• Cambridge Literature Coursebook

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  • Cambridge Literature Syllabus


    Cambridge Literature

    Course Expectations

    Mr. Thornburg

    Email: rthornburg@amphi.com

    Classroom phone (520) 696-5402

    Google phone (480) 696-1922

    Course Philosophy/Description

    The combination of knowledge and skills in Cambridge IGCSE Literature (English) (US) gives learners a solid foundation for further study. Candidates who achieve grades A* to C are well prepared to follow a wide range of courses including Cambridge International AS & A Level English Literature. Students will write analytical essays and strengthen their writing using thoughtful research, revision, editing, and rewriting. In a culminating activity, students will synthesize their knowledge to create a presentation that addresses their understanding of literature. This course is not intended to be a stepping stone for Advanced Placement (AP) classes, but this course is equivalent to a high school senior English class and will require students to act as high school seniors so that they may learn at a high school senior level.


    • Enjoy the experience of reading literature
    • Understand and respond to literary texts in different forms and from different periods and cultures
    • Communicate an informed, personal response appropriately and effectively
    • Appreciate different ways in which writers achieve their effects
    • Experience literature’s contribution to aesthetic, imaginative, and intellectual growth
    • Explore the contribution of literature to an understanding of areas of human concern


    The course will move through selected works of poetry, prose, and drama written by American and European authors.

      Types of Activities/Assessments

    • Reader Response—dialectical journal, annotating, reading logs/questions,
    • SOAPSTone analysis & graphic organizer
    • In-class timed writings
    • Text Analysis, Character Analysis
    • Participation—group work, discussions, etc.
    • Socratic Seminars/Philosophical Chairs
    • Quizzes (check reading completion/understanding)
    • Book Reports

    Supplies Used

    • 1” binder for this class
    • Composition notebook (optional)
    • Flash drive/Google Drive
    • College-rule loose leaf paper
    • Blue/black pens
    • Post-it notes

    Guidelines & Procedures


    Classroom Expectations

    In order for you to attain the most from your classroom experience, the following rules, based on general courtesy and respect, will be enforced:

    • Respect the teacher, your classmates, and yourself;
    • Be on time and in your assigned seat by the time the bell rings;
    • Bring all necessary materials to class every day;
    • Be an active learner while taking this course;
    • Do not text, Snapchat, message, etc. during class.


    • Take responsibility for your learning. If an assignment is typed, save it to your Google Drive, formatting problems are not a valid excuse for missing a deadline (see information below).    
    • Format: All typed papers must use MLA formatting.  The majority of papers will be submitted to Turnitin.com, with the exception of timed class writes/AP Practice. 
    • Attendance: Attendance is essential for your success in this class. While students will be afforded the opportunity to make up missed assignments for excused absences, interaction during discussion is invaluable and impossible to replicate.  If you have a field trip, college visit, retreat, etc., see me in advance to arrange make up times for quizzes, tests and assignments.  Attendance is factored into your conduct/participation grade, and will greatly affect you if you miss class often. 

    Absences and Make-up Assignments

    • Please, please check Google Classroom before you ask me if you missed “anything” in class. If you are ill, and I haven’t posted an assignment, feel free to email me. Do not use class time to discuss absences. Make an appointment and we will discuss it before or after school.
    • If the absence is excused, students will have one day for every day absent to make up work.
    • If you are absent on a day that a major assignment is due, send the assignment with a friend/sibling, submit to Turnitin.com/email, or have a parent/guardian leave the assignment in the front office-your due date doesn’t change.

    Plagiarism and Cheating

    “Plagiarism refers to a form of cheating that has been defined as ‘the false assumption of authorship: the wrongful act of taking the product of another person’s mind and presenting it as one’s own.” (MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 5th edition, page 30).  Plagiarism not only cheats the author from whom you stole, but it cheats you out of an educational opportunity to grow and learn.  If you are unsure whether to cite a source after quotations, paraphrasing, or summarizing, please clarify with me.  If you do plagiarize, accidentally or maliciously, you will receive a zero for that assignment without the possibility of revising.  Other forms of cheating will also result in a zero.  Parents, Counselors, Principal will be notified.   Please refer to the school handbook or ask me if you have questions.


    Grade (%)      Letter Equivalent              Rating

    90-100                   A                                  Excellent

    80-89                     B                                  Good

    70-79                     C                                 Average

    60-69                     D                                 Passing

    Below 60               F                                  Failing

    Mentoring/Conference Sessions

    If you need help with your literary analyses, college essays, or other writing assignments, I will be glad to offer help at lunch, after, or before school.   Please schedule an appointment with me.  Many papers can only be revised if you see me to discuss problems/solutions. 


    Tentative Quarterly Schedule


    Quarter 1 – Poetry


    • Selected works from Cambridge textbooks
    • Selected works from poet Robert Frost
    • Self-selected novel


    • Introduction to claims and evidence
    • Thesis writing
    • Proper outlining and development of essays

    Quarter Two – Prose


    • Selected short stories from various authors
    • Self-selected novel


    • Coursework 1 essay on poetry
    • Further refinement of essay writing

    Quarter Three – Drama  


    • Sonnets and pop sonnets by various poets
    • Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
    • Self-selected novel


    • Coursework 2 essay on prose
    • Timed writings

    Quarter Four – Individual Study of Literature           


    • Poems that didn’t fit into Quarter 1
    • Self-selected novel


    • Coursework 3 essay on drama
    • Presentation of analysis of a selected poem
    • Adaptation of literature project final




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