• American Literature

    The American Dream:  Fact or Fiction 

     I have spoken of the shining city all my political life...For we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill -- John Winthrop

    Freedom is indivisible; the chains on any one of my people were the chains on all of them, the chains on all of my people were the chains on me...Nelson Mandela
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference...Robert Frost 
    Essential Questions:  
    1.  What is freedom?
    2.  How do we achieve freedom?  
    3.  What freedoms do we have? 
    4.  What freedoms are we willing to give up to be safe?
    5.  How can we know who is telling us the truth?
    6.  What do I believe? 
    This class will focus on the theme of freedom. The first half of the semester, we will study the founding documents that defined America and read Nothing but the Truth by Avi. The second half of the semester, we will complete a research project.

    The class will be set up in a reading/writing workshop with specific assignments that must be completed with the reading.

    Reading Journal - You will keep a reading journal of your notes from the book .  In your journal, you can use any note taking system that you like (Cornell notes, poem, song, draw picture, flow chart, mind mapping, outlining, character analysis, plot analysis). (Competency 1)

    Literature Group - After we read in class, we will work in a literature group to speak about the novel (Competency 4). 

    PBL -  This year, we will do a special PBL on the presidential elections.  We will research the candidates running for presidents, determine where we stand on the different issues, and make a mock election. More details will be explained later  (Competencies 1, 3, 5, 6)

    Presentations - You will present your PBL presentation on who you think should win the presidency and why by talking about what you have learned through your research and analysis (Competency 5).


    You will complete a research project on whatever topic you choose.  
    • Do you have a hobby that you would like to explore?
    • Are you curious about anything?
    • Do you want to write a novel?
    • Have you ever thought about starting a "cause" greater than yourself?
    Research Paper - You must produce a narrative, expository, or persuasive paper by the end of the semester (with all the fixin's - source cards, note cards, internal citations, annotated bibliography, and work cited page).  This paper must be typed in MLA style, be 12-point, times new roman font, and be double spaced.  The paper should be three pages with three internal citations (not including the works cited page).  Competencies (1, 2, 3, and 6)
    Research - Before writing, you will need to research.  Research will include picking the topic/thesis, choosing your sources, validating your sources, brainstorming ideas and questions, taking notes, and creating an outline. You will need to meet with me to receive approval on your topics for these essays.  Research will include using three validated sources.  You will need to complete an annotated bibliography and a works cited page.  (Competency 1, 2, 3, and 6) 
    Presentation - You will present your paper at the end of the semester using some form of media (powerpoint, prezi, etc). (Competency 5)  
    Grades will be based on the six competencies for English (defined by the State of Georgia and Henry County District).  The six competencies are:

    Competency 1                     Analyzing                  30%

    Competency 2                     Writing                     20%

    Competency 3                     Research                    20%

    Competency 4                     Collaboration             5%

    Competency 5                     Speaking                     15%

    Competency 6                     Language                     10%


    Materials Needed

    ·        Journal

    ·        Folder

    ·        Paper

    ·        Pencil



    As we are a technology school and use laptops in our classroom, I do want to reiterate that there is no need for cell phones, earbuds, Ipods, or any other form of technology in the room.  In the past several years, I have found that these devices are counterproductive to my students and create an unnecessary temptation.  As parents have learned over the past several years, there is a dark side to technology.  This dark side can lead to bullying, cheating, sexual issues, and many other forms of distractions.  We are a wireless school and do our best to block inappropriate sites, social media, etc., but our children are savvy users and can find ways to access this information quicker than we can always shut them down.  Please...Please...help me enforce the rules for the safety, security, and a positive learning environment of our children here at Hampton. 
    Please note :  Research has proven that electronics, including phones, music, and video games are detrimental to learning.  As the students already have a learning disability, it is best that they are not distracted by these tools.  Thank you for all you do and for being positive role models for our future! 
    I Have a Dream Speech - http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm