concentrates on developing basic communications skills through reading, writing, and speaking. A variety of types of literature will be studied, including short stories, novels, dramas, poems, non-fictions, speeches and documents from Early American Literature (1600-1900). Whenever possible connections will be made between the literary study and historic mindsets and contexts that are being studied in the ninth grade social studies course.
Responses to literature will be demonstrated and explored through informal and formal writing, speech and discussions, visual art, and dramatic activity. Writing activities will center on the basic multi-paragraph essay and focus on narrative, informational (expository), and persuasive forms. Skills in research, manuscript form, and word processing for publication will introduced and developed in the Writing Center and Media Center.
Relevance to Students
By focusing on basic communication and study skills, students learn concepts and practices that will assist their academic careers and enrich their personal lives as these abilities are essential for them to make meaning of their worlds. The ability to make meaning, to define our worlds and ourselves, is essential for successful, satisfying living.
When a thoughtful person reflects on his personal situation, he realizes he is only free as he is able to express his ideas on paper, on his feet, and in his actions. Furthermore, if he has had no exposure to how people--great and ordinary--have lived, thought, created, believed, valued, communicated, how will determine what is meaningful for himself? Looking at life through another person's lenses--his literature and history and art--stimulates, by comparison, a definition of oneself.
Specifically this course is designed to encourage students to learn and practice English language arts activities, be it creating speeches, discussion, dramatic activity, or visual art, while studying prominent literary contributions that have been and continue to be influential to our culture within a context of a cooperative, reflective community of learners that supports such relevant "meaning-making."
We will use the study of literature, writing, and grammar to explore the various registers, modes, and styles of communication. By examining and practicing these ways of communicating in a variety of contexts, students' expression will become more effective, while their reception will be more discerning.
Finally, learning is relevant without explanation or apology. To know, to experience, to explore, to gain new insights--all are their own reward as they are aspects of being human and living life to its fullest! That is JOY! and what could be more relevant to life!
Quarterly marks are determined by averaging marks achieved from the following activities
1) Notebook: class notes, journal, informal written responses*
2) Participation in class: lessons, discussions, activities
3) Paragraphs and Essays: formal writing*
4) Media Center Skills: research
5) Homework: reading and overnight and long-term assignments*
6) Tests and Quizzes
7) * Portfolio of Selected Works from items 1, 3, and 6
Bethel Park Scholarship
Students are invited, and indeed, already part of Bethel Park's tradition of excellence. For decades, Bethel Park High School students have been exemplars in academic knowledge and practical skills.
You ride on the shoulders of those students who have come before you. You benefit from the high standard and reputation they have set. Likewise, you are charged with the responsibility to continue to pave a high road for those who follow you.
To make an enjoyable, serious, and rewarding study of literature and writing, you must support the learning community of the class by participating fully:
reading assigned texts before class,
submitting homework on time,
writing in class,
sharing in discussions,
joining in class time activities.
Criteria for assessing general class participation centers on focused attention, contribution (joining in), approach (willingness), and production (quality of contribution). Worth 100 points per quarter. Poor attendance and poor discipline may count against this score.
At the high school level it is expected that students should require a minimum of coaxing to join in a learning activity and maintain their focus on study. Good, sustained focus on the learning tasks at hand are needed for achievement. It is key to spend class time productively!
Students are to bring a three-ring English notebook to every class, unless otherwise directed. This will be used for daily writings, responses, literature, handouts, and notes. Notebooks will be checked periodically for content, neatness and organization--and it may be used on the Final Exam.
Organize the notebook (use dividers) with these sections:
1. general notes & literature(notes, handouts, worksheets, reading selections)
2. writing handbook
4. grammar handbook
Guard the notebook valiantly and vigilantly! Lost notebooks receive no credit.
How to write effective essays is a focus of this course. Students will be assigned to use the writing process--prewriting, drafting, composing, revising, and publishing (formal "final") copies of essays in class and as homework. Final copies of essays are to be submitted typed in MLA Style.
Most essays will be persuasive in purpose and focused upon support of an arguable point; thus, preparing the students for academic writing and business presentation. These persuasive essays will be structured on one-paragraph and five-paragraph models.
Students will be taught the essay structure with a proven program that demonstrates the writing process through the use of a particular student-writers' jargon. Parents might want to look at the page that describes this process and jargon to better understand and discuss their students' writing. Please see the page on Parent's Guide to Essay Writing.
Students will receive an orientation to the BPHS Writing Center, where they may use the word processors to type their essays during given class time, before/after school, and lunches/study halls.
Homework and Assignments -- (Homework Policy)
There are two categories of assignments: overnight homework and larger assignments (such as projects, formal compositions).
Overnight homework is due by the beginning of the next class period. As it is of the nature to be reviewed and built upon in that next lesson, late overnight homework will not be accepted for credit per se; however, a student may submit late overnight homeworks for "check marks" (recorded in GradeQuick and EdLine as "NC" and calculated as "no credit," yet indicating that the assigment was submitted late. Check marks will be considered toward the participation grade; and, if a student has only two or fewer check marks in a quarter these marks will be upgraded to full credit (to allow for the good student who simply forgets an assignment without encouraging the chronically lazy or forgetful student.)
It is imperative that students read take-home texts and complete written work before class as assigned. In-class activities and discussions can be productive for the class only if you do your homework.
Larger assignments--those of a project nature--along with their deadlines for submission and criteria for assessment will be announced in sufficient time for quality work. Such assignments may be submitted for credit if submitted before deadline or after the deadline with excused absence, per school rules.
Work submitted "late" for a larger assignment is subject to a 7% per day late penalty.
Homework or assignments due on a day when a student is unexcused absent receive a zero and cannot receive credit, in accordance with school policy.
Missed Classes and Make Up Is the Students' Responsibility
If a student misses a class, it is his or herresponsibility to ask what was missed, request any handouts or texts, and make-up any work. For absences of two or more days, a student will be given make-up time commensurate with the time missed. For one-day absences, a student must submit work and make-up tests upon his or her return (or it will be considered late, subject to penalty). Students must keep their notebooks up-to-date; make up in-class writings. Students will not receive credit for work on days missed unless they submit an excused absence verification slip within FIVE days of your return.
Homework Calendar Click here to see the homework calendar.
From time to time extra credit opportunities are offered. The policy for extra credit is: "Extra credit is EXTRA credit." That is, a student is eligible to receive extra credit only if and when ALL assignments are submitted. Extra credit is not a replacement for the assigned work; rather, it is in addition to the assigned work.