Ap english Language & Composition Syllabus Instructor Information



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AP English Language & Composition Syllabus


Instructor Information:

Tonya Raines

Email: tonya.raines@breathitt.kyschools.us

Room 112 at Breathitt High School

1st period planning (7:55-8:45)
Course Description:

The AP Language and Composition class is a preparatory class leading to the national Advanced Placement Examination in English Language and Composition in May. The goals outlined in the AP English Course Description will be ultimately be the goals of this class. The AP course will be taught with three primary objectives: students will take and pass (3+) the AP English Language exam; students will develop analytical skills in reading and writing; students will develop critical thinking skills. The course will include an in-depth reading of texts drawn from multiple genres, periods, and cultures. The course demands an extensive reading of challenging texts and extensive writing exceeding those of typical high school courses. Writing assignments will focus on critical analysis of prose and will include expository, analytical, and argumentative essays as well as well-constructed creative writing assignments. There is an increased workload, and students need to be committed to these increased expectations. The AP Language and Composition course is a challenging, academically rigorous course that is beneficial not only in terms of college credit or placement but also in terms of intellectual growth. Students will focus on understanding a work’s style, theme, and structure, in addition to more traditional literary analysis of the concepts of rhetoric, argument, diction, figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. Emphasis will be placed on argumentative, analytical, and expository writing in addition to personal and reflective writing. Students will be expected to synthesize the variety of writing modes and to understand and practice the various levels of literacy that affect one’s writing style. Additional emphasis will include moving beyond the formulistic concept of a five-paragraph essay and developing essays based on content, purpose and audience awareness, and an effective thesis. Students will be expected to compose drafts and move these drafts through the various stages of the writing process, including prewriting, rewriting, conferencing with the instructor and with peers, revising, and editing. Students will complete both formal and informal reading and writing activities in a variety of formats, including primary and secondary sources. In addition, students are expected to become adept at using the MLA-style of documentation. While students research, they are expected to evaluate the effectiveness and credibility of the sources they encounter and to adequately choose and use sources. Students will be able to analyze a variety of texts and text features, including visual images, cartoons, articles, essays, web sites, primary and secondary sources. In addition, students will be able to write thoughtfully and analytically about a variety of topics as well as to synthesize materials from a variety of sources into a coherent piece of text.


There will be a variety of activities and teaching strategies used to meet the auditory, visual, and hands-on learning styles of students. The students’ final grades will be determined based on a variety of assessment methods, including the following: classroom participation, unit examinations, quizzes, independent reading, writing assignments, research paper, bell-ringer activities, in-class assignments, homework, Socratic seminars, and writing portfolio. Students must have a completed portfolio in order to receive a passing grade. Writing assignments will demonstrate analysis, critical thinking, comparison/contrast, narration, description, exposition, argument, process-analysis, journaling, free-writing, reflecting, explication, and annotations. Essays will be both in-class and out-of-class assignments, while some will be timed and others will not. Some assignments will be individual while others will require a group effort. Students are expected to be active learners and to participate in class activities. Students should adhere to attitudes and behaviors that represent the accepted norm for respectable behavior in a group environment. Class participation will be part of each student’s grade. Failure to appropriately participate may have a negative effect on the student’s grade.
Course Objectives:

Students will meet the requirement of AP College Board, the Kentucky Program of Studies, Core Content, and Academic Expectations.


Textbooks:

Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, eds. LITERATURE: An Introduction to



Fiction, Poetry, and Drama, 9th edition. New York: Longman, 2005.

Trimmer, James F., and Maxine C. Hairston, eds. The Riverside Reader, 8th

edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
Drama:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
Nonfiction Works:

On Writing by Stephen King

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

They Cage the Animals at Night by Michael Jennings Burch

If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O’Brien

Night by Elie Wiesel
Course Calendar/Schedule:

Week 1-2: Summer Reading and Course Introduction

Week 3-7: Personal Writing/Reading

Week 8-13: Literary Writing/Reading

Week 14-35: Nonfiction Writing/Reading

Week 36: Review Week


Grading Criteria/Scale:

Students are graded on a point-system with final grades being a division of points earned by points possible. AP grades are weighted. Grading periods are divided into six 6-week periods. The grading scale of the school will be followed:

90-100 = A

80-89 = B

70-79 = C

60-69 = D



59 & below = F
Course Requirements/Guidelines:

  1. The summer reading requirement must be completed prior to the first day of school.

  2. In-class, timed writings must be written in blue or black ink only.

  3. Out-of-class essays must be typed, double-spaced in a size 12 font.

  4. Deadlines are absolute.

  5. Participation in writing workshops, including peer-conferencing and teacher-conferencing, are mandatory components of the class. Writing assignments accompanied by an asterisk in the course outline below are those for which writing workshop participation is required.

  6. Essays may be rewritten until the desirable grade is earned.

  7. Reading is independent. You must budget your time appropriately to meet reading deadlines.


Assessments:

  1. There will be a four major reading assignments dispersed throughout the year. These will be nonfiction book-length works. Two Socratic seminar days will be devoted to the assigned text, and there will be an AP-style multiple choice test of 15-20 questions and an AP-style essay.

  2. Quizzes over reading selections, vocabulary assignments, allusions, literary terms/techniques, grammar/usage, rhetoric/style, etc. will be given at frequent intervals.

  3. Essays will be both in-class and out-of-class. Both will be assessed. In addition, assessment will occur at the various stages of the writing process through the development of the essay. Essays may be rewritten to allow students to achieve the grade they desire on the writing prompts. There will be at least four synthesis essays throughout the year.

  4. There will be a major individual research paper, complete with MLA-style documentation.

  5. There will be a major group research project and presentation over an assigned nonfiction work of book-length. There are a variety of components to this project, including student creation of a PowerPoint presentation, a video, a music CD, an advertisement, journals, and a collage to demonstrate student analysis and understanding of style, structure, and theme.

  6. Writing assignments, including all stages of the writing process, will be assessed according to type and purpose. This includes students’ participation in peer and teaching conferencing.

  7. Students will complete bell-ringer activities which will include free-writing exercises, grammar/usage activities, responses to quotations, critical thinking/writing activities, vocabulary exercises, sentence combining, rhetorical strategies/analysis, argument analysis, etc.

  8. Class participation is vital. Daily activities are crucial to learning and understanding of key concepts. Students are expected to participate and will be assessed accordingly.


Course Outline:
Week 1-2: Summer Reading and Course Introduction
During the first two weeks, follow-up will occur related to the summer reading assignment. Students will participate in a Socratic seminar to discuss responses to the summer reading selections. It is expected that students will have a framework for this discussion based on email dialogues over the summer between the instructor and the students. In addition, students will receive a thorough introduction to the course and its expectations. Students will complete 25 multiple choice questions and will write 3 released item essays (including one synthesis essay) to establish a baseline for an initial score.
Summer Assignment:

  • REQUIRED READING): (due by the first day of school)

    • On Writing (Stephen King)

    • Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Lynne Truss)

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1: Students must turn in two reflective essays, one for each nonfiction text read. Reflective essays will demonstrate one of the types of reader response: initial, affective, associative, personal response/stance, moral, or gender.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 2: Students will prepare six note cards per text read, for a total of twelve note cards. The six topics for the note cards are: purpose, audience, structure/style, theme, significant events, and author biography. Students will use 5x8 index cards to identify key elements of the six topics. Students must include a supporting quotation. Students must include proper MLA-documentation for bibliographic information for the author’s biography.

  • ASSESSMENT: Students will take an exam of 15-20 multiple choice questions and one AP-style essay (in-class timed essay).


Week 3-7: Personal Writing/Reading


  • REQUIRED “MAJOR” READING:

    • Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1: Quotation Essay – Students will choose one quotation from a list. Using the quotation, students will write a brief essay of approximately 500 words to explain the significance of the quotation to the modern era.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 2*: Alphabetical Autobiography – Students will create a 26-page children’s style booklet about themselves. Each page will be devoted to one letter of the alphabet. There should be both text and pictures in the booklet. Students should provide vivid descriptions of people/places/events that are included. Each page of text should include two brief paragraphs for that letter. Students will go through brainstorming, producing a rough draft, peer/teacher reviews, revising, and producing a final bound copy of the booklet.

  • ADDITIONAL READING: from The Riverside Reader

    • “Introduction” (pg. 1 – 18)

    • “Narration & Description” (pg. 21-28)

    • “The Veil” by Marjane Satrapi (pg. 29) – excerpt from a graphic novel

    • “Digging” by Andre Dubus (pg. 30-40)

    • “The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” by Judith Ortiz Cofer (pg. 51-59)

    • “Memories of a Dead Man Walking” by Sister Helen Prejean (pg. 60-67)

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 3: “Beginnings” prompt, pg. 19 The Riverside Reader. In this essay of approximately 500 words, students will respond to the topic of “beginnings”. This should be a narrative which describes (shows rather than tells) about a “first” experience of their choice, including the significance of this first.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 4*: Memoir, pg. 19 The Riverside Reader. Students should create a profile of approximately 500 words about a person who has had a significant impact on their lives. This piece will go through the workshop process to allow revision for inclusion in the writing portfolio.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 1: Students will write a brief journal response to the graphic novel excerpt “The Veil”.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 2: Students will compose responses to questions about the assigned reading selections, based on analysis of the purpose, audience, and strategies of the assigned readings.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 3: Students will describe their ideal writing environment, using as much detail and description as possible. The initial response will be about 250 words. Students will then revise to make the description as concise and vivid as possible. Students need to include sensory details for all five senses, to include description of place, time of day, instruments used, lighting, etc.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 5*: Students will select one of the essay topics from pages 93-94 of The Riverside Reader and will prepare an essay of approximately 500 words. These prompts focus on the aspects of narration and description.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 4: During week 6, students will complete a synthesis-style, timed essay.

  • SOCRATIC SEMINAR: Students will participate in at least two Socratic seminars related to Tuesdays with Morrie.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 1: Students will complete a multiple choice test of 15 questions and will write an AP-style essay over Tuesdays with Morrie. The essay is an in-class timed writing.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 2: Vocabulary – Students will complete vocabulary assignments weekly. These assignments will involve lists of 30 alphabetical words per week. Students will be provided with the word list and acceptable definitions. Activities will include sentence-writing (3 words used per sentence, 10 sentences total) and an artistic depiction of at least one word from the list. Students will complete a sentence-completion quiz at the end of the week. This assignment will be on-going throughout the year.


Week 8-13: Literary Writing/Reading


  • REQUIRED MAJOR READING:

    • Hamlet by William Shakespeare

    • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

  • ADDITIONAL READING: from LITERATURE

  • “Everyday Use” Alice Walker, pg. 102-109

  • “To Build a Fire” by Jack London pg. 132-143

  • “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson pg. 262-269

  • “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe pg. 382-386

  • “Dead Man’s Path” by Chinua Achebe, pg. 475-478

  • WRITING EXERCISE 1: From LITERATURE, pg. 123, analyze why Dee’s mother in “Everyday Use” refuses to give her the quilts she wants and the result of that decision. (analyzing role of protagonist)

  • WRITING EXERCISE 2: Students will compose responses to questions about the assigned reading selections, based on analysis of the purpose, audience, and strategies of the assigned readings.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 3: From LITERATURE – Write a short paragraph of about 100 words to demonstrate understanding of point of view based on the following:

    • Dee’s response to not receiving the family quilts

    • The man in “To Build a Fire” when he realizes his mistake

    • Little Dave’s response to the stoning of Mrs. Hutchinson

    • The police officer listening to the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart”

    • Obi’s response to the commissioner’s report

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1*: Write an essay of approximately 1000 words to analyze the role of stock characters. Students may choose to analyze stock characters in literature, television, or the movies. Students may approach the assignment by analyzing one particular type of stock character, a particular genre of television or movies, or a particular television or movie series. Student essays will undergo conferencing and revision for inclusion in the portfolio.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 4: Write a response of approximately 250 words to the following – How is the setting of a particular story (literature or film) important to the inner life of the protagonist?

  • WRITING EXERCISE 5: Choose a story and state its main theme. Cite evidence from the story that makes this theme clear.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 2*: From LITERATURE, pg. 269, number six – Students will choose one of the statements of interpretation about “The Lottery” and will write an essay of approximately 500 words to support the interpretation they choose. This assignment will undergo revision after conferencing.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 6: From LITERATURE, pg. 474, number four – Write approximately three paragraphs discussing Poe’s feelings about fathers/sons based on evidence from one of his short stories. How does the story take on an additional meaning when viewed in the context of father/son relationships?

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 3*: From LITERATURE, pg. 2143-2144 – choose one of the essay topics and write an essay of approximately 750-1000 words analyzing a short story. Essays will be subject to peer and teacher conferencing and revisions will occur.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 4*: From LITERATURE, pg. 1799 – Students will choose one of the dramas they have read and will apply Aristotle’s definition of tragedy to the drama. Students will produce an essay that analyzes the drama in terms of Aristotle’s definition.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 7: During week 12, students will complete a synthesis-style, timed essay.

  • ANNOTATIONS: Students will use the post-it note form of annotating the text of Othello and Oedipus Rex as they read.

  • WRITING EXERCISES: Students will complete a one-pager for selected excerpts of the reading material of this unit. In a one-pager, students will in a single page, respond to the excerpt. These writings may discuss a significant quotation, visual images, dominant impressions/themes, questions formed, etc. These writings are not to be mere summaries; they should demonstrate some understanding and insight into the selected texts.

  • SOCRATIC SEMINAR: Students will participate in at least two Socratic seminars related to the dramas listed under the Required Major Reading heading of the Literary Writing/Reading.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 1: Students will complete a multiple choice test of 15-20 questions and will write an AP-style essay (in-class, timed writing) over Othello, Oedipus Rex, and the selected short stories.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 2: Vocabulary – Students will continue vocabulary development exercises as explained previously.


Week 14-31: Transactive Writing/Reading


  • REQUIRED MAJOR READING:

    • They Cage the Animals at Night (Michael Jennings Burch)

    • If I Die in a Combat Zone (Tim O’Brien)

    • Night (Elie Wiesel)

  • ADDITIONAL READING: from The Riverside Reader

    • “Process Analysis” (pg. 95-102)

    • “How Many It Takes” (pg. 103) – comic drawing

    • “Third World Driving Hints and Tips” by PJ O’Rourke (pg. 112-117)

    • “Arranging a Marriage in India” by Serena Nanda (pg. 140-151)

    • “The Kelly Gang” by Colin Evans (pg. 591-595)

    • “Comparison Contrast” (pg. 165-172)

    • “Chinese Landscape Scroll” (pg. 173)

    • “Two Views of the River” by Mark Twain (pg. 174-177)

    • “Shop Like a Man” by Paco Underhill (pg. 186-202)

    • “A Tale of Two Divorces” by Anne Roiphe (pg. 203-213)

    • “Division/Classification” (pg. 245-251)

    • “Cloud Chart” (pg. 252)

    • “Four Kinds of Chance” by James Austin (pg. 253-259)

    • “Modern Friendships” by Phillip Lopate (pg. 268-281)

    • “Democracy for All?” by James Wilson (pg. 282-292)

    • “Definition” (pg. 337-345)

    • “Doorways: A Visual Essay” by Christopher Pizzi (pg. 346-372)

    • “The Hoax” by John Berendt (pg. 353-357)

    • “American Ingenuity” by William Langewiesche (pg. 364-372)

    • “Cause-Effect” (pg. 399-405)

    • “Some Big Ideas Wash up One Bulb at a Time” by Andrew Revkin (pg. 406-411)

    • “Why McDonalds Fries Taste So Good” by Eric Schlosser (pg. 447-462)

    • “Persuasion/Argument” pg. 475-485

    • “I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr. (pg. 486-492)

    • “A Chinaman’s Choice: Reflections on the American Dream” by Eric Liu (pg. 493-505)

    • “Under the Spell” by Joan Acocella (pg. 526-536)

    • “Can 35 Million Book Buyers Be Wrong? Yes.” By Harold Bloom (pg. 537-542)

  • WRITING EXERCISE 1: After reading the comic drawing “How Many It Takes”, students will create their own flow chart to explain a simple process such as making an ATM transaction or washing a car or something similar. After creating the flow chart, students will write an analysis of their own flow chart, including why the process is not as simple as one might imagine and the importance of including all the steps of the process. Before writing the analysis, students will exchange flow charts and receive feedback in order to identify important parts of the sequence that may be missing.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 2: Students will compose responses to questions about the assigned reading selections, based on analysis of the purpose, audience, and strategies of the assigned readings.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 3: Students will watch one episode of CSI, Law & Order, Cold Case, or a similar program. In one paragraph of approximately 100 words, students will summarize the plot of that particular episode. In a second paragraph of approximately 100 words, students will demonstrate how such television programs and the media influence our perception of crime. In a final paragraph of approximately 150 words, students will reflect upon the impact of the media, public perception, and crime-solving.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 4: Students will create a mini-process-analysis children’s book. They will create a character who needs to know something, and they will then explain the process to that character. Students will mimic a particular writing style to explain the process. For example, a student may explain how to tie a shoe in the style of Shakespeare, how to drive a car in the style of Poe, how to bake a cake in the style of Dr. Seuss, or how to upload music to an mp3 player in the style of Yoda. There are a seemingly limitless number of possibilities for students to explore writing a how-to as well as to explore author’s voice for audience and purpose. Students should make the book colorful and appropriate for their audience and purpose. Books should also be illustrated.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1*: Process-Analysis: Students will choose one of the suggested topics from page 163 of The Riverside Reader or students may substitute an approved topic to write a process-analysis essay. Topic possibilities are virtually limitless (completing a mechanical, artistic, or educational process, completing a job in an efficient yet unorthodox manner, analyzing the steps in a political, economic, or social process, analyzing common courtesies, etc.). Students will peer and teacher conference this piece to arrive at a piece that expresses appropriate voice for audience and purpose. Essays should be at least 500-700 words.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 5: After analyzing the photograph “Chinese Landscape Scroll”, students will choose an evocative photograph. In approximately 250 words, students will explain one of the following: (a) why is the picture worth 1000 words, or (b) why does it take 1000 words to explain the picture?

  • WRITING EXERCISE 6: Students will compare and contrast modern-day explorations and discoveries (for example, space) with explorations and discoveries of previous eras (for example, Columbus and Magellan). Students will write a journal entry of at least two pages reflecting on the validity of such exploration projects.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 2*: Comparison-Contrast: Students will choose one of the essay topics from page 243 in The Riverside Reader to write a comparison-contrast essay. Essays should be 500-700 words. This assignment allows students the option to compare-contrast a variety of people, places, things, or ideas. Students have the option to do peer/teacher reviews to make this piece appropriate for inclusion in their writing portfolio.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 7: In approximately 250 words, compare your favorite fictional character to a food.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 8: Using the information provided in the visual graphic “Cloud Chart”, students will write approximately 300 words discussing the metaphorical use of clouds in idioms, art, and literature (including song lyrics).

  • WRITING EXERCISE 9: Using humor, students will write a two-page journal entry to define how strange tools or difficult procedures were essential to completing a project.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 10: In approximately 250 words, students will demonstrate how a chosen technological device (elevator, microchip, etc.) has changed the course of human history.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 3*: Division/Classification: Students will choose either topic number 1, 4, or 5 from page 334 in The Riverside Reader and write a 500-700 word essay to classify their topics. Students have the option to classify a variety of concepts or ideas. Students may choose to have this piece undergo peer and teacher conferencing.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 4*: From The Riverside Reader, pg. 395, topic number one: Students will select a category of objects that can be illustrated with pictures or sketches to create a visual essay similar to that of Pizzi’s “Doorways”. Students will need to mention special features alongside advantages and disadvantages of each. The writing will undergo peer and teacher revision in order to produce a piece that qualifies for the writing portfolio.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 5*: Cause-Effect: From The Riverside Reader, pg. 471-473, students will choose either topics number 2, 3, or 5. These topics are related to fast food and obesity, recent innovations and lifestyle, and movies and culture. Students will have the option of using peer and teacher review to make this piece appropriate for the portfolio.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 11: Students will create a list of 10 items that should be preserved as artifacts for future archaeologists to discover. These items should reflect the behavior and beliefs of our culture. Students will write a two-sentence explanation for each item on the list.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 12: Students will choose a common cliché and will write approximately 250 words to develop the metaphor/simile in order to create a vivid, concrete image.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 6*: From The Riverside Reader, pg. 568, topic number 1: Students will write a persuasive argument paper about the state of the American dream. Students must have a clearly identifiable thesis statement and provide adequate support for their line of reasoning. If sources are used, appropriate MLA-style documentation is required. Essays should be 750-1000 words in length. Essays will undergo peer and teacher evaluation and revisions.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 7*: From The Riverside Reader, pg. 568, topic number 2: Students will write a persuasive argument paper outlining the literary merit, or lack thereof, for a popular author or fiction series (Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Danielle Steel, The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, etc.). Students must have a clearly identifiable thesis statement and provide adequate support for their line of reasoning. Essays should be 500-700 words in length. If sources are used, appropriate MLA-style documentation is required. Essays will undergo peer and teacher evaluation and revisions.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 8*: Students will read Stephen King’s essay “Now You Take Bambi or Snow White – That’s Scary” and will watch an excerpt from the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”. Students will discuss the idea of censoring what children watch and the movie ratings system. Students will brainstorm possibly inappropriate materials for young children and will include reasons why. Students will prepare a persuasive argument paper supporting or refuting the idea of censorship. Students will develop a valid thesis statement and will use adequate support to express their thoughts. Essays should be between 700-100 words in length. Students will have the option to have essays peer and teacher reviewed and to revise essays for inclusion in the portfolio.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 13: Students will brainstorm current science-fiction novels or movies, ones in which cloning or robotics are commonplace, and will list attributes common to these texts. Students will use this information to write a two-page journal entry comparing modern science-fiction to the texts of Brave New World, 1984, or Fahrenheit 451 (or similar text).

  • WRITING EXERCISE 14: Students will define a common household item in approximately 250-300 words. The audience is someone who has never seen the item before.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 15: Students will identify the “best” pet one could have. In approximately 300 words, students will defend their choice.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 9: Students will write an approach paper for the text If I Die in a Combat Zone. This paper will consist of six parts: a heading, a summary paragraph, character descriptions, discussion/essay questions, a key passage, and an explanation for the key passage. The summary paragraph must summarize the entire text in no more than six sentences. Students must include as much information as possible in these six sentences. For the character descriptions, students will choose five of the main characters and will describe these characters using a list of five words. Students will demonstrate the understanding that this is a nonfiction text and the characters are real people. Students will write three essay/discussion style questions. These questions should be similar in style to the Socratic seminar questions that are asked. Students do not have to answer these questions, only write them. Students will then identify what they see as the most important passage in the text, include it word-for-word identifying speakers. In one paragraph, students will then explain why this passage is important to the overall understanding of the text and will explain any implied or inferred themes presented by the passage.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 10: Students will create an annotated bibliography. Students will choose an area of interest and they will find at least one book, one periodical, and one web site to include in an annotated bibliography about that topic. Annotated bibliographies must include correct MLA-style documentation and a concise paragraph summarizing the source.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT11*: Students will prepare a historical analysis research paper. Students must choose a topic that has had a significant historical impact upon the United States. Students will develop a thesis statement and prepare an argumentative research paper to express their thoughts. Student topics must be teacher-approved and may not be ones that are worn-out. These topics must be fresh, innovative, and provide the student with the opportunity to add fresh insight into historical perspective. Students will research, prepare note cards, and prepare a 5 to 7 page research paper. Peer and teacher conferencing will occur before a final draft is submitted. Appropriate MLA-style documentation is required.

  • WRITING EXERCISE 16: Students will complete a nonfiction book reduction. In this activity, students will choose one of the nonfiction titles assigned this year and will write nine paragraphs about the book related to the following topics: topic, audience, purpose, details, diction, point of view, tone, organization, and final evaluation. Students must include quotations from the text to support their book evaluation. Students will be graded based on their use of quotations, examples, and commentary.

  • WRITING EXERCISES 17 & 18: During weeks 18 and 24, students will complete synthesis-style, timed essays.

  • ANNOTATIONS: Students will use the post-it note form of annotating the text of each text listed under the Required Major Readings for Transactive Writing/Reading as they read.

  • SOCRATIC SEMINAR: Students will participate in at least two Socratic seminars every four weeks related to the texts listed under the Required Major Reading heading of the Transactive Writing/Reading, as well as some of the smaller texts from The Riverside Reader.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 1: Students will complete a multiple choice test of 15-20 questions and will write an AP-style essay (in-class, timed writing) over the works listed under Required Major Reading. These assessments will occur at weeks 20, 25, and 31.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 2: During week 18, students will complete 25 multiple choice questions and will write 3 released item essays to (a) count as their semester exam, and (b) compare to the initial baseline established in week 2. The essays are in-class timed writings.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 3: Vocabulary – Students will continue vocabulary development exercises as explained previously.

  • ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT 4: Students will create a 3 minute podcast about a topic of their choice and will share with their classmates.

  • GROUP INDEPENDENT READING PROJECT: Students will be assigned their group projects during this time frame. Final, completed projects will be due during week 33. Students will be assigned to groups of 3 or 4, and groups will be assigned a nonfiction text from the following list. Each group will prepare a 45-minute presentation in regard to the assigned text. Each presentation requires the students to complete the following tasks: identify key quotations from the text and from the author and explain the significance, create a soundtrack for the text based on ten key scenes, create a 3-5 minute video based on a key scene, create a multimedia display for the text, identify the author’s style and use key passages to demonstrate the style, research the author and other interesting concepts related to the novel and compile in a group research notebook complete with MLA-style documentation, identify key vocabulary, identify and explain statements of theme, create a collage based on the book, compile author background information, create a persuasive advertisement in the form of a poster, a radio ad, or a travel brochure to encourage others to read the book, create a ten-question quiz based on the presentation, and maintain journal entries related to the project throughout the course of the project. Additionally, students will prepare a 1200 word essay in response to an open-ended AP-style question. This project will integrate components of the five strands of literacy as well as a variety of media formats and a variety of writing components. Students will be in a constant state of peer review while working with group members, in addition to periodic teacher review and conferencing. Possibilities for group assignments include the following texts:

    • Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger

    • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

    • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

    • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

    • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

    • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

    • Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

    • A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer

    • The Innocent Man by John Grisham

    • Lucky Man: A Memoir by Michael J. Fox

    • A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nassar

    • The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston

    • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

    • Isaac’s Storm by Erik Larson


Week 32-35: Reflective Writing/Reading


  • REQUIRED MAJOR READING: Students will continue with the independent reading group project novel which they were assigned. Students will present the group presentations during week 33.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1*: Students will complete a reflective piece of writing which ties together their growth as a writer with the five strands of literacy. The piece produced may be either a personal essay or letter. This piece will undergo workshop activities including peer review and teacher conferencing.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 2*: Students will have completed the requirements for the Kentucky Writing Portfolio, to include one personal or literary piece, one transactive piece, one transactive with analytical focus piece, and one reflective piece. The pieces included in the final portfolio will have undergone extensive peer and teacher reviews and conferencing, with many revisions and rewrites on the part of the student.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 3: Students will write four letters. The first is to an incoming AP-student to acclimate them to the class. Generalities must be backed up with specifics. This should be a one to two page letter and should be error-free. For letters two through four, students will brainstorm a list of 5 adults at our school to whom they are grateful. They will choose 3 of those to write to. In these letters, students will express their appreciation. Letters must be on stationary (no notebook paper, spiral paper, etc.), and must be handwritten. All letters should be error-free. These letters should be submitted in unsealed envelopes, and after being checked, letters two through four will be delivered either by the students or by me.


Week 36: Review Week


  • REQUIRED MAJOR READING: Students will continue with the independent reading group project novel which they were assigned.

  • WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1: Students will keep journal entries outlining their progress toward completion of (a) the Kentucky Writing Portfolio, and (b) the group independent reading project.



Additional Teacher Resources:

Odell, Lee, Richard Vacca, and Renee Hobbs, eds. Elements of Language, 5th



course. Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston: 2005


NOTE: Revisions may be made to this syllabus at the teacher’s discretion based on the needs of the class as well as upon any curricular changes mandated by local, state, or federal regulations or by expectations of College Board.


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