High School Literature Classes Parent Information
Recommended Literature Courses by Grade Level
Note regarding writing: Most students will benefit from an additional writing course developing a broader range of high school writing skills; students who have not completed IEW 3 at UHC in middle school are especially encouraged to take UHC’s Introduction to High School Writing during the ninth or tenth grade.
|9th and 10th Grades||11th and 12th Grades||9th-12th Grades Learning Difference|
|English w/ General Literature||English w/ World Literature||English w/Literature 1|
|English w/ American Literature||English w/British Literature||English w/Literature 2|
|English w/Literature 3|
|English w/Literature 4|
High School Literature Course Information
All parents should read the information on this page before enrolling a student in a UHC Literature course.
UHC Literature teachers will use and refer to the Blue Book of Grammar to teach and remediate grammar concepts. All student papers written for a UHC Literature class are graded for grammar as well as content, formatting, citations, organization, analysis, and style. Parents and students must take advantage of teacher suggestions and feedback to review and remediate grammar in the Blue Book of Grammar or with additional review and practice at home as needed.
Classes appropriate for all HS students but aimed at 9th and 10 graders. (English with General Lit and English with American Lit) will write a minimum of eight writing assignments that include essays, poetry, and creative writing. To count toward this total, papers will either be poetry or will be at least three paragraphs long. The classes will write a minimum of three five-paragraph literary analysis essays; they will also write one research paper of at least six paragraphs. Additional writing may be required by the teacher. The classes incorporate a balance of literary analysis and creative writing, and while a basic proficiency in writing three- and five- paragraph essays is assumed, no prior experience with writing literary analysis or research papers is assumed. Teachers will guide students in building on their previous writing experience to incorporate these new skills, reviewing such concepts as the thesis statement, the Works Cited page, and the revising of a rough draft step by step. Even students who struggle with writing can succeed in these classes if they take advantage of all instruction and support provided, especially by making sure they understand and review grades and teacher comments on submitted papers.
Classes appropriate for very strong 10th graders but aimed at 11th and 12th grade students. (English with World Lit and English with British Lit) will write a minimum of ten papers; to count toward this total, papers will either be poetry or will be at least three paragraphs long. The classes will write a minimum of five five-paragraph literary analysis essays; they will also write one research paper of ten paragraphs. Additional writing may be required by the teacher. The classes incorporate a balance of literary analysis and creative writing, and while a basic proficiency in high school level research, grammar, and writing is assumed, teachers will review these skills and guide students in applying them to literary analysis through in-class activities, suggested resources, handouts, and other support. Even students who struggle with writing can succeed in these classes if they take advantage of all the instruction and support provided, especially by making sure they understand and review teacher comments and feedback on submitted papers.
Classes appropriate for 9th-12th grade students in the Learning Differences Program (CP only classes- English with Literature 1, 2, 3, and 4) will write a minimum of six assignments that include essays, poetry, and creative writing. The classes will write a minimum of three five-paragraph literary analysis essays; they will also write one research paper of at least six paragraphs. Additional writing may be required by the teacher. The classes incorporate a balance of literary analysis and creative writing. While a basic proficiency in writing five- paragraph essays is assumed, no prior experience with writing literary analysis or research papers is expected. Teachers will guide students in building on their previous writing experience to incorporate these new skills, reviewing such concepts as the thesis statement, the Works Cited page, and the revising of a rough draft step by step. Even students who struggle with writing can succeed in these classes if they take advantage of all instruction and support provided, especially by making sure they understand and review grades and teacher comments on submitted papers.
All UHC high school literature classes include fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry as required by South Carolina state standards. The classes read an average of 7-9 works per year, ranging in length from short stories to novels; most are read in their entirety but teachers assign specific excerpts of some. Students are welcome to use electronic or audio books at home, but must bring a paper copy to class. The recommended edition of the book is strongly encouraged because it is often confusing for students to navigate an edition different from the teacher’s. Each year of literature at UHC may be taken independently. Students may also complete seven years of literature at UHC, beginning in sixth grade and continuing through senior year, without repeating books. UHC’s literature program is focused on classics, and on analyzing literature in its historical context.
See individual course descriptions for book lists and additional information.
All literature classes require a minimum of one individual presentation, and one project. (These may be combined, or may be two separate assignments.) Teachers may require more presentations and projects, either individual or group. These projects and activities ensure that all students, even those who don’t always perform well on tests and papers, can succeed in and enjoy the literature classes at Upstate Homeschool Co-op. They also create opportunities for students to explore and respond to literature through a wide range of activities including debate, drama, and art.
All literature classes include a minimum of two written tests per year, including vocabulary—this is how the vocabulary portion of your English credit is provided and documented for you. Teachers may require additional tests and quizzes.
All literature classes assign homework every week during the school year, and some homework may be assigned over Christmas break, and/or due on the first day of class, if necessary to avoid overloading students during the school year. Teachers generally try to avoid and/or minimize work assigned outside of the school year, but it is not always possible. Homework assignments and due dates can be found in JE; students who are highly motivated to have no assignments during breaks thus also have the opportunity to complete such assignments early.
Most weeks, homework will be EITHER reading, or writing/working on a project, not both. There are exceptions to this, however, when students will be assigned both a shorter reading assignment, and a shorter writing assignment such as a paragraph or a poem. Students will be expected to read 80 to 100 pages most weeks; most students will need to find two to four hours in their weekly schedules to complete the reading. Unabridged audio books are an encouraged option for students who enjoy them.
Teachers will often suggest helpful online and other resources to help students with reading comprehension, and will teach skills such as outlining and annotating to build reading and study skills. Teachers will use a variety of methods to monitor students’ reading and to give homework grades, including and not limited to written and oral quizzes, pop quizzes, reading logs, notebook checks, summaries, or annotations.
Many students with dyslexia and other reading and learning challenges have enjoyed and succeeded in the literature classes at UHC. Audiobooks, dictation, and the use of suggested resources at home, plus support with note-taking in the classroom, can make it easier for these students to succeed. The most important thing a student who may need accommodations can do is to communicate with the teacher at the beginning of the year; this enables the teacher to be as helpful as possible to the student and lets parents, students, teachers, and administrators together address potential issues before they become confusing or discouraging to the student. As per our Learning Differences Program, any student needing accommodations must take part in the program. UHC does offer an English with Literature class option each year for high school students in the LD program.
All literature classes offer an Honors option. Honors students will have additional discussion questions on tests and some homework assignments. They will read one additional book per semester (two per year) from a list provided by the teacher; they will write a five-paragraph literary analysis essay on one of the books, do a project and presentation on one of the books, and choose other honors assignments from a list provided by the teacher. Honors students must use prompts and grading rubrics provided by the teacher, and are responsible to be aware of the due dates for all Honors work.
It is essential for students to understand that both intentional plagiarism (such as copying or paraphrasing SparkNotes) and unintentional plagiarism (such as failing to include a Works Cited page) are unacceptable in any class. Teachers must take plagiarism seriously not only as a moral issue, but also because it is penalized so severely in college, and also because students who plagiarize don’t get the help they need with reading and writing. Literature teachers often see unintentional plagiarism as students begin learning how to use summaries, author biographies, and online resources to understand what they read or to gather information for a writing assignment or project. For some students, it is a new skill to assimilate information from a summary or other source, integrate it with their own ideas, and use it to develop a paragraph WITHOUT simply paraphrasing the original source. Teachers will explain and model this skill, but parents should make sure that students take full advantage of materials made available by the teacher, such as examples, templates, videos, or slides, to provide more detail than can be covered in class. Parents can help by talking through writing assignments and brainstorming outlines with a student to ensure that the student is choosing his or her own words and ideas, and by urging students to check with the teacher in advance about how to avoid plagiarism—how to cite a specific source, whether a particular assignment needs a Works Cited page, etc. Teachers and parents are always united by the goal of making the first incident of plagiarism—whether intentional or unintentional—the last. So if your student is ever approached by a teacher with a concern about plagiarism, you can help by taking it seriously, helping the teacher find out what happened, and helping your student understand why teachers must pursue concerns about plagiarism. If your student did plagiarize, help by making sure he or she understands how the plagiarism occurred, why it matters, and how to avoid it next time.
All of UHC’s literature classes use the South Carolina uniform grading scale for high schools. See the syllabus of each class for specific information on grading, including how each assignment is weighted. Read carefully the rubric provided with each assignment.
The syllabus for both the College Prep and the Honors portion of each of UHC’s high school literature classes is approved in advance each year by both Piedmont Home Educators Association (PHEA) and the South Carolina Association of Independent Schools (SCAIHS). To provide as much helpful documentation as possible, the assignments in each class are labeled “Writing 1” through “Writing 10” in JE, so that at the end of the year the parents can easily identify and document the writing portion of the English credit.