ENGLISH THREE (Regular/Honors)


Overview               Outline and Grading       Homework    

Objectives and Standards         Projects 




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Welcome to English III (regular and honors) . English III is a language arts course for high school juniors designed to prepare students for the demands of two or four-year college degree programs and/or for the workplace. The objectives for this course are aligned with the Common Core State Standards for English Language and Literacy. These Common Core Standards include analyzing literature, analyzing informational texts, writing, speaking and listening. You will be interpreting, analyzing and evaluating a variety of "texts" as you strive to become better readers, writers and critical thinkers. We will be focusing on writing argumentative essays and literary analysis pieces to best prepare you for writing at a college level. In this course we will also be completing your Service Learning Projects with the goal of inspiring you to commit to being socially conscious and active member of our global community. 


Grade breakdown

10% Midterm and Final Exam

25% Unit Exams

25% Activitiies/Homework

40% Benchmarks


Intended Readings/Viewings

Q 1: Fences by August Wilson, Important Film TBA

Q 2: Shakespeare (TBA), The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

Q 3: The Great Gastby. Important play TBA

Q 4: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, Important film TBA.

 Various poems, short stories, monolgues, and non-fiction selections. TBA

Honors III: Q 1 / Read Fences, The Catcher in the Rye and As I Lay Dying


Skills Accessed


Vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary 



Main Idea

Textual Evidence


Rhetorical Devices



Sentence Structure

Verb Tense

Subject-verb agreemnet

Use of quotation marks



Personal statement

Argumentative Essay

Literary Analysis



Be clear

Be direct

Know your audience




You need to broaden your reading, speaking and writing skills in order to better understand yourself and others and to succeed in the very competative post-high school world. We will examine a lot of texts this year. When I say "texts" think wide and inclusive. I'm taking about fiction, non-fiction, plays, poems, letters, advertisements, articles in newspapers and magazines, radio programs, facebook entries, tweets, photos, music, paintings, scultpture, films.

There will be readings, lectures, writing exercises, class discussions, and individual presentations, as well as various other hands-on activities.

We will begin talking and sharing our experiences immediately, starting with the word "passion." I want to get you "passionate" about reading, speaking and writing and encourage you to work with others and in teams to explore and to realize your passions. I also want you to take responsibility for your education, your life and your role as an American and as a world citizen. I want to create an environment where each of us feels empowered and where each of us experiences success. 

It's very important that we learn about others, starting with the person next to us. The people in present day Ecuador and India are born, live, struggle and die just like we will. The people of Renaissance Italy, Ancient Greece and Civil War America were born, lived, struggled and died just like we will. It’s important to understand the lives of others...so as to better understand our own lives. This course will help us do that.
My rules are simple:
1) Be in class on time

2) Put your cell-phone in the your back-pack and your back-pack on the floor during class

3) Bring three spiral notebooks--one for vocabulary words, one for note taking, and one for writing assignments

4) Bring a three-ring binder and a pocket folder

5) Bring at least two pens

6) Bring passion


Best of luck! Let's enjoy the year.





AS A BOY (story from Rhoda Huff)


As a boy, this Italian knew what he wanted to do:

I played with the idea of going to America when I was but eight or nine.

My notion of the United States then was that it was a grand, amazing, somewhat fantastic place--the Golden Country--a sort of Paradise--the Land of Promise in more ways than one--huge beyond conception, thousands of miles across the ocean, untellably exciting, explosive, quite incomparable to the tiny, quite, lovely Carniola; a place full of movement and turmoil, wherein things that were unimaginable and impossible in Blato happened daily as a matter of course.

In America one could make pots of money in a short time, acquire immense holdings, wear a shirt collar, and have polish on one's boots like a gospod--one of the gentry--and eat white bread, soup, and meat on week-days as well as on Sundays, even if one were but an ordinary workman to begin with. In Blato no one ate white bread or soup and meat, except on Sundays and holidays and very few then.

In America one did not have to remain an ordinary workman. There, it seemed, one man was as good as the next. There were dozens, perhaps scores, or even hundreds of immigrants in the United States, one-time peasants and workers from the Balkans and from Poland, Slovakia, Bohemia and elsewhere, who, in two or three years, had earned and saved enough money working in the Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Illinois coal-mines or steel-mills to go to regions called Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, and there buy sections of land each of which was larger than the whole area owned by peasants in Blato.... Oh, America was immense-- immense!

I heard a returned Amerikanec tell of regions known as Texas and Oklahoma where single farms-- renche (ranches), he called them--were larger than the entire province of Carniola! It took a man days to ride on horseback from one end of such a ranch to the other. At that time I accepted as truth nearly everything I heard about America. I believed that a single cattleman in Texas owned more cattle than there were in the entire Balkans. And my credulity was not strained when I heard that there were gold-mines in California, and trees more than a thousand years old with trunks so enormous that it required a dozen men, clasping each other's hands to encircle them with their arms.

In America everything was possible. There even the common people were' citizens,' not 'subjects,' as they were in Austria and in most other European countries. A citizen, or even a non-citizen foreigner, could walk up to the President of the United States and pump his hand.



Barzini uses the genre of the memoir to make some very perceptive observations on Americans and their sometimes provincial world views.


Luigi Barzini

But the madelaine of that first day (possibly as important and pregnant with significance as the white words of warning on the green slope), the sensation which still reminds me of the United States of that August afternoon in 1925 every time I experience it again, and from which, in the ensuring years, I drew and endless chain of deductions about the nature of life in America, was my first dish of American ice cream. In a way, as I will show, it assumed the importance of a national symbol. In the soda parlor where Father had taken us, not far from our house, the pert and impatient waitress, her red brown hair permanently curled like Astrakan fur, presented us with what I learned later was one of dilemmas hovering persistently over American life: “Chocolate or vanilla?” We choose vanilla. The aroma was very agreeable but had no resemblance whatever to vanilla. In fact, it did not even try to imitate vanilla. We all knew the real taste well, of course. Vanilla was a small dark dry pod, imported from the Orient, which Mother usually kept in the jar with the powdered sugar. Like any product made by nature, it is always slightly unpredictable. Just as the bouquet of wine and the taste of country honey changed from year to year and from spot to spot, one specimen of real vanilla is always perceptibly more pungent or fainter, smelling more like gardenia, a carnation, or whatever other specimens, and the unexpected variation is somehow part of the pleasure.

What the waitress called vanilla without hesitation evidently was a slipshod attempt, which has clearly missed its mark, to approach the natural taste chemically. It was (as I learned in the next few days, when I tried cakes, biscuits, apple pie, and more ice cream) as implacably unvarying as the smell of commercial brands of soap. Maybe (I reflected later) American chemists were wizards, one generation or two ahead of their European counterparts, but unfortunately had wooden palates; maybe they, like all Americans, were too impatient, too eager to proclaim their success; maybe they were too easily satisfied, and, like the American inventers of “invisible” wigs, improbable hair dyes, and preposterous dentures, has stooped work too soon; or maybe that was, at that stage in the ineluctable march of human progress, the best that could be done. I also wondered (having read Upton Sinclair) whether that particular flavor might not have been forced, for some sordid reason, on the guileless America public by the faceless conspiracy of greedy monopolists.

            Presumably, I speculated later, the acceptance of their own improbable vanilla had taken time. In the beginning, years before, I imagined, most Americans surely could still distinguish the real from the sham, but, as time passed, the chemical flavor gradually became the real thing, the one and only vanilla. After all, what is vanilla, or anything else for that matter but what people think it is? Perhaps a few obstinate snobs, proud of their epicurean European habits, a few maniacal Nature lovers, and stubborn immigrants clung to the taste of the Oriental bean, which in the end could probably be bought only in fewer and fewer exotic and esoteric little out-of-the-way-shops. Surely the sons of the immigrants were ashamed of the natural flavor and brutally forced the primitive parents to abandon the old and adopt the new progressive America vanilla and like it. Americans traveling abroad, when suddenly faced with the genuine spice, were probably started and vaguely disgusted. “What is this bizarre flavor?” they would diffidently and sternly ask the foreign waiter. “Vanilla, you say? Preposterous. Who do you take us for? We are not fools. We know vanilla when we taste it!”

            But all this was not the point. I had to admit that everyone everywhere relished strange flavors and pined for them on their travels. The Milanese love their yellow risotto with saffron, which definitely reeks of iodine; the Irish love carrageen, a trembling pale green bavaroise-like jelly made of seaweed; people from the Near East far from home miss the all-pervasive smell of rancid mutton fat. What was strange about Americans liking their own vanilla, which was far from unpleasant anyway? The real point was that they called it “vanilla” tout court, and not one of those fancy mouth-watering names their experts invented all the time. The real point, and a puzzling one, was that Americans seemed to believe it was vanilla, the true and only vanilla, and that anything else was but an imperfect and unreliable approach to their own, the perfect Platonic idea, the eternally unvarying vanilla. Maybe Americans at time preferred to surround themselves with a picture of the world, a conception of man and history, of their own making, as reliable and constant as their vanilla, and to reject the unpredictable and treacherous reality. They liked to inhabit a mental Disneyland which would reassure but could also deceive them and occasionally lead to disaster.

 © Luigi Barzini




























WEEK ONE:  9/8 to 9/11

1. Introduce you to thelearningcurve.net

2. ACTIVITY 1.1  Fill out student info sheet, focusing especially on goals.

3. BENCHMARK  1.1   Essay due Thursday on your "Passion" One grade only

4. ACTIVITY 1.2 Annotate longer 9/11 handout: identify the theme and locate three examples of evidence. Bring it in on Monday  9/14.

5. ACTIVITY 1.3 Buy three spiral notebooks and one pocket folder. Bring the annoated 9/11 article to dicuss on Monday 9/14

6. ACTIVITY 1.4 Bring EL&IC every day.

These 4 activities (filling out student info sheet, annoating 9/11 essay, bringing 3 spiral notebooks and file folder and bringing the book) constututes one activity grade.


WEEK TWO: 9/14 to 9/18

1. Main idea and textual evidence in 9/11 essay. We do it slowly in class.

2. ACTIVITY 2.1 Start using a spiral notebook to react to the book. Reflect on the passage we will read from EL&IC, the 9/11 essay, the 9/11 video and the 9/11 Susan Sontag handout in class. And anything else. Let's fill it up.

3.  We begin writing personal statements. A handout coming.

3.  Maybe the Introduction to Vocabulary for a benchmark on a Cloze Reading Test

4.  Maybe Scroll "edge" in my web-site One Professor's Fantasy. Why is this funny?

5. Quiet Reading of book while I have conferences with students. Where are you after week two?


WEEK THREE:  9/21 to 9/29

1. Some poems?

2. Memorize some Shakespeare?

3. Look at a video?

4. A TBA essay to annotate for the four major writing skills we have choosen to teach

5. Maybe towards the end of the week, the first Close Reading Test = UNIT EXAM 1.1














NOTE: The following information has not yet been edited.





Quarter 1: Career & Community: What will I do after high school?


Quarter 2: Cultural Changes: What makes one culture better and another?


Quarter 3: Struggles & Survival: How much can the human spirit endure?


Quarter 4: Discovering Inner-Self: How do my beliefs influence my actions?


  NOTE: Attendance is crucial in this class. When you are late and/or absent it adversely affects you grade. You have to be in the class to pass. Late work is acceptable if you are sick or had some family crisis. Doing make-up three weeks or three months later is not acceptable. Disruption is not acceptable; be respectful. Nor is coming without materials. The world runs because people expect things (and get them) on time and in an orderly manner. This is what is meant by “professional conduct.” You'll  notice PC is 20% of the grade. Every week or so I'll look at my attendance to see who was present, prepared, on time and acting in a professional manner. I'll give that student a 98. Tardy, absent once (without note), or unprofessional conduct  = one grade lost. (see below)


NOTE: I want no spelling mistakes on your typed essays. You have spell-check on your computers. Use it. It’s not my job to clean up the sloppy spelling of high school seniors. In the second quarter I will add another stipulation--subject-verb agreement or perhaps consistency in tense. By the end of the year, you should be able to hand in work that is free of silly errors. If you’re a student who makes these errors, now is the time to stop. What happens if I get an “essay” with a spelling error on it? It’s real simple--I won’t accept it. Nor will I mark the spelling error. I will just give it back to you with an “S” at the top of the page. It will be considered an assignment not handed in. Can it be handed in the next day for diminished credit? No. So do your spell check.


Here is how I will divide my grades:


20% professional conduct

20% homework

30% in-class essay/tests

30% drafts/portfolios


Here is the grading scale.


 A = 90-100

 B = 80-89

 C = 70-79

 D = 60-69

 F = below 60


 NOTE 1: I’m not inclined to give number grades since most of the assignments will be written and it’s rather ridiculous to give one student an 88 on an essay and another an 87. I can’t make that fine a distinction. On the other hand, I know “A” work and I know “B” work and I know what is in between. Thus, I will grade as follows


 95 = a solid A

 90 = between an A and a B

 85 = a solid B

 80 = between a B and a C

 75 = a solid C

 70 = between a C and D

 65 = a solid D

 50 = F work

 00 = not handed in


NOTE 2: There are formative assessments and summative assessments. Formative means the degree to which you improved from time A to time B; summative  means a test at a particular time. My "drafts/portfolios" are formative assessments. My "in-class essays/tests" are summative assessments. Show me improvement in your writing. It's 30% of the grade.


NOTE 3: It is assumed that since you are seniors, you will act accordingly. If you disrupt or distract the class, the other students loose the opportunity to learn. You are, in effect, lowering their grades because they won't have had the necessary in-class time to learn all they can for an assessment. Following logically, your penalty will be the lowering of your grade.








NOTE: In the first four weeks the teachers will be teaching the same materials. This way if students transfer from one class to another, they will be familiar with what has been taught and also have a grade up to that point. 




Course Description: Reading Workshop is a full-year course whose objective is to help students develop critical reading of literary genres from around the world and improve their writing and thinking skills, though essays and research. Vocabulary skills, interpretative skills, critical judgment, and clarity of expression are developed through class discussion and written assignments.



·         Writing Exercises

·         Journals

·         Personal Statement

·         Resumes and Cover Letters

·         In-Class Essays.

·         Career Research Paper

·         Literature Analysis Paper

·         Characters Analysis

·         Senior Research Paper

·         Scholarship Essays

·         Write-Zone Essay Contests


Course Objectives

1.       Students will read with comprehension

2.       Students will understand literature of various societies, eras and ideas

3.       Students will write to communicate for a variety of purposes

4.       Students will listen and speak fluently

5.       Students will use language arts to communicate information


State Standards and Illinois Learning Standards:

1. State Goal #1: Read with understanding and fluency

2. State Goal #2: Read and understand literature representative of various societies, eras,   and ideas

3. State Goal #3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes

4. State Goal #4: Listen and Speak effectively in a variety of situations

5. State Goal #5: Use the language arts to acquire, assess, and communicate information.




Reading to the blind

Voter Registrations

Collecting WWII narratives from nursing homes

Reading to the Elderly

Writing servicemen and women




Below are some possible research projects:


Napoleon Bonaparte

Martin Luther King Jr.

Rosa Parks

Harriet Tubman

Susan B. Anthony

Benjamin Franklin

Amelia Earhart

Thomas Edison

Albert Einstein

Thomas Jefferson

Abraham Lincoln

Harry Truman

George Washington

Franklin Roosevelt

Robert E. Lee

Ulysses S. Grant

Genghis Kahn

William Shakespeare

Sir Winston Churchill

Queen Elizabeth I

King Henry the VIII

Queen Victoria

Sir Isaac Newton

Ludwig van Beethoven

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Pablo Picasso

Vincent Van Gogh

Leonardo da Vinci


Joseph Stalin

Adolf Hitler

Benito Mussolini



Civil War

Anaconda Plan and blockade

Battle of Bull Run

Battle of Gettysburg

Pickett’s Charge

Battle of Shiloh

Battle of Vicksburg


World War I

African campaigns

Serbian campaign

War in the Balkans

Battle of the Marne

Battle of Ypres

Battle of Somme


World War II


The Holocaust


Guadalcanal campaign

Invasion of Poland, Austria, and France

Siege of Leningrad and Stalingrad


Napoleonic Wars

Battle of Copenhagen

Battle of Waterloo


Revolutionary War

Siege of Boston

Battle of Brandywine

Gorilla Warfare


The Great Depression

The Stock Market Collapse/ Black Tuesday

The role of Farming

Recession of 1937

The New Deal

Political Consequences


Other Possible Topics to narrow down:

The American Indian War and the History of Immigration in the United States.  However, There are limitless numbers of historical events to choose from.  If you are inclined to do so you can pick any topic you like as long as either Mr. Rychlewski or myself approve the topic and you can find the necessary research sources.