I. Course Overview

This course centers on the concept of identity. Students will explore different texts that feature characters who are struggling to understand who they are and to find their place in the world. Through critical reading and discussion of these stories, students will consider what factors make up their identity and how their identity impacts their role as a community member. In addition to exploring this theme, the course is designed to help students develop academic habits; strengthen critical thinking;  enhance speaking, listening, and viewing; expand vocabulary; and advance expository writing. Students will produce analytical, narrative, reflective, and argument responses that help them explore the movement toward adulthood and the corresponding understanding of self in society.

II. Successful Learning                  III. Student Learning Expectations                      

To find success in this course, students will                                      In this course, students will


Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 10.02.08 AM.png
  • be attentive, curious and diligent
  • put forth authentic, dedicated effort
  • ask questions
  • take notes
  • contribute to the learning community
  • manage their time
  • focus attention on a task
  • stay organized
  • prioritize their wellbeing
  • advocate for themselves
  • act with integrity
  • find their passions

IV. Expected Outcomes

By the completion of the course, successful students will be able to

  • compose a clear, well-supported literary criticism essay that develops a central idea
  • craft a balanced, well-reasoned, logical argument that effectively addresses counterpoints
  • write a compelling narrative that employs figurative devices and demonstrates understanding of story structure
  • read for information, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation
  • thoughtfully participate in an academic discussion
  • seek information to support ideas
  • reflect on their own learning process
  • respectfully communicate with collaborative partners to ensure productivity
  • use new vocabulary and grammar concepts confidently
  • use a range of evidence to support assertions
  • use digital media to enhance understanding and distribute work

V. Topics Content

The core texts for this class are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, and Lord of the Flies by William Golding. In addition to exploring these major works, students will also read a variety of short stories, poems, essays, and articles that are connected to the driving themes of the course and emphasize variety of voice. Other content includes twelve vocabulary units from the BHS Online Vocabulary text (bhsvocabulary.com), academic topics included in the BHS Freshman Skills Packet, and films that correspond with the readings.

Please note that this year all students in the class of 2022 will create a digital portfolio to showcase their academic work, articulate their goals, and reflect on their experiences at BHS.

VI. Assessing Progress

Student assessments will be weighted and recorded in Aspen based on the following categories:

  • Contributions to the Learning Community....... 25%
  • Homework Completion ......................................15%
  • Quizzes and Minor Assessments.......................25%
  • Major Projects, Essays, & Presentations...........35%

VII. Classroom Expectations

  • Students will demonstrate integrity in all academic endeavors.
  • Students will show respect and kindness to themselves and others.
  • Students will not access their digital devices unless otherwise instructed.
  • Students will adhere to the rules and policies outlined in the BHS Student Handbook
  • Students will do their best, keep an open mind, and work to find joy in all classroom experiences.

VIII. Homework and Make-up Policies

  • Because homework assignments are reviewed, discussed, or corrected in class they are not eligible for late submission. I expect homework to be completed before the beginning of the class period.
  • Students who have an excused absence on the day of a test, quiz, or other in-class assessment are responsible for scheduling a time to make up the assessment within five days of their absence or they will receive a zero on the assignment. Students who have extended excused absences should see me to develop a plan for make-up work.  If a student has an unexcused absence on the day of an assessment, they will receive a zero for all work due on and completed during that class period.
  • All major assessments are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. Students who submit these assignments late will lose 10% credit for each late day and lose full credit after five school days.
  • Any student who submits work that does not adhere to the school’s academic integrity policy will receive zero credit for that assignment.
  • I understand that students have lives outside of this classroom and that sometimes circumstances arise that prohibit their ability to complete their work on time. If students are experiencing such circumstances, they should schedule a time to meet with me to discuss alternatives to these policies.

IX. Additional Information

I am available for extra help by appointment both before and after school or during free periods. When possible, students should request an appointment 24 hours in advance. Students and parents can reach me through email at janovitz@bpsk12.org or by phone at 781-273-7645.