•  Coneta Guinn
    Coneta B. Guinn
    Junior English
     Welcome Video  (Control/Click to view)

    Course Syllabus (Control/Click to view)


    Mrs. Coneta Guinn

    11th Grade: American Literature Syllabus

    Email: cguinn@tcss.net

    Room: B-135

      Course Description                                                                                                       

          In 11th grade English we think critically about texts as they relate to the human condition and the American Experience. Simple comprehension of a literary work’s guiding features, plot, characters, and themes is no longer the focus; the identification of such features should be automatic. Now, you will be asked why did the event happen? How does the structure of the plot both reinforce commonly held archetypes and break the mold with creative storytelling? How did the author develop the character to tell the story and reinforce their message? What was the author’s intended message(s) and how well did they develop them? In reference to those messages, what is your interpretation of the story’s message? How does this message apply to the time period it was written in and to the 21st century American Experience? How did the author use specific literary elements and word choice to enhance the overall theme and artistry of the literary work? You will be breaking texts down, analyzing how all the pieces fit together, and evaluating the effectiveness of the writing.

     The main focus of this course will be in developing a critical and analytical understanding of the evolution of the American Experience as displayed through literature, poetry, and informational texts both written in and about the time period and texts we are studying. We will analyze these historical texts in relation to other texts from the time period and examine how this time period has come to be represented in more modern pieces of literature and historical interpretation. In addition, we will compare texts across genres, time periods, and themes to look for critical issues related to both the human condition and the American Experience.

     Course Goals    

    This course will use the Alabama State College and Career Readiness standards as the basis for all curricular decisions. In short we will:

    • Read and write critically and often
    • Analyze how literary and informational texts convey the American Experience
    • Use effective argument strategies in both speaking and writing
    • Use discussion and writing as a means of advancing your understanding of course material


    Specific Learning Targets for Standards-Based Learning

    Control/Click link below

    Link to State Standards: 


    Required Materials                                                             

    • Personal reading book [to be brought each day to class] (actual book – not on Kindle)
    • College-ruled, loose leaf notebook paper for assignments to turn in
    • Single subject college ruled notebook or composition notebook for Daily Warm-ups/Grammar
    • Pencils, pens, and highlighters


    Required Reading                                                                                                          

    *The following texts are the required reading for 11th grade, and we will read at least one additional novel.

    • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams



     American Literature Introduction       

          As the course description focused largely on American Literature, our work will center around this topic. The information below will give you an idea of the types of questions we will work towards answering, as well as the understandings that serve as the foundation of our discipline. The link above gives you the extensive list of the skills, standards, and goals required to show mastery of the 11th Grade Curriculum. These goals will be chunked, scaffolded, and introduced in a way that ensures that each student will have many opportunities to develop the necessary skills and show growth.


    Essential Questions


    ·       What makes a story work?

    ·       Who gives a story meaning; the author or the reader?

    ·       How and why does a story change over time?

    ·       What can stories teach us about ourselves?

    ·       How is literature integral to understanding the evolution of the American  experience?

    ·       How can stories be used to pass down historical and cultural values through time? Can these stories be trusted?

    ·       How can stories be used as rhetorical vehicles?

    ·       What makes you continue to think about a story long past when you read or viewed it?


    ·       How does an author’s style impact the meaning of the piece?

    ·       How has poetry been used throughout time to convey deeply felt and often taboo human experiences?

    ·       How do our own life experiences impact how we interpret the poem?

    ·       Is there ever just one interpretation of a poem?

    Informational Text

    ·       How do we gain information and perspective through reading?

    ·       How do we decide if the information that you read can be trusted?

    ·       Does truth exist in real life or is everything just perception?

    ·       What can informational text offer readers that literature cannot in the exploration of the American Experience?

    Blended Text Types

    ·       How do authors blend text types to entertain, inform, and argue?

    ·       How does rhetoric show up in all genres of writing?


    Ongoing Instruction 

    Below you will find information about instruction that will take place all year long.

    • Daily Bell Work (Warm Ups)
    • Informal Writing: We will continuously write informally using a variety of strategies. The goal of informal writing is to help you develop your own writing style and improve your writing stamina.
    • Formal Writing: All formal writing must be typed and submitted to Turnitin. The amount of formal writing pieces per 9 weeks is subject to change.
    • Advanced Students will have Book Studies - one per 9 weeks.  Please see Schoology page for information.

       Late Work    Late assignments can be submitted. However, late work will not receive full credit. I reserve the right to change this policy, if late work becomes a constant issue.

      Turnitin.com This course will utilize Turnitin for submission of written work. Feedback for written work will mostly take place through Turnitin.  It will be vital to your success in the course that you submit assignments to Turnitin promptly and view the feedback. All written work must be submitted to turnitin.com. Assignments not uploaded by the due date will be considered late and marked as missing. In order to receive credit for the work, you must submit it to Turnitin and complete a late work sheet.

     Turnitin is also a powerful tool to combat plagiarism. Each submission you submit will be assigned an Originality Score. These scores are color-coded to indicate the degree of source material in a written work.

    • Blue/Green = Sources are cited correctly = no penalty
    • Yellow = Issues with originality are present = rewrite required to receive credit
    • Red/Orange = Severe issues with originality are present = no credit


    Both remote and on-campus students will be required to log in to Schoology for updates and assignments.  All students will use their assigned Microsoft email account for this purpose.  Please refer to the letter explaining Schoology and procedures for this information.

      Diversity Statement  All individuals have a right to an educational environment free from bias, prejudice, and bigotry. As members of the Brookwood High School educational community, students are expected to refrain from participating in acts of harassment that are designed to demean another student’s race, gender, ethnicity, religious preference, disability or sexual orientation.



    • Throughout the year, we may watch video clips and/or listen to media that support our novel studies and curriculum. This will also help to fulfill our standard:

    RL.11.7  Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source test. 

    • Some media may be rated NR, G, PG, or PG-13, yet all are connected to our required reading and educationally based. By signing below, you give consent for your student to participate in these viewing or listening activities throughout the school year. Please email me with any questions or concerns.





    Please sign below and return to the teacher, indicating that you have read and understand the information presented in this syllabus.  IF YOU ARE A REMOTE LEARNER, PLEASE UPLOAD THE SIGNED DOCUMENT AND EMAIL TO ME.            cguinn@tcss.net


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