• Introductory Video



    Mrs. S. DiRenno

    River Dell Regional High School

    Academic Year 2020-2021

    10th Grade English Course Syllabus


    Course Synopsis

    English 10 is designed to guide students to think more deeply and express themselves more fluidly. The theme for the year is the process of choosing and pursuing goals and dreams. Students will, through interacting with literary characters, learn about the conflict between personal and societal goals/expectations for the individual, the complexities of choosing a course of action that may have both desirable and undesirable results, dealing with disappointment when a dream does not come true, and reimagining goals when it's time to move forward into a  new chapter of their lives. Students will use thematic analysis, rhetorical analysis, synthesis and research to contextualize and then internalize the decision-making processes of the characters observed. Some anchor texts will be The Crucible, Othello, Of Mice and Men, House on Mango Street, A Streetcar Named Desire, and the Joy Luck Club. Additionally, students will read supplemental texts such as short stories and poetry.


    Course Philosophy & Rationale

    Stories help us make better decisions by showing us vividly how things might play out as a result of a choice made. They provide a safe venue in which to project consequences and subsequent decisions before we have to make a real-life choice. This year students will learn how to use literature to think about and discuss with others hypothetical actions and potential consequences. It will show them how to use logic to make educated guesses about how their decisions will affect others, and how their actions (or inaction) will affect their future selves. The different types of analysis they will be doing teach them the process of problem-solving: gathering necessary information and examining one aspect at a time of any complex issue, so that they can make an informed decision that's right for them and then move toward their goals.


    Unit 1: Othello

    • Rhetorical Essay: How does one evaluate a speaker's point of view and reasoning using evidence and rhetoric from the text? What is the role of language and rhetoric in text and how is it a form of persuasion?
    • Discussion: What stands in the way of attaining a dream? How does one overcome obstacles along the way? How far is one willing to go to achieve a dream?


    Unit 2: Crucible

    • Thematic Essay: How do characters develop over the course of a text and advance the plot or reveal the theme?
    • Discussion: What occurs when one's dreams conflict with society's expectations?


    Unit 3: OMM AND Streetcar OR Raisin in the Sun

    • Thematic Essay: How do you produce one argument using multiple sources? What are the common ideas across texts identified through compare/contrast?
    • Discussion: How does one cope when a dream does not meet one's expectations? How does one move on from the loss of a dream?


    Unit 4: Mango Street OR Joy Luck

    • Narrative writing: How do we let go of failures/mistakes? How do we learn from the past?
    • Discussion: Do we recognize how culture influences people? How do we learn about ourselves after reading others' life stories?




    Grading Policy 

    This course will operate on a point system wherein individual tasks will be assigned individual values.

    The following are components of the point system:        

    1. Writing assignments
    2. Tests/Projects
    3. Quizzes/Reading Checks
    4. Classwork/Homework


    Course Requirements

             River Dell-issued laptop

             River Dell-issued Laptop carry case

             binder or notebook / folder (for occasional handouts)


     Rules & Expectations

    Preparation is integral to the way this course operates.  This will require students to come to class prepared with a charged laptop in addition to the appropriate reading, class work, homework, and texts assigned.  Failure to be prepared will inhibit a student from participating in daily and/or weekly lessons, and as a result, will adversely affect the student’s average.


    Only school-issued laptops are allowed to be used in the classroom.  Laptops are to be kept on stand-by or powered off unless otherwise instructed.  Students who are using the laptop for anything other than academic use will receive a warning the first time, lose laptop privileges for the day on the second offense, and have the laptop confiscated on the third offense.  All offenses will be reported to the principal’s office and the parent/guardian of the student.


    If work is lost, damaged, or corrupted on the laptop, and no back-up copies of the file(s) have been made, the student will receive an automatic zero.  In the event that a laptop is damaged or out of service and a loaner is not available, the student will be accommodated, but all work must still be completed by the due date.  Technological issues will not be accepted as excuses, and no student will receive the opportunity to make-up the work as a result.  It is absolutely essential that all students back up files using email, one drive, and/or a flash drive.




    Students are expected to be in class every day, for the duration of the period.  Students are expected to complete all assigned reading, writing, and group work in a meaningful fashion, and turn all work in completed and on time.   


    Students who miss English class must check One Note for the missed class work and homework.  Email must also be used to check for the homework reminder and communicate with the teacher.  All students are accountable for having the homework due on the day of return.  Twenty four (24) hours will be given to make-up missed class work.


    Expectations for the Virtual Classroom  


    While learning in the virtual world is new for many of us, the classroom is not. Think of the virtual classroom as you do the traditional classroom and conduct yourself accordingly:


    • Behavioral standards, as outlined in the Code of Conduct, are in effect and will be enforced through coordination with administration. For example, lateness, inconsistent attendance, general mischief, plagiarism and disrespect will have consequences.
    • You are expected to be visible on camera when utilizing Microsoft TEAMS
    • Your failure to acknowledge random questioning during a class session can qualify as a CUT and will be addressed accordingly.
    • Grades will be reflective of demonstrated levels of cooperation, productivity and content mastery.
    • Grades will be earned based on attainment of documented performance standards on a variety of assessments.
    • You are strongly encouraged to utilize Extra Help Sessions as needed.