South High English -- South High Clock Tower

Introduction to Literature 2 

9th Grade

Course Syllabus -- Spring 2004

Ms. Gina Ahnen

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

Course description:

This is a semester course focusing on reading, literary analysis, writing and presenting at the high school level. Students will develop reading and writing skills, focusing on a variety of formats and genres. Students will continue to work on improving grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. This course is required for high school graduation, and an end of course assessment will be given at the end of the semester.


You will need:  

  • Your ID

  • Blue or black pen

  • Loose leaf paper

  • Three ring 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 the semester and will be responsible for bringing the book to class.)               

  • An independent reading book

Reading for the semester:

Selections from the textbook and other selected works.

  • “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare

  • Like Water for Chocolate  by Laura Esquirel 

  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

One of the following four selected autobiographies:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

  • Finding Fish by Antwone Fisher

  • Growing Up  by Russell Baker

  • Black Ice by Lorene Cary

Choice book from list to be given later for research paper


Attendance is essential for you to do well in this class. 

The South High School policy regarding school absences and tardies will apply.  Students who have more than four unexcused absences during a nine-week grading period will fail the nine weeks, unless the attendance appeal board has approved the absences. 

Students are expected to be in class on time every day.   Students should be in their seats ready to work when the tardy bell rings.

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:

Attendance and participation –20%

  • You will be expected to participate in class discussions and activities during class, including listening to the teacher and other students.

  • You will be expected to come to class on time and bring the materials that you will  need for the day

Shorter homework and beginning of class writing assignments—15%

  • You will do an entry in your writer’s notebook at the beginning of class.  These will be graded on quantity and effort.  If you are late, this will show in your writer’s notebook grades. 

Short writing assignments, classwork and creative writing assignments—30%

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

  Longer assignments, quizzes and tests—35%

  • 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. 

Plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Any paper that is partially or fully plagiarized will receive a 0 for the grade.  In order to pass each nine weeks marking period, major papers must be turned in.  

  • A --- 90-100%
  • B --- 80-89%
  • C --- 70-79%
  • D --- 60-69%
  • F ---  59% and below

End of semester grades will be determined using the following:

  • 1st 9 weeks:  40% of the semester grade

  • 2nd 9 weeks:  45% of the semester grade

  • Final:  15% of the semester grade      

Food and drinks other than water will not be allowed in the classroom.  Additionally, cell phones must be turned off prior to class.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in these matters.    
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.

The Writing Center is also an invaluable resource for you!  You will receive extra credit, as well as improve your reading and writing skills, if you take papers to the writing center to get help on them.  It is open every day during the day, and periodically I will send students down to work on papers or projects.

Parents:  E-mail is an easy way for me to communicate with you regarding your child’s progress.  Please include your e-mail address below and feel free to e-mail me at any time.  You may request a progress report, and I will send one home with your child within 2 days.  You may also call and leave a message on my voice mail if I am not able to answer the phone.

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__________________________________________________________

Parent e-mail address__________________________________________

Please list any questions or concerns you have below.


Ms. Ahnen's Syllabus Page

South High English Faculty

South High Reading and Writing Center

South High Gargoyle --- Click on the Gargoyle to view the History of South HIgh.