•  English 10 Honors Syllabus

    Dr. Cheryl M. Tacy ctacy@staunton.k12.va.us


    Course Description:  English 10 Honors 

    English 10 Honors takes a thematic approach to world literature, including works from various cultures. In addition to reading various representative novels, students will study drama, poetry, and short stories. Analytical and creative responses to the literature will be stressed in composition and discussion. Students will extend vocabulary development and focus on grammar study. Rigorous outside reading and writing is a requirement of this course (Staunton High School Program of Studies, 54).


    Honors Philosophy/ Honors Statement

    The honors student must:

    • be self-motivated and actively engaged in classroom activities 
    • be tolerant of other people's opinions
    • exhibit willingness to improve in all phases of the English program 
    • be honorable in all phases of academic requirements
    • take full responsibility for all work missed because of an absence
    • be able and willing to complete English homework each weeknight
    • be able and willing to read extensively on one’s own time
    • be able and willing to work on multiple assignments simultaneously


    Honors Placement and Recommendations for Tenth Grade: Students who are not able to maintain a satisfactory standing in designated honors courses or meet the prerequisite cut score will not be recommended for placement in an honors course or advanced placement course for the next school year.  


    Texts: Prentice Hall Literature: Platinum. Prentice-Hall, 1999. 

    Mirrors and Windows: Connecting with Literature. EMC School, 2016.

    Family Matters. Perfection Learning, 2014.  

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury                  Night by Elie Wiesel    

    Instructional texts/literary circles may be drawn from the following list. Specific use will be left to teacher discretion based on student needs.

    October Sky by Homer Hickam,  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, excerpts from The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, and other resources as needed to enhance student learning.     

    Teacher’s Expectations

    Academic Expectations and Policies:

      1. Google Classroom- Google classroom may be updated daily and contains information related to homework assignments and classwork.  Please make sure that you check this site each day in order to ensure that you have the most updated information.  
      2.  Paper Submission-Most final written submissions will be submitted in Google Classroom using MLA format unless written during the class period which will be timed in-class essays requiring students to complete writing within a specified time.
      3. Academic Organizational System- Students must have an organizational system in place to keep track of all formative, minor, and major assignments. Extra copies of work will not be printed. Extra copies will be posted to Google Classroom or shared through Gmail. 


    • Plagiarism Cheating and plagiarism* are serious  offenses. Cheating or plagiarizing on any school assignment or assessment will result in an automatic zero and appropriate disciplinary action. Please see the school policy for discipline measures resulting from academic dishonesty. *Any time you submit ideas, writings, or works from another source and present them as your own, you are guilty of plagiarism.
    • 10th Grade Honors Late Policy:  A student will have as many days as he/she was absent to make up an assessment. However, assignments created and assigned in advance must be turned in on the assigned due date.  If a student attends school for any part of the school day, the assignment is expected to be submitted before the student leaves campus.  It is a student’s responsibility to schedule a make-up date for all tests, quizzes, and in class assignments with the teacher. Assignments will not be accepted more than three days late.


    Behavioral Expectations and Policies

    1. Participation- Students will participate actively and meaningfully in class activities and discussions.
    2. Tardy Policy- It is imperative that all students be seated and ready to begin class when the tardy bell rings so as to maintain a positive environment and maximize learning time.  Students must be seated in his/her assigned desk when the tardy bell rings. The consequences of tardies are explained in the student handbook. 
    3. Electronic/ Mobile Devices and Earbuds/ Headphones- Upon entering the class, students should place their electronic devices away and out of sight. Personal mobile devices should remain away unless students are told to use them.  

    No electronic devices

    1st offense (per semester): Cell phone box

    2nd offense (per semester): The student will be sent to the office to confer with an administrator about the infraction. 

    3rd (4th, 5th, etc.) offense: Referral

    1. Dress Code- Students are required to abide by the school’s dress code during class time.
    2. Classroom Rule- Students will show respect for themselves, others, and the learning environment

    Classroom Rules: RESPECT

    We have one rule: “Respect.”  

    1. We expect that you will respect us by coming to class on time, having your homework finished, being attentive throughout the lesson, coming to class prepared, and not eating in the classroom.  
    2. We expect that you will respect others by raising your hand, actively listening, protecting personal space, and respecting personal belongings.
    3. We expect that you will respect yourself by working hard and making time to see us if a lesson or assignment requires further clarification.

    Editing Tips

    Students learn to write well through practice with all levels of the writing process.  Struggling independently through the writing process produces growth and voice. When parents, siblings, tutors, or others contribute ideas, words, phrases, revisions, etc. to students’ writing, student-writers miss the opportunity to achieve literary self-reliance.  One thing the student can do is to read the paper aloud to help hear what needs correcting. Careful questioning and cueing will provide help without taking away the student’s learning experience.  For example, consider the following—“Is this word strong enough? Is it interesting enough? Is it specific enough?” “Can you think of another word that means the same thing?” “Does this sentence seem awkward?”   “What exactly do you mean here?” “I don’t understand what you are trying to say; can you say it more clearly?”  

    Classroom Reading

    Over the course of the semester/year, we will engage in independent and instructional reading.  Instructional reading selections will be used as anchor texts and for passage study. However, for independent reading, students will be making choices from a variety of Young Adult Literature and literary circle selections.  Because we respect the role of parents and the traditions held sacred, we want to empower parents to be familiar with what students are reading on a weekly basis. If you would like your child’s texts to be exclusive to the literary canon, please contact us.  Please also email us with any additional questions or concerns.

    Grading Scale

                A+ = 98-100

                A = 93-97 

            A- =   90-92

                B+ = 87-89

                B = 73-76

            B- =   70-72

                C+ = 77-79

                C = 79-81

            C- =   77-78

                D+ = 67-69

                D = 63-66

            D- =   60-62

                F = 59 and below



    Grades will be averaged and reported using the adopted grading scale that appears in the student handbook. Within the English classroom, thirty-five percent (35%) of the quarter grade will be based on major writing assessments. Thirty percent (30%) will include unit tests and projects. Twenty percent (20%) of the quarter grade will consist of quizzes and minor writings. Classwork, daily work, and homework is fifteen percent (15%) of the final quarter grade. The midterm and final exam are administered at the end of each quarter unless taking a year long course. Each represents fifteen percent (15%) of the final semester or year-long grade depending on the course. The school exemption policy will be followed. 

    INSTRUCTIONAL PLANS: This outline is tentative and subject to change due to availability of resources, schedule constraints, teacher discretion, and/or individual class needs.



        Literary Titles

    Major Writings & Assignments

    Unit 1: 

    Family Matters

    Short stories used as anchor   


    Literary Circles may include readings from the following:

    October Sky

    I Am Malala

    Glass Castle

    Long Way Gone

    Instructional text:


    Various prose and poems

    Literary responses/essays

    Memoir writing

    Introduction to Literature

    Literary terminology

    Close reading

    Fundamentals & strategies of analysis

    Vocabulary development

    Persuasive essays

    Unit 2: 

    Government, oppression, and censorship

    Fahrenheit 451

    Variety of nonfiction to enhance  

         research and debate

    Various prose and poems

    Literary responses/essays

    Evaluate an author’s purpose

    Evaluate historical, societal, and/or cultural importance of       

          a text   

    Close reading

    Literary terminology

    Vocabulary development 

    Persuasive essays

    Debate speech presented

    Unit 3: 

    Taking Sides: Research 


    Various sample persuasive 

     research essays

    The research paper & process

    Academic & professional databases

    Young Adult Literature for Independent Reading

    Unit 4: 

    Trust and Betrayal

    The Tragedy of Julius Caesar 

       by Shakespeare
    Excerpt from The Prince

    Various drama and sonnets

    Creative project 

    Oral presentations

    Literary terminology
    Close reading
    Vocabulary development

    Alternative Unit: Life and Death

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    A Separate Peace

    Our Town by Thorton Wilder
    Various prose, poetry, and 

       drama selections

    Literary responses/essays

    Evaluate an author’s purpose

    Evaluate historical, societal, and/or cultural importance of a


    Literary terminology

    Close reading

    Fundamentals & strategies of analysis

    Vocabulary development

    Syllabus Acknowledgments Students and parents/guardians are asked to acknowledge their receipt, reading, and understanding of the syllabus by signing the form below.  Please note, this acknowledgement will be kept on file. The completion of this page and the returning of it by 8/9/19 constitutes the student’s first graded requirement. 

    Student’s Name: ______________________________________________________________


    Student Acknowledgment

    I acknowledge that I have read the English 10 Honors syllabus for Dr. Tacy’s / Ms. Vasiliauskas’  class and agree to comply by the required expectations. 


    ___________________ ________________________________________

    (Date) (Student’s Signature)

    Parent / Guardian Acknowledgement


    I acknowledge that I have read the English 10 Honors syllabus for Dr. Tacy’s / Ms. Vasiliauskas’ class, have discussed these expectations with my son/daughter, and agree to support  the required expectations. 


    ___________________ ________________________________________

    (Date) (Parent/Guardian’s Signature)



                (Parent/Guardian’s Signature)


Last Modified on August 6, 2019