English 10: America and Americans

Welcome! Here are some documents you will need for class. Make sure you have a copy of the literary terms downloaded to your laptop. The other documents you can read as needed. For specific topics and related documents, see the menu at the side under "All Pages."

NOTE: IF YOU NEED TO EMAIL ME, PLEASE USE jsmith@wilmingtonfriends.org, NOT GMAIL. THANK YOU! Also, remember to say "Dear Ms. Smith," or another greeting, use "please" and "thank you," and sign your full name. Manners count! Practice them!

General articles:

An inspirational article on why bad grades can be good for you. Enjoy!

Another inspirational article on why reading literary fiction (like the works we study) can be good for you. Enjoy!

Three Things Students Wish Teachers Knew - and which I strive to remember.

My High School Hoax - an article written by a guy who cheated in high school.

The Best Way To Study (It's Not What You Think) - a blog entry written by the editor of the book How We Learn, including some useful study tips (it's a cooking blog usually, but don't let that throw you).

Better Ways to Learn - more study tips! Especially applicable for English: spreading out shorter study sessions is better than one long session on the last night.

Why Are We Obsessed With the Great American Novel? - interesting article that affirms some of the philosophy behind this course (we read many American voices instead of a few) and has an Allen Ginsberg allusion in the last sentence.

Can Students Have Too Much Tech? - put down the laptop and pick up a book sometime, please!

President Obama Says Novels Helped Him Learn To Be a Good Citizen - Yes, reading is good for you!

Parent Information:

Ms. Smith's Info for Parents. Look at the page list to the left to get more book ordering info.

Pretesting and Other New Ideas To Help Kids Learn - good study tips here.
Annotated Excerpt from Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success - "The Tasks of the High School Years."
When Sports Defeat Homework - This blog post, written by a teacher, gives good advice for balancing homework and activities.
How Can You Make a Student Care Enough To Work Harder? - Some answers to the most frequently asked parenting and teaching question.
The Best Way To Prepare For the (SAT) Critical Reading Section - Great advice for any student needing to work on reading skills, but it has to be a family project.

Schedules, Syllabus, and Course Guidelines

Our schedule of work--be sure you are reading your correct block:



SNOW DAY NOTE: Your homework is still due. See your schedule and/or NetClassroom for details. Please email me (jsmith@wilmingtonfriends.org, NOT gmail) if you have any issues - this will help us to avoid awkward moments. Thank you!

English Department Guidelines--English department guidelines for late papers, snow days, revisions, etc.

English 10 Syllabus--overview of course objectives, texts, procedures, and policies.

Analytical quiz rubric: for summer reading quiz and analytical quizzes to follow.

Literary Terms Defined--just what it sounds like: a long list of literary terms and definitions. Keep forever! Also check out this site: http://literarydevices.net/

Oxford American Dictionaries - a great source.

Midterm Exam:


Vocabulary lists: Billy Lynn, Fall of Rome

Exact Directions


Final Exam:

Exact directions (subject to revision)
Vocabulary list (full year, cumulative)

Discussion Guidelines and Handouts:

Discussion rubric: everything you need to know to do well and learn much in discussion.

Introverted Kids Need To Learn To Speak Up At School - I agree with many of the points made in this article. Being introverted does not mean you can't participate in discussion - I'm an introvert, too - and everyone needs to be able to speak comfortably in educational and professional settings.

Meta-discussion: evaluating our discussions.

Discussion log: for graded small group discussions


Introduction to metacognition and the four levels of questions.

A Taxonomy of Reflection - used in Friends lower school.

Annotated Excerpt from Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success - "The Tasks of the High School Years."

When Meta Met Data - an article about meta data, which also explains more about the concept of "meta" in general.

Six Critical Thinking Questions - classwork

Six Critical Thinking Questions - blank document

Meaning statements:


Worksheet (generic)

Generic Discussion/Analysis Handouts:

Mini commentary

Reading and Writing Skills Documents:

Active Reading Guidelines--look here if you need help with active reading.

Need help writing an introduction for a paper? Read this document.

All About Quotations: a guide to using quotations in essay.

A guide to writing a great thesis statement.

A guide to writing compare and contrast essays.

Conclusion guide

Revision thoughts from Amina Baaith (another English 10 teacher).

How Do I Get an A On a Paper, Anyway?

Responses to Specific Assignments:
War Summer Reading Quiz Feedback
War In-Class Essay Feedback
Fall of Rome Analytical Quiz Feedback


Creative Project
Personal Essay
Creative Writing Idea from the NYT - Sunday Routine