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English 4
COURSE CONTENT
This year-long course will include a study of literature (short stories, poems, novels, plays, speeches, and essays) focusing on our relationships in life and how we fit into today's world. We will also concentrate on writing, grammar, vocabulary and endeavor to become articulate writers, readers, listeners and speakers. Throughout the year, we will develop the skill of evaluating characters and literature in order to gain insight into the human condition with particular emphasis on the burning question, "What does it mean to be a human being?" My approach will be to follow the course of human thought as it developed in Western Civilization, from the Greeks to the Romans, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and on through the Romantic era and the literature of today.
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STUDENT EXPECTATIONS
Students are expected to read, think, listen, speak, and write each day. If for some reason you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to make up any missed work.

You are required to keep all your materials in an English binder or notebook. You must bring your binder or notebook to class each and every day along with paper to write on. You should keep ALL of the work you generate in the class in your binder. All notes, handouts, worksheets, outlines, journal entries, grammar games, etc. should be saved your English binder. You should save everything I give you, taking complete and accurate notes on classroom lectures because I frequently give OPEN BOOK and OPEN NOTES tests.
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MAJOR LITERARY UNITS
The following pieces of literature form the backbone of my curriculum. Next to each "bookmark" you will find a brief synopsis and links to appropriate Internet locations regarding the work.
baird027.gif COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ESSAYS
Using several popular college essay-writing style manuals, we will explore as a class how to craft an admissions essay (or two) that will get you into college. Today more than ever before, admissions officers are relying on the personal statement and the essay to make the decisions about who is admitted. We will learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of the novice essay writer.
Writing Applications:
Calif. Standard 2.1
Autobiographical Narrative
COLLEGE ADMISSIONS RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET
baird030.gif OEDIPUS THE KING by Sophocles
To the Greeks, theatre was not just an art form, or an entertainment, but part of their civic and religious duty. In OEDIPUS THE KING we see a noble man and a great leader brought down by his pride and arrogance. By studying this epic drama, we gain insight into the wellspring of Western civilization, the Golden Era of the Greeks.
GREEK THEATRE RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET
Writing Applications:
Calif. Standard 2.2
Responses to Literature
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baird029.gif THE CANTERBURY TALES by Geoffrey Chaucer
Geoffrey Chaucer is often referred to as "the father of English literature." THE CANTERBURY TALES chronicles the journey of a group of pilgrims on their way to worship at the shrine of Thomas Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral. Each pilgrim must tell a tale to entertain and enlighten the other travellers. Tales tragic and comic, bawdy and moral, are told in what is a fascinating look into Medieval English everyday life.
Writing Applications:
Calif. Standard 2.4
Historical Investigation Reports
CHAUCER RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET
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MACBETH by William Shakespeare
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!
With this prophecy, the three witches condemn Macbeth to act out a tale of deceit and betrayal -- or do they? Is Shakespeare's dark hero a victim of his fate, or is he ultimately responsible for usurping the throne of Scotland?
Writing Applications:
Calif. Standard 2.3
Reflective Compositions
SHAKESPEARE RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET
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FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley
On a stormy evening, Lord Byron challenged his houseguests to write a "tale of horror." Only Mary Shelley rose to the task, and the Gothic horror novel FRANKENSTEIN was born. This novel is a cautionary tale about the abuses of science that is just as applicable in today's world of genetic manipulation and cloning.
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FRANKENSTEIN RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET
Writing Applications:
Calif. Standard 2.2
Responses to Literature
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