English 10 Honors

Course Overview

English Honors 10 is a course in the English language arts (ELA) sequence required for graduation. Students build upon ELA skills acquired in prior grades that are essential to their preparation for their collegiate study and/or career. Through the study of a variety of text types and media, students build knowledge, analyze ideas, delineate arguments and develop writing, collaboration and communication skills. Students read in many genres and write in several forms – narrative, exploratory, expository and argumentative – on many different subjects, from personal experiences to public policies, and from literature to contemporary culture.

Required Text

School-provided novels for all students:

  • “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell
  • “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie
  • “The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare
  • Literature Circle-themed novels
  • Informational texts on related issues

Required Supplies

  • One 3-ring binder
  • A pencil and pen with black or blue ink
  • Sticky notes
  • 3-by-5 index cards
  • College-ruled paper
  • Highlighters

Course Format and Procedures

The class meets daily for 42 minutes and includes some periods of lecture, reading, writing or conferencing (in groups, pairs or with the teacher). Students are expected to participate in discussions and share select pieces of their work with their peers and, on occasion, with a larger community audience.

Grading Procedures

To be updated by grade/department after review of the BPCSD Administrative Regulation 6.3A

Student and Parent Resources

Students: After-school help available Monday through Friday. Instructor also available during first and sixth periods by appointment. In addition, teacher uses Google Classroom.

Parents: Email is the best way to contact the instructor, who will respond within 24 hours. Parent Portal is another great resource to track your child’s grades, as well as Parent University, which offers opportunities for parents to learn skills to help make their children successful.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Reading Closely for Textual Details (Weeks 1-8)

Read closely for textual details and compare authors’ perspectives through an examination of a series of texts, while incorporating team-building activities designed to create a more safe space for students.

Unit 2: Character Development/Thematic Essay (Weeks 9-15)

Develop students’ abilities to understand character development through analyzing how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters and advance the plot or develop the theme.

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text (“The Raven” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe).

Unit 3: (Weeks 16-26)

Comprehension and Collaboration

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Research to Deepen Understanding

Students pose and refine inquiry questions, exploring areas they wish to investigate. They find and assess sources and organize researched material in ways that will support their analysis and integration of information. As their inquiry progresses, they evaluate and extend their research, synthesize their information and express their evolving evidence-based perspective.

Building Evidence-Based Arguments:  Argumentative Writing

Develops students’ abilities to analyze arguments from a range of perspectives on current issues. Students also learn to develop, write and revise their own evidence-based arguments.

Unit 4: Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity (Literary Circles) (Weeks 26-31)

Students self-select text of interest, read and share their growing knowledge and/or perspective via method of their choice. In literature circles, small groups of students gather together to discuss a piece of literature in depth. The discussion is guided by students’ responses to what they have read. Literature circles provide a way for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss and respond to books. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach. Students reshape and add onto their understanding as they construct meaning with other readers. Finally, literature circles guide students to deeper understanding of what they read through structured discussion and extended written and artistic response.

Unit 5: Project-Based Learning (Weeks 31-38)

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem or challenge.

Essential Project Design Elements include:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills: The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question: The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry: Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources and applying information.
  • Authenticity: The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice: Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection: Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision: Students give, receive and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public Product: Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.