English Literature and Composition 2011 2012 Brief Description of Course



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English Literature and Composition

2011 - 2012

Brief Description of Course

The Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition course work is college-level and based on recommendations from and the approval of the College Board. Students enrolling in this course are expected to take the AP Exam in May. The curriculum includes both the study and practice of writing and the study of literature. Composition study encompasses modes of discourse, rhetorical strategies and argumentation, critical analysis of literature, and exposition. To demonstrate skill in these areas, students are required to complete eight major compositions throughout the course of the year. Students are expected to conference frequently with the teacher, at least once, before an assignment is due either during in-class conferencing days or during the teacher’s office hours. If students receive a score lower than a 6 on any major writing assignment, they are required to schedule a conference with the teacher to discuss ways to improve their writing. Additionally, they must conference with the teacher a minimum of two times before their next writing assignment is due. Students are permitted to revise one major writing assignment per quarter to improve the grade. Additionally, students are expected to write in-class essays addressing prompts that have appeared in past AP Exams. All compositions are assessed for content, organization, fluency, word choice, sentence variety, and sophistication of style as well as a strong thesis supported by specific and relevant text and an analysis/discussion that connects to the subtext. A rubric similar to the one used by the readers of the AP Exam is used as the assessment tool. The study of literature includes a mix of world, American, and English literature. Since students concentrated on American literature during their junior year, the emphasis senior year is on British literature. Students complete a typed one-page summary or reduction for each major work that they read during the year. In a reduction of a literary work, the student identifies such things as the title, author, plot development, characters, themes, tone, symbolism, genre characteristics, etc., and any other pertinent information about the work. The reduction helps the students synthesize the important elements of the work as well as provide an intense study guide. Students are also required to keep a reading journal which is collected twice a quarter. In the journal, students will respond to a topic at least once per week. Sometimes students are given a topic to respond to and other times students are able to choose a topic on their own based on the current unit of study. Since students are expected to read carefully all assignments, to complete them on time, and to participate actively in class discussions, they should have not only a serious interest in reading great literature and becoming discerning readers but also a strong desire to advance their levels of mastery in writing and literary analysis.


Unit Information
Unit Name or Timeframe:

Summer Reading: The Awakening, Heart of Darkness, and The Odyssey

Approximately 3 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Examination of the Basics: Plot, Theme, Character, Structure, Setting, Genre



  • In-class discussion of the basic elements of fiction and the theme of journey in each work beginning with The Awakening, followed by The Heart of Darkness, and ending with The Odyssey.

  • Lesson on the balance between generalization and specific, illustrative detail in their analysis/discussion of a literary work using previously released AP essay responses as well as exemplary student essay responses as models.

  • Lesson on the appropriate and effective use of a wide-ranging vocabulary using previously released AP essay responses as well as exemplary student essay responses as models.

  • Lesson on developing a variety of sentence structures including appropriate use of subordination and coordination using previously released AP essay responses as well as exemplary student essay responses as models.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice. One for each literary work.
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction of each of the summer reading selections. Students will also research the cultural and historical background for each work and write a short reflection on the ways in which the cultural and historical background has influenced the work.

  • For each work, students will write a response to an essay prompt modeled after a free-response prompt from a past AP Exam.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Beginnings: The Odyssey and Beowulf

Approximately 1 week
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Introduction of the characteristics of an epic.



  • In-class discussion of The Odyssey as the archetypal epic, and the epic characteristics found in Beowulf.

  • Lesson on logical organization, enhanced by specific techniques to increase coherence, such as repetition, transitions, and emphasis using previously released AP essay responses as well as exemplary student essay responses as models.


Reading Journal Entry: Can modern works like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy be considered epics?
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction for Beowulf

  • In-class essay comparing and contrasting The Odyssey and Beowulf as epics.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry Unit

Approximately 3 days
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Poetry: Introduction to poetry



  • What is Poetry and Reading Poetry. (Perrine and Arp pp.523-556)

  • In-class discussion defining poetry and explaining how to read poetry using a variety of poems from Perrine and Arp.


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • In-class writing: Apply one of the various definitions of poetry to "Mirror" by Sylvia Plath.

Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry Unit: Denotation, Connotation, and Imagery

Approximately 1.5 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Denotation, Connotation, and Imagery



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of denotation, connotation, and imagery. Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp. 557-579.

  • Lesson on the effective use of rhetoric, including controlling tone, establishing and maintaining voice, and achieving appropriate emphasis through diction and sentence structure using previously released AP essay responses as well as exemplary student essay responses as models.


Reading Journal Entry: Describe your feelings about studying poetry.
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • In-class writing: Reflective essay examining the use of denotation, connotation, and imagery to develop the main idea of the poem "To Autumn" by John Keats.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry: Figurative Language Part 1 (Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, and Metonymy)

Approximately 1 week
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Poetry Unit: Simile, Metaphor, Personification, Apostrophe, and Metonymy



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of simile, metaphor, personification, apostrophe, and metonymy.

  • Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp. 580-598

  • Explanation of Explication Assignment.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Examination of Andrew Marvell’s use of figurative language to help convey meaning in "To His Coy Mistress."



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry Unit: Paradox, Overstatement, Understatement, Irony

Approximately 1 week
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Paradox, Overstatement, Understatement, Irony



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of paradox, overstatement, understatement and irony.

  • Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp. 620-639


Reading Journal Entry: React to one of the poems studied so far.

Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Timed in-class essay explicating a poem from a past AP Exam.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Drama Unit: Ancient Drama

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Introduction of the elements of tragedies and the characteristics of a tragic hero



  • In-class discussion of Aristotle’s definition of tragedy.

  • In-class discussion of Oedipus Rex as the archetypal tragedy and Oedipus as the archetypal tragic hero.

  • In-class discussion of Medea as an example of Ancient Greek tragedy.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice

Reading Journal Entry: Is Medea a tragic hero based on Aristotle’s definition?
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction for Oedipus Rex and for Medea.

  • Timed in-class essay comparing and contrasting Medea and Oedipus Rex as Greek tragedies.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Drama Unit: Medieval and Renaissance

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Introduction to Medieval drama and Renaissance drama



  • In-class discussion of the characteristics of medieval drama and an examination of those characteristics in Everyman.

  • In-class discussion of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello.

  • In-class discussion analyzing the ways in which Shakespeare’s tragedies compare to Aristotle’s definition of tragedy and the tragic hero.

  • Explanation of writing an essay about tragedy.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice

Reading Journal Entry: Which of the tragedies is your favorite and why?
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction for Everyman, Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello.

  • Essay on tragedy. Students will write an essay examining the ways in which one of Shakespeare’s tragedies that they have studied in class fulfills Aristotle’s definition of tragedy.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Drama Unit: Modern

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Introduction to Henrik Ibsen’s dramas



  • In-class discussion of the Henrik Ibsen’s contributions to drama.

  • In-class discussion of A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler with an emphasis on Ibsen’s themes and the way that he develops his characters.

  • Explanation of writing an essay about character.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice

Reading Journal Entry: Should Nora have left her children behind? Explain.
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction for A Doll’s House and for Hedda Gabler.

  • Essay on character. Students will write an essay analyzing a character in either A Doll’s House or Hedda Gabler. Students will be given one in-class writing day before the essay is due in two weeks.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry Unit: Symbol, Allegory, and Allusion

Approximately 1 week
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Symbolism, Allegory, and Alliteration



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of symbol, allegory, and allusion.

  • Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp. 599-619 and 640-650.

  • In-class discussion of the use of symbol, allegory, and allusion in the first two cantos of The Faerie Queene


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction for The Faerie Queene.

  • Timed in-class essay examining symbol, allegory, and allusion in The Faerie Queene.


Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry Unit: Tone and Meaning

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Tone and Meaning



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of tone and meaning.

  • Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp.651-681.

  • Explanation of writing an essay about tone.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice

Reading Journal Entry: Identifying tone in a poem is difficult for me because . . . .
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Essay on tone. Students will write an essay examining tone in a poem of their choice. While the students may choose their own poem, their choice must be of the same quality as the ones that they have studied in class.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry Unit: Sound

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Sound in poetry



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of musical devices, rhyme, rhythm, and meter.

  • Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp.682-733.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice

Reading Journal Entry: Discuss the use of sound in your favorite poem.
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Timed in-class essay examining the effect of musical devices, rhyme, rhythm, and meter on the meaning of the poem.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Poetry: Pattern, Style, and Structure

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Patter, style and structure in poetry.



  • In-class reading aloud of poems with discussion of pattern, rhyme, style, and structure.

  • Poetry in Perrine and Arp pp.734-751 and 767-784.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Timed in-class essay explicating a poem from a past AP Exam.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Satire Unit

Approximately 5 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Introduction to Satire



  • In-class discussion of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. The discussion will include an examination of the historical and cultural background of Medieval England as well as an examination and analysis of the various genres that make up the tales, such as the exemplum ("The Pardoner’s Tale"), Medieval romance and the romance hero ("The Wife of Bath’s Tale"), the beast fable ("The Nun’s Priest’s Tale"), and the fabliau ("The Miller’s Tale").


Reading Journal Entry: What is your favorite tale and why?


  • In-class discussion of Jonathan Swift’s style of satire in A Modest Proposal and in excerpts from Gulliver’s Travels.


Reading Journal Entry: React to A Modest Proposal.


  • In-class discussion of Voltaire’s style of satire in Candide.


Reading Journal Entry: Do you think that great satire can bring about change?


  • In-class discussion of Jane Austen’s style of satire in Pride and Prejudice.


Reading Journal Entry: Austen’s satire is too subtle to be effective. Agree/Disagree.

Reading Journal Entry: Student choice


  • Explanation of writing and documenting research essays on fiction.


Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction for each author’s works.

  • In-class essay. The students will assume the persona of one of the pilgrims in the Prologue and evaluate one of the tales that they studied for its moral and entertainment value based on their persona’s values.

  • Essay on satire. Students will research the effectiveness of each satire that they studied in class on its society. In their essays, the students will discuss which work had the greatest impact or caused the greatest change in their respective societies.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Short Story Unit

Approximately 4 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Examination of the elements of a short story



  • In-class overview of short story fiction, including a discussion of realism, suspended disbelief, character, plot structure, and theme.

  • In-class a variety of short stories will be examined and analyzed for their structure, character, point of view, setting, style, tone, symbolism, or theme.

  • In-class discussions will include straight seminars, Socratic seminars, and student presentations.

  • Explanation of writing about a major idea in fiction.


Reading Journal Entry: Each week during the unit students will write on a topic of their choice pertaining to something we are studying in this unit.
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Small groups of students will present a short synopsis of selected short stories as well as an analysis of the story’s strongest element, such as structure, character, point of view, setting, style, tone, symbolism, and theme.

  • Essay on theme or idea. Students will write an essay about a major idea in one of the short stories that we read in this unit.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Great Poets Unit

Approximately 3 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Close examination of the works of great poets



  • In-class discussion of the poems of John Donne, William Wordsworth, Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost. The discussion will involve a close examination of the style and themes of these poets.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice

Reading Journal Entry: Which of these four poets is the most appealing to you? Why?

Reading Journal Entry: Which poem in this unit is your favorite? Why?
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Visual and auditory poetry presentation. The students will create either a power point or video interpretation of a poem from the Great Poets Unit. The presentation will be assessed for its ability to convey the theme of the poem and the style of the poet through visuals and sound. A heuristic will be included in the assignment.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

AP Exam Preparation

Approximately 2 weeks
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Preparation activities for the AP Exam



  • In-class students will review for the AP Exam. The review will include revisiting the texts covered this year with small groups of students reporting on each work. Students will also practice multiple choice and essay questions. Tests will not be graded but examined for correctness. Students will work in groups to correct wrong answers and analyze why questions were missed.


Reading Journal Entry: My area of greatest strength in the study of literature and composition is . . . .
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • Reflection on the AP course. Students will write a reflection examining their growth over the course of the year and predicting their success on the AP exam.



Unit Name or Timeframe:

Modern Novel Writers

Anywhere from 2 - 3 weeks depending on the date of the AP exam and the last day for seniors.
Content and/or Skills Taught:

Independent study of the work of a contemporary writer.



  • Students will read a contemporary novel from the New York Times Best Sellers list and evaluate the work based on its theme’s universality and the appeal of the author’s style.

  • Explanation of writing a comparison-contrast essay.


Reading Journal Entry: Student choice
Major Assignments and/or Assessments:

  • A typed one-page reduction of the contemporary novel choice.

  • Student presentations of the contemporary works. Students will present a short book review of their novel of choice. The presentation will focus on the novel’s universal appeal.

  • In-class essay of comparison-contrast. Students will write an essay comparing and contrasting the merits of the contemporary novel of their choice with one of the works that they have read this year.

Alternate Approaches

During the third and fourth quarter, students are assigned an outside reading of their choice from a list of modern classic novels which have appeared on past AP exams. The third quarter list includes authors from the nineteenth century, and the fourth quarter list includes authors from the twentieth century. The students are required to write a literary analysis essay which focuses on a particular literary element to be determined by the strengths and weaknesses of the class. During the weeks prior to each assignment’s due date, students will be strongly encouraged to conference individually with the teacher to identify and revise areas of need.



Textbooks

Title:Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense 6th ed.

Publisher: Harcourt Brace College Publishers

Published Date: 1991

Author: Laurence Perrine

Second Author: Thomas Arp

Description:
Title:Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing

Publisher: Pearson/Prentice Hall

Published Date: 2007

Author: Edgar Roberts

Second Author: Jacobs Henry

Description:
Websites

URL:http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

Description:

This site provides information about all aspect of composition including style format.



URL:apcentral.collegeboard.com

Description:

This site provides information about authors and literary works as well as lesson suggestions.








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