War in Literature: General Syllabus

    including Class Policies and Common Core Standards

    Mr. Hadden


    Works to be read:  This semester we will focus our attention on four major works: the Iliad, Gates of Fire, the Aeneid, and Under the Eagle, Students are expected to bring copies of the appropriate text to class unless instructed otherwise. 




    In reading the Iliad, students will study the conventions and style of epic poetry, examining Homeric language, similes, rhythm, etc.  Students will analyze thematic concerns as well as other traditional elements of literature such as symbolism, motifs, etc.  Students will explore the rich tradition of Greek mythology, the everyday impact their gods had on the Greeks’ actions and behaviors, and the effect of war on the individual and society. 


    Gates of Fire is a fictionalized account of the Battle of Thermopylae that remains historically accurate.  In addition to studying conventions of literature such as theme, symbolism, motif, etc., students will examine and analyze Greek culture in general and Spartan culture specifically.  Students will focus on the effect war has on the individual and society and the sacrifices made by warriors to ensure the survival of their families and way of life.  Students will also study the genre of historical fiction and its associated conventions.


    While students will primarily read the Aeneid as a study of Roman epic poetry, and all the associated conventions, a major concern will be a comparison to the works of Homer, after whom Virgil modeled his poem.  Students will engage in an examination of the work thematically, comparing/contrasting Roman ideals with those of the Greeks. Finally, as the Aeneid was written to legitimatize the rule (and divinity) of Augustus Caesar, students will examine the work as a historical political statement as well.


    Under the Eagle is a fictionalized account of the Roman invasion of Britain in 42 A.D.  Students will evaluate the relationships between and among characters and examine elements such as plot, setting, and theme as well as more complex literary devices.  In addition, students will examine the form and style of historical fiction and analyze the historical period and its depiction in the novel.  Students will compare, contrast, and examine the clashing Roman and British cultures, focusing on their values and traditions. 


    Assessment:  Students will be assessed through quizzes, objective examinations, essays, at least one project and/or presentation, participation (5% of the semester grade), and a final examination that constitutes 20% of the semester grade.


    Late Work Policy:  All students are expected to hand in homework assignments at the time they are due.  If a student has an excused absence, that student has as many days as the absence to hand in the assignment.  If a student has an unexcused absence (a student “cuts” class), the assignment in question will not be accepted late.  Homework may be accepted late (with penalty) under extraordinary circumstances.


    “Write to Pass” Papers and Student Projects: All “Write to Pass” papers and student projects are required to be turned in on the day they are due.  If a student is absent, that paper needs to be turned in on the due date regardless of the absence (have a parent or friend deliver the assignment or email it).  If the paper is handed in one day late, or a project is presented or handed in one day late, the student will be penalized a letter grade (extenuating circumstances will be taken under consideration).


    Cell Phone Policy:  Unless instructed otherwise, such as in the case of in-class research, all cell phones should be turned OFF by the time the bell rings.


    Google Classroom: A calendar for first semester can be accessed through our Google Classroom.   Note: Do NOT post questions to me via Google Classroom. Any questions should be sent through my Gmail account: Samuel.Hadden@cusd200.org.  In general, do not post on Google Classroom unless specifically told to do so.


    Common Core Standards: During class we will examine, analyze, and discuss literature on a daily basis. Listed below are the C.C. standards we will most frequently engage in.


    CC.11-12.R.L.1 Key Ideas and Details: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

    CC.11-12.R.L.2 Key Ideas and Details: Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

    CC.11-12.R.L.3 Key Ideas and Details: Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

    CC.11-12.R.L.4 Craft and Structure: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful.

    CC.11-12.R.L.5 Craft and Structure: Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.

    CC.11-12.W.1 Text Types and Purposes: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

    CC.11-12.W.2 Text Types and Purposes: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

    CC.11-12.W.7 Research to Build and Present Knowledge: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

    CC.11-12.SL.1 Comprehension and Collaboration: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

    CC.11-12.SL.2 Comprehension and Collaboration: Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally), evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

    CC.11-12.SL.5 Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.