American Literature and Composition 2

Course Syllabus -- Spring 2003

Ms. Gina Ahnen

Room 214
Phone: (303) 689-6100 extension 2214
Voice Mail: (303) 764-3203 mailbox 21400

Course description:

This is the second semester of a year course focusing on American Literature.  This semester we will focus on literature from 1900 to the present. 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

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. 

You will receive 15 points for attendance and participation each week. 

5 points will be deducted for each absence.

2 points will be deducted for each tardy.

In addition, the South High School policy regarding school absences and tardies will apply.  Students who miss more than ten days per semester (excused, unexcused or a school absence) will fail the semester, unless the attendance appeal board has approved them. 

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 are 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.  We will also have a class notebook that will be kept in the basket to have the daily class activities so you can get updated.  Please be courteous about when you look at the notebook.   

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.

20%- Journals

  • Journals should be done in a spiral notebook that is kept in your three-ring notebook and collected on a weekly basis. Journals will be a reaction to a quote done the first ten minutes of class. You will be expected to begin writing as soon as the bell rings. Your journal entries should be legible and thoughtful.

20%-Short writing assignments, classwork and creative writing assignments

  • These writing assignments should be kept in your binder after they are returned to you so that you can refer to them later.

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 and the assignment and turn it in again. We will discuss this further when you receive your first assignment.

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