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English IV Syllabus


Instructor:  Mrs. Donna Birch   (270) 274-3366    ext.  15209

Room: 209                                                         Planning: 6th period (1:00-1:50)



Course Description: English IV is a survey of British literature covering classic and contemporary periods. For example, Shakespeare’s dramas and poetry will be addressed.   This class will also emphasize use of the writing process to complete written works for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Length:  2 semesters

Class objectives: In English IV the student will:

  • Read and analyze classic and contemporary literature as representative of the many dimensions of the human experience
  • Use effective speaking skills and techniques for oral presentations to specific audiences for specific purposes
  • Respond critically to a variety of literary genres and explain how they reflect periods
  • Use writing-to-learn as a basis for developing literary writing
  • Continue to develop literary writing
  • Use a variety of multimedia tools to enhance presentations

Class Expectations:  There are high academic expectations for all students to reach a proficient level in this class.  This course will cover not only the Core Content required by the state but also enhance your skills through reading, writing, group work, projects, critical thinking skills and other best practice teaching methods and activities. As technology is a key element in our new Core Content Standards, we will explore various programs that can be used to enhance our writing and other projects throughout the year.

Class Rules: The following class rules are necessary to provide an orderly, efficient educational atmosphere for this class.

  1. All codes of conduct in the handbook will be followed.
  2. Be in class on time and prepared.
  3. Be respectful of yourself, others, and property.
  4. NO electronic devices in the classroom without first seeking permission.
  5. No talking during the announcements, instruction time, or when someone else has the floor.

Units of Study: 

  1. Writing-Through writing workshop and many other activities, students will learn and use a variety of writing strategies and forms, including but not limited to the following:  journal writing, writing to learn, writing to demonstrate learning, writing for real-world purposes with real-world audiences and forms, personal writing, literary writing, reflective writing, revision strategies, editing and language use, and vocabulary.
  2. Reading-Through a variety of activities, students will read and understand selections from British literature, apply those selections to the real world, analyze and evaluate the writings, styles, concepts and devices, and synthesize learning from this class with prior and new knowledge gained elsewhere.  Reading material will include that from the text and persuasive, informational, and practical sources, etc.  Often, reading selections will be used as models for writing.
  3. Grammar-Using knowledge of the eight parts of speech, students will improve their grammar skills.  These grammar skills will enhance writing ability and will improve reading skills.
  4. Other-Through oral presentations, and the location, analysis, summary, paraphrasing, and evaluation of media sources, students will improve skills in the following areas:  speaking, listening, observing, inquiry, and using technology.

Grading: This course will include the following graded items:  tests, quizzes, writings, class work, projects, participation, homework, and end of the semester exams.

Attendance/Make-up Work:  Attendance is of the utmost importance in order to do well in this class. In the event of an excused absence, the procedures in the student handbook will be followed.  Make-up tests should be taken before or after school and must be taken within one week of the missed test. On the bulletin board students will find five folders—one for each day of the week. These folders will contain any assignments that were done that particular day. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY to check the folders for missed assignments after returning from an absence. If the folders are empty, check with me or another student to be sure there is no make-up work such as notes, quizzes, etc.


Dear Parent or Guardian:

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your child to English IV. I am looking forward to a very successful year for all those involved. If at any time you have questions about your child’s progress, please feel free to contact me by email or phone during my planning, which is 1:00-1:50. Let’s all work together to make this academic year at OCHS a very rewarding one. 

Donna Birch



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I give permission for my child, _________________________________________, to watch movies that are unit of study appropriate in English IV.  I understand that some of these may be rated PG13.




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