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Mrs. Fretwell

10th Grade English                                    Syllabus


The Reader's Choice, Glencoe

Writer's Choice: Glencoe

The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne

Moby Dick, Melville

Tom and Huck, Twain

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare

Shane, Schaefer

Student Choice Novels (2-1st sem/1-2nd)

Selected short stories, poems, Native American, and Frontier writings

The above list includes the required novels and other works that will be discussed in this course.  We will also be reading a variety of short stories, poems, plays, and non-fiction.  Some of the units of study will include themes such as Horror, Multicultural, and Teen Issues.

Course Description:

Tenth grade English is an Early American literature survey course that samples and examines a wide variety of texts in various literary genres and focuses on several different types of formal and informal writing assignments. The goal is for the students to build understanding of themselves by examining diverse themes and world cultures and gain new perspectives and insight into the many dimensions of the human experience.  English may not be everyone's favorite subject, but I strive to make the subject matter as enjoyable as possible.


The student should be able to

  • Follow directions, identify supporting details, and determine sequence of events
  • Analyze short stories for rising action, climax, characterization, point of view, and flashback
  • Apply appropriate organizational skills for writing and revising
  • Identify main ideas, draw conclusions, and determine cause and effect
  • Apply the use of proper grammar and mechanics
  • Make inferences, judgments, speculations, and draw conclusions
  • Distinguish conflict, point of view, theme, tone, character, setting, mood, and plot
  • Achieve coherence in paragraph writing
  • Recognize fallacies of logic and judge strength of argument
  • Detect propaganda; distinguish fact from opinion
  • Discern organizational patterns - chronologically, spatially, or in order of importance
  • Apply reading strategies and determine word meaning by using contextual clues   
  • Identify imagery, simile, rhyme, rhyme scheme, alliteration and repetition in poems
  • Analyze fiction for mood, foreshadowing, symbolism, theme, conflict, point of view and tone
  • Demonstrate the ability to locate information in reference material




  • Three-ring binder (2-inch) for this class only!
  • 6 Tab dividers:
    • Writing Portfolio - All handouts, assignments, and assessments should be kept in this section.
    • Homework - All homework should be placed in this section.  Homework assignments will be checked at least once per week, and all homework assigned since the last check will be collected at that time.
    • Vocabulary -
      1. 10 words each week
      2. Three sentences for each word will be collected for a 20 point HW grade.
      3. Test every Friday
    • Grammar - notes and assignments.  The Grammar Pretest for each grammar unit is especially important! You will need these to complete your midterm and final exam reviews.
    • Literature - notes, assignments, and vocabulary
    • Bell Work -
      1. Daily activity- First 10 minutes of class - Begin as soon as you enter class!
      2. Graded often and without notice- Must be complete and reflect effort in writing
      3. Counts 10% of final grade
  • Loose-leaf paper - all work must be completed using loose-leaf paper
  • Black or blue pens - no pink, purple, etc. (these are the colors I like to grade with!)
  • Red pen - this will be used for grading and peer editing
  • 50- 4x6 lined index cards for research paper (may be purchased at that time)
  • 200 - 3x5 index cards for vocabulary (may buy 100 now and 100 mid-term)
  • Highlighter pen
  • Post Its (may be purchased when novels are ordered)
  • Novels- will be ordered as needed

Major Writing Assignments:

  • Research Paper -3-5 pages for regular, 4-6 for CP with note and bibliography cards, outline, works cited, and rough-draft.
  • Essays - Narrative, Persuasive, Descriptive, and Expository.  These will be kept in the section of your notebook which we will call the writing portfolio.  Tenth grade students will take the Alabama Writing Assessment, and we will work extensively on improving your writing skills.

*For College Prep courses, students will be required to do additional work.

Grammar Focus:

Tenth grade students will take the English portion of the Alabama High School Graduation Examination during the spring term.  We will focus on the eighteen grammar competencies tested, which include the following:


  • Use the eight parts of speech correctly
  • Use and correctly punctuate sentences with commas, semicolons, and colons
  • Use effective use of voice - active verbs rather than passive verbs   
  • Use ‘there, their, and they're' and other commonly confused words correctly
  • Correct pronoun usage
  • Use consistent tense
  • Capitalization
  • Fragments and run-ons


There are many different kinds of assessments and grades throughout the grading period. They will be grouped according to the categories below, and a weighted average will be calculated to determine the grade. Missing assignments will be averaged in as a zero (0).  The mid-term and final exams are comprehensive with emphasis on work in the first or last half of the grading period.  No extra credit will be offered to just one student.

              Grade Distribution

                        Tests - 60%

                        Reading Reports- 10%

                        Homework and Daily Work - 20%

                        Bell Work - 10%

 Parents/Guardians -- How to reach Mrs. Fretwell:

The best way to contact me is via e-mail-which is checked at least twice daily.  My address at school is traceyfretwell@franklin.k12.al.us, which is also listed on the school website. You may also contact me through the school. Alternately, you may e-mail me at home at tfretwell@centurytel.net.  I endeavor to reply to all messages within 24 hours. I also welcome parent/guardian input as to how I can more effectively teach your child.






Mrs. Fretwell:

I have read the syllabus and procedures, and I am aware of all the policies and requirements of this class.


Parent / guardian signature                             date                            email address




Student signature                                              date                            email address