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Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

Ninth Grade English

Literary Genres
Welcome to 9th grade English! Im
extremely excited to work with you
during the course of this school year.
What makes this experience unique for
all involved is that I once sat in your
seat. Ive traveled the journey that I
will soon lead you through.

Miss Kara Rufo

Syllabus Contents:
Course Description
Contact Information
Course Goals
Course Objectives
Required Texts
Required Materials
Independent Reading


Course Expectations
Course Curriculum


The Fine Print

Help & Resources

Course Description
As ninth graders, students embark on an exciting
quest: a journey into the Sacred Heart Integrated
Humanities Curriculum. In this program, English,
History, Art and Music are taught together, not as
separate unrelated subjects. The focus of the ninth grade
curriculum is the study of the impact of the ancient
cultures upon the development of Christianity, and their
effect upon the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the
traditions which endure in the 21st century. The
philosophy behind this integrated program is that
studying art, literature and music, and seeing these
legacies as expressions of the human sprit, fosters the
students empathy and understanding, not only of the
great intellectual and aesthetic contributions of the past,
but also of the broad human values all people share.

Contact Information:
Email: kara.rufo@cdssh.org
Office: D25


Miss Kara Rufo

Miss Rufo & Antigone

Literary Genres

Miss Rufo & The Trojan Horse

Miss Rufo & Poseidon

Course Goals and Objectives

The goal of this course is to introduce students to an array of literary genres in order to sharpen their

skills at analyzing literature. Students study both fiction and nonfiction works in order to improve their
familiarity with the traditions of literary writing. They learn to identify genres such as: poetry, fables, drama,
parallel novels, and informational texts, as well as the elements specific to each genre. At the culmination of
the course, students recognize the importance of our past, how it provides the framework to our present and
shapes our futures.
Throughout the course, students develop an understanding and appreciation for the writing process.
Students strive to demonstrate a command of English language and usage in their writing and speaking. They
explore arguments in order to support claims, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Students conduct research projects to answer a question or solve a problem by gathering relevant
information from print and digital sources with careful assessment of the reliability of each source. Each
student develops an electronic writing portfolio, which she will build throughout her years at Sacred Heart.

Reading Objectives
Cite strong and thorough textual
evidence to support analysis of
what the text says explicitly as well
as inferences drawn from the text
Determine a theme or central idea
of a text and analyze in detail its
development over the course of
the text, including how it emerges
and is shaped and refined by
specific details
Analyze how complex characters
develop over the course of a text,
interact with other characters, and
advance the plot or develop theme
Determine the meaning of words

Writing Objectives

Speaking & Listening Objectives

Produce clear and coherent writing in

which the development, organization
and style are appropriate to task,
purpose and audience
Conduct short as well as more
sustained research projects to answer
a question or solve a problem;
synthesize multiple sources on the
subject, demonstrating understanding
of the subject under investigation
Gather relevant information from
multiple print and digital sources;
assess the usefulness of each source
in answering the research question;
integrate information into the text

and phrases as they are used in the

selectively to maintain flow of ideas,

text, including figurative and

avoiding plagiarism and following a

connotative meanings

standard format for citations

Initiate and participate effectively

in a range of collaborative
discussions with diverse partners
on varying topics, texts and issues,
building on others ideas and
expressing their own clearly and
Present information, findings and
supporting evidence clearly,
concisely and logically such that
listeners can follow the line of
reasoning and organization
Make strategic use of digital
media in presentations to enhance
understanding of findings,
reasoning, evidence and to add

Miss Kara Rufo

Literary Genres


Required Texts
The Odyssey
Margaret Atwood
The Penelopiad
The Oedipus Cycle
Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales
Apps for iPad (See below)

Student grades will be based on quizzes (both announced and

unannounced), tests, in-class essays, prepared essays, and various
creative assignments that will be assigned throughout the year. It is
expected that you will participate regularly in class discussion.
Grading is based on a total point system. Values of assignments will
vary, but the following is a general idea:

Tests, Formal Essays, Large Projects: 100 points

Informal Essays and Reading Assignments: 25-50 points
Quizzes (Reading, Vocabulary, Language): 20 points
Homework and Classwork: 10-20 points

iPad Apps
School has purchased the following iPad apps for each student.
They should automatically be sent to your iPad, but it is wise to
double check. It is a good idea to arrange them into the following
Literary Genres Folder
Greek Mythology:
Gods and Myths

Shakespeare in Bits:
Romeo & Juliet


Required Materials
iPad with charge
A notebook or a binder
with lined paper for taking

Literary Analysis Guide


Google Folder
Google Classroom / Google Drive / Google Docs / Google Slides

A folder for keeping loose

paper and handouts
Access to a computer
If you do not have access to a
computer and/or internet at
home, please let me know at
your earliest convenience.

Apps t o Have Folder TBD by you


Miss Kara Rufo

Literary Genres

Course Expectations
Respect: Students should be thoughtful of their classmates and the teacher. Please arrive on time. If late, you
must have a note from a teacher or administrator or you will receive a demerit. In discussion, please be
courteous of other students by listening with an attitude of openness and stating your ideas in a polite way.
Responsibility: Each student should work to her ability, complete assignments on time, be prepared to
participate in class discussion and take the initiative to make up any missed work. All students must have her
name on the top of a paper. Papers which are to be handed in and do not have a student's name on it will lose
5% of the assigned grade.
Moodle: Daily homework assignments, notice of upcoming quizzes and tests, handouts and major assignments
will be posted on the portal; you will not receive a hard copy of assignments after the first week of school. It is
key that you check the portal to keep yourself up to date with the class requirements.
Email: Each student is required to check her email at least once each day. I will use email to communicate with
the class regarding assignments and/or changes you need to know about.
Teacher Communication: The best way to contact me, during or after school hours, is through my email
listed on the first page of the syllabus. I do my best to check it as often as possible during the school day.
However, I cant guarantee a response after the end of the school day at 3:30PM. My dogs are very spoiled, and
they require my undivided attention for a few hours each night.
Major Projects/Papers: As you know, according to your student handbook, major papers and projects are
due in homeroom, by 8:20 AM. If you do not hand in work before the homeroom bell, your assignment will be
considered late. Note that 10% of the value of your paper will be deducted for the late day. For instance, if
your paper earns a 90 but is turned in one day late, you will receive an 80 on the paper. After that one day,
I will not accept the work. You will receive a zero.
Homework Policy: All homework is to be turned in by the designated due date and time. If you do not hand
in work at this time, your assignment will be considered late. Unlike major papers and projects, a homework
assignment with a point value of 25 points or less, will not be accepted late. You will receive a zero. If necessary,
come with your papers printed, stapled, and ready to hand in! Dont print them out at the
beginning of class! If they are not ready, it tells me that you are not prepared. If you come into school late
(after our class) or leave early (before our class) I expect you to bring your assignment to me. If you cant find
me, you may have someone put it in my mailbox in the faculty room (D23).
Absences: If you are absent and miss a test, it is your responsibility to see me the day you return to schedule a
make-up. If a student is absent the day before or the day of the test ONLY (one day absence), you are expected
to take the test upon return. This also applies to due dates for major projects (including essays). If a student
misses two days prior to the test, you may ask for an additional day to take the test. It is imperative for students
to recognize that you should prepare for tests prior to the night before. Not having the necessary books at home
will not be a reason for test extension. If a student fails to comply with these guidelines, 10% of the value of your
test or project will be deducted for each "late" day.

Miss Kara Rufo

Literary Genres

Sports: If you miss class for a sport, it is your responsibility to make up the work. If you will be missing
class for sports on the day of a test or project, you should make arrangements to take the test earlier in the
day or hand in the project before you leave. If you do not talk with me before you leave and you were in
school that day, the test or assignment will be penalized as late.
Computers/Printing: Your computer being broken is not an acceptable excuse for late work. There
are many computers and printers here at school, so you should have plenty of opportunities to print out
your work before class. Be sure to back-up your files so that you dont lose your work. Since we
will be working in Google Drive, I dont expect this to be an issue.
Extra Credit: Literary Genres, as well as the entire English department, does not offer extra credit
Academic Honesty: Honest behavior is an expectation of all students. Plagiarism and cheating will not
be tolerated in my classroom and will result in a 0 on the assignment, and the students situation will be
brought to the principals attention.
Bathroom: If you must go to the bathroom during class, please go during a quiet time, not while we are
in the middle of discussion. It disrupts the flow of ideas. Of course, if it is an emergency, I trust you to
recognize that, and you may go at any time. Please do not ask. You may just get up and go.

Course Curriculum
Literary Genres: The Evolution of Human Ideas
First Semester
o Introduction to the Humanities
o Introduction to the Literary Genres
o Greece: The foundations of Western
Informational: Exploration of
Epic Poetry: The Odyssey
Historical Fiction: The Penelopiad
o Greek theater and the origins of tragedy
Drama: Antigone (Greek Tragedy)
Second Semester
o The downfall of the Classical world of Greece
and Rome
o Traditional Literature/Folk Tales
o Anthology: The Canterbury Tales
o Drama: Romeo and Juliet

Miss Kara Rufo

Literary Genres

Help and Resources

If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed
1. Make an appointment with me: You are welcome
to email me or make an appointment to meet.
2. Use online resources: On moodle, Ive provided
you with links to some useful online resources.
3. Get to know the library: Mrs. Scholl and Mrs.
Ackerley are always eager to guide your research.
4. Work with our National Honor Society: We have
several junior and senior student-tutors that are
always happy to work with you. Let me know, and
I can set you up with one.

About the Teacher: Welcome to Sacred Heart, the place I consider my second home. I hope youll soon
love it here as much as I do. If you have not already guessed, my favorite color is purple. I spend my
summers in Sea Isle City, NJ where I feed my two little dogs too many treats and read as many books as I
can. I sometimes think Im much funnier than I actually am.

The Fine Print

In an effort to ease you into high school, Ive surveyed past students. These are questions that I get each
year. In order to avoid them, Ive answered them for you ahead of time. If asked these in class, I will say
Check the fine print of your syllabus. Here is the Miss Rufo Survival Guide:

Will this be on the test?

2. Will this affect my grade?
If its graded, then yes. Remember, I work off of a points system so dont go solely by the
percentage you score.
3. I dont get it.
Im happy to help, but youre in high school. Use your words to tell me and show me what
youre having difficulty understanding! I will do my best to then help you get it.
Note that extenuating circumstances can be taken into consideration. It is the student's responsibility to
approach the teacher to discuss the circumstance. It is always best to approach the teacher as far in advance
of the due date as possible when an extenuating circumstance arises.
Please know that you can always come see me to talk about any issue that you have. My door is always open.
Make arrangements with me, and I will be happy to meet with you to go over any questions that you have.