Audit – ap literature and Composition Central High School 2012 – 2013 Vicki Vest

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Audit – AP Literature and Composition

Central High School 2012 – 2013

Vicki Vest;; CHS ext. 439; Planning: 1st
Course Description:
According to College Board, “AP® is a rigorous academic program built on the commitment, passion and hard work of students and educators.” AP English is a college level course, giving senior English credit. The course is rigorous, and requires extensive reading, writing, and testing, plus research and projects. The primary goal of AP English is to refine students’ skills by focusing on reading and writing about texts of “literary merit.” Upon successful completion of a test by the College Board Testing Service, the student is eligible for college credit depending upon approval from the college to which the student applies. Scores range from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Tennessee’s state schools accept scores of 4 or 5 for college credit; some colleges grant credit for a 3, as well.
Course Objectives (as stated in the AP English Course Description):

  • Students carefully read and analyze works of both British and American writers as well as works written in several genres from the sixteenth century to contemporary times

  • Students write an interpretation of a piece of literature that is based on a careful observation of textual details

  • Students have frequent opportunities to write and rewrite formal, extended analyses and timed, in-class responses. The course requires:

- Writing to understand: Informal, exploratory writing activities

- Writing to explain: Expository, analytical essays

- Writing to evaluate: Analytical, argumentative essays

  • The AP teacher provides instruction and feedback on students' writing assignments, both before and after the students revise their work

Required Texts and Materials:
The Language of Literature - McDougal Littell

Elements of Literature - Holt

World Literature - Holt, Rhinehart, and Winston

Interactive Reader Workbook - McDougal Littell

Wordskills Vocabulary Workbook - McDougal Littell

Language Network: Grammar, Writing, and Communication - McDougal Littell

The Writer’s Craft - McDougal Littell

Modern World Literature - Nextext/McDougal Littell

World Tradition in the Humanities - Nextext

Major World Dramas - Nextext/McDougal Little

Harbrace Handbook - Hodges

Videos, film clips, and other audio-visual materials from United Streaming, Discovery, McDougal Littell, etc.

In the AP Literature and Composition course, the student should consider obtaining

a personal copy of the various novels, plays, epics, poems, and short fiction

used in the course. Titles may also be found in the local library branches. Some of the works used can also be accessed online.

  • Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • Beowulf

  • Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer

  • Othello, William Shakespeare []

  • The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, William Shakespeare

  • Macbeth, William Shakespeare

  • Pride and Prejudie, Jane Austen

  • A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Mary Wollstonecraft [Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library:]

  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

  • Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

  • Night, Elie Wiesel

  • Short fiction and essays—as selected (e.g., from Flannery O’Connor, Franz Kafka, etc.)

  • Poetry—as selected

  • Other Modern Novels—as selected


The following is a relevant website for preparation and review for the AP Literature and Composition Exam.

Student expectations:

Be Prompt, Be Prepared, Be Polite, Be a Participant

Essential Questions for the Course:

  • How is our understanding of culture and society constructed through and by language?

  • How can language be powerful?

  • How can you use language to empower yourself?

  • How is language used to manipulate us?

  • In what ways are language and power inseparable?

  • Is it possible to have culture without language?

  • Is it possible to think without language?

  • How does language influence the way we think, act, and perceive the world?

  • How do authors use the resources of language to impact an audience?

  • How is literature like life?

  • What is literature supposed to do?

  • What influences a writer to create?

  • What is the purpose and function of art in our culture?

  • How does literature reveal the values of a given culture or time period?

  • How does the study of fiction and nonfiction texts help individuals construct their understanding of reality?

  • In what ways are all narratives influenced by bias and perspective?

  • Where does the meaning of a text reside? Within the text, within the reader, or in the transaction that occurs between them?

  • Can a reader infer an author's intentions based on the text?

  • What are enduring questions and conflicts that writers (and their cultures) grappled with hundreds of years ago and are still relevant today?

  • How do we gauge the optimism or pessimism of a particular time period or particular group of writers?

  • Are there universal themes in literature that are of interest or concern to all cultures and societies?

  • What are the characteristics or elements that cause a piece of literature to endure?

  • What distinguishes a good read from great literature?

  • Who decides the criteria for judging whether or not a book is any good?

  • What is the purpose of: science fiction? satire? historical novels, etc.?

Pre-Course Summer Reading Assignment:

(Novels selected for summer reading vary from year to year.)

Students need to read a minimum of two books over the summer. One novel is required reading and the other one is chosen from a list of works of literary merit.

Required Novel: Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

For this work, students will be taking a multiple choice exam the first day of school, followed by an in-class essay.

Individual Novels (Choose One):

The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead – Tom Stoppard

Snow Falling on Cedars – David Guterson

Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

A Farewell to Arms – Earnest Hemingway

For the individual choice novel, you need to complete an additional written assignment. This assignment has three components. MLA format should be used for all work. Writing should be well-developed, clearly organized, and focused on the critical analysis of literature with special attention to literary terms and the elements of style.

Written Components:

• In an organized essay, state what you believe to be the meaning of the work as a whole. Support your assertion of meaning through references to plot, character, setting, tone, and other literary aspects. Be sure to include several passages from the work to support the meaning you have identified.

• Identify three key passages and explain their significance to the work as a whole. Type each passage exactly using correct MLA citation format. In your response, answer the basic AP style question: What effect does the passage have and how has the author achieved the effect?

• Write three thought-provoking questions for the novel to which there are no specific answers. Provide a sample response to each question.

These assignments are due on the first day of school.

Teaching Methods:

On my class website students will respond periodically to posts as part of an ongoing discussion of literature and writing topics.

Socratic Seminar Discussion Format

A Socratic Seminar is a method to try to understand information by creating a dialectic in class in regards to a specific text. In a Socratic Seminar, participants seek deeper understanding of complex ideas in the text through rigorously thoughtful dialogue, rather than by memorizing bits of information. One skill that we are seeking to develop this year is the ability to express an analysis of a text both in writing and speaking. The analysis should be reasonable and supported with textual evidence, an essential component to AP essays. The expression of that analysis should be concisely and clearly presented.

Close Reading

Analytical activities from various texts (e.g., Voice Lessons: Classroom Activities to Teach Diction, Detail, Imagery, Syntax, and Tone by Nancy Dean) will be used throughout the year on a regular basis to aid students in interpreting excerpts from literature based on careful observations of textual details.

Annotating Text

Instruction on choices for “how to mark the text” will be given: Annolighting a text, annotating the text, etc. to provide students with reading strategies.

Cueing Questions

Questions will be used as part of literature and Socratic Seminar discussions to spur on student’s reflection on text.

Dialectical Reading Journals

Double-entry journals are created as readers react with the text. In the transaction between the text and the reader, analysis and meaning develop.

Graphic Organizers

Many styles of graphic organizers will be used for reading and writing to enhance students’ skills.

Vocabulary Notebook

Weekly reading vocabulary lists and quizzes will be given throughout the entire year. Additionally, vocabulary is cumulative and students are expected to know all words for the entire year. Vocabulary should be incorporated into essays and essay revisions.

Literary Terms

An Academic Vocabulary Notebook will be kept throughout the year. Students will utilize Robert Marzano’s 6-step method for learning academic vocabulary terms. An extensive list of literary terms will be given at the beginning of the year. Students are required to have a working understanding of the terms, as facility with these terms is an integral part of analysis and essay writing. Terms will be tested in conjunction with weekly reading vocabulary quizzes.

SOAPSTone Method

Speaker: Who is the speaker of the poem? What do you know about him or her? Occasion: What is the occasion of the poem? What is the event that prompts the speaker to speak? Audience: To whom is the speaker speaking? What do you know about him or her? Purpose: What is the purpose of the poem? Why do you think the poet wrote the poem? Subject: What is the subject of the poem? (This is a different from "what is the topic of the poem?") Tone: What is the tone of the poem? What is the speaker’s attitude toward the subject of the poem?

When assigned, we will add: Theme: What is the theme of the poem? What is the poet pointing out about people, society, or life? State the theme succinctly.

TP-CASTT Method of Poetry Analysis

Poetry readers analyze the poem’s 1) Title, 2) Paraphrase, 3) Connotation, 4) Attitude, 5) Shifts, 6) Title (again, on an interpretive level), and 7) Theme.

Re-Casting the Text

Angle 1: Initial responses; Angle 2: Story Threads; Angle 3: Shifting Perspectives; Angle 4: Connecting with the Writer; Angle 5: Language and Craft; Angle 6: Recasting the Text

Rhetorical Triangle

This graphic will lead students to brainstorm about the “big picture” of poems and prose.


Grammar lessons will be included throughout the year and as needed, based on student writing and conferences.


  • Informal, exploratory writing activities

  • Timed essays based on past AP prompts

  • Essay questions as required of college-level writers

  • Reading/responding to/analyzing novels, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry

  • Imaginative writing including but not limited to: poetry, imitative structures

  • Literary analysis papers—expository and persuasive/argumentative

  • Expository and Research writing

  • Personal essay

  • Graphic organizers, dialectical or double-entry journals, paragraph responses, questions, etc.

Writing Portfolios

A writing portfolio will be developed throughout the course of the year. Each 6-weeks, as a result of writing conferences, students will choose one writing assignment to include in their portfolio. The writing should be a polished paper, revised and published. Portfolios will be evaluated each 6-weeks.

Writing Revisions

Revision is encouraged on writing assignments to further the educational process. Some revisions will have a particular focus, such as improved diction—incorporating vocabulary terms, enhancing syntax and sentence variety, increasing coherence through logical organization, etc. [When turning in a revision 1) HIGHLIGHT the revisions on your new draft. 2) STAPLE your new paper to the top of the entire previous assignment – including the rubric. 3) TURN the revision in within three days.]

Writing Rubrics

All assignments for formal papers will include a specific grading rubric. We will go over the rubrics prior to submitting papers and review expectations for the particular piece of writing. Please consult each rubric carefully before submitting your work. [The AP Nine Point Trait Rubric which will be used for most writing assignments.]

Peer Review

Students will frequently peer review the work of fellow classmates. Rubrics will be utilized in conjunction with teacher-designed response sheets.

Writing Conferences

Students will have times to discuss their writing ideas and plans, including thesis development, before they write. Informal conferences will occur for many in-class writing assignments. After publishing a paper, students will conference with the teacher about revisions. Individual goals and needs assessments will determine specific revision activities for the student. Portfolio assessment will also typically be done in a conference with the teacher.


Formative Assessments:

These will be ongoing, often un-graded, and in various formats to determine student readiness and understanding.


Announced, as well as unannounced, to assess understanding and preparation.


Structured like Multiple Choice portion of AP Test


These will be used for journals, compositions, projects, presentations, etc. Students will have specific rubrics before they work, to inform their planning and work.

Writing: AP Nine Point Trait Rubrics

Superior papers respond fully to the question asked and are specific in their references, cogent in their definitions, and free of plot summary that is not relevant to the question. Shows a full understanding of the issues and supports points with appropriate textual evidence and examples. Demonstrates stylistic maturity by an effective command of sentence structure, diction, and organization. These essays need not be without flaws, but they demonstrate the writer's ability to discuss a literary work with insight and understanding and to control a wide range of the elements of effective composition.


Responds correctly to the questions but is less thorough, less perceptive or less specific than 9-8 papers. These essays are well-written but with less maturity and control than the top papers. They demonstrate the writer's ability to analyze a literary work and use textual evidence, but they reveal a more limited understanding than do the papers in the 9-8 range. Some lapses in diction or syntax may appear, but demonstrates sufficient control over the elements of composition. Generally, 6 essays present a less sophisticated analysis and less consistent command of the elements of effective writing than essays scored 7.


Superficiality characterizes these 5 essays. Respond to the question, but discussion of meaning may be simplistic, mechanical; they may be overly generalized, vague, or inadequately supported. Typically, these essays reveal simplistic thinking and/or immature writing. They usually demonstrate inconsistent control over the elements of composition and are not as well conceived, organized, or developed as the upper-half papers. On the other hand, the writing is sufficient to convey the writer's ideas.


Attempts to deal with the questions, but does so either inaccurately or without support or specific evidence. Discussion is likely to be unpersuasive, perfunctory, underdeveloped or misguided. The meaning they deduce may be inaccurate or insubstantial and not clearly related to the question. Part of the question may be omitted altogether. The writing may convey the writer's ideas, but it reveals weak control over such elements as diction, organization, syntax or grammar. Typically, these essays contain significant misinterpretations of the question or the work they discuss; they may also contain little, if any, supporting evidence, and practice paraphrase and plot summary at the expense of analysis. May contain excessive and distracting spelling and grammatical errors. Lengthy quotations may replace discussion and analysis.


These essays compound the weakness of essays in the 4-3 range and are frequently unacceptably brief or poorly written. Fail to respond to the question. May reveal misunderstanding or may distort the interpretations. They are poorly written on several counts, including many distracting errors in grammar and mechanics. Although the writer may have made some effort to answer the question, the views presented have little clarity or coherence and only slight, if any, evidence in its support.

Unit 1

This unit introduces students to the AP Literature and Composition Course in its scope and goals.

Essential Questions:

  • Why take this course?

  • How will this course prepare me for other college courses?

  • How will this course operate?

  • How can I, as a student, be successful in an AP class?

Major Texts:

AP English Literature and Composition Course Description

“Discovering Rhetorical Structure: Paths to Better Reading, Thinking, and Writing” by Mel MacKay

Informal essay to explore students’ goals for the class and for their lives.

Writing Conference: Students begin assessing personal goals for writing, creating a list for inclusion in their writing portfolios which will be referenced in future writing, revisions, and conferences.
Reading “Discovering Rhetorical Structure.”

Discuss “structure” and “transactional” nature of language.

Address Summer Reading:

Research Project

Students conduct research projects centering on one of the following:

  • The treatment of women among the Ibo

  • The treatment of children among the Ibo

  • The use of music among the Ibo

  • The use of parables and proverbs among the Ibo.

  • Tribal beliefs

  • Racism

  • Colonialism

Students will create a media-based presentation from their research.

Recasting the Text: Ask students to take up a character in the novel, such as Okonkwo, Obierika, Unoka, Ekwefi, Ezinma, Nwoye, or Ikemefuna, and rewrite a scene from his or her voice and position. To help students approach this activity, ask them why they chose a certain character, what role the character plays in the novel, and which scene would be appropriate to rewrite from this character's perspective. (The confrontations between the white men and the Igbo people are good incidents to use for the rewrite, as they can reinforce the colonialist/native point of view issue of the lesson.)

Students will write a well-polished essay on how the changing narrator’s voice helps to contribute to the work as a whole: Achebe writes his own history of colonization in order to present a perspective different from those taught in the Western literary and historical tradtions. However, the text of Things Fall Apart provides a range of perspectives through its narrator and many characters. To create a framework for interpreting the conflict within and between values and cultures that Achebe addresses, students will engage in a discussion of perspective/standpoint. We will ask, “Who is the narrator/speaker in the novel? Do the narrator's position, perspective, and identity remain constant or change throughout the narrative? What other characters' views are represented and used to convey the novel's insights and to give readers a certain viewpoint on Igbo society and the class with the British missionaries?"
Unit 2

This unit examines personal and cultural morals, ethics and values.

Essential Questions:

  • What are good and evil?

  • Are humans intrinsically good or evil?

  • What happens when morals collide?

  • What, if any, is the difference between sin and crime?

  • How do different points of view affect the presentation of good and evil?

  • How much power over others is moral or ethical?

Major Texts:

The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain

Shooting an Elephant George Orwell []

Poetic Devices

Various poems will be used.
Independent Reading Options:

Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte

Tess of the D’Ubervilles Thomas Hardy

Billy Budd Herman Melville

Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky

The House of Mirth Edith Wharton
Annotating Text

Close Reading

Socratic Seminar/Literature Circles

Graphic Organizers

Dialectical Journals
Symbols: Scaffolding , Cemetery, Leech, Gold, Birds, Light/Dark, Colors, Black

Meteor, Darkness/Light, The Black Man/Satan, Mirror, Vegetation , Book, Pearl, Rosebush/Roses , Elf, Imp, Prison (jail/prison door)

Letter “A”, Green, Red, Night/Day, Halo, Snake, Forest, Heart Tapestry, Weeds/Flowers, Sun, Circles

Themes: human frailty and sin, hypocrisy, alienation, redemption

Literary Terms: imagery, sensory language, foreshadowing, in medias res, irony, characterization (indirect/direct), allusions, personification, juxtaposition
Scarlet Letter Essay

In many novels, the author incorporates the use of symbols to trace the theme(s), character(s), or significant event(s). Write an essay discussing Hawthorne’s use of symbolism to support at least one of the above elements. Choose 2-3 symbols to discuss and cite specific examples and explain their significance and impact.

Some questions to consider:

Does it run throughout the text, or only in a particular portion of the text?

Does it appear at particular moments?

How does the author use the image or symbol?

What does it suggest?

What meanings are associated with it?

Does the image work the same way in each place? Or does it have

changing or even evolving meanings?

Does the author specifically address the symbolic nature of the object or

Writing Conferences for SL Essay

Artistic Representation of Symbols from Essay

Scarlet Letter multiple choice Test

Discuss AP Test

Complete multiple choice test

Practice grading sample essays using rubric

Grade peer SL timed writings using rubrics

Scarlet Letter AP Timed Writing Prompt

Writing Conferences

Compare/Contrast Essay: Choose Block or Point-By-Point style for Scarlet Letter and Huckleberry Finn.

Revision of either essay for Portfolio
Unit 3: Understanding Fiction/Short Stories
Major Texts and Concepts:

Style, Tone, and Language: A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Ernest Hemingway; A

Good Man is a Hard to Find, Flannery O’Connor; The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

Symbol and Allegory: The Lottery, Shirley Jackson; Everyday Use, Alice Walker

Theme: The Rocking-Horse Winner, D.H. Lawrence; A Worn Path, Eudora


Additional Short Stories: The Yellow Wallpaper, Charlotte Perkins Gilman; The

Lesson, Toni Cade Bambara; The Open Boat, Stephen Crane; The Birthmark, Nathaniel Hawthorne; The Chrysanthemums, John Steinbeck;

Edgar Allan Poe: The Black Cat, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Gold Bug, The

Pit and the Pendulum, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Fall of the House of Usher

Style, Tone, and Language Activities for A Clean, Well-Lighted Place; A Good Man is

Hard to Find; or The Things They Carried

Style, Tone, and Language Essay

Analyze the style, tone, and language of one of the short stories read this cycle.

Writing conferences for STL essay prior to Revision for Portfolio

Grammar Mini Lessons

Unit 4

Understanding Poetry: defining, reading, recognizing, and analyzing kinds of poetry
Essential Question(s): How does form relate to content? How do you create a thesis about a poem? What are some common poetic devices, and how are they used to present and interpret the subject of the poem?

Themes, tone, voice, diction/word choice/word order, imagery, figures of speech, sound, onomatopoeia, form, symbol, allegory, allusion, myth, plus poetic terms:

Accent, alexandrine, alliteration, anapest, antithesis, apostrophe, assonance, ballad, ballade, blank verse, caesura, canzone, carpe diem, chanson de geste, classicism, conceit, consonance, couplet, dactyl, elegy, enjambment, envoy, epic, epigram, epithalamium (or epithalamion), feminine rhyme, figure of speech, foot, free verse (also vers libre), haiku, heptameter, heroic , couplet, hexameter, hyperbole, iamb, iambic pentameter, idyll, or idyl, lay, limerick, litotes, lyric, masculine rhyme, metaphor, meter, metonymy, narrative, ode, onomatopoeia, ottava rima, pastoral, pentameter, personification, poetry, quatrain, refrain, rhyme, rhyme royal, romanticism, scansion, senryu, simile, sonnet, spondee, stanza, stress, synecdoche, tanka, terza rima, tetrameter, trochee, trope, verse
Major Texts:

My Papa’s Waltz, Theodore Roethke; Do not go gentle into that good night, Dylan

Thomas; The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, Christopher Marlowe; The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd, Sir Walter Raleigh, How Do I Love Thee, Elizabeth Barrett Browning; An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, William Butler Yeats; On the Notion of Tenderness in Wartime, Carl Philips; My Grandmother Would Rock Quietly, Leonard Adame; Negro, Langston Hughes; Fire and Ice, Robert Frost; To The Virgins, to Make Much of Time, Robert Herrick; The Man He Killed, Thomas Hardy; Cinderella, Anne Sexton; Constantly Risking Absurdity, Lawrence Ferlinghetti; Rooming houses are old women, Audre Lorde; Natural History, E.B. White; My Father as a Guitar, Martin Espada; Daddy, Sylvia Plath; To My Dear and Loving Husband, Anne Bradstreet; you fit into me, Margaret Atwood; To Lucasta Going to the Wars, Richard Lovelace; Henry Clay’s Mouth, Thomas Lux; On Passing thru Morgantown, Pa., Sonia Sanchez; A Supermarket in California, Allen Ginsberg Ferlinghetti; Rooming houses are old women, Audre Lorde; Natural History, E.B. White; My Father as a Guitar, Martin Espada; Daddy, Sylvia Plath

Choral Reading

TP-CASTT Analysis

Rhetorical Triangle

Socratic Seminar

Poetry Analysis Paper

Writing Conferences

Poetry Discussion Quiz

AP Timed Writing Poetry Prompt – Choose a poem from our reading and write an essay in which you characterize the narrator’s attitude and analyze the literary techniques used to convey this attitude. Support your analysis with specific references to the passage.

Test on Terms

Grammar Mini Lessons: topics determined by writing.

Revise Timed Writing in Class for Portfolio

Unit 5: The Novel and Culture

Major Texts:

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Essential Questions

  • To what extent does Gatsby’s wealth, and all the luxuries that it provides, affect his ability to achieve what he desires? How do other characters’ attitudes toward wealth affect what happens throughout the narrative? Can class status be changed?

  • How does the historical context of when a text was written, or the historical setting of the narrative, affect current readers’ interpretations? To what extent is Fitzgerald’s message sustained or lost to present-day audiences?

  • How is The Great Gatsby a commentary on the decay of social and moral values that came about in the 1920's?

  • How do Fitzgerald’s descriptions of geography and setting influence our understanding of character motivations and conflicts?

  • To what extent are characters disillusioned, or unsatisfied with their lives (e.g., their relationships, employment, social status, wealth, families, personal histories, etc.)?

  • How does Fitzgerald use symbolism to communicate the novel's major themes?

  • How does irony in The Great Gatsby serve to critique the American dream?

  • Why is Gatsby considered great even though he fails?

  • What do the two worlds, the Midwest and the East, represent for Nick and for Gatsby?

  • How do relationships between men and women driven by aspirations of social mobility and desire to be, or feel, loved (vanity), lead to unfulfilled, contentious relationships?

  • How does Great Gatsby represent the feeling of the American Dream decaying during the 1920's?

  • Despite saying Gatsby is a corrupt person, why does Nick hold on to the notion that Gatsby is a beautiful person?

Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Themes – corruption of American Dream, delusion, dependence,

vulnerability, materialism, regret

Motifs – relationships between people of different classes, dreaming of an

idyllic love, living a lie, separating rumor from fact,

Symbolism – colors (white, yellow, green), green light, valley of ashes, eyes

of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, mantle clock, Daisy’s voice “full of money”

Literary Terms – archetype, point of view, foreshadowing, irony, motif

Miscellaneous – social classes, Tom vs. Gatsby, Jazz age, downfall of

Gatsby’s dream, significant quotes

Great Gatsby Essay

After careful observation of textual details, consideration of the novel’s social, cultural, and historical value, write an essay about “The American Dream” as presented in The Great Gatsby.

Socratic Seminar

AP Timed Writing Great Gatsby Prompt - A symbol is an object, action, or event that represents something or that creates a range of associations beyond itself. In literary works a symbol can express an idea, clarify meaning, or enlarge literal meaning. From The Great Gatsby, focusing on one symbol, write an essay analyzing how that symbol functions in the work and what it reveals about the characters or themes of the work as a whole. Do not merely summarize the plot.

Writing Conferences

Test on Novel

Revise Great Gatsby Essay for Portfolio

Unit 6: Research Paper
Essential Questions:

• What research skills will be required of me beyond high school?

• Why should I consider the source?

• How can strong research skills help me be an informed citizen?

Major Texts:

Informational Texts as per research

Utilize Purdue OWL for help with MLA style.
The research paper will require you to select and research a theme in American literature. You will select four works (short story, poem, essay/nonfiction, and optional genre) and examine how the author addresses this theme in their literature. Your thesis should express what the theme is and what you have concluded about how this theme is represented in American literature through your examination of these works.
Annotated Bibliography: An annotated bibliography is a list of citations to books,

articles, and documents. Each citation is followed by a brief (usually about 150 words) descriptive and evaluative paragraph, the annotation. The purpose of the annotation is to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited. It gives a description about how each source is useful to an author in constructing a paper or argument.

Detailed Outline

Writing Conferences: brainstorming and introduction

Peer Editing: rough draft

Final Draft
Unit 7: Anglo-Saxon to Medieval Period
Essential Questions:

What is an epic hero?

What are commalities in heroes in various cultures?

How does a hero represent his culture?

How have ideas of a hero changed through time?

What mores did Anglo-Saxon society value?

Why has poetry endured as a literary genre?

What can we learn of medieval society from the Canterbury Tales?

What did Medieval society value?

What problems existed in Medieval society?

Major Texts:


Canterbury Tales

Anglo-Saxon poems from Exeter Book

Medieval Ballads
Double-Entry Journals/Cornell Notes

Literature Circles

Write an essay: on the characterization of Beowulf as a representation of Anglo-Saxon values.

Write an analysis: of how the narrator’s tone, and characterization reveal Medieval values.

Test on Beowulf

Test on Canterbury Tales Prologue and Tales
Unit 8: The Renaissance Period

Essential Questions:

  • How did the developments of the Renaissance shift perspectives about personal identity?

  • How do Macbeth and Hamlet adhere to Aristotle’s view of a tragic hero (social importance, his hamartia, etc)?

Major Texts:

Macbeth and Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Socratic Seminar/Literature Circles

Write Compare/Contrast essay:

Using soliloquies from each main character, analyze how the diction, imagery, and syntax help to convey his state of mind.

AP Timed Writing Prompt: In great literature, no scene of violence exists for its own sake. Macbeth and Hamlet confront the reader with scenes of violence. In a well-organized essay, explain how the scene or scenes contribute to the meaning of the complete work. Avoid plot summary.

Writing Conferences

Tests on each play

Revisions for Portfolios.
Unit 9: The Restoration Period
Essential Questions:

  • What universal themes appear in literature of merit?

  • How do archetypes contribute to literature?

Major Texts:

Poets: Donne, Herrick, Marvell, Milton

Analyze the use of poetic and literary devices (including paradox, conceit)

Compare universal themes (including time, carpe diem, and the temptation of evil) and archetypes

Literature Circles, using the “Poetry Presentations—Scoring Guide” to inform group work

Poetry Presentations, using the “Poetry Presentations—Scoring Guide” to assess

Write an Essay: Evaluate characteristics of specific genres (metaphysical, lyric, and epic) poetry.

Writing Conferences

AP Timed Writing: Select a line or so of poetry that you find especially memorable. Write an essay in which you identify the line[s], explain their relations to the work in which it/they are found, and analyze the reasons for its/their effectiveness.

Unit 10: The Romantic Period
Essential Questions:

  • How does conflict drive plots?

  • How is conflict an essential part of life?

  • How does literature address the various sources of conflict in life?

Major Texts:

“Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poets: Wordsworth, Blake, Byron, Keats, Shelley, Yeats

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

Excerpts from Emerson, Thoreau

TP-CASTT analysis of poetry

Literature Circle group presentations on Romantic Poets

Write an Essay on either novel: Analyze the sources of conflict and explain how the conflict contributes to the meaning of the work?

Writing Conferences

AP Timed Writing Prompt – Choose a literature selection in which a tragic figure functions as an instrument of the suffering of others. Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.

Revise Essay for Portfolio

Grammar mini lessons

In the spirit of the Romantic and Transcendentalist writers, write your own nature piece: either poetry, or essay.

Unit 11: The Victorian Period: Conservatism, Optimism, Social Pretense, & Hypocrisy
Essential Questions:

How did Victorians view personal relationships?

How was the Victorian conservatism reflected in the literature of the time?

How was Victorian optimism reflected in its literature?

What were Imperialism’s effects on subordinated cultures?
Concepts: Narrator’s tone, Blank Verse, Satire in lyrical poetry, situational irony, idioms, use of multiple narrators/point-of-view
Major Texts:

Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

Poets: Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman,

Prose: “A Warning Against Passion,” Charlotte Bronte

Tale of Two Cities [Required reading in AP European History]
Double-Entry Journal/Cornell Notes

Write an Essay in which you analyze the narrative techniques and other resources of language Conrad uses to characterize each narrator and his attitude toward imperialistic practices.

TP-CASTT analysis of Poetry

David Hyerle’s – Double Bubble Cluster Diagram comparing Bronte & Browning’s views of love.

Analysis Essay: Choose a work from this unit, and in a well-written essay, explain how the author uses narrative voice and characterization to provide social commentary.

Grammar: Subordination exercises.

AP Timed Writing: Write an essay showing how the author dramatizes the protagonists’ adventure. Consider such literary elements as diction, imagery, narrative pace, and point of view.

Unit 12: The Modern Period
Essential Questions:

How has literature changed in the modern period?

What universal themes are still prevalent in modern literature?

How does modern literature treat the individual? His society?

Major Texts:

Night, Elie Wiesel

Poets: Seamus Heaney: “Digging,” William Butler Yeats: "The Second Coming"

Short Story: “Araby,” James Joyce, “The Duchess and the Jeweler,” Virginia Woolf
Literature Circles:

Discuss the narrator’s tone.

Read the selected poems carefully. Then write a well-organized essay in which you compare and contrast the poems, analyzing the poetic techniques, such as point of view and tone, that each writer uses to make his point.

Write an argumentative essay in an analysis of “Araby” addressing the criticisms leveled at Joyce’s writing, such as the assertion that his works are merely anecdotes with vague structures.

Write a timed AP prompt essay: Choose a distinguished novel or play in which some of the most significant events are mental or psychological; for example, awakenings, discoveries, changes in consciousness. In a well-organized essay, describe how the author manages to give these internal events the sense of excitement, suspense, and climax usually associated with external action. Do not merely summarize the plot.

Write a timed AP prompt essay evaluating the cultural value of Night.

Test over Night.

Writing Conferences

Revision of “Araby” paper: Effectively use rhetoric by changing your controlling tone and audience.
Unit 13:

Studying for the AP Exam

Essential Questions:

What can I expect when I take the AP exam?

What strategies will help on the AP exam?

How best should I prepare for the AP exam?

Major Texts:

Released Tests from College Board

Barron’s AP Literature and Composition

College Board’s website

Review of texts covered this year
Multiple-choice and essay questions practiced
Essays written every night or two

Rewrite the essay based on comments. Subsequent essays must demonstrate practice in specific skills in which students have identified weaknesses.

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