Ap English Literature and Composition
AP English Literature and Composition “Only connect!….Live in fragments no longer! ” General Course Information 1.0 Credits (.
5 per semester) Prerequisites: Accelerated English is recommended Course Overview • This class will prepare students for AP English Literature and Composition Exam, as well as the AP English Language and Composition Exam.
When registering for exams in the Spring, students will choose which exam to take. • This course is set according to the requirements listed in the AP English Course Description. • The reading in the course will cover a wide variety of genres.You will be introduced to everything from formal literary theory to creative writing. Deep reading, the kind that poses as many questions as it answers, will be expected. We will read for a variety of reasons, sometimes to grasp a thematic element and sometimes to simply enjoy the sounds of words.
We will not only identify literary elements, but also why they are used and discuss their effectiveness. We will read across curriculums and relate English literature and its themes to those in philosophy, science, and psychology. • This course also intends to hone your skills as writers.We will learn how to appeal to a certain audience and how vocabulary and structure change depending on the type of writing. We will practice deep revision and constantly recognize that writing is not simply putting thoughts down on a page, but a craft that takes a lifetime to perfect. We will discover our own individual styles as writers and use these to our advantage. Mechanics, citations, and technical writing will all be monitored closely.
Above all though, we will see how our own words can excite, persuade, and create understanding. • Finally, the course will hopefully make you a critical thinker.We live in the information age and no skill will be more in need than the ability to interpret information. The critical thinking skills you develop in this class will go on to help you on the AP Exams, the SAT, and in almost every aspect of your life. • This course is divided around the different thematic ideas of conflict in literature, non-fiction, and life in general. While the traditional elements of conflict seem simple, we will explore the motives behind them. Finally, we will attempt to figure out how the characters choose to live (or die) with conflict and find resolution.
Through non-fiction, we will explore how conflict has been created and resolved through rhetoric and argument. And how a well-written and polished argument can create a path of possibility even through the most mired of conflicts. Elements of the course: • Writing. Drafts will be submitted to me and returned with comments. All papers will have a first and a final draft. Students may be asked to correct their drafts twice before submitting a final draft. All compositions will be graded on the AP rubric.
One Friday a month, students will access their writing from the past month from their portfolio in class.During this time, we will have a writer’s workshop and address specific revision strategies. We will focus on revising sentence structure, organization, rhetorical structures, transitions, detail, imagery, conventions, and grammar. While timed writings are a part of this class, the Friday writer’s workshops will illustrate the importance of constant and careful revision. Students will also sign up for a meeting with me after-school every 2 months. At the first meeting, students will discuss with me their strengths and weaknesses. Together, we will assess their improvement throughout the year.
• Wordly Wise Vocabulary book will be due weekly.Periodic quizzes will test students’ knowledge. Wordly Wise is an excellent preparation for the SAT. The class will also have a Word Wall. The Word Wall will function to remind students of past vocabulary learned and encouraged the use of new vocabulary in writing. • One interactive class project will happen for every unit. The project will often involve synthesizing knowledge from the unit and applying it to something outside English class: art, nature, current events, family life, etc.
• Reading journals: Students will keep dialectical reading journals throughout the course. These journals will help facilitate deep and thorough reading. he reading journal is also a great place to practice writing and collecting your thoughts cohesively. We will continuously use the reading journal in class discussion and come back to it to get ideas for essays. The reading journal will be counted as a grade underneath the writing category. Grading: |Writing (Journal included) |50% | |Exams |20% | |Vocabulary |10% | |Assignments and Projects |20% | Course Syllabus: Unit 1: Introduction 4 weeksReadings: • Class Handouts • “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato • “Good Readers, Good Writers” by Vladimir Nabokov • Excerpts from “Why I Write” by Joan Didion • “Finishing School” by Maya Angelou • Excerpt from Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston • “My Mother Never Worked” by Bonnie Smith-Yackel • Everything’s an Argument by Andrea Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz • Current articles from the New York Times Discussion Topics: The first few days in class will be spent looking at class policies, organizing notebooks, and receiving helpful information on the strategies we will use throughout the year.
SOAPSTone, Dialectical Journal explanation, AP terms list, DIDLS, etc. ) Our first reading will be Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave. ” Plato tells us that ideas, not necessarily our experiences, are reality. This argument will encourage us to look deeper into the ideas behind what we are reading and writing. Essays from Didion and Nabokov will give us specific tips on how to begin our journey as accomplished readers and writers. Then, we will switch gears to a short segment on narrative writing where will read 3 excellent examples of narrative in time for us to write our own narrative essay.While studying narrative writing, we will focus on specific examples of excellence in sentence structure, form, organization, and conventions.
Finally, we will spend two weeks studying the text Everything’s an Argument, which we will continue to refer to throughout the year. We will learn how to identify successful rhetorical structures and use them in our own writing. During this examination of rhetorical analysis, we will use current New York Times editorials. Our writer’s workshop will for this unit will focus on varying our sentence structure for emphasis and effect. Assessments: Composition: AutobiographyComposition: Narrative essay over family Timed Writing: 2010 English Language and Composition Released Free Response Questions Argument Analysis: NY Times articles Writer’s Workshop: Sentence structure Unit 2: Person vs. Nature 5 weeks Reading: • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe • “The Santa Ana” by Joan Didion • Poetry of William E. Stafford • Excerpts from Maslow’s “A Theory of Human Motivation” • Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey • Excerpts from Walden by Henry David Thoreau • “The American Forests” by John Muir Viewing: • Clips from Man vs.
Wild Discussion topics: Person vs. Nature is possibly the oldest conflict in the world.Maslow theorizes that we cannot ascend up the hierarchy of needs until our most basic needs are met. Robinson Crusoe is essentially the story of a man having to begin at the bottom of the hierarchy and work his way up. Person vs. Nature is often illustrated with diction and imagery. In Stafford’s poetry and Didion’s essay, we are invited into their personal experience of nature through word and image choices.
Finally, we see how the person vs. nature conflict changes as technology begins to take care of our rudimentary needs. In Desert Soltaire, nature maintains little of its aggressor status.Instead, man takes over as the force bent on destruction. Finally, we will end our discussion of person vs. nature by taking a field trip to McKinney Falls State Park. There, we will take pictures to provide visual evidence of multiple points of conflict.
Our Writer’s Workshop will highlight organization. We will review our own strengths and weaknesses in organization from our past unit’s writing. Assessments: Composition: Using Maslow’s “Theory of Human Motivation” to explain Robinson Crusoe Composition: Literary analysis of imagery in Stafford poetry Composition: Compare/Contrast- Abbey and ThoreauTimed Writing: 2002 AP English Language and Composition Free-Response Questions Form B Argument analysis: John Muir’s letter to Congress Project: Field trip to McKinney Falls State Park. Capture visual evidence using cameras that illustrates the conflict of person vs. nature. Writer’s Workshop: Organization Unit 3: Person vs. Person 6 weeks • A River Runs Through It by Norman McClean • “Speech to the Troops at Tillbury” by Queen Elizabeth • “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft • “The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin • Excerpts from “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf • “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy • Selected poetry of e.
e. cummings Viewings: Discussion topics: A River Runs Through It is the perfect bridge between discussion of the conflicts in nature to the conflicts between people. We will explore familial conflicts and traditional family archetypes. After we finish the novella, we will take a look at another reoccurring person vs. person conflict: gender roles. Queen Elizabeth, in her “Speech to the Troops at Tillsbury” used certain rhetoric to explain herself that was needed at the time. We will focus on how that language changed as women gained more equality.
Finally, we will focus on style and the creative use of structure across two genres: novel and poetry. All the Pretty Horses will take us through several conflicts as John Grady Cole becomes an adult. Most striking though is McCarthy’s mastery of prose and creativity in structure. We will then make a comparison to e. e. cummings poetry, which also manages to leave out what we expect in format, in order to open our eyes to the exuberant images the poet provides. Our writer’s workshop will focus on how to add specific and concise, yet eye-opening detail to our writing.
We will use our previous work in Unit’s 1 and 2 to revise and add detail. Assessment: • Composition: Jung’s Archetypes in Literature • Composition: The changing language of the women’s movement • Composition: Analysis in style of either Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses or e. e. cummings • Timed Writing: 2004 AP English Literature and Composition Free-Response Questions (Form B) • Argument Analysis: “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft • Project: Use Feminist Literary Criticism to analyze a children’s picture book. Writer’s Workshop: Detail Unit 4: Person vs. Himself 6 weeks Readings: • King Lear by Shakespeare • Sylvia Plath poetry • “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” by Katherine Anne Porter • “Fate” by Ralph Waldo Emerson • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad • “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” by Chinua Achebe • “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell Viewings: • Excerpts from Apocalypse Now Discussion Topics: King Lear will begin with family conflicts but by the end of the play, we will see a new type of conflict arise.Lear will have to grapple with his failing sense of reality and atone for what he now sees as his past sins.
Katherine Anne Porter’s short story will also show the failure to grasp reality. Through the stream of consciousness point of view, the reader will feel like they are losing their grip on reality as well. Emerson’s poem will help us to understand if Lear’s problems were fate, or if fate merely took the fall for Lear’s bad judgment. Heart of Darkness is tied very closely to two types of conflict: person vs. himself and person vs. society. We will see how Kurtz’ descent into madness (yes!There will be many descents into madness in this unit! ) was caused by the evils of colonialism.
Achebe argues in his essay “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” that while Conrad was arguing against imperialism, he was doing so from a racist standpoint. We will analyze Achebe’s argument. Orwell will close out the unit by illustrating his own personal conflict with duty and attempt to “avoid looking a fool” in imperialist times. The Writer’s Workshop will focus on conventions, specifically advanced punctuation and its uses.Assessments: • Composition: Characterization. Choose a character from King Lear, The Jilting of Granny Weatherall, or Heart of Darkness. Analyze the literary techniques that are used to illustrate insanity and the onset of madness.
• Composition: From the 2004 Exam- “Contemporary life is marked by controversy. Choose a controversial local, national, or global issue with which you are familiar. Then, using appropriate evidence, write an essay that carefully considers the opposing positions on this controversy and proposes a solution or compromise. • Timed Writing: 2003 AP English Literature and Composition Free-Response Questions • Argument Analysis: “An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” • Project: Using the class copy of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1994, create a power-point presentation that diagnoses either Lear or Kurtz with a particular mental illness. • Writer’s Workshop: Conventions Unit 5: Person vs. Society 6 weeks Readings: • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien • Political Cartoons from the Vietnam Era • “Mutual Deterrence” Speech by Sec. f Defense Robert McNamara • War Poetry Selections: “ Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen; “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” by Randall Jarrell; “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” by William Butler Yeats; “My Father Leaves for Vietnam” by Lenard D.
Moore; “Palestine” by Lorna Dee Cervantes; “The Daisy Cutter” by Louise Rill • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner • “Living Under Circe’s Spell” By Matthew Soyster Viewing: • “The War in Vietnam- A Story in Photographs” from The National Archives • Excerpts from “Reporting America at War: The Reporters” from pbs. org • Excerpts from The Fog of WarDiscussion Topics- We will begin studying person vs. society by examining how the life of a soldier is deemed honorable and sometimes necessary by society, but often looks mundane and horrific on an individual level. The Things They Carried will take us to one of the more controversial wars, Vietnam. By looking through collections of war photography from the National Archives and watching evening news broadcasts, we will determine what role the media had on the society’s opinion of the war. By reading a collection of war poetry, we will look at the emotional toll that war exacts on individuals.Then, we will shift gears and begin reading The Sound and the Fury, a novel where each character struggles against societal norms that no longer fit the family’s reality.
Finally, we will read Soyster’s essay on disability and the struggles associated with it. The Writer’s Workshop for this unit will focus on broad, thematic revision by evaluating the effectiveness of our thesis statements in our portfolio. Assessments: • Composition- Research Topic: Choose one form of media. (Some examples could be television, movies, internet, telephones, etc.You may not choose photography. ) Research and examine the chosen media form’s impact on modern warfare. It should include both positive and negative impacts.
• Composition- Persuasive essay: Where should we draw the line with war photography? • Composition- Literary analysis of symbolism in The Sound and the Fury. • Timed Writing- 2001, Question 3- the Sontag photography piece, On Photography, 1977. • Argument Analysis- “Mutual Deterrence” Speech by Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara • Project- We will create a family tree that spans back 3-4 generations.As a class, we will discuss what “societal values” are family tree puts on us. We will take a particular look at any “values” that are placed there because of our blood and not because of our reality. • Writer’s Workshop- Thesis Revision Unit 6: Resolutions 5 weeks “Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die. – Howard’s End Readings: • Howard’s End • “Cathedral” by Raymond Carver • “On Self-Respect” by Joan Didion • Poetry of Kahil Gibran • Faulkner’s Nobel Acceptance Speech • Woody Allen’s “My Speech to the Graduates” Viewings: • Howard’s End 1992 version • Discussion Topics: We will end the year with a Victorian class study in the novel Howard’s End. With a host of characters, we will see how some are able to overcome the conflicts and others do not. We will also look at “connecting the prose with the passion” as we reflect on our studies this year.Before exams, we will take a full week to do practice exams and prepare the final touches on our AP experience.
Finally, we will read several writers who focus on resolution rather than conflict. Through emotional experience, logical thinking, and even humor, we will see how characters and people in real life live and deal with conflict. Assessments: • Composition: Analyze the role the house plays in the novel Howard’s End. • Composition: Write a mock graduation speech that includes at least 4 quotes from readings throughout the year. • Composition: “A picture is worth a thousand words. In our age of information, is a picture/movie/symbol worth more than the written word? Use the Rogerian style to persuade your audience. • Timed Writings: Students will choose 3 timed writings to practice from released exams.
• Project: Collage. As a class, we will create a pictorial collage that represents conflict in the literature we have read and in life. We will then put quotes and phrases from the literature and essays we have read that illustrate overcoming conflict. The last part of the collage will show representations of different resolutions in life.