Sunteți pe pagina 1din 11

Advanced Placement: English Literature and Composition Conway High School Jennifer A.

Myers, Instructor 2011-2012 Academic Year

Email: or Phone: (w) 843-488-0662 (c) 843-241-6852 (no later than 8pm)

An AP English Literature and Composition course engages students in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students deepen their understanding of the ways the writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure for their readers. As they read, students consider a work s structure, style and themes, as well as such smaller scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism and tone. The course includes intensive study of representative works from various genres and periods, concentrating on works of literary merit Advanced Placement Course Description 2010 The College Board

I consider the above statement my charge from The College Board to lay a rich groundwork for you as a reader and a writer. Students in this class must be engaged in active reading, as the works studied require careful, reflective reading [C1]. As a class we will cover several novels and plays; in addition, you will have the opportunity to choose what you read, as you will have two independent novel studies, one each semester. We will read numerous short story and poetry selections. These selections will be noted on your instructional guide, and you will also receive a monthly calendar with a more detailed list of readings and assignments. I expect all students to keep up with the assigned readings. If you do not keep up with assigned readings you cannot actively take part in classroom discussions. This reading must be completed before arriving to class, and not completed during the class period it was assigned. Often you will be asked to annotate a reading before you come to class, as you learn to look closely at an authors style and purpose. Our class discussions will be formed around what each of you has discovered in the text as you read, and I will give

regular reading quizzes to ensure that you are preparing for our discussions. At the end of each unit of study, you will take a teacher-made assessment consisting of discussion questions based on our readings. These teacher-made assessments will be in the AP format so you will become comfortable with what is expected of you. In addition, you will take practice multiple-choice tests from released AP exams; the mode of questions will fit the unit being studied. Another major assignment for the assigned readings is the Readers Notebook. This notebook will consist of questions, comments, and passages that you have retrieved from your assigned readings [C4]. Each one of these Readers Notebook assignments will be listed for you on the monthly calendars you receive. While completing these Readers Notebooks you will be looking for new vocabulary you do not understand, original figurative language, and other passages that really stand out to you as an engaged reader [C3]. This assignment is a varying assignment, and it will vary from time to time depending on the unit we are covering at the time. This class will complete numerous writing assignments to help you prepare for the writing portion of the AP Exam in May. We will frequently use the Workshop format to peer share, revise, and rewrite many of these writing assignments [C4]. During these workshops we will concentrate heavily on formal and informal diction, authors purpose, organization of details and supporting evidence [C3].Throughout the course you will write in response to the selections we read; we will use sample AP prompts as well as formulate our own ideas for theses. Our first 2-3 essays may be out-of-class assignments, and then all of your writing will take place in class so you will feel comfortable with a timed format. Occasionally you will be grouped to grade each others papers using the appropriate rubric. Then, we will examine and discuss the AP Central student models based on the same question [C5]. A research paper based on literary analysis will be required second semester. You will choose an author and/or a work, commit to extensive reading, devise a focus and thesis, conference with me and other students, write a rough draft, peer edit and review, revise, and produce a final paper [C3, C4, C5]. We will use MLA format for this process. As a class we will decide the focus, depending upon your interests. We will work to strengthen your vocabulary, as you work to develop a more advanced writing style in the process of writing this research paper. An additional component of our class that is very important is vocabulary study. This vocabulary study will address your knowledge of appropriate literary terminology as well as the precise lexicon of multiple-choice questions on the AP exam [C5]. I have created specific vocabulary lessons that correspond to each unit of literature we study, pulling from the authors and their works, past AP multiple choice exams, SAT tests, and previous students wordlists. We will use skits, word walls, mnemonics, and word games During the first semester, a major grade will be given based on a one-to-one conversation with me about your novel. This Book Chat will be held after or before school for about 45 minutes; you are responsible for setting up the time with me upon completion of your novel, which must occur before Christmas break. For the second independent reading, you may work in groups of no more than 3, as we will use an in-class literary circle

approach to our discussion. Those in the group may choose the same work or each read a different piece connected thematically. For example, you may read A Lesson Before Dying, Native Son, and Song of Solomon. You will also sell your book(s) to the class as part of this assignment. You will receive more details later on these assignments. As the May date of the AP exam approaches, we will take a practice full-length AP exam which has been released from College Board. Due to the testing schedules in the building during this time of the year we will have plenty of time together to complete a full length AP practice exam. I will score your multiple choice questions while another AP-trained teacher will score your essays; we will then use the corresponding released exam booklet to explain your results. This score will count as two major test grades.

Student grades are based primarily on student writing: AP sample prompts; discussion question tests on novels, poems, plays, and short stories; reading quizzes; and a research paper. There will be some objective tests, such as tests on literary allusions, literary terminology, vocabulary, and grammar. A ZERO will be assigned for any out-of-class essay that is not turned in on time. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED (unless a circumstance arises that the instructor deems worthy of an extension). If problems do arise, or you simply feel overwhelmed at any point, take the initiative to talk with the instructor immediately, rather than falling behind and then seeking help. You will always have opportunities to revise and rewrite your essays, for that is the sure road to growth and maturity as a writer. Just demonstrate to me that you are involved and working toward the development of your personal voice as a writer, and I will continue to let you revise beyond that first effort, provided it was a valiant one. Depending upon the circumstances, I may allow retests, particularly on grammar. The ultimate goal is that you can demonstrate an understanding of what we discuss in class as exhibited through your writing and oral discussion. I will talk to you individually if I can work in an after school re-teaching and retesting situation. However, if you come in unprepared/unfinished with homework, you have one chance to turn it in late per nine weeks. Any of the other instances you will receive a grade of zero. I generally go over homework in class, so having extra time is not feasible. In addition, I do not assign written homework every night; generally, homework is reading more than writing. When we have class discussion, it is expected that every student will take part. Occasionally, daily grades will be given on class participation, with each student beginning with 100 points; points will be deducted from those students who are not actively involved in the learning/discussion process. 50 points will be automatically deducted if the reading assignment has not been completed prior to class. Students are also expected to take notes during all discussions; this crucial classroom behavior also affects your daily grades.

Grading Scale: 25% 30% 45% Classwork/homework: reading assignments; participation; discussion; first drafts of in-class writings; group work; first semester AP multiple choice tests Quizzes; Readers Notebook assignments; reading checks; essay revisions; second semester AP multiple choice tests Unit tests; final essays/creative projects and papers; Book Chat and Literary Circles independent reading; research paper (counts twice), 1-2 practice fulllength AP exams (counts twice)

A 93-100 percent B 85-92 percent C 77-84 percent D 70-76 percent F 69 percent and below

Resources and Texts used in Course [C2]

Register with College Board if you have not already done so. Go to and register for AP Central for students. This site will be a valuable resource to you throughout the duration of this course. Novels and Plays Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises Albert Camus The Stranger Sophocles Oedipus Rex Euripides Medea Voltaire Candide Oscar Wilde The Importance of Being Earnest Henrik Ibsen A Dolls House Shakespeare King Lear William Faulkner As I Lay Dying Zora Neale Hurston Their Eyes Were Watching God Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire Three independent parallel novels: one over the summer, one each semester *Note: To save money, do not hesitate to buy used copies of these texts from Textbook (provided for each student) Meyer, Michael, ed. The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking and Writing 9th Edition. Bedford. 2011.

3-Ring binder Highlighters Post-It Notes Loose Leaf Paper Copies of Novels/Plays (I have copies of these or you may purchase your own)

First Semester
Below is a tentative timeline for the units to be taught and the time dedicated to each.PLEASE REMEMBER THIS TIMELINE IS ONLY TENTATIVE. *** Note- in units where novels or novellas are discussed, students are expected to have the text finished by the time the unit begins. Make sure that your reading is diligent, thorough, and comprehensive. Simply knowing what happens is not deep enough engagement with the text.

Unit One: Introduction to the course and review of summer work (3 weeks)
1. The Stranger by Albert Camus Before reading the short novel, read the attachment to gain an understanding of the philosophy of existentialism. Research further, well enough that you can explain existentialism to me in your own words in 1-2 double-spaced pages of an informal essay. Include a Works Consulted page using appropriate MLA format, but do not use formal research methodology to write your essay. I will consider all of your writing to be paraphrased, as I want to see that you can put an abstruse philosophy into your own words. Also, include information about 2-3 of the major proponents of existentialism, either philosophers or writers or both. THEN, read the novel. While reading it, mark passages you find that exemplify existentialist thought. When you finish your reading, select three highlighted passages. After you write your essay, attach the quotes for me and, in 3-5 sentences, explain each passages relationship to the philosophy. Our media center, which has several student-friendly books that explain existentialist thought, will be open on specific dates during the summer. Of course, you are free to use valid Internet sources and other libraries. 2. You will choose your second novel. I will explain this process during our meeting and you will choose your book by the time summer break begins. Your assignment on this selection, before you read the book or play, is to do a brief study of the author and the time period of the book. Copy or print out info and highlight sections that you find interesting no more than 3-4 pages. Then, read the book. Come to class with ten items from your reading of the book; this is an eclectic assignment, which can have several parts. I want to see your understanding as well as your creativity. Sketch a scene, write questions

you have about plot or characterization, tell me about 1-2 words you learned in the reading, share 1-2 passages you really enjoyed and tell me why, point out allusions or figurative language that was particularly striking, create a joke about the book or one of the characters (I will share a great one with you when we study Hemingway), create a subtitle for the book. No more than two items can be alike - for example, only two examples of figurative language or two new words or two sketches, etc.

When the semester begins, we use The Stranger as the basis of our discussion on existentialist thought, including its proponents and its tenets as well as its Christian and atheistic counterparts. We walk through The Stranger together and share passages. We also look at existentialist theory in popular music, with the students sharing excerpts of lyrics. In addition, we read The Myth of Sisyphus. Students have a final discussion question test as well as an out of class essay using the open-ended questions from 1979 (evil or immoral characters who evoke sympathy), 1982 (scenes of violence), and 1986 (manipulation of the element of time). Each student chooses one topic; then we group together according to topic and do rough outlines on the board, talking about the directions we could take. Then, each student writes the essay for homework. The next day they group together again and read each others paper, use a rubric to grade and offer comments, and finally revise for a final essay [C3, C4]. As a final assessment, each student has to create a project that shows that he or she understands existentialist thought. I do not give many guidelines for this project, as I want to see where the students creativity can take them. Also, there are ongoing grammar and vocabulary lessons and homework assignments as well as Readers Notebook assignments, using all of the reading/writing we are doing in class.

Unit Two: A Casebook of Style: Ernest Hemingway (3.5 weeks)

As a follow-up to existentialist theory, we look at the works of Hemingway. I begin with an in-class reading/discussion of Hills Like White Elephants so students get a clear understanding of his minimalist style. We do research on Hemingway and the Lost Generation, as knowledge of the time period is central to understanding his themes (i.e., nada, which relates to existentialism, grace under pressure, the effects of war), the Hemingway code hero, and the setting of the novel The Sun Also Rises, which is our primary reading. Chapters are assigned each night, and each day we share what we have read, discussing student questions and analyzing different aspects of the novel. Students will also read one more of his short stories, such as A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, or The Cat in the Rain. We also watch the A&E Biography Wrestling with Life: Ernest Hemingway, which is an excellent ending to our study. The final test is comprised of five discussion questions, and students also write an out-of-class essay, based on former AP open-ended questions, using 1985 (pleasure and disquietude), 2005 (conforms inwardly, questions outwardly), and one question I created based on A Moveable Feast, another Hemingway selection which several students choose to read independently [C3, C4, C5].

Also, there are ongoing grammar and vocabulary lessons and homework assignments as well as Readers Notebook assignments, using all of the reading/writing we are doing in class.

Unit Three: Greek Tragedy (Oedipus Rex, Medea) 3 weeks

We begin this unit with an overview of the ancient Greek theatre, bringing in props, drawings, and representations. Vocabulary study in this unit consists primarily of appropriate terminology (stichomythia, choragus, hubris, peripeteia, catharis, parados, hamartia, etc.), as students will write and perform their own Greek tragedies for a final assessment on the unit. We discuss Aristotles view of the tragic vision and hero; we read the plays aloud in class, stopping and discussing as questions arise. We pay close attention to the rich language as well as the original movements of the actors according to the parados and exodus, with students annotating text as we discover examples of the elements of tragedy as well as figurative language and irony [C3]. As the formal structure is important to understanding a Greek tragedy, we analyze the purpose of the odes and the divisions within the plays. Finally, we do a comparison/contrast study of Oedipus and Medeaas representations of Greek tragedy. In addition, we address the prompt presented in the 2003 open-ended question: how a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. In addition to writing their own tragedy, the students take a final assessment: an in-class reading, annotation and analysis of figurative language and tragic elements of an excerpt from Oedipus at Colonusor Antigone . Also, there are ongoing grammar and vocabulary lessons and homework assignments as well as Readers Notebook assignments, using all of the reading/writing we are doing in class.

Unit Four: Shakespearean tragedy (King Lear) 3 weeks

We begin this unit by discussing how the concept of tragedy has changed from Aristotles view of tragedy and how Shakespeare has reshaped it, figuratively and literally. We read the play aloud in class, discussing and analyzing as we move through it. Major topics are motifs of Shakespeare, such as parallelism and subplots. We do AP-format multiple choice test selections throughout our reading as well as write an in-class essay on how the opening scene delineates character and sets the tragedy in motion. A final assessment is an out-of-class essay based on two previous AP tests: 2001 (viewing madness with a discerning eye) and 1996 (a happy ending through spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation). Also, there are ongoing grammar and vocabulary lessons and homework assignments as well as Readers Notebook assignments, using all of the reading/writing we are doing in class.

It is at this time that we will have final choices on our parallel novel selection for independent reading, as the Book Chats are coming up soon.

Unit Five: Modern Drama (Ibsens A Dolls House) 2.5 weeks

We begin by looking at Ibsens ghost in the cargo theory and the historical events of the time period in which he wrote, as we discuss writers becoming social protestors, precursors to our modern-day satirists and theatre of the absurd. We also look at how Ibsen changed drama to a more realistic form through adding onstage action, a detailed set, more onstage characters, and an emphasis on everyday life. Homework consists of devising questions for class discussions. A final assessment is an in-class essay, with students being given the choice of an open-ended prompt from 1988 or 1995, one of which deals with a characters alienation from culture and one with an authors technique in presenting internal conflict through external action. Afterwards, we share our papers, use a rubric for grading and making comments, revise, and share again [C3, C4, C5].

Unit Six: Satire (either Candideor The Importance of Being Earnest) 3 weeks
We continue our discussion of writers being social consciences. Students will group together to do research on one of the major institutions/philosophies/cultures being satirized in our choice of work. I let the students devise the topics based on their reading, and usually they decide on issues such as education, religion, politics, marriage, etc. They then choose an issue and do research, providing actual or creative visuals, presenting the historical background of the issue, sharing passages from the reading that exemplify the satirists view as well as his purpose, and explaining its importance to the entire work [C3]. They then present to the class as their final assessment. We also complete an openended prompt, with the options of 1991 (two contrasting settings) or 2006 (Literature is the question minus the answer). Readers Notebook, vocabulary, and grammar study is ongoing through homework and classwork assignments. A Readers Notebook assignment is to look through the op-ed pages of the local newspaper to find examples of satirical essays and to record and respond to items of interest.

Second Semester
Unit Seven: The Short Story A. A Casebook Study of Flannery OConnor and the Southern Grotesque (2 weeks)
An intense study of OConnor is the perfect lead-in for the short story unit, as her stories certainly entice the students to read. Exemplary standards of irony, suspense, distortion, satire, existentialism, tragicomedy, allusions, the grotesque, various standards of language, symbolism, and epiphany exist within her writing. We begin with Parkers

Back and progress through two other stories, which vary from year to year: Everything That Rises Must Converge, The Life You Save May Be Your Own, Good Country People, A Good Man is Hard to Find, and Revelation. We spend time on research and read through several criticisms of OConnors work. Then, students group together to read one more story from the OConnor collection; they then create a visual story portrait for that particular piece as a class presentation. Finally, we conclude with an essay of critical analysis of OConnors style, using 3-4 of her stories. Students devise their own specific topics, based on the prompt from 1989 (a case for distortions) [C4,C5].

B. The Elements of Short Fiction(4 weeks)

Next, we read at least 8-10 more short stories; we use double entry journals in our Readers Notebook and then we follow up with discussion each day. I also give reading quizzes each day to ensure that students are keeping up with the reading. We do short spurts of writing, based on where our discussion takes us. Each story carries with it its own presentation, as we do something additional with each piece. For example, after reading an excerpt of The Things They Carried, the students will go to the board to write down phrases and sentences from the story that, for whatever reason, affected their reading. As they look at each others choices and discuss them, I quickly type the lines up and then give each student a copy. The homework assignment will be to use these excerpts to create a found poem; the next day we will post the poems on the board so we can read each others work. My point is that, even in a different structure, OBriens powerful diction and imagery are still revelatory of theme. This is my canon of short stories: Kate Chopin The Storm and The Story of an Hour Katherine Mansfield Miss Brill Shirley Jackson The Lottery John Steinbeck The Chrysanthemums Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown Joyce Carol Oates Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? Tim OBrien and excerpt of The Things They Carried Thomas Wolfe The Child By Tiger Frank OConnor First Confession Truman Capote Christmas Memory Ernest Gaines The Sky is Gray Margaret Atwood The Sin Eater Throughout the unit we will write in-class essays, using some of the passages from these stories as well as previous prose questions from past exams. The final assessment is an in-class reading and writing based on a short story we have not read. I use either Araby by James Joyce or A & P by John Updike. The test consists of five-six discussion questions that ascertain the students understanding of theme, symbolism, setting, irony, characterization and tone [C4].

Unit Eight: Poetry (4 weeks)

We begin the unit with the reading of several poems that use poetry as their theme, such as Lisel Muellers Hope, Archibald MacLeishs ArsPoetica, and Billy Collins Schoolsville to begin our discussion. As students need to use the language of poetry in their discussion and writing, we do a detailed review of poetic terminology as we read. We cover an eclectic group of poets, as is the nature of studying poetry. While we do not commit to a case study of a particular poet, we do immersion studies of four I feel are vital: Emily Dickinson, Seamus Heaney, Billy Collins, and Marge Piercy. As most literature books divide poetry into units of theme, tone, language, etc., I go through the book choosing particular poems that address each element [C2]. I also question the students in making decisions on which poems to address; if they have preliminary involvement, they tend to stay involved. There are particular poetry essay questions from previous exams that I consider excellent teaching tools, and I use them in class, some purely for discussion and some for prewriting exercises. Finally, I use particular ones for timed in-class essays. We write, share, use the rubric to grade, revise and rewrite and then look at the samples from the released exams. Comparison/contrast: 1994: Helen and To Helen 2003: Eros and Eros 2004: Acquainted with the Night and Dickinsons We Grow Accustomed to the Dark- and 2000: The Odyssey and Sirens. Individual poems: 1987 (The Sow) 1989 (The Scarf of Birds) 1992 (The Prelude) and 1998 (Its A Womans World)

Unit Nine: The Novel(4 weeks)

As I Lay Dying and/or Their Eyes Were Watching God Students will read one novel during spring break and one after the AP exam. I introduce the novel before break begins; then students read and record reactions and questions, ready to begin discussion when school reconvenes. Final assessment consists of two different writing prompts and some multiple-choice questions (Dying, 1989, case for distortion; Eyes, 1990, conflict with child and parent) There will be ongoing grammar, vocabulary, and Readers Notebook classwork and homework.

Unit Ten: Preparation for the Exam and Closure, (4 weeks)

During our state standardized testing for 10th graders that occurs the third week in April, students are usually with me for an extended time, so we do a mock full-length AP test using a released exam. We also have literary circle discussions of our third independent parallel novel of the year. Then, we spend time reviewing the novels, plays, and authors that students want to focus on as they study for the exam. We will do several short

prose/poetry multiple-choice tests as well as review past essay questions. After the exam we have several options, and I let the students create their own direction of study with my guidance.

Feel free to ask for after-school help at any time, or call me at home if you have questions. I want you to feel comfortable discussing any aspect of our class with me; I am available after school or before school by appointment. Your parents are also welcome to visit the class at any time and take part in our work. They may even want to read the novels with you, as several parents have done in the past. I encourage your parents to be involved (have them proofread your writing). Material Borrowed and Adapted from: Ms. Ruthie Warren- Carolina Forest High School Ms. Kay Sellers- Conway High School Mr. Ben Schoen- Waccamaw High School