Pre-ap freshman English for 2015-2016 Dear Parents and Students

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Pre-AP Freshman English for 2015-2016

Dear Parents and Students,

The English Department at Jenks Freshman Academy is offering Pre-Advanced Placement English 9 to all qualified freshmen for the fall of 2014. The classes will offer accelerated curriculum; in addition, the Pre-AP course description means that the course will focus strongly on those skills and concepts that the College Board recommends for success in college and beyond. These skills include close reading, literary analysis, rhetorical analysis and writing. When colleges review applications for admission and scholarships, they see the Pre-AP course designation, and know the curriculum the student has completed.

Pre-Advanced Placement English 9 is more demanding than a traditional English 9 class, and students are expected to devote more time and energy to it than they would to standard English 9. Because of summer reading and additional writing expectations, we are asking students and their parent(s) to read and discuss the following description carefully.

Vocabulary and Homework:

ACT and SAT vocabulary is intensive in the Pre-AP classroom as preparation for college exams. Students should expect to study regularly for increasingly difficult vocabulary study. Homework will be frequent and sometimes demanding; most assigned reading will be done outside of class. Assignments may be given on weekends and holidays.

Summer Reading:

The novel selections will be announced. The students will pick up their summer reading assignment prior to the end of the school year from their eighth grade English teacher. The assignment will be available March 4th, and it is the student’s responsibility to pick up the assignment from his or her current teacher or counselor. It will also be posted on the school’s website.

Novels, Short Stories, Non-fiction and Poetry:

This year freshmen will be studying genres of literature and modes of writing. Titles of novels, poetry, short stories, and nonfiction pieces will relate to this curriculum.


Students will have frequent writing assignments emphasizing analytical, persuasive, expository and argumentative styles. Writing will include paragraph assignments, short essay assignments, and at least one processed essay every quarter which requires research. Outside assignments must be typed and submitted to Students will also participate in on-line discussion boards so they need to be prepared to use the computer regularly and should have their Chromebook with them every day.

Pre-AP Policy Concerning Late Work:

Only under extreme circumstances is late work accepted in Pre-AP classes. If a student will not be attending school on the day a major assignment is due, he or she should arrange to have the assignment brought to the teacher in time for the class period. It is vital that students on the AP track learn to juggle their work load and complete required elements on time. Consistent late work leads to low grades and affects student learning.


There is no fee to enroll in Pre-AP English 9. However, students will be required to purchase approximately 3 novels, including the summer reading selection. If this poses an undue financial burden on any student, accommodations will be made.

Late Enrollees:

Students enrolling any date prior to August 1 will be held accountable for the summer reading assignment. Those enrolling after August 1 will have two weeks to complete the assignment.

If you would like to enroll in Pre-Advanced Placement English 9 , click on the link below to fill out a digital contract. This form must be completed and on file before you will be allowed to enroll in the course. If the form is not returned, you will be enrolled in an English 9 class. If you have any questions concerning this program, please contact:

Emily Stewart:

After you have read this document, including the Summer Reading Assignment, please click hereto approve enrollment in this course.

Jenks Freshman Academy English Department and Advanced Placement Vertical Team

2015 Pre-AP Freshman English

Summer Reading Assignment

Welcome to Pre-AP English 9! We are looking forward to seeing you in August at the Freshman Academy prepared to have a great year! Your summer reading selections are all exciting and thought-provoking narrative nonfiction selections. Please consult with your parents; choose one from the following (a brief synopsis of each text is provided):

  • I Am Malala Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

  • The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Selections may be found in either print or electronic form at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, other bookstores, and public libraries. We have contacted Barnes at Noble at 71st and Memorial, and they will have mass quantities available. It is imperative that the student bring a copy of the book, either electronic or print, to school the first few weeks of school.

Practice annotating your text. This may be your first experience in the close reading of a book. You will need a highlighter and a pen/pencil, or post it notes (if you can’t write in your book). Merely highlighting doesn’t act as annotation. When you annotate your text, you are actively engaging with the text by noting details relating to specific ideas. In this case, you are encouraged to highlight important moments of plot, vivid characterization, development of theme, moments of conflict, and how this all sets the tone.
After highlighting a quote, you now annotate or “comment and connect” on the passage. For example,

  • Is there an interesting character trait being emphasized? If so, comment.

  • Is a certain theme being developed in this passage? If so, make connections.

You will want to come to school that first day with an arsenal of thought-provoking passages to enable you to participate well in the group discussions.
Annotations are not required, but they will help prepare you for the in-class essay writing the first week of school and the subsequent project.
Should you have any questions, please contact the Freshman Academy office at (918)299-4415 ext. 2269. See you in the fall! Emily Stewart

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

"I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday."

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

This title is an international bestseller. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer whose cancer cells taken without her knowledge became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human tissue grown in culture, HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the effects of the atom bomb; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta herself remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey in search of Henrietta's story, from the ‘coloured’ ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live, and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Full of warmth and questing intelligence, astonishing in scope and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.

The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

Two kids with the same name lived in the same decaying city. One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Here is the story of two boys and the journey of a generation.

In December 2000, the Baltimore Sun ran a small piece about Wes Moore, a local student who had just received a Rhodes Scholarship. The same paper also ran a series of articles about four young men who had allegedly killed a police officer in a spectacularly botched armed robbery. The police were still hunting for two of the suspects who had gone on the lam, a pair of brothers. One was named Wes Moore.
Wes just couldn’t shake off the unsettling coincidence, or the inkling that the two shared much more than space in the same newspaper. After following the story of the robbery, the manhunt, and the trial to its conclusion, he wrote a letter to the other Wes, now a convicted murderer serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. His letter tentatively asked the questions that had been haunting him: Who are you? How did this happen?
That letter led to a correspondence and relationship that have lasted for several years. Over dozens of letters and prison visits, Wes discovered that the other Wes had had a life not unlike his own: Both had grown up in similar neighborhoods and had had difficult childhoods, both were fatherless; they’d hung out on similar corners with similar crews, and both had run into trouble with the police. At each stage of their young lives they had come across similar moments of decision, yet their choices would lead them to astonishingly different destinies.
Told in alternating dramatic narratives that take readers from heart-wrenching losses to moments of surprising redemption, The Other Wes Moore tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed.

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

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