Gateway Regional High School

Course Information




Elizabeth Desmond


Phone Number

(856) 848-8200 extension 526

Google Classroom Code


Course Description

This course will focus primarily on American literature—both fiction and nonfiction, novels as well as plays, short stories and essays, and even different types of film.   As we read and view these different works, we will consider one overarching question—how does an individual develop their identity and how then does that individual interact with the world around them? I believe that this question—of essentially who you are—is supremely appropriate for a senior English class, since soon you will be taking your own identities from a community you are perhaps quite familiar with into a larger world filled with a variety of individuals to connect with and communities to inhabit.


With that transition into life beyond Gateway in mind, we will also be using this literature as a medium through which we can hone the skills you will need beyond this classroom:  reading, writing, speaking, listening, viewing and, most importantly, critical thinking.  These are the skills developed through the study of literature that help individuals fully engage with the society they are a part of.  Thus the goal of our units will be two-fold:  to understand how our identity is developed by the world around us and to perfect the skills all individuals need to be an active participant in that world.

Course Expectations and Assessments


Grade Category




Tests, Essays, Independent Projects



Quizzes, Short Assignments



Classwork, Homework






Essential Question

Unit Focus

Major Assessments


Who are you? Which of your experiences most strongly define you?

Personal Essays

Analyzing Fiction

Personal Essay

Analysis of Novel


How do you develop your own morality? How is that development shaped by the communities you inhabit as well as your own sense of personal freedom?

Expository Reading and Writing

Reading Assessment

Expository Essay


How do we make important choices?  In what way are those choices representative of our personal expression? In what way do they expose the limits we exist within?  

Frame/Case Analysis

Film Analysis

Fiction Analysis


What choices have we made regarding technology in our lives?  How have those choices altered our understanding of ourselves, each other and the world?

Expository Reading, Film and Multimedia Sources

Analysis of reading

Analysis of Film

Analysis of Podcast

Course Policies 

Primary Assessment Retake Policy 

Benchmark Assessment Corrections Policy

Attendance/Lateness/Missing Work Policies


Required Materials 



Classroom Behavioral Expectations 


All additional Gateway rules will be followed.  Also, please note:


Discipline Process


Failure to follow classroom rules and other discipline guidelines will result in movement through the following process:


  1. In-class warning
  2. After-class conference
  3. Teacher detention
  4.  Administrative referral
  5. Continuation of discipline process as defined by the Gateway Code of Conduct