AP English and Special Topics
Mrs. Kathy Saunders

Textbook provided:
Prentice Hall: British Literature
Perrine: Literature, Sound and Sense

This is a year-long course that will incorporate Graduation Project requirements with AP Literature and Composition study.

By the end of this course students should be a mastery level for the following:
Students in Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition will engage in the careful reading and critical analysis of imaginative literature. Through the close reading of selected texts, students should deepen their understanding of the ways writers use language to provide both meaning and pleasure to their readers. As they read, students should consider a work's structure, style, and themes as well as such smaller-scale elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone.

This class will use this website and a classroom wiki for activities. Assignments will be posted on the website icon as well as the parent/student planner on the class wiki. In addition, you will be asked to provide a complete list of novels read on the classroom wiki with the author and brief plot summary for each.

Please navigate through the links on this icon to locate information, the syllabus, the monthly planner, and the wiki link.

*All materials for class are to be typed.
We will use all textbooks, including Perrine's and Prentice Hall throughout the year.
Please be mindful of your textbook; it is your responsibility. Textbooks are not to be left in the classroom. Lost textbooks are about $35 to replace.

Typical class week is comprised of the following:
Monday: Vocabulary introduction, Graduation Project planning, prose discussion, new literature, poetry chapter for the week
Tuesday: Vocabulary, Graduation Project planning, Shakespeare Act of current selection
Wednesday: Vocabulary, Graduation Project planning, Poetry Chapter
Thursday: Vocabulary, Graduation Project planning, literary assessment, poetry review
Friday: Vocabulary quiz, AP M/C assessment and/or AP Essay.
Fall Selections/Authors (tentative):
Beowulf: Construct a boast use proper syllabication, alliteration and devices of an epic proportion
Geoffrey Chaucer: Consider impact of author on British literature
The Canterbury Tales: Analyze The Pardoner's Tale and synthesize cultural impact.
Sir Thomas Mallory: Arthurian literature and ties to culture
The Pearl Poet: Poetic devices in Arthurian legend and consideration of chivalry.
Arthurian Legend: Synthesize two literary works for emphasis on culture and author's style.
William Shakespeare
Sonnets: Integrated in poetry
Plays: We will read one act per week of the following:
King Lear
The plays will explore the nature of the tragic hero in relation to both Greek literature and present day writings.
The Graduation Project requirements for fall semester are:
Paper, Product, Portfolio, and Presentation
Your timelines and due dates are found on this website under the Graduation Project icon.
Graduation Project will account for your final exam at 25% of your final grade. Graduation Project targets will count as in-class grades during the semester.
Classwork 20%
Homework 20%
Quiz 40%
Exam/ Project 40%
Spring Semester :
Classwork 10%
Notebook 10 %
Homework 20%
Quizzes 20%
Projects/Exams 40%
Homework assignments will be incur a late penalty. Please navigate the website for rules/expectations, supply lists and assignment notifications.


Welcome to AP Literature and Composition. Since this semester-long class follows English IV, you are well acquainted with my hopes for and expectations of you as students. In this class we will be analyzing literature from the point of view of both the writer and the reader. One goal will be to determine how literature affects those of us who read it and to examine how literary works fit into their own time periods as well as into our own.
One of the primary methods of instruction will be the use of discussion (both in large and small groups). For our purposes it is important to continue to develop a healthy respect for the expressed ideas of others. Please come prepared to state your opinions using specific evidence from the readings to support your thinking; then listen attentively and respectfully to others who may express another point of view. Collaboration, collegiality, and growth are the focus for us all.
We will be writing often – on average weekly – creating literary analyses, character studies, and critical essays in class. Rewrites are welcome – and expected! I will provide opportunities for individual writing conferences and for peer evaluation. In addition, short reflective writings and informal research will take place outside of class. Your reading response journal will provide an opportunity for you to “think” on paper prior to class discussion of an assignment.
It is the student’s responsibility to prepare in advance for the material being considered each day. I look forward to working together on this challenging and exciting curriculum.

Assessment is done primarily through essays; however, some quizzes are given (including weekly vocabulary quizzes) and your response journals will be evaluated periodically. Issues of grammar and mechanics will be addressed as needed in the form of mini-lessons.
In-class essays will be graded using a nine-point rubric, while outside assignments may be evaluated using rubrics developed specifically for that task. In any case, your writing will be evaluated based upon the following core criteria:
Clear focus upon the question at hand
Effective organization
Varied and effective sentence structure
Scholarly word choice
Thorough support and elaboration
Excellence of argument
Students are required to revise one in-class essay per month; however, you are welcome to revise more often if you choose to do so.
Prior to class discussions, students will prepare written responses to focus questions. This process is intended to provide time for students to think independently in preparation for class dialogue.
Each student is responsible for maintaining a complete portfolio of all writing assignments in the classroom.
Arp, Thomas R. and Greg Johnson. Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense 9th ed.
Boston: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006.
Supplementary Materials:
How to Read Literature Like a Professor Thomas C. Foster
Mythology Edith Hamilton
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
Hamlet William Shakespeare
Antigone Sophocles
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde
January 20 – February 16, 2012
Poetry Study:
Students will read chapters of Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense to examine various poetic elements and their application to insightful literary analysis. We will examine specific poems in class in preparation for seminars. Seminars will focus upon poetry as genre and address:
Poetic language as it contributes to meaning
Development of theme and tone
Effect of musical devices upon the reader
Written responses:
The following in-class essays are presented using AP essay format. They are evaluated using the nine-point AP scale. Individual conferences, class discussion, and/or small groups will focus upon strengths and weaknesses of individual pieces. Students are required to rewrite at least ONE essay.
Analysis of imagery as it informs tone in poetry
Compare/Contrast two poems considering elements such as point of view, imagery, and structure
The following essays are to be completed outside of class. Students are provided with a rubric at the time the assignment is given. In addition, class time for questions and problem solving is provided at intervals.
Read and analyze a number of poems by a single poet of student choice, discussing the poet’s characteristic themes and techniques.
Optional creative assignment for extra credit: Write an original poem employing the same techniques used by a poet, thereby creating a work that resembles that poet’s style but reflects the students own theme or point of view
Independent Assignment:
Students will read Edith Hamilton’s Mythology to cement their knowledge of Greek gods and major myths and to enhance understanding of allusion. Students may either answer study questions or develop an independent project with teacher approval to demonstrate mastery of this material.
Short Fiction:
Students will maintain a reading response journal focusing on reading strategies to evaluate and analyze the effectiveness of a variety of short stories. Relevant readings from How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster will be assigned in conjunction with these shorter works. Class discussions based on this assignment are scheduled weekly.
Evaluating Fiction
January 28, 2012 “The Child by Tiger” Thomas Wolfe
February 4, 2012 “The Most Dangerous Game” Richard Connell
Point of View
February 11, 2012 “Paul’s Case” Willa Cather
February 18, 2012 “Hills Like White Elephants” Ernest Hemingway
Plot and Structure
March 18, 2012 “The Destructors” Graham Greene
March 11, 2012 “Miss Brill” Katherine Mansfield
February 25, 2012 “Gooseberries” Anton Chekhov
March 4, 2012 “A Worn Path” Eudora Welty
Symbol and Fantasy
March 31, 2012 “The Rockinghorse Winner” D.H. Lawrence
April 15, 2012 “The Guest” Albert Camus
February 18 – April 12, 2012
February 18 – March 8, 2012 Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
Students will establish context by completing a webquest exploring the history and effects of 19th Century European colonialism
Overarching topics to be explored in journal form while reading and discussing the novel include the following:
Identify and trace both the literal and figurative journeys evident in the novel.
Consider this novel as a “journey through hell.” To what extent do students agree / disagree with this assessment?
Locate and evaluate the effectiveness of such literary devices as allusion, irony, paradox, and repetition.
Identify themes and connect them to other pieces of literature.
Note the unique use of the terms white and black, darkness and light and explore the significance of these words to the work.
Auxiliary Materials:
Selected segments from King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild.
“White Lies and Whited Sepuchres in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness” by Phillip V. Allingham.
Written responses:
An exercise in examining multiple points of view to evaluate character – This pre-writing exercise is designed to facilitate close reading of the novel. Keyed to the Dover edition, this assignment directs students to appropriate portions of the novel in order to collect evidence for an in-class essay, which follows.
Students use the prewriting exercise to examine the effect of the treatment of Kurtz’s character on the theme of deception that pervades the novel. Evaluation is based on the nine-point AP rubric. Individual conferences, class discussion, and/or small groups will focus upon strengths and weaknesses of individual pieces. Students are required to revise and resubmit this essay.
March 8 – April 12, 2012 Hamlet William Shakespeare
Students will maintain a reading response journal to structure the study of drama. The teacher will provide instructions for specific segments that focus upon:
The use of dialogue to create suspense
The place of setting in creating mood and atmosphere
The device of the ghost
A study of text and subtext
Paraphrase of important soliloquies
Various relationships within the drama
These journal responses will form the basis of our class discussion for this study.

Written responses:
Students are provided with rubrics for each piece as it is assigned. In-class essays are graded using the AP nine-point scale; in all cases, writing should be well organized and insightful with rich elaboration in support of the student’s point of view. Word choice should be specific and reflect a growing ability to control language in a scholarly manner.
Rubrics specific to the following essays are provided at the time of assignment.
Create an interior monologue for major characters as the “Mousetrap” scene unfolds to reveal an understanding of that character’s motivations and personality.
Analyze of that same scene from a feminist perspective
The following essays are presented in AP exam format and graded using the nine-point AP rubric. Individual conferences, class discussion, and/or small groups will focus upon strengths and weaknesses of individual pieces. Students are required to rewrite at least ONE essay.
An in-class essay analyzing the effect of the Ghost upon the development of the drama
An in-class essay explicating the motif of false appearances.
The final activity associated with Hamlet is a seminar in which students present the perspectives developed in their writing.
Independent Assignment:
Students will read Antigone by Sophocles and explore in writing the following ideas as they relate to this ancient Greek drama:
Identify the characteristics of Greek tragedy and analyze the play as a classic example of the form
Research Greek burial rituals and explain their connection to the central conflict
Identify three themes with specific support from the text
A rubric structured around the components listed above is provided for students at the time the assignment is made. Class time for discussion, questions, and problem solving is provided at intervals.
April 20 – May 5, 2012
Independent Assignment: The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde
Students will complete a number of activities (chosen at teacher discretion) from The Learning Center curriculum unit to identify epigram as an effective literary device, differentiate between comedy of manners and contemporary comedy, and analyze the power of language.
Students will be provided with a rubric focusing upon characterization, epigram, and tone as they contribute to comedy of manners. After viewing a video presentation of the play, students will write a review of the production focusing upon those three elements.

April 20 – 29, 2012 Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
Students will serve as resources to each other by completing a variety of teacher-designed activities to analyze this novel. Findings will be presented to the rest of the class. Ten (10) separate assignments address social issues, the literal and figurative aspects of journey, imagery, authorial experience as it parallels character experience, creative writing as personal response to the novel, motivation for and consequences of Janie’s choice of spouses, written responses to literary criticism, setting as “character,” and interior monologues to reveal character. Each activity contains an individual rubric to assist students as they prepare to teach their classmates.
Written responses will include a timed essay in response to an appropriate open question from previous AP exams. These responses are graded using the nine-point AP rubric.
April 26 – May 5, 2012 Exam “Boot Camp”
Daily preparation for the AP Exam to include sample objective tests, brainstorming responses to past open questions, timed writings. Students will write three essays from previous exams in class. Each essay will be graded using the nine-point AP evaluation. Individual conferences, peer review, and class discussion will follow each written assignment. Students are to revise one essay for reassessment. This final essay counts as one test grade.
May , 2012 - Exam