• English 11AA Course Syllabus 

    Fort Defiance High School



    Mrs. Kristine Cortes    

    Bachelor of Arts in English, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA

    email: cortes.kn@augusta.k12.va.us   FDHS phone: (540) 245-5050


    American Literature Course Description:

    The eleventh-grade student will be able to make and analyze informative and persuasive oral presentations, with attention to the accuracy of evidence and the effectiveness of delivery. An examination of how media influences beliefs and behaviors will be introduced. The student will continue to develop and expand vocabulary. The study of both classic and contemporary American literature will enhance the student’s appreciation for literature. The student will be able to identify prevalent themes and characterizations present in American literature, which are reflective of history and culture. Students will also use nonfiction texts to draw conclusions and make inferences citing textual support. The student will be able to write clear and accurate personal, professional, and informational correspondence and reports of research and other applications. Grammar development will continue through the application of rules for sentence formation, usage, spelling, and mechanics. The student will develop informative and persuasive writings by locating, evaluating, synthesizing, and documenting information following ethical and legal guidelines.


    Student Expectations in this Course:  

    English 11AA is an in-depth, year-long survey of American literature with an emphasis on the novel.  As the course is fast-paced, it requires a significant level of motivation; adherence to deadlines; attention to details in reading, writing, and communication; and a strong work ethic in students.  English 11AA is a course designed to prepare students for the rigorous Dual Enrollment class and college-level work. Therefore, it is necessary that students understand that timely homework completion is a major requirement of this course.  During class, students are expected to be actively engaged in the daily lessons—listening attentively, asking relevant questions, providing insightful commentary, and taking class notes.


    Course Goals:  

    The eleventh-grade student will  

    • make informative and persuasive oral presentations (SOL 11.1).
    • examine how values and points of view are included or excluded and how media influences beliefs and behaviors (SOL 11.2).
    • apply knowledge of word origins, derivations, and figurative language to extend vocabulary development in authentic texts (SOL 11.3).
    • read, comprehend, and analyze relationships among  American literature, history, and culture (SOL 11.4).
    • read and analyze a variety of nonfiction texts (SOL 11.5).
    • write in a variety of forms, with an emphasis on persuasion (SOL 11.6).
    • self- and peer-edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing (SOL 11. 7).
    • analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and organize information from a variety of sources to produce a research project (SOL 11.8).


    Course Schedule*




    (Period and Major Works)


    (all year)


    (all year)



    Early American and American Renaissance Literature


    -The Scarlet Letter


    Civil War and Frontier Literature


    -The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Write for various purposes and audiences—to persuade, inform, entertain, reflect, and analyze

    Edit for grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and organization

    Research—utilizing acceptable methodology and standard documentation procedures

    Deliver presentations—

    formal and informal

    Vocabulary study will be based on the texts we are reading and SAT preparatory terminology.



    Modern Age Literature

    -The Great Gatsby

    -As I Lay Dying/Their Eyes Were Watching God

    -Of Mice and Men

    -Choice Novel (nonfiction)



    Post-War Era Literature

    -The Crucible

    -Post-War Poetry



    Contemporary Literature



    -Choice Novel (fiction)

    *The course schedule and literary selections are subject to change based on time needed for study/analysis and availability of works within the FDHS English department.


    Prentice Hall Literature: The American Experience.

    Materials Needed:

    -Pens (black and blue), pencils, and highlighters

    -Three-ring binder and loose-leaf paper

    -Composition or spiral notebook (single subject -- no dividers)

    -Small Post-It notes for annotating  novels and text

    -*Utilizing a planner for time management is highly recommended


    Absences and Late Work:

    Your attendance is necessary for you to do well in English, so please make it a priority to attend class.  If you miss a class, email me or have a friend from class whom you can call on to determine what you missed and what you have to make up.  It is your responsibility to make up any missed work within three days of your absence.


    Grading Scale:

    A+  98-100    B+  88-89    C+  78-79    D+  68-69            F 0-59

    A     92-97    B     82-87    C     72-77    D     62-67

    A-    90-91    B-    80-81    C-    70-71    D-    60-61


    Grading Determination for Nine Weeks:

    Major Assignments - 50% (projects, tests, major essays)

    Minor Assignments - 40% (quizzes, minor essays, classwork)

    Practice/Participation - 10% (timed essays, discussion participation, homework)



    My expectation is that you complete your homework EVERY time homework is assigned.  I will give occasional quizzes to check for comprehension and homework completion. If you do not turn in a major or minor assignment on the day it is due, you will earn a zero if you have not made prior arrangements with me. I understand that many of you have a heavy course load and participate in extracurricular athletics and academics. Speak with me BEFORE major assignment due dates about any conflicts you may have.

    Graded Work:  

    Augusta County expects its high school teachers to grade and return your work to you within three days of submission.  Given the intensity of the workload, my intention is to return major papers within a week of the due date. Circumstances, however, may influence that time frame, and I will keep you informed of any necessary changes.

    Avoiding Plagiarism:

    I expect that you will create original work and that when you rely on the words or ideas of others, you will give credit to the person whose words or ideas you are borrowing.  Not to do so is to plagiarize; plagiarized work results in a zero and a referral to the office. Golden Rule:  When in doubt, cite.  


    *If you feel you need to conference outside of class with me, please schedule a time in advance. This may fall before school, during my planning period, or after school (after school availability is limited to 20 minutes).