American Literature and Composition 1x

Course Syllabus -- Fall 2004

Ms. Gina Ahnen

Room 224
Phone: (303) 689-6100 extension 2224
Voice Mail: (303) 764-3203 mailbox 21400

Course description:

This is the first semester of a year course focusing on American Literature.  This semester we will focus on literature from 1500-1900. We will use a variety of genres, including, but not limited to, poetry, drama, autobiography, biography and novels to learn about literary movements and conflicts.  We will develop a deeper understanding of literature through reading, writing and speaking in a variety of contexts. 


You will need:

  • Blue or black pen

  • Loose leaf paper

  • Three ring notebook

  • Spiral notebook

  • A place to write down assignments

  • Textbook and book we are reading at the time

Each student will be assigned a textbook during the second week of school that they will be responsible for during the school year.


We will develop some guidelines for the class during the first week because I believe it is important for you to have some say in how we will work together; however, you are expected to follow South High School policies and be respectful to yourself and the others in the room. 


Attendance is essential for you to do well in this class. The discussions and group work we do in class are important for your success.

The South High School policy regarding school absences and tardies will apply.  Students with four or more unexcused absences will fail the nine weeks.  Absences must be excused through the main office, and students are expected to make up any work they miss. Handouts and assignments will be placed in the extras folders.  Students are responsible for picking up any work that they miss the previous class.

Tardies will be handled as outlined in the student handbook. 

More importantly, we will do many group projects throughout the semester, and it is important that you be here so you can work with your group.  If absences become a problem, we will have a conference with your parents and the counselor in order to brainstorm some solutions to the problem. 

If you are absent IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU MISSED (ON YOUR OWN TIME).  You may talk to someone in the class before you come to class, see me before or after school, or arrange to see me at lunch. 


Your grade will be based on the following:

20%-Attendance and participation

  • You will be expected to participate in class discussions and activities during class, including listening to me and other students.
  • You will be expected to come to class on time and bring the materials that you will need for the day.

40%- Notebooks

Your notebooks will be collected periodically and should include the following:

  • Journals: beginning of the period written responses.  Your journal entries should be legible and thoughtful.
  • Vocabulary: vocabulary from class and additional vocabulary you come across in your reading and vocabulary assignments. 
  • Short written responses: written homework assignmnents.  These should be done on a daily basis to be discussed in class and kept in your notebook to turn in.
  • Classwork
  • Handouts

40% Longer assignments, quizzes and tests

Papers in this category should be typed and REVISED before they are turned in.

Projects should be done with pride and neatly presented.

If you get below a C on any of these projects, you will be expected to revise the assignment and turn it in again. We will discuss this further when you receive your first assignment.

We will be reading a vaiety of materials, including poetry, drama, essays, and novels.  Among others, these may include:

  • "The Crucible"
  • Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A --- 93-100%

B --- 84-92%

C --- 72-83%

D --- 65-71%

F ---  65% and below

Other things you should know:

I am here to help you! I am available before school, during lunch and during my planning periods. You may also contact my voice mail or e-mail me, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

You should expect to read, write, and discuss everyday in class!


I have read the syllabus and understand and agree to follow the guidelines outlined.

Name ___________________________________



Parent Signature__________________________________________________________

I have the following questions:


Ms. Ahnen's Syllabus Page

South High English Faculty

South High Reading and Writing Center