Mr. Thiesmeyer’s English IV – British Literature

Home          Syllabus          Literary Terms          Readings & Assignments         Notes          Contact


­­English IV – British Literature Syllabus


Mr. Thiesmeyer

Room: 232

Conference 4th Period


Phone: (956) 254-5300 Ext. 1066



Course Description: The purpose of this course is twofold:

Literary Element – This course’s literary objective is to analyze and interpret a sampling of British literature ranging from the Anglo-Saxon period to the present in preparation for higher education and for personal enrichment. 

Compositional Element – There will be a strong emphasis on effective composition in relation to the course’s literary objectives and for the purpose of exposing students to and preparing them for collegiate standards and expectations.

Materials Required:


Attendance/Tardy Policy:

Attendance is necessary in that it is a graduation requirement.  Aside from the threat of losing credit, students will be responsible for all work and notes that are missed in their absence.  Be careful not to let yourself get too far behind; your education is ultimately your responsibility. 

The tardy system is as follows:

The Student is tardy if not in class by the time the tardy bell rings. Students who receive 3 tardies will face lunch detention.  Students who receive 6 tardies will face in-school suspension (ISS).  Students who receive 9 or more tardies are subject to the following actions: out-of-school suspension (OSS), truancy fines (up to $300), and/or loss of credit.

In my class, the door will be locked at all times and will be closed at the tardy bell.  Any students not in class by that time will be marked tardy unless otherwise excused.

Electronic devices:

Cell phones, PSPs, iPods, personal laptops and other electronic devices are prohibited unless otherwise noted.  Devices will be confiscated.


BYOD: Bring Your Own Device initiative: - to encourage the implementation of “smart” devices and laptops in the classroom. Student owned devices are welcome in the classroom for academic use.  Students using their own devices must be connected to the school’s network and firewall. A charging station will be available in class (you must bring your own power supplies). Use of electronic devices outside of academic use is still prohibited.

You are responsible for your own devices.



Snacks and drinks will be allowed in my class under the following conditions:


This is a privilege, not a right.  Abuse of these rules will result in suspension of food/drink allowance.

Grading Policy:

Daily Work = 50%

Test Grades = 50%

Mid Term & Final Exam = 20% of overall grade

Late work will be accepted, but penalized according to the nature of the assignment and the reason that assignment was not turned in by the due date.  I reserve the right to reject seriously overdue assignments.


In-class exams will be given regularly to evaluate the students understanding of the material presented in class. As with all assignments, academic dishonesty* will not be tolerated: anyone caught cheating will immediately receive a score of zero and disciplinary action will be taken.  In the event that the majority of the class demonstrates an unacceptable comprehension on an exam, re-teaching and/or re-testing may result. Make up tests will be given at my discretion at the earliest possible convenience.  It is highly advised that you DO NOT MISS A TEST!!




All major essays will the typed and submitted following strict MLA guidelines (will be provided).  Plagiarism* will not be tolerated.  Any student caught plagiarizing will immediately receive a score of zero and disciplinary action will be taken.

*Note of Academic Dishonesty: Academic dishonesty or academic misconduct is any type of cheating that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise. It can include:


Please be aware that in many colleges and universities, serious infractions of academic integrity will invariably result in academic probation or, ultimately, expulsion. **Students expelled from a major college or university will, more-than-likely, never be accepted into any other institution.


Journal entries will begin (usually) one week into the semester and will be a daily procedure on all weeks not occupied by state exams, benchmarks, and time allotted either to major projects or presentations.  The first 10-15 minutes of each class day will be devoted to your journal entry.  Your topic will either be written on the board, projected, or, on rare occasions, be presented in either video or audio format.  Each entry will be a minimum of five (5) lines in your composition book or 70 sheet notebook and will be worth 20 points each, for a total of 100 points per week.  Multiple entries per page are recommended, with the date posted beside each entry.  Journals will be read by me, exclusively; however, please do not include overly personal, sensitive, or offensive issues or the blatant use of profanity.  Journals will be graded the following week (i.e. week 3’s entries will be graded on week 4) and will be turned in on the completion of that day’s entry, in this fashion:

                                    1st        period – Monday

                                    2nd       period – Tuesday

                                    3rd        period – Thursday

                                    5th        period – Friday

Students who have a valid excuse will be exempt from days missed.  Please write ABSENT accompanied by your reason for absence on the appropriate date. **Tardiness will result in missed entries and/or incur late penalties**


Once SAT vocabulary quizzes begin, they will be administered on Fridays, following that day’s journal entry.  Content for that quiz will be presented on the Monday preceding the quiz.  Quizzes over current classroom content can occur at any time and will be completed individually.  All quizzes will be weighted as a daily grade.


The student is expected to keep a portfolio of all written works.  This includes all essays (including drafts), journal entries, and short answer exercises.  These are to be kept in chronological order, by category, and will be evaluated at the end of the term for a major test grade.

Classroom Rules:

  1. Be prompt and be prepared.  Do not show up to my class late and unprepared.
  2. Respect at all times. Show respect towards me, peers, and all members of staff and faculty at all times.
  3. Have fun.

Classroom Procedures:

  1. Please be seated upon entering the classroom. 
  2. Once the tardy bell rings, you will have a predetermined amount of time to work on warm-up and/or journal entries.
  3. During regular class time, you will remain seated unless otherwise indicated (i.e. to sharpen pencil, throw away trash, use restroom, or work in groups)
  4. This is not nap time!  No excuses.  Stay awake and stay attentive.  Class participation is encouraged as long as we stay on task.


  1. All assignments will be turned in written in blue or black ink only (or typed) and will have your full name, date, and period in the top left corner (on assignments, please no nick names or abbreviations).
  2. Restroom breaks will be limited and only with a pass.  No restroom breaks will be allowed during exams, so go before.
  3. Again, show respect at all times.
  4. In the rare instances of fire drills: calmly get up, collect valuables, and proceed to the assigned exit.  Continue west, across the parking lot, to the fence line.  Once the drill is over, please return promptly to class. ***fire drills are not an excuse to socialize and ‘get lost’.  When we are released, you have no more than 5 minutes to be in class, seated, and ready to continue.***
  5. The Class is released when I say so, not when the bell rings.



Disregard of classroom rules and procedures can result in the following disciplinary action: verbal warnings, assigned seating, referrals, and/or parent-teacher conferences.


Note on zero-tolerance:  Possession of any form of weapon (firearms, knives or sharp-edged devices [excluding scissors]), fire crackers and other explosives, illegal drugs, and un-prescribed/unreported pharmaceuticals or engaging in physical, verbal, or psychological abuse or terroristic threats will result in detention by campus and/or city, county, or state police and could lead to criminal charges. K9 units will visit this campus regularly and perform random classroom sweeps.  All vehicles and property are subject to scrutiny.

Bell Schedule

1st Period

8:30 – 10:00 (90 Mins)

2nd Period

10:05 – 10:55 (50 Mins)

A Lunch

3rd  Period BC (Block)


3rd Period A

B Lunch

3rd Period C


3rd  Period AB (Block)

C Lunch

10:55 – 11:25 (30 Mins)

11:30 – 1:05 (95 Mins)


11:00 – 11:45 (45 Mins)

11:45 – 12:15 (30 Mins)

12:20 – 1:05 (45 Mins)


11:00 – 12:35 (95 Mins)

12:35 – 1:05 (30 Mins)

4th Period

1:10 – 2:40 (90 Mins)

5th Period

2:45 – 4:15 (90 Mins)