AP Literature Syllabus

AP Literature and Composition Syllabus
Mrs. Collins-Stevens
Room D233
Email: [email protected]
Course Description: This course is designed to be a college level course and is consistent with a
typical undergraduate university English course. An Advanced Placement Course in English
Literature and Composition requires the close, careful reading of literature, the critical analysis of
literature, and writing of compositions about the reading. At the end of the course (May), you will
take the AP English Literature and Composition Exam. If you receive a grade of 3 or above on the
exam, you will most likely be granted college credit at most colleges in the US.
Course Goals:
1. to read closely and carefully a variety of selections representative of all genres and periods
(sixteenth to twentieth centuries) of literature 2. to interpret and discuss your reading of the literature 3. to quickly organize, develop, draft, edit and write an essay 4. to consider a work’s structure, style, and themes as well as it’s uses of figurative language,
imagery, symbolism, tone, diction, syntax, etc. 5. to understand a work’s complexity 6. to write for understanding, explanation, and analysis 7. to consider the social and historical values a work reflects and embodies. Course Requirements:
1. Complete all of the reading as it is required. You must be prepared to discuss and/or write
about the literature.
2. Bring a 2 inch, 3 ring binder to class with you EVERY DAY. You will need dividers to split
your binder into sections for reading (literature notes), writing (essays), grammar, and
vocabulary/literary terms. There will be notebook checks for a grade each marking period.
3. Complete writing assignments in a timely fashion. Essays are due on a particular day! No
assignments will be accepted late! 4. You will be required to do at least 5 outside reading assignments and complete an “AP essay”
for each one. 5. You will be required to complete a timed, in-class writing assignment AT LEAST every other
week. These will be formal and extended analysis of literature. This will prepare you for
the timed essays on the AP Exam.
6. You will use every writing assignment to practice the composition skills that you will need to
have in order to do well on the AP Literature Exam. You will write literary commentaries,
timed essays, and short formal papers to develop your skills. 7. You will be responsible for completing assignments for the “Allusion Workshop.” (Explanation
for Allusion Workshops to come)
8. We will read dozens of poems along with at least five works of literature. 9. You will have frequent opportunities to write and rewrite formal, extended analyses and timed,
in-class responses. You will receive instruction and feedback on writing assignments that
help you develop.
You must have a Three-ring Binder, dividers, a folder, loose leaf paper, a blue or black
pen, and a pencil with you in class each day.
Grading System:
% Distribution
Class Work
Sample Texts
Novels: Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson, Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, Things Fall Apart, by
Chinua Achebe, The World According to Garp, by John Irving, The Bluest Eye, by Toni
Morrison, One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, House of the Spirits, by
Isabel Allende, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy, The
Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Plays: Julius Caesar, by Shakespeare, King Lear by Shakespeare, Richard III, by Shakespeare
Short Stories: (One short story per week will be given for homework, with a short writing
assignment – focusing on analysis of diction, syntax, voice, tone, etc.) And of Clay Are We
Created, by Isabel Allende, The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, Young Goodman Brown, by
Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hills Like White Elephants, by Ernest Hemingway, The Story of an Hour,
by Kate Chopin, Eveline, by James Joyce, The Reckoning, by Edith Wharton, The Open Boat, by
Stephen Crane, The Bet, by Anton Chekhov, Charles, by Shirley Jackson, Rocking Horse Winner,
by Lawrence
Poems: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Because I Could Not Stop
for Death, by Emily Dickinson
, She Walks In Beauty, by Lord Byron
, A Solitary Reaper, by
William Wordsworth, Ode on a Grecian Urn, by John Keats, Dover Beach, by Matthew Arnold,
The Broken Heart, by John Donne, Mending Wall, by Robert Frost, Berry Picking, by Irving
, How Do I Love Thee, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Vocabulary and grammatical instruction: throughout the year, in correspondence with the
literature studied.
Allusion Workshop –literature contains extensive allusions to Biblical and mythological stories.
Students will find the Biblical passage or mythological writing, summarize it, and then find an
allusion to that story in a piece of classic literature.
Allusion – an implied or direct reference to another literary work or event in history in literature.
Two sources from which writers, especially poets, draw many allusions and metaphors are the Bible
and the ancient classical writings (mainly Greek and Roman). A knowledge of the characters and
stories contained in the Bible and the body of myths and legends will add appreciably to the
enjoyment and learning of good literature of all kinds. From the very beginning of the literary
canon, writers have borrowed characters, plots, and themes from these sources.
One of our ongoing units of study this year will be an Allusion Workshop. You will be required
to read an assigned literary work. Then, based on your reading, you will submit a typed report that
contains the following:
• Name of the story • MLA style • Cite the publication or internet site on which you found the myth or story • A 50 word critique on sources of conflict and their significance • A 100 word commentary on the themes of the work. Remember, commentary means that you
will express your INFORMED opinion. It means that you have the ability to
EVALUATE the IDEAS in the text. Whether you lover or hate the story, be a clear and
articulate critic and tell of the aspects of the story that elicit such a reaction. • 30 points (A+) Awesome. Filled with thoughtful and thought provoking criticism and
commentary on thematic textual ideas using extensive evidence from events of the plot.
Satisfies all of the requirements and more. Identifies a piece of literature in which the
allusion is utilized. • 27 points (A) very good. Satisfies all of the requirements. Effective and thoughtful analysis of
the theme and plot. Responsible commentary. Does not connect to another text. • 24 points (B) a fair effort. Thin on the word requirement. Oversimplified analysis and
commentary on theme. Lacks sufficient evidence. • 21 points (C) a poor card that shows lack of effort and thought; lazy. • 15 points (F) no citation for the work. A mockery of AP work.
1. Plan to stay in the classroom once you have arrived, and come prepared. Do not ask for a
bathroom, drink, or locker pass.
2. You may not have your cellphone or any other device out in class.
3. You may drink in class, but may not bring food of any kind into the classroom.
4. You must be on time to class. If you are late, make sure that you have a valid pass. If you
come late to class with a pass, please do not disrupt the class. Come into the room quietly
and have a seat.
5. It is YOUR responsibility to make up work after an absence. You may ask me for
makeup work after class, NOT during class. You may also check my website to see what
you missed.
6. I check my email often. Please email me with any questions or to schedule an appointment
to meet in person.
7. Please understand that in an AP level course, there will be outside work required and up to
an hour of homework given each night.
I have read the entire syllabus and understand what is required of me/my child.
Parent Signature:________________________________________
Scholar Signature: _______________________________________
Tentative Units (These may not be studied in order given and anything is subject to change):
1. The Search for Identity – scholars will understand that personal values, interests, goals
and insights are the elements that shape personal identity, and will analyze these elements.
They will examine whether identity is created or innate, and how authors effectively
express a character’s inner conflict. Scholars will read The Kite Runner, by Khaled
Hosseini, as well as numerous poems, such as “As I Grew Older” by Langston Hughes,
“Alone” by Maya Angelou, “A Dialogue of Self and Soul” by Yeats, “The Road Not
Taken” by Robert Frost, “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” by Emily Dickenson, and “Song
of Myself” by Walt Whitman. The unit will focus on the effects of point of view, style,
and tone, how to effectively discuss literary texts, a review of rhetorical strategies, analysis
of narrative and literary techniques for characterization, and exploration of authors’
attitudes in texts.
2. The Nature of Good and Evil and the Power of Perception – Scholars will understand
that characters are in situations that force them to choose or act morally or immorally.
Our laws or culture codes usually determine our actions or inactions, and the way we look
at different situations. Our cultural codes and moral values surface when we read and
examine literature. One’s reaction to a character’s choices helps him understand his own
moral code and how he perceives the world. Scholars will read The Bluest Eye, by Toni
Morrison, and poems such as “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron, “To His Coy
Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, “A Prayer For My Daughter” by Yeats, “I Wandered
Lonely As a Cloud” by Wordsworth, “Beauty” by Tennyson, and “Believe Me, If All
Those Endearing Young Charms” by Thomas Moore. The unit will focus on character
analysis, the analysis of cultural codes, and the different ways humans perceive beauty.
3. Conformity and Rebellion – Scholars will understand that power struggles, and collisions
of moral systems are intrinsic elements of human nature. Scholars will examine the
ongoing struggle between the inertia of conformity and the challenges and promises of
rebellion. Scholars will read Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, and poems such as “Power of
Love” by Anne Bronte, “To Be Alive is Power” by Emily Dickenson, “Sonnet 39” by
Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The unit will focus on character traits, and the motivation of
the author, reader and protagonist.
4. Family Relationships – scholars will understand that conflict is an inevitable part of
familial relationships, and examine whether individuals can ever truly connect with one
another, what are the boundaries of love and sacrifice and where does one draw the line
between them. Scholars will read The World According to Garp, by John Irving and The
Color of Water, by James McBride, and/or The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy, and
poems such as “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore
Roethke, “Human Family” by Maya Angelou, “Those Winter Sundays” by Hayden,
“Daddy” by Sylvia Plath, and “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night” by Thomas.
The unit will focus on the definition of family and the various sensitive issues surrounding
family relationships.
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