(best method of contact)
Cell: 770.886.2227 (until 10PM)
Johns Creek High School
5575 State Bridge Road
Johns Creek, GA 300022
770.886.2227 (c) Text until 10PM
American Literature and Composition:
In 2004 the Georgia Department of Education adopted new Georgia Performance Standards for grades 9-12. Consistent with state curriculum, the Fulton County Schools English language arts curriculum implementation aligns with state standards. The content standards for twelfth grade courses are clustered by strands: Reading and Literature, Reading Across the Curriculum, Conventions, Writing, and Listening/Speaking/Viewing.
Throughout this year-long course, students will have opportunities to develop and expand their knowledge of American Literature and its influence on the culture of modern times. Students will demonstrate mastery level of new learning through performance tasks and assessments.
Reading and Literature
Students will read, analyze, and apply their knowledge of the structures, themes, and elements of contemporary fiction and nonfiction as well as multimedia text such as film. They will deepen their understanding of media literacy by relating themes across genres to their contemporary context or political, social, or economic perspective. Through extensive reading, students will acquire new vocabulary specific to the study of contemporary literature and apply that knowledge in their writing.
Reading Across the Curriculum
To encourage students to become lifelong readers, the curriculum includes standards that address both academic and personal habits of reading. Students will read approximately one million words per year from a variety of subject disciplines including language arts. In the English language arts classroom, students will learn the vocabulary of literature, writing, and listening, speaking, and viewing.
Expository writing is the focus for twelfth grade; however, students will continue to produce a wide range of writings including polished narratives, persuasive pieces and technical documents. Students will practice both timed and process writing to develop compositions that demonstrate an understanding of tone, point of view, style, organization, author’s purpose, and audience. Students will continue to use research and technology to support reading and writing. A research paper is a requirement of the course.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of proper English usage and control of grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, diction, and syntax. They will apply their knowledge of the conventions of language in reading, writing, and speaking and focus on the correct use of clauses, phrases, and the mechanics punctuation. Sentence construction and usage will continue to be a focus for twelfth grade. Students will apply their knowledge of the conventions of format when producing expository writing.
Students will continue to develop their critical listening skills. Through presentations and interactions with the teacher and other students, they will apply effective speaking techniques in small and large group settings. The viewing standards will enable students to develop media literacy skills through the careful examination of contemporary texts including television, radio, film productions, and electronic media.
Mrs. Bennett’s Addendum to the State’s Definition
In spite of a stunning variety of aesthetic sensibilities and cultural voices, American literature seems to hold at its core three fundamental concerns: the relationship between human and non-human environments, the emergence and definition of the self as both part of and independent from community, and the encounter/confrontation with cultural, racial, or sexual difference.
Throughout the semester, we will explore these themes within several “canonical” and “non-canonical” texts. This common distinction, in turn, reveals the high ideological and cultural stakes involved in literary production and interpretation. Why have we come to regard very specific responses to these issues or questions—as well as certain literary styles—as quintessentially “American,” while considering others as marginal? What makes Benjamin Franklin’s account of his rise to wealth and public stature more typically “American” than William Apess’s struggle with alcoholism or Fanny Fern’s fictionalized account of her success in a male literary market?
In surveying American literature from colonial times to the 20th century, this course traces the ideas and styles that make works distinctively “American,” while questioning the principles under which such an ideal is constructed.
Much of our course will consist of class discussion. Our forum is built on the respect of others and their ideas. At no time can the ideas of another be belittled, though we will learn to question ideas in a manner that is thought provoking and facilitative of mature deliberation.
Students are offered the opportunity to tell me, in writing, at the beginning of the semester if there are any issues which they feel uncomfortable discussing. Once we arrive at those topics, alternative assignments may be given—though I strongly urge students to brave what is uncomfortable for the sake of learning, and for the purpose of helping others to see contemporary issues.