Block 4 -- Senior Honors/AP English
Links to Groundhog Day Readings
        A Great Buddhist Movie
             Everyday, Every Life
             Groundhog Almighty
             A Movie for All Time
             Phil's Shadow 
             True Self 

Course Guidelines


            Reading – close reading – is crucial in this course.  If you don’t read, or if you don’t take the time to read in enough depth, you will be able to pass the course, but you will not excel.  You will also accrue much less personal benefit from the artists we encounter.


            There will be three distinct types of writing that you will be asked to do in H/AP English IV.    

  1. Lectio – Your personal responses to the materials we have covered in the course.(For more information, see “Lectio Handout”.)Sometimes the lectio will take the form of a “directio”.It’s still an informal, journal-type response, but to a specific question.
  2. Timed Essay Quizzes – A one-question, timed quiz on something we have recently covered.Sometimes you will be given the exact question in advance; sometimes a general topic; sometimes you will be asked to surmise possible questions.
  3. Extended Writing Assignments – The focus will be on the Five-Paragraph Essay (sometimes as a formal academic assignment, sometimes as an informal variant).  Mastery of the Five-Paragraph Format will be your most valuable achievement in this course.


      Multiple Choice Tests – Review of material covered in each unit, including materials that may not have previously been evaluated.

 Independent Reading

I.          From time to time. I will be assigning short pieces to read or view independently.  You will then be asked to respond, often on the Blog we used for Summer Reading.

II.         We will also be setting aside some time each Friday for Free Reading.  This means a book of your choice.  When the comfy chairs in the library are available, we’ll go there.  If the weather is nice, perhaps the courtyard.  You be required to 1) bring your book to class on Friday, and 2) fill out a short form pertaining to your day’s reading.


            Vocabulary in this class will be self-selected, and turned in weekly.  (See “Vocabulary Collection Procedure” handout for the details.)

 Regarding Late or Missing Assignments

 Due to Absence – The burden of finding out what assignments you have missed is entirely yours.   All work should be made up as soon as possible.  (It’s not going to get any fresher as time passes.)

 Due to Sloth – One day to one week late merits a 20% penalty.  After ten calendar days, your grade will become an irreversible “zero”.  [Although I sometimes make exceptions, this is the enforceable rule.]

 Miscellaneous problems, troubles, etc. – If you expect to have trouble meeting an assigned deadline, see me.

 Due to Unforeseen Circumstances, Acts of God, etc. – See me.

 Classroom Decorum

 I.    Students will be courteous to, and respectful of, each other.

II.   Appropriate language will be maintained at all times.

III.  As a general rule, cellphones are not allowed in class.  They are a distraction.  But sometimes they can be a useful educational tool.  (Get the Merriam-Webster app!)  If you feel that you need to use your device for educational purposes, ask me first!

IV.  Plagiarism is also against school policy.  If you choose to plagiarize, be prepared to accept the consequences.

V.  English class is for English, not math or science or history.  You are not allowed to do other homework in English class.  (In the event of an emergency, let me know, and I will send you out of class to finish your other assignment – no penalty.  But let’s not fool ourselves.  This class is difficult enough when you pay full attention.)

 Regarding R-rated Movies

             In accordance with THS and Board of Education policy, certain R-rated movies may be shown in class if deemed appropriate and relevant to the curriculum.  In the past such films viewed in this class have included: Spike Lee’s Get on the Bus, John Sayles’ Men with Guns, Sam Rami’s A Simple Plan, Roman Polanski’s Macbeth, Oliver Parker’s Othello, and Billy Morrissette’s Scotland, PA.   Fine movies all – and not exactly Porkies.

PRIDE in Practice



Finish the job – to the best of your ability. Don’t let yourself be defeated. Find a solution.



Think of the effect of your actions. Look for the best in others. Be the best of yourself.



Stay true to your values. Do it because it is the right thing. Be willing to pay the price.



Show up ready to go. Be someone others can count on. Let your word be your bond.



Be in the moment. Give it your best shot. Take something with you when you go.

Reach me at:

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