The Wright Way: American Literature & Composition 2012-2013 Portable 903



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The Wright Way:

American Literature & Composition 2012-2013

Portable 903
This class will continue building your reading comprehension and writing skills. These two goals will drive everything we do in this class.
It is my responsibility to . . .

  1. Get to know you and your writing and reading skills.

  2. Teach you appropriate thinking, reading, writing, listening, speaking, and viewing skills.

  3. Show respect for each of you as individuals and with unique learning styles.

  4. Prepare you for whatever post-secondary education/training /work experience you wish to pursue.

  5. Prepare you for the senior year (portfolio, graduation requirements, skills)

It is your responsibility to . . .



  1. Assume responsibility and ownership for your learning.

  2. Be punctual.

  3. Bring all of your materials and completed assignments.

  4. Follow all school and class rules.

  5. Listen to and follow directions, using class time to work productively.

  6. Show respect to everyone in the class.


Assignments and Grading

  1. Make up work is your responsibility. See me before class, after class, before school, after school, or during lunch. During class is not a good time to ask for missing assignments.

  2. You may earn banked points (a fancy name for extra credit) for additional reading or work outside of class. You have the option to do or to not do them. Each of you will have a column marked “banked points” in grade book.

  3. The categories for your grade are below. I will not average the grades for the semester.

  • Vocabulary 10%

  • Everything else 90%

  1. My grading scale is as follows

A 100-93

A- 92-90
B+ 89-88

B 87-83

B- 82-80


C+ 79-78

C 77-73


C- 72-70

D+ 69-68


D 67-60

F 59-


  1. I will not “gift” you a passing grade. All grades—A’s to F’s—are earned and are your responsibility.























  2. Rules and Policies

  1. The classroom door closes (literally and symbolically) at the bell. Be on time. If you are tardy, you will not be permitted back to class without a pass from the office.

  2. Please bring an excused absence slip when you have been gone.

  3. No hall passes in the first and last 10 minutes of the class period. Ask permission before leaving class and make sure that you have a hall pass. This year the hall passes will be your student planner. No planner, no pass. If we don’t abuse the privilege, I won’t have to make up more rules to govern hall passes.

  4. I don’t care if you eat during the passing time, but all food must gone (consumed or stored) when the bell rings. Our custodians work hard, so please be tidy. Beverages are okay as long as they are in a covered container (something with a lid). Be subtle.

  5. Please turn off and put away all cell phones, CD players, ipods, MP3 players, etc. as soon as the bell rings. I may occasionally allow you to listen to music during work times. I will tell you when those are.

  6. Please keep language and discussions appropriate for the classroom.

  7. Portable 903 is a drug and alcohol free zone.

  8. Please let me know if you need help or have problems. I can be reached in the following ways:

  • Visit before school, after school, or during any 3 lunches (I have 4th period planning).

  • Email me at school at .

  • Call me at school at (253) 887-0173.





  1. For our AWESOME RAVEN parents:



  2. Your son or daughter’s success is my first priority.



  3. If his or her grade drops below a 70% I will contact you by phone.



  4. You may call or e-mail me anytime you would like an update (and, if I figure out how to work our new grading program and you provide the school with an e-mail address, you’ll receive automatic updates). The school also mails home progress reports eight times a year—approximately every four weeks.



  5. My contact information is as follows:
    Phone number: (253) 804-5154 E-mail: tawright@auburn.wednet.edu































  6. COURSE CONTENT



  7. FIRST SEMESTER



  8. Class Introduction

  • Syllabus

  • “Why will you be my favorite student?” letter

  • Weekly vocabulary assignment/quiz (Required: 10 weeks of vocabulary, 5-6 words per week)

  • 4 sentence types



  1. Northwest Author (Sherman Alexie)

  2. Skills: Socratic/discussion skills, writer purpose, narrative voice, figurative/connotative language, theme, paragraph writing skills

  • All True Adventures of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)

  • “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, AZ” (Sherman Alexie)

  • MOVIE: Smoke Signals



  1. They Say / I Say, Part 1

  2. Skills: Informational text, purpose, presentation of ideas, develop thesis, using evidence, TLQ, “slow reading skills” (S-RUN-R)

  • Read pro/con articles on current topic



  1. The New World

  2. Skills: Words/phrases in context, figurative and connotative meanings, early American literature themes, elements of Puritan literature

  • Jonathon Edwards: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

  • Phillis Wheatley: “On Being Brought from Africa to America”
    Edward Taylor: “ Upon a Spider Catching a Fly”

  • VIDEO: The Crucible by Arthur Miller



  1. A New Nation

  2. Skills: Diction/connotative language/figurative language, paragraph writing skills using evidence, creating arguments, themes in American literature,

  • Patrick Henry Speech: “Give Me Liberty!” speech

  • Preamble to the Constitution

  • Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

  • The aphorisms of Ben Franklin

  • From “April Morning” (literature anthology)

  • PAINTINGS: Patrick Henry (Thomas Rothermel)

  1. Washington Crossing the Delaware (Emanuel Leutze)

  2. Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull)

  3. Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon (Thomas Rossiter)

  • VIDEO: April Morning











  1. American Romanticism

  2. Skills: Diction/connotative language/figurative language, paragraph writing skills using evidence, creating arguments, themes in American literature, narrative writing



  3. Romanticism

  • Edgar Allan Poe: A & E Video

  • “The Black Cat” (Edgar Allan Poe)
    “Tell-tale Heart” (Edgar Allan Poe)

  • “Cask of Amontillado” (Edgar Allan Poe)

  • “The Raven” (Edgar Allan Poe)

  • “Annabel Lee” (Edgar Allan Poe)

  • “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

  • Imitation story project



  1. Transcendentalism

  • Excerpts from Civil Disobedience (Henry David Thoreau)

  • Excerpts from Self-Reliance (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • Poetry of Walt Whitman: “Song of Myself,” “I Hear America,” “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”

  • Poetry of Emily Dickinson: 4 poems from the literature anthology

  • VIDEO: Dead Poet’s Society

  • Art: Frederic Church, George Inness, Asher Durand, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole





















































  1. SECOND SEMESTER



  2. A Troubled Young Nation

  • “Aren’t I a Woman?” Sojourner Truth

  • “I Will Fight No More Forever” (Chief Joseph)

  • “Gettysburg Address” (Abraham Lincoln) & Lincoln photograph

  • “A Cub-Pilot’s Experience” (Mark Twain)

  • “Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country (Mark Twain)

  • “Climbing from the Tomb of Slavery” (Frederick Douglass)

  • Frederick Douglass Series (paintings by Jacob Lawrence)



  1. Emerging Modernism

  2. Harlem Renaissance

  • Countee Cullen: TBD

  • Langston Hughes: “I, Too,” “Harlem,” and TBD

  • VIDEO: The Great Debators



  1. The Lost Generation

  • Robert Frost: “Birches” and “The Road Not Taken”

  • Ernest Hemingway: Old Man and the Sea (and excerpts from Surviving the Extremes)

  • Steinbeck?

  • E.A. Robinson: “Richard Cory”

  • ART: TBD



  1. Challenges and Successes of the Twentieth Century

  • MOSTLY to be determined at a later date. Possibilities include….+

  • Maus I & Maus II

  • Amy Tan: “Fish Cheeks”

  • Ray Bradbury: “Sound of Thunder”

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Martin Gansberg: “Thirty-seven Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police”



  1. The Research Project

  • Notes on the process

  • Choose a topic

  • Introduction to SIRS

  • Worksheet on topic (Topic, interest, essential question, define topic)

  • Print a YES and a NO article, 1 NON-TEXT
    Worksheet on each (main point, good quotes that show main point, interesting facts)

  • Basic Noodletools

  • Graff template for intro.

  • Planner (TS, CD, CD) for YES and NO side

  • Planner for student’s opinion











  1. Fast Food Nation: Chew on This by Eric Schlosser

  • Reading (informational) assignments

  • ESSAY: What policies should govern working teenagers (2008 WASL essay topic)?



  1. Career Fair / Senior Portfolio

  • Choices/Dowhatyouare.com survey results & response

  • Career Fair Portfolio

    • 3 recommendation forms

    • Letter of Application/Cover Letter

    • Resume

    • Cover letter

    • Auburn Employment Agency application

  • Attend the 2012 Auburn Career Fair

  • Tentative: Field trip to Renton Technical School, Green River Community College



  1. Senior Portfolio

  • Senior Portfolio

    • 4 artifacts (write-ups)

    • “Who Am I” Essay

  • Assemble Sections 1 and 2 of the Senior Portfolio


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