English 1

English 1

Mr. Stephen J. Sampson Room 114

Class Syllabus 2016/2017

810-334-0195 cell or 810-395-3821 work or ssampson@capacschools.us

Lesson Plans Link: https://planbook.com/planbook.html?t=1073835&k=student


Course Overview:

The English 1 course is designed to engage students in becoming skilled readers of various genres. The text written represents a variety of periods, disciplines, and rhetorical contexts. Students will also be engaged in becoming skilled writers who compose for a variety of purposes. Students will become aware of the way generic conventions and the resources of language contribute to effectiveness in writing. Student’s efforts will help prepare them for the rigors of the English 3 curriculum. Skills learned will also help to prepare students for life outside the classroom. The texts used and authors read have been selected from a variety of professional sources. Performance expectations are appropriately high, and the workload is challenging. Students are expected to commit to course work outside of class. Occasionally, work involves long-term writing and reading assignments, so effective time management is important.


Personal Philosophy:

Capac students will gain the confidence they need to express themselves with the words they write as well as the words they speak. I want my students to use their education to make changes in their world and the communities they live. After being immersed in various texts, my students will learn how authors use and have used their voices to express themselves. Through immersion of carefully chosen texts that apply to real life, I want my students to find their own voices and to make them powerful. Our mantra will be: 


As the leaders of tomorrow, we will learn to use our voices, stay agile, alert, and flexible using our newfound knowledge in the pursuit of our goals.

Class Outcomes:

Students will discover voice as it applies to them communicating their unique voice verbally and written.
Students will learn to initiate and sustain discussions of topics.
Students will learn how to use argumentation.
Students will learn to research topics independently and with a partner, and to produce a documented research paper.
Students will master the writing process using their knowledge for editing their own and other’s works in peer critiques.
Students will gain familiarity with the expectations for the answers on the SAT.
Students will learn to produce various types of essays.



Ongoing Units: Journals, Power Vocabulary, Root Words, SSR, SAT Preparation


Semester 1:

Marking Period 1: Unit 1 Research

Marking Period 1 and 2: Unit 2 The Odyssey by Homer

Marking Period 2: Unit 3 Short Stories


Semester 2:

Marking Period 3: Unit 4 Lord of the Flies

Marking Period 3 and 4: Unit 5 The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet

Marking Period 4: Unit 6 WriteWell Unit


Teaching Strategies:

The growth of differentiation and brain-based research has given rise to the importance of teachers varying their styles to meet the needs of all students. To this end, students will be exposed to various teaching strategies honed to appeal to various learning styles. A sample of teaching strategies follows.



Close Reading (annotation, dialogue journal, graphic organizers)


Specifically-Designed-Academic-Instruction in English (SDAIE)

SDAIE strategies emphasizes Comprehensible Input through the use of the following:

Realia (real objects and materials)

Manipulatives (drawings, posters, brainstorming-clusters, graphs, tables, maps, props,

multimedia presentations, storyboards, story maps)

Visuals (study-prints, textbook-illustrations, overhead-projected prints, reproductions of

paintings, and documents)

Graphic Organizers (matrices, Venn diagrams, and webs)


Socratic Circles (as developed by S. Copeland):

This strategy is used to develop question generating and answering with students, integrating both, through the use of the “Socratic Circle” strategy. This strategy enables teachers and students to move beyond simple yes and no answers and flow into the realm of critical analysis and key observations of a given text. (Copeland, 2005).


Having a quality discussion in a classroom is not always easy to create. The Socratic circle method assists students in developing dialogue, building knowledge based on prior experiences and applying them to new situations, creating hypotheses, and challenging perceptions of themselves and others while working through rhetoric and discourse (Copeland, 2005).





The majority of each student’s grade will be based on writing. The percentage breakdown for each trimester is as follows:

Compositions                                                  40%
Class work, Projects, Homework                    40%    
Semester Exam                                               20%

Grading Scale:

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
0 – 59 = F

Absences and Make-up Work:

Students are responsible for making up any work they missed while absent. Work due on the day that was missed will be due the day the student returns to class, unless there is an extenuating reason preventing it. I will accept late work at 75% of the credit up to one day after it was due and 50% up to one week. After one week, I will no longer accept it. If you are absent on the day of a quiz or test, you must be prepared to take that quiz or test the day you come back to school. If there is no class time to take the quiz or test, you must set up a time with me to make it up. If you do not, the quiz or test will receive a failing grade of zero.

Due dates for long-term assignments will be given in advance. If there is a reason why you will not be in class the day the assignment is due or you are unable to complete the assignment by the due date, you must set up an appointment with me to discuss why and to seek a possible alternative. Long-term paper assignments will be turned in on the day they are due regardless if you are absent or not. If you are absent on a due date, you must arrange for your assignment to be on my desk like everyone else’s assignment. Have a parent drop it off, a friend, or email me a copy. It is your responsibility. Any long-term assignment not turned in on the due date will be considered late. 

I reserve the right to amend these policies and/or syllabus during the course of the year.





Writing Portfolio:

Contents. In your portfolio on the day of the final you should have the following:

Your portfolio cover letter (see instructions below)
Table of contents
Samples from your journals that show your daily writing
Evidence of at least one project you’ve done this semester
Sample first and finished drafts of at least one essay

Portfolio cover letter. Write a letter to a prospective reader of your portfolio in which you provide a careful analysis of your progress since September. This reflective letter should address most of the following questions at some point:

In which area have you progressed the most this year?
How would you contrast your work in this area now with your work in September?
What helped you improve in this area?
Which piece of work this semester means the most to you? Why?
Which piece of work challenged you the most? Why? In what ways did it challenge you?