AP English Literature and Composition
The English Literature and Composition class is designed for students who have an above average grasp of basic reading and writing skills. In general most students enrolled in this class will be college bound. Therefore, this course has been designed to recreate a college environment as closely as possible. The assignments, teachers expectation, and syllabus are designed to be linked to what a student would encounter when enrolling in a college English class. The nature of this class will be reading, writing, and research intensive with an emphasis on analysis of literature. Furthermore, skills in note taking, listening, and speaking and presenting are skills that are imperative in college.
Throughout this class, students will be responsible for reading and writing assignments which reflect the students’ ability to think, reason, and analyze both material discussed in class, read outside of class, and from outside sources. This class will be challenging and demanding. Therefore, both a mature attitude and commitment on the part of the student are absolutely essential to insure their success in this class.
This course is designed to comply with the curricular requirements described in the AP English Course Description pgs. 45-74. College Board, May 2007-May 2008.
As previously mentioned, this class will be reading and writing intensive with an emphasis on analysis and analytical thinking. Assignments will be divided into four categories:
In Class/Outside Reading: Outside reading will be required each night. These reading assignments are necessary in order for classroom discussion to take place. Furthermore, students will be expected to read the material noting textual details such as structure, style, and themes along with social and historical values and elements such as symbolism, figurative language imagery and tone. Students will be expected to come to class ready to participate in classroom discussions which further extend knowledge in the textual details they noted in their reading. All reading assigned in this class will directly correlate with reading they might encounter on the AP English Literature and Composition test. Finally students will also be required to do in class reading in order for them to apply their skills in textual details.
Classroom Discussion/Note Taking: Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate knowledge of outside reading in classroom structure. As they read, they were to make notes with regard to textual details. They should be prepared to discuss these details in class, be prepared to present their interpretation, and defend these interpretations. Students will also be expected to listen to discussions and take notes on the readings as they are discussed. It is important that they discuss and receive feedback on their interpretations in order to develop a mature reading ability.
Tests: Tests in the class will be in a variety of formats. Students will be tested on outside reading material frequently to check on reading for textual details. Major tests will be designed to test knowledge in all areas of the criteria for this class. All major tests will contain multiple choice similar to the AP Test, short answer questions, and an essay assignment. Students will be given feedback on their results and allowed to make revisions to the essays during the first semester of teaching. During the second semester as the time for the AP Test approaches, students will be expected to perform at a higher level on the essay on the tests.
Written Assignments: The written assignments in this class will be assigned in three different approaches. Students will be given frequent timed writings on analyzing textual details in both known and unknown readings. These will be for only the one hour of class time they have each day. Following the timed writing, the student will be given feedback both from the teacher and peer groups which will facilitate their ability to make revisions. Students will also construct rubrics for these timed writings, grade their timed writing based on this rubric, and be familiar with the 1-9 grading scale of the AP Test. Written assignments will also include outside essays in which students will use textual details to compose longer, more involved assignments that the timed writing does not allow for. Finally, written assignment will be based on incorporation of outside resources, analysis and application of these sources, and documentation of these sources. Each of these assignments will require a first copy. Students will then be given feedback and will make revisions to their paper. All written assignments will be designed to help the student develop vocabulary used appropriately and effectively, logical organization, a variety of sentence structure, and the effective use of rhetoric In addition, all written assignments are expected to display proper grammar and written formats. The student will also be expected to consistently improve in the correct use and incorporation of a more advanced writing style and the correct and accurate use of vocabulary. Written assignments will be assigned with an emphasis on one or more of the following: writing to understand, writing to explain, and writing to evaluate. Throughout the year, students will be asked to participate in a wide variety of writing such as but not limited to annotation, free writing, journals, expository, and persuasive.
The grades in this class will be given as follows:
Classroom Discussion: 10% It is vital that the student bring to class a knowledge of assigned reading in order to facilitate discussion and broaden awareness of social and historical values.
Daily grades: 30% These grades include quizzes over assigned reading, timed writings, and journals.
For timed writings which are graded using the AP Test scale of 1-9, the following scale will be implemented:
1 - 50
2 - 65
3 – 72
4 – 78
5 – 82
6 – 85
7 – 88
8 – 92
9 – 95
Also, these essays will be graded with a + - system. A plus grade would add 2 points to the grade and a minus grade would deduct 2 points. (A 7+ would therefore be recorded as a 90 and a 7- would be recorded as an 85) As discussed earlier, students will be allowed to revise these papers based on feedback from the teacher during the first semester in order to raise their grade and improve in the ability to become more proficient at timed writing which are essential for success on the AP Test.
Tests: 40% These grades major tests and major essays which count as two test grades. The tests are weighted more heavily as the emphasis on each test is to simulate the AP Test given in May.
Major Assignments: 20% These grades include presentations, research assignments, and larger assigned written assignments.
This class is divided into two semesters which in turn is divided into three six week increments for a total of 6 six week periods and 36 weeks of instruction.
First Six Weeks
Weeks 1-2: Overview of the Course
Students will be given instruction concerning the nature of the class, reading and writing requirements and expectations. The will be introduced to the three kinds of writing they will be examining in this class: writing to understand, writing to explain, and writing to evaluate. This will include a discussion which types of writing fall into each category ( journals, exposition, arguments etc.) Students will look at samples of all three types and examine their differences. They will also be given guided practice in the use of annotation during reading as this will be a requirement for the remainder of the year on reading assignments. This week will also include an overview of genre.
Texts used: A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. Ed. Lee A Jacobus. Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press. 1990.
Week 3: Review and Analysis of the AP Test
Students will be given samples of the essay portion of the AP Test. They will also look at rubrics and discuss the AP grading scale of 1-9. Students will discuss in groups (with teacher intervention and guidance) the papers, scores and possible revisions which could be made to these sample papers. Students will then be given three different writing prompts which are designed to simulate the actual test. These will be graded and returned with feedback for students to revise. A rubric for each written assignment will be included and the discussion concerning the use of the internal rubric and individual revision will be discussed.
Week 4: Introduction to Poetry
Students will be given the definition of poetry and asked to explain or discuss their viewpoints. They will then be given instruction on the uses and influences of denotation and connotation, imagery, figurative language, allusion, pattern, and sound and meaning.
Text used: Perrine’s Sound and Sense: An Introduction to Poetry 10th Edition. Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Harcourt College Publishers. 2001.
Week 5 and 6 : Introduction of Various Poems and Authors from both British and American Literature
Students will read and analyze selected poems from but not limited to the following list:
William Shakespeare – “Spring”, ”When my love swears she is made of truth”, “Let me not to the marriage of true minds”, and “My mistress’ eyes”. Thomas Hardy – “The Man He Killed” and “The Oxen.” John Donne – “Break of Day”, “Love’s Deity”, “The Flea”, and “Death be not Proud”. Emily Dickinson – “There’s been a Death in the Opposite House”, “I felt a Funeral in my Brain”, and “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died.” Ben Johnson – “On My First Son.” William Wordsworth – “The world is too much with us” and “Composed upon Westminister Bridge, September 3, 1802.”
Gerard Manly Hopkins – “Spring”, “The Caged Skylark” and “Heaven –Haven.” John Keats – “To Autumn” and “Ode to a Grecian Urn.” Sylvia Plath – “Metaphors” Philip Larkin – “Toads” and “Church Going.” John Milton - “On His Blindness” Alexander Pope – “Sound and Sense” Dylan Thomas – Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” William Blake – “The Lamb” and “The Tiger” Samuel Taylor Coleridge – “Kubla Khan” Langston Hughes - “Theme for English B” Countee Cullen – “For a Lady I Know” Walt Whitman - “A Noiseless Patient Spider”, and “Had I the Choice.” Alfred Lord Tennyson – “Ulysses” Percy Bysshe Shelley – “Ozymandias” Robert Browning – “My Last Duchess.” And John Updike – “Telephone Poles”
Students will be quizzed in class on outside readings of selected poetry. They will also do at least 2 timed writings on selected poetry with appropriate feedback and revision. At least one of the writings will be peer edited for feedback.
End of Week 6: Major test covering the overview to the class and the introduction to poetry. Timed writing based on at least two of the poems will be included.
Second Six Weeks
During the second six weeks students will continue to study poems for poetic devices, structure etc. However, students will be expected to move into their own analysis and evaluation of the poetry.
Week 7: Individual Analysis of Poetry
During this week students will select three poets on which they would like to investigate further for their historical and social connection, their style, and purpose.
Week 8-9 Writing About Poetry
During this week students will begin to research their chosen poets and narrow their search to two poets. In addition, students will be given instruction on writing about poetry, incorporation of sources, and the formal written paper including documentation and citing of sources. The outline of the paper is due at the end of Week 9
Weeks 10-12: Formal Research on Poetry
Students will work on the paper in the library. Students will be expected to provide a first draft by the end of Week 10. It will be reviewed by the instructor and individual feedback will be given for organization, balance of general and specific detail, and effective use of rhetoric - diction, sentence structure, and tone.
Finale Draft with revision is due at the end of Week 12.
Third Six Weeks
During this six weeks students will be introduced to the genre of Drama with an emphasis on reading and analyzing works of drama for their social and historical values. During this six weeks students will read and analyze two plays by William Shakespeare: Macbeth and Hamlet.
Week 13 –Introduction to Shakespeare and the Social, Political, and Historical Values.
During this week students will be introduced to the two play, Hamlet and Macbeth and the background for these two plays. In addition students will read both Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” and Nicclo Machiavelli’s “The Morals Of The Prince.” They will be asked to compare and contrast the views in these two works concerning leadership and political ramifications in society. There will be two short outside writing assignments. For both of these assignments the student will be expected to devise a rubric for the assignment . In addition, prior to my feedback the students will apply their rubric and give themselves a grade of 1-9 for their essay. I will then give feedback, and they will revise both short papers.
Week 14-15 – Macbeth
During these two weeks students will actively read Macbeth for themes, symbols, figurative language, and meaning. The will be expected to keep a journal which contains their thoughts on each scene. The journal entries will be evaluated based on the student’s grasp of concepts and their insights into the deeper meaning. These journal entries will be turned in for evaluation by the instructor. Students will then be given feedback on the quantity, quality, and analysis contained in the journal.
Week 16-18 – Hamlet
During these weeks students will actively read Hamlet in the same manner in which they read Macbeth. They will also keep the journal in the same format as previously discussed.
Evaluation for the end of the First Semester: Students will write a persuasive/argument paper in which they argue on the role of morality in the leaders of a society. Feedback will be given after the semester break.
Major Test: The Semester Final will cover all aspects of poetry and drama – including details on selected poetry and the two works of drama. This test will include a written essay in which students are expected to apply their own internal rubric and use all the skills they have acquired from their revisions on timed writings.
Fourth Six Weeks
During this six weeks students will explore the social and historical values which society inflicts on minorities, women, and others who are lesser valued by society. This unit will contain a comparison contrast between the views held in British Literature and American Literature. The novels used will be Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and The Awakening by Kate Chopin. The nonfiction used will be Mary Wollenstonecraft’s “Pernicious Effects Which Arise from the Unnatural Distinctions Established in Society,” Evelyn Fox Keller’s “Women in Science: A Social Analysis” and Adrienne Rich’s “Taking Women Student’s Seriously.”
Week 19 – Introduction to Hardy and Chopin and the Role of Society
Students will read the three works of nonfiction and the role of the expository essay will be discussed. In addition instruction will be given on the various aspects of the two novels and their impact on the role of women in society in both Britain and America. Students will be evaluated on the three works through a major essay due later in the next six weeks which be a compare/contrast paper on the two countries and their views on women and power in society during the respective time periods of the novels.
Weeks 20-22 – Kate Chopin’s The Awakening
Students will actively read and analyze the themes, symbols, and social concepts present in the novel. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions on the impact of Chopin’s style and tone in the work. Students will also continue to keep a journal in which they respond and react to the ideas present in the novel. Students will also do two timed writings – one each week – in which they are expected to apply an internal rubric they compose. They will also be asked to trade papers with a peer partner for feedback.
Weeks 23-24 – Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
Students will actively read and analyze the themes, symbols, and social concepts present in the novel. Due to the length of the novel, this assignment will carry into the fifth six weeks. As they read, they will continue to keep their journal, participate actively in classroom discussion, and at least one timed writing on the novel, which will be evaluated in the same manner as Weeks 20-22.
End of Fourth Six Weeks evaluation: First Draft of the compare/contrast paper is due.
It will be returned during the next six weeks with feedback for final revisions.
Test: Multiple Choice over the novels and nonfiction coupled with writing prompts
Fifth Six Weeks
Week 25 – Conclude Tess of the D’Urbervilles
During this week students will conclude their reading of the novel and their journals will be turned in for evaluation. The compare/contrast paper will be returned for students to revise.
Week 26 – Works of Short Fiction
During this week we will discuss the role of short fiction. In addition the date of the AP Test is rapidly approaching. Therefore, instruction, evaluation, and assignments will be given to bring together the all of the terminology, writing techniques, analysis, and strategies for success on the AP Test. Students will also take a complete AP Test during this week. It will be graded and scales. Students will then be provided feedback from both the teacher and their peer groups. They will then analyze the multiple choice answers and as a group devise a strategy for answering them. They will also be given time to revise the written portion in order to raise their score one point on the scale.
Week 27 – Carson McCuller’s Ballad of the Sad Café and Kate Chopin’s “Story of an Hour”
During this week students will actively read McCuller’s and Chopin’s works for structure, style, and themes. They will evaluate the impact of the diction in both works along with the sentence structure and the tone. These works also continue the themes established in the previous six weeks which concern historical and social values. Students will also construct at least 10 multiple choice questions which embody the elements found in the AP Test.
Week 28 – Carson McCuller’s “Sucker” and “A Domestic Dilemma”
During this week we will actively continue to review terms and skills needed for the AP Test. In addition students will write a short paper over McCuller’s twp works of short fiction. They will be asked to analyze and evaluate McCuller’s use of character to establish her beliefs. This essay should include a discussion on her tone, style and themes that recur in her works. In this essay they will be expected to apply all appropriate elements of grammar, sentence structure, and organization. This essay will be due at the beginning of the next week. Peer feedback and revision will be used. At this point in the class, I am beginning to turn over the job of revision to them as that is what they must do on the AP Test – rely on themselves for feedback while constructing an internal rubric.
Week 29 – Begin intensive review for the AP Test
During this week we will revisit poetic terms, devices, and structure. This will be accomplished by looking at released AP Tests and analyzing the types of poetic questions they will be responsible for evaluating.
Week 30 – Six Weeks Test
During this week students will spend the entire week taking a released AP Test. One day will be given for Multiple Choice. Three days will be given for the written prompts. The final day the instructor will provide feedback and allow students to revise the prompts within their peer groups.
Sixth Six Weeks
As the AP test will occur during this final six weeks, we will continue actively reviewing terminology and strategies for the test.
Week 31 – Review of tone, style, and diction
At this point we will look at works from the Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Eighteen centuries for tone, style and diction. These may include works by William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, John Donne, and Alexander Pope. This week will include timed writings covering selected works of literature.
Week 32 – Review of tone, style, and diction
This week students will continue to compare/contrast the differences in style, language, tone, diction, and social themes from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries. This week will include timed writings covering selected works of literature.
Week 33 – Final review for the AP Test
This week students will again spend the entire week taking a released test. Students will be scored and given final feedback on their application of skills on multiple choice and writing. They will be given copies of the rubrics from those tests and be asked to evaluate their own work.
Following the AP Test students will choose either a play or works of short fiction to finish the year.
Second Semester Test
The second semester final will be over the play or works of short fiction of their choice. It will be a final written essay which incorporates the ability to evaluate and analytical skills from the year.
Teacher Resources/Student Texts
Abrams, M.H. (Ed.). The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major
Authors/Seventh Edition New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001.
AP Central. (apcentral.collegeboard.com)
Arp, Thomas R. & Johnson, Greg (Eds.) Perrine’s Sound and Sense: An Introduction to
Poetry Third Edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers.
Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Avon Books, 1972.
Charters, Ann (Ed.) The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction. Boston:
New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003
Ferguson, Margaret, Salter, Mary Jo, & Stallworthy, Jon. The Norton Anthology of
Poetry: Shorter Fourth Edition. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.
Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the D’Urbervilles. New York: Penguin Books, 1998.
McCullers, Carson. The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories. New York: Bantam
Peterson, Linda H., Brereton, John, C. & Harman, Joan E. The Norton Reader: Ninth
Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996.
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2001.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992.