grading Scale

The grading scale I use is the same as the district policy:

            A:         92-100

            B:         82-91

            C:         72-81

            D:        65-71

            F:         64 or below

Grades will not be rounded up.


Classroom Expectations

I expect everyone in our classroom to treat themselves, others, and all material and equipment with respect.  Any deviance from this principle will receive one warning, followed by disciplinary action.


I expect honesty and originality from everyone.  I have a zero-tolerance policy for cheating and plagiarism.  When caught you will receive a zero grade for the assignment and will be subject to additional disciplinary action per the student code of conduct.


Any and all school rules will be in effect and enforced in this classroom, including those regarding electronic devices, food and drink, backpacks, dress code, and tardiness.  If you have any questions, please ask.