Language and Composition/Literature and Composition
Description The English Department in my school prepares seniors for both the AP English Language and Composition Exam and the AP Literature and Composition Exam. The course is designed to comply with the AP curricular requirements for each course. The approach to the course is thematic, which is reflected in the syllabus.
Course Overview and Strategies Students enrolled in the course will develop the ability to analyze complex texts through close reading of prose and image-based works from different historical time periods as well as different rhetorical modes. The students will have ample opportunity to support, challenge, or qualify the position of the writer. The students will utilize a variety of techniques while analyzing texts, including SOAPSTone, Kenneth Burke's pentad, the rhetorical triangle, focused annotation, and the use of rhetorical analysis graphic organizers that require the identification of specific rhetorical strategies. Students will read sample essays and become familiar with the AP scoring rubric. The students will begin to ask why a writer makes the choices he or she makes and how these choices function in a given piece, including how these choices create meaning.
Critical reading skills will enable students to develop their abilities as writers of narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative pieces. In addition, students will have the opportunity to develop skills in writing personal and reflective pieces. The course offers many opportunities to work collaboratively. The students will have opportunities to compose a written piece as a group, and they will also evaluate their classmates' work. I will post sentences or paragraphs from submitted essays that need corrections and improvements. Students will identify the errors or weakness and edit the sentence and/or paragraph. The students will complete exercises that focus on how sentences reflect style, connotation, language control, levels of diction, figurative language, tone, sentence structure, sentence variety, and the structure of an argument. Theme: Introduction to Argument/September
Journal Writing: While the students are reading "The Things They Carried," they will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will also select key passages that we will analyze in class.
Style Essay: The students will write a one-page piece emulating O' Brien's style. We will discuss how "structure mirrors content" functions in his chapter and in their essays. Style Essay: After we read and analyze "The Gettysburg Address," the students will write their own "Address," emulating Lincoln's style. The students will choose the subject of the piece.
How does our relationship with nature inform who we are?
Teaching a Stone to Talk Annie Dillard [Nonfiction] Summer Reading
The Bear William Faulkner [Fiction] Summer Reading
"Cloud the Issue or Clear the Air" Royal Dutch Shell [Advertisement]
Kindred Spirits Asher B. Durand [Painting]
Journal Writing: While completing the summer reading, students recorded facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They also selected key passages to analyze that we will also analyze in class.
Poem: Using a quote from the summer reading as an epigraph, students composed a form poem. Narrative Essay: Using a quote from the summer reading as an epigraph, students composed a one-page narrative. Synthesis Essay: The students will read, analyze and integrate sources and then write an essay that synthesizes at least three sources in order to defend, challenge or qualify the claim that we can discover essential truths about ourselves only through a relationship with nature. Students have the option to create an original thesis.
How do our choices about where we work and what we do there influence our lives?
A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway [Memoir]
"Letter from Birmingham Jail" Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Where I Lived, and What I Lived For" Henry David Thoreau
"The Barrio" Richard Ramirez
"Being Perfect" Anna Quindlen
"Walking the Path between Worlds" Lori Arviso Alford
"The Traveling Bra Salesman's Lesson" Claudia O'Keefe
"I'm not a lumberjack" [Molson CANADIAN advertisement]
Journal Writing: While the students are reading A Moveable Feast, they will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will also select key passages that we will analyze in class.
Syllogisms: After we read and analyze "Public Statement by Eight Alabama Clergymen" and "Letter from Birmingham Jail," the students will write syllogisms. We will evaluate the effectiveness of these during class discussion. Ballad: After we read and analyze "Ballad of Birmingham," students will write original ballads. Narrative Essay: After reading and annotating A Moveable Feast, students will write their own personal essays using the process of completing a task as the controlling motif. Each essay will include a philosophical conversation with an associate. Following consultations with peers, they will select two visuals to illustrate the essay. Definition Essay: After reading and annotating "The Barrio" by Richard Ramirez and analyzing the Molson advertisement, students will write a one-page definition essay about where they currently live. They will use a metaphorical image to frame the essay. They will also incorporate words and phrases that are unique to their neighborhood or town.
The Spirit of Education Norman Rockwell [Painting]
American Born Chinese Gene Luen Yang [Graphic Novel]
Journal Writing: While the students are reading Jude the Obscure, they will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will also select key passages that we will analyze in class.
Comparison/Contrast Essay: After reading and annotating Jude the Obscure and "Education," students will write a comparison/contrast essay comparing and contrasting the attitudes of the "main" characters towards achieving an education. Analytical Essay: After we read and analyze Jude the Obscure, students will write an essay in which they support, challenge, or qualify the assertion that aiming too high is ignoble rather than noble.
Theme: Gender/February and March
What is the impact of the gender roles that society creates and enforces?
The Clothed Maja and The Naked Maja Francisco Goya
Journal Writing: While the students are reading The Sound and The Fury and Revolutionary Road, they will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will also select key passages that we will analyze in class.
Synthesis Essay: The students will read, analyze and integrate sources and then write an essay that synthesizes at least three sources in order to defend, challenge or qualify the claim that it would better for men and women to live their lives separately. Persuasive Essay: After we have viewed and analyzed Arranged, we will identify the purpose and meaning of the film. Students will write an essay that supports, challenges, or qualifies the position that an arranged marriage is the best way to go.
Theme: Personal and Societal Conflict/April
How do the choices we make as we address conflict define us?
"On the Duty of Civil Disobedience" Henry David Thoreau
"A Modest Proposal" Jonathan Swift
"On Morality" Joan Dideon
"Why Don't We Complain" William F. Buckley, Jr.
"Regarding the Pain of Others" Susan Sontag
"On the Rainy River" Tim O'Brien
"Here, Bullet" Brain Turner
"Facing It" Yusef Komunyakaa
Guernica Pablo Picasso
Maus Art Spiegelman [Graphic Novel]
A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge Josh Neufeld [Graphic Novel]
Journal Writing: While the students are reading King Lear, they will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will also select key passages that we will analyze in class.
Satirical Essay: After reading and analyzing "A Modest Proposal," students will write a satirical piece on a topic they've chosen. Analytical Essay: After we have read and analyzed King Lear, the students will write a literary argument in which they support a thesis statement with specific and relevant evidence from the text.
Students will choose a social justice issue and collect and annotate six essays from various sources including anthologies and the media.
"In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried" Amy Hempel
"Song" Brigit Pegeen Kelly
"This is for Zarif" Diana Der-Hovanessian
The Constant Gardener
Students will access the TED site to find two examples that correspond to their choice of issues.
Journal Writing: While the students are reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, they will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will also select key passages that we will analyze in class.
Researched Argument Paper: Students, singly or in pairs, will submit a 3-5 page research argument paper on a social justice topic using the MLA citation format. The students must develop a thesis, gather research materials, evaluate research materials, and submit process work. Students must use four varied sources. Public Service Announcement: After completing the researched argument paper, students will create a public service announcement in which they motivate the audience to adopt their views. Students will air these on the morning video announcements.
Assessments Student will write narrative, expository, analytical, and argumentative pieces.
During the first semester, the students will complete six to eight timed writing pieces taken from Part 2 sections of previous AP Language and Composition and Literature and Composition Exams. Some of these will be evaluated by me and some by peers. During the second semester the students will complete ten to fourteen timed writing pieces taken from Part 2 sections of previous exams. These will be evaluated by me. The writing tasks will correspond to works we are reading in class at the time.
Students will periodically take multiple choice quizzes in which they answer questions found in Part 1 sections of previous AP exams. In addition, students will work independently and collaboratively to compose their own questions.
The students will be required to submit a vocabulary notebook every four weeks. In the notebooks students will record words they cannot define that they find in newspapers, magazines, scholarly texts, textbooks, etc. The students will define each word, include the example in context, and write an original sentence. In addition, students will maintain a list of tropes and schemes, using the same format.
While we read, students will record facts, feelings, and questions in a literature journal. They will be asked to identify rhetorical strategies. They will use these journals as study guides and as sources for their own writing.
Student Evaluation and Assessment The students will be graded using a 100 point scale. Students will be evaluated on the basis of the major papers (process and execution), tests (AP-style writing prompts), vocabulary journals, literature journals, brief papers, quizzes and in-class assignments, and contributions to the class discussions. Prior to due dates for major writing assignments, students will meet with me to conference. Essays may be revised at my discretion.
Major Papers, Tests (AP-Style Prompts), Vocabulary Journals, Literature Journals
Brief Papers, Quizzes, In-Class Assignments, Class Discussion
Essential Print Teacher Resources Cohen, Samuel. 50 Essays A Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2011.
Dillard, Annie. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. New York: Bantam Books, 1974.
---. Teaching a Stone to Talk. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.
Faulkner, William. The Bear. New York: Vintage Books, 1961.
---. The Sound and the Fury. New York: Vintage Books, 1964.
Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. New York: The Modern Library, 2001.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Moveable Feast. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1987.
Holman, C. Hugh. A Handbook to Literature. Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill Educational Publishing. 1981.
Kennedy, X. J., Dorothy Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. The Brief Bedford Reader. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.
Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains. New York: Random House, 2003.
Kingsolver, Barbara. Small Wonder. New York: Perennial, 2002.
Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything's an Argument. Boston: Bedford/St Martin's. 2010.
Nabokov, Vladimir. "Good Readers and Good Writers." Lectures on Literature. Ed. Fredson Bowers. Boston: Mariner, 2002.
O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Boston: Mariner Books. 2009.
Roskelly, Hephzibah, and David A. Jolliffe. Everyday Use. New York: Pearson Education, Inc., 2005.
Shakespeare, William. King Lear. Ed. Grace Ioppolo. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007.
Shea, Renee, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin Aufses. The Language of Composition.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008.
Trimble, John R. Writing with Style. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2000.
Yates, Richard. Revolutionary Road. New York: Vintage, 2008.