10th Grade Syllabus

10th Grade English Class Syllabus: American Literature

Class Description

The immense physical and psychological devastation of the Civil War and Reconstruction ushered in a period of radical transformation in American life. Rapid industrialization, urbanization, and immigration coupled with changes in the economic structure of the nation gave rise both to appalling urban poverty and to spectacular wealth. Reform movements of all kinds radically altered the way people thought about race, gender, and property and the way they conceived of themselves and their roles in society.

These changes found their way into literature in a variety of new forms and through a number of new and exciting voices, Henry James, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain, for instance offered stunning critiques of American society while simultaneously challenging what it meant to tell a story “realistically.” We will explore the changing face of American literature.

At the same time, we will be studying and developing skills in grammar and writing, which include argumentative essays, argumentative writing, persuasive writing, critical lens essay, and research papers both literary and topic related. Further, we will be focusing on vocabulary to prepare you for the S.A.T.’s.

Class Texts

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlett Letter

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin & 3 other Independent Reading Choices

Various Authors, Great American Short Stories

Various Authors, American Literature: Classics for Christians Vol. 5

Supply List

5 subject spiral notebook (for English class only)




Black or blue pens

Post it notes (3x3 or larger)

Marble composition notebook which will be used for the summer reading assignment and in class journals


  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • To Kill A Mocking Bird
  • The Scarlett Letter
  • Macbeth
  • All aspects of grammar
  • Various short stories
  • Various poetry
  • Various plays
  • Weekly S.A.T. vocabulary prep
  • Journaling
  • Research Projects
  • Various writing assignments
  • Presentations and class discussions












Final Paper


Attendance and participation


*grade is based on both quantity and quality of participation

Class Policies

Classroom Conduct:

• Respect each other’s thoughts and input.

• Come prepared to discuss the readings in class.

• Abide by all school rules as stated in student handbook

• Beverages are permitted, but eating is not. Please clean up after yourself.


Unless it is writing in class, homework, or otherwise noted, students are to hand in all papers with the following elements and adhere to the following format guidelines:

  • Times New Roman, size 12 font, with one-inch margins, justified on the left only, double-spaced, with no extra spaces between paragraphs
  • Include a cover page with a title, your name, class grade, and teacher’s name
  • A Works Cited page in proper MLA format.
  • Pages numbered in top right hand corner of pages

* If formatting guidelines are not followed, or if anything is missing, I will return the paper and give the student one day to make all needed corrections without penalty. Each day after, the paper will be late until resubmitted in the proper format with all necessary elements.

Late Assignments:

*Late assignments will be docked 3 points from its final grade for each day it is late. Assignments are collected at the beginning of class on the day they are due. If a student is absent, assignment is due the day they return to class. Any assignment that is not handed in will receive an “Incomplete”. If there are any incompletes on the student’s headmaster at the end of the year, the result will be not passing the class. Even if the project will result in a failing grade due to lateness, it is the student’s responsibility to hand in the assignment.

Late Homeworks:

*Late homework will be docked 1 point for each day it is late. Homework is collected at the beginning of class on the day they are due.

Class Participation and Attendance:

Education is an active process, therefore, your presence and active participation in the class is essential to your success in the class. It is your responsibility to attend class. Not attending class can result in missing important information on assignments, readings, and helpful insight through class discussions. To receive a high participation grade, you must come to class prepared, and contribute to class discussions.


You are to come prepared to class with a writing journal specifically for this class and a pen and/or pencil every day. We will use journals to develop our skills in analysis, persuasion, and practicing writing techniques. The goal of the journal is to start class discussions and build upon the writing skills that we learn in class.


Submitting another person’s work as your own is a form of academic dishonesty. Any work committing plagiarism will result with a final grade of zero. The student is still responsible for honestly completing the assignment regardless of the failing grade. Any projects not handed in will result in an incomplete. All students and parents are required to read and sign off on a plagiarism handout. If there are any questions of uncertainty, please ask before handing in an assignment.