English Summer Reading Assignments-Grades 10-12

Ramsay High School
AP English Language and Composition
Summer Assignment 2015
AP English Language and Composition is a writing course. Rhetoric is the study of language and its
potential to express our own ideas and influence other people’s ideas. Rhetoric is concerned with the artful
structuring, voicing and expressing of ideas through words and sentences. In addition to being a traditional
composition course that focuses on rhetoric and grammar, this class will be structured thematically as a
progressive investigation of what it means to be human in the age of science and technology. While we are
going to take this journey together as a class, and read about and discuss many ideas, we will all learn to
discover and express our own individual ideas and opinions. We will agree on some points, and disagree
on others. We will learn to analyze and evaluate other writers’ positions and arguments and to either refute
them with our own contrasting views or to adopt, modify, and blend those arguments with our own personal
perspective. We will join the centuries-old conversation about who we are as human beings and what
matters most about being human, and how that is expressed in the art of writing. Most importantly, we will
learn to pay attention to what other people think, consider their ideas seriously and respectfully, and to
shape our own ideas in response, using these centuries-old rhetorical methods. We will learn to “hold our
own” among intellectuals (including each other), especially when we are writing for an academic audience.
Assignment I: Readings
Due Date First Day of School
You will read two novels this summer: an archetypical American novel, and one text from what is often
called the “other literature,” that is the nonfiction genre. The assigned texts are:
1. In Cold Blood- Truman Capote
2. Freakonomics Levitt & Dubner’s
You will need to procure your own copies, for in this class we practice annotating texts—requiring you to
write, in blue or black ink, and within the margins, your reactions to the text. Your annotations prove that
you have been involved intellectually with the text and the ideas. Do not expect your annotations to be
perfect or sophisticated yet; but instead, strive to get involved in the intellectual journey and to record your
involvement by your annotations. Your annotating skills will improve as the year progresses. This is just the
start of your AP Language journey, for as the father of personal essay writing, Michael de Montaigne,
explains: annotations are the record of your understanding at the time of the reading—more valuable than
the actual text being annotated. As a reward for making sincere efforts to annotate your reactions, these
texts will be submitted for an annotation grade.
So, what do you annotate? Reactions. Your reactions. Your reactions to character comments, use of
symbols, settings, conflicts, aphorisms, reflections, possible themes, editorial comments of the narrator.
Your annotations should NOT be summaries, but reflections, references, observations, personal
epiphanies. In other words, they are an ink trail of your interaction with and analysis of the texts. Annotating
is a key skill for optimal success in this class and in your future collegiate studies.
Be prepared to discuss these texts during the first two weeks of school, to beef up your annotations, and to
both answer multiple-choice questions and write a variety of essays (like those described in the above
“Overview”) addressing the rhetorical strategies, points of view, and abstract truths of the selected works.
Assignment II: Current Events
(Due the first day of class)
To begin to create a foundation of examples and ideas to support the arguments you will be asked to make,
you need to read reputable newspaper, (or news magazine) articles. Read newspaper articles from The
New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, The Economist, Time, Newsweek, or
weeklies of similar quality. You may also access local and national newspapers for articles.
You will need to read a total of 10 articles (one-two a week through the end of the summer. Please keep up
with this assignment. The dates of the articles must be spread out. In other words, do not read all 10 the
week before you return to school. Choose articles that relate to current, global, national and local events
equally. Sports articles do NOT count.
- Author. “Title of Article.” Newspaper Name. Date: page number. Type (Pint or Web).
- Main points (list)
- SOAPSTone –Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject and Tone
- Your response
Assignment III
(Due the first day of class)
Essay Prompts-(250-300 words)-Choose one writing prompt.
Your response should be a minimum of 300 words (1.5 pages typed) words and must include both
properly blended & cited quotations from the novel to support your response.
Prompt 1: In Levitt & Dubner’s Freakonomics, the writers use anecdotes full of statistical research to
explore cause and affect relationships. A unifying theme in the text is the claim that “conventional wisdom
is often wrong.”
Based on your reading, observation and/or experience, argue whether or not Levitt and Dubner’s statement
is true. Use evidence from Freakonomics to support your argument.
Prompt 2: In Cold Blood
Explain how Capote builds suspense despite the fact that readers know the ultimate outcome from the
beginning of In Cold Blood?
Ramsay High School
Advanced English 10
Summer Assignment 2015
This course examines the multilingual and multiethnic development of early American literature
and culture including African American and Native American authors. We will try to understand
how multiple traditions and forms in American literature emerged from the contest and of
different languages and genres. Readings reflect a wide spectrum of expression including Native
American oral narratives, chronicles of the European conquest of America captivity and slave
narratives, poetry, letters, autobiographical writings, and fiction. Throughout the course, we
analyze how these works engaged recurring themes and problems such as language difference,
conquest, captivity, slavery, race, sexuality, gender, and nationhood.
Assignment: Dialectical Journal
Due Date First Day of School
You will read and annotate The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglas this summer: You will need to
procure your own copy
Dialectical Journal: Watch the Youtube Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaPSyxibs-Q on
creating a Dialectical Journal. Using the template provided (Make as many copies as necessary to
complete the entire book). You should have NO LESS THAN 16 entries with comments being 4 to 6
sentences each.
Dialectical Journal Template
In the first column: Write down a direct quote from the text
In the second column: cite the page (p.23)
In the third column: Explain why you selected this quotation. Why is it significant? How does it relate to the entirety of
the text?
Quotation From the Text
Ramsay High School
Advanced English 11
Summer Assignment 2015
The primary purpose of English 11 is to provide an opportunity for students to expand their critical
thinking and writing skills by focusing on some of the challenging material of American Literature. The
course is similar to English 10 in the dissection of literature in the pursuit of analysis but the class will
cover more material and the expectation of the student’s performance is much higher. We will also look
at the history of American Literature and explore themes that are unique to the American Experience
such as The American Dream and the creation of the American Character. Reading in this class will
correspond with the U.S. History class.
Assignment: Reading/Viewing
Due Date First Day of School
You will read the play Death of a Salesman this summer. You will need to procure your own copy.
The recent film version starring Dustin Hoffman differs from the staged version in having numerous sets.
View and take notes on the film version of Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller, the play’s author, argues that “the media of film in itself
changes the play.” In a well-organized essay compare the filmed version to
the staged version described in your book. In your essay explain ways the
film resembles the stage play and argue whether or not Miller’s ideas about
the play and the film are true.
Ramsay High School
British Literature
Summer Assignment 2015
British Literature covers the major periods of Great Britain’s literature from the Anglo-Saxon
and Medieval periods, into the Elizabethan era, then to the Victorians and ending with the
modern era. In addition, this course prepares students for the exit level, high-stakes tests in
Communication Arts. Students will develop and improve their reading, writing, and thinking
skills through close reading and written literary analysis.
Due Date First Day of School
You will read and annotate A Doll’s House this summer: You will need to procure your own copy
Background and Criticism
Henrik Ibsen's plays anticipate major developments of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries:
the individual's feelings of alienation and actual alienation from society,
the pressures by which society insures conformity to its values and suppresses individuality,
the barriers which modern life sets up against living heroically.
A Doll´s House (1879) was a social drama, which caused a sensation and toured Europe and America.
A Doll’s House is about a woman who refuses to obey her husband and walks out from her apparently
perfect marriage, her life in the "doll's house."
At the turn-of-the-century physicians used Nora, whose mood changes from joy to depression in short
cycles of time, as an example of "female hysteria." Later, critic, Havelock Ellis, inspired by Nora's
character, saw in her "the promise of a new social order." In a well-organized essay argue whether or not
A Doll House is a feminist text.