AP Lit: Summer Reading Assignments

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ELA AP SUMMER Reading Assignment

Overview

Welcome to AP English Literature and Composition!  Incoming AP Literature students are required to read several books over the summer in preparation for the course and subsequent AP exam. One portion of the AP exam, the Free Response essay, demands that students have a wide range of challenging literary works on which they can draw when writing that essay. The goal of this summer’s reading, however, is not only to prepare you for the exam, but also to initiate you into the conversation about ideas through books by both contemporary and classic authors.

AP Literature is college; it is not a preparation for college. If you are looking for ways around this reading assignment, you should not enroll in this class.

Students who do not complete the summer reading and assignments—all of it, as spelled out by these guidelines—will not be eligible to take the course.

Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions.  I will respond within 48 hours.  Enjoy your summer!

Requirements

Each student must do the following:

•     Purchase copies of the books listed below before leaving for summer vacation (library, bookstore, online, etc.).

•     Read all books, taking notes and annotating (see annotation instructions attached) to advance your interpretation of the literary works.  Each book will be checked for annotation.

•     Purchase, read, and annotate How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. (ISBN-10: 006000942X) Note: There are many used copies of this book on Amazon.com for only a couple dollars.

•     Complete Novel Notes (instructions attached) for each novel.

•     Create a visual presentation (e.g., PowerPoint, poster, video) about three literary devices used in both fiction titles and how they help to move the story forward (see attached literary project sheet). Oral presentations will be scheduled during the first two weeks of school.

•     Share with the class your literary project.

•     Write an in-class essay on the books in which you use the ideas from Foster’s book as a guide to analyze the literature you read.

•     Due Friday of the first week of school.

Major Literary Works Required Reading

The following books comprise a conversation that should take place between you, the authors, and their characters. The books share a common idea that should be clear enough by the time you finish reading them. While there is no required order, you might consider reading Foster’s book first as a way of preparing to read the two novels.

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God  by Zora Neale Thurston (ISBN-10: 0061120065)
  • The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson (ISBN-10: 1463545541)

Required Summer Reading Annotation:

Throughout the year, it is expected that you thoroughly annotate the texts to fully understand their complexities. If you are unfamiliar with annotating texts, please note the following guidelines:

Annotating is NOT simply underlining, highlighting, and circling words or lines of text. Annotating is a two step process that requires you to first recognize significant details in the book and then have a conversation with the text about the significance of those details. Your questions, comments, insights, and opinions about the story and author’s style are crucial to the annotation process. Simply marking in the text without contributing your own ideas is not acceptable.

Step 1: Use pencils, pens, post-its to mark your novel annotate and have a conversation with the text

Things to mark or make note of in your text:

  • Mark anything that you think is confusing, interesting, surprising, or important
  • Note passages that generate a strong positive or negative response
  • How does the writer present the argument and prove it?
  • What is the writer’s argument and tone and how are these achieved?
  • Analyze the diction (word choice) and syntax (sentence structure) used to express point of view
  • Consider the writer’s purpose: to explain, to persuade, to describe, to entertain, to editorialize
  • Define any unknown terms
  • Also, consider any logical fallacies in the author’s arguments
  • Write connections between this text and other texts

NOVEL NOTES

AP English Literature and Composition

 

For each major work we read in class (novels and plays), write a report using the following format. Be sure you answer all the questions as completely as you can and still keep your answers brief and concise. Your responses should come from your own impressions after you read the work. Do not consult outside sources such as on-line sources or “Spark Notes”-type sources. The purpose of the assignment is for you to think about what you have read and organize your thoughts coherently into notes that will help you in class discussions and on the exam.

 

  1. Setting.
  • Describe the time and place in which the action occurs.
  • How is it related to the time period in which the work was written?
  • What is especially significant about the setting?
  1. Plot.
  • Give a brief summary of the plot, using one of the following formats of plot structure:
  • a. exposition, initial incident, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement
  • b. exposition, initial incident, rising action, turning point, falling action, climax, denouement
  • Discuss any plot devices which have a significant impact on the work.
  1. Character.
  • Give a brief description of each of the major characters in the work, and discuss that character’s importance/significant impact on the work as a whole.
  • Briefly discuss any minor characters which play an important role in understanding the work as a whole.
  1. Point of View.
  • What is the perspective of the narrator?
  • How does the point of view affect your understanding of the work as a whole?
  • Does the choice of narrator(s) make an impact on the author’s message (theme)?
  1. Theme.
  • Identify the message(s) the author communicating? (Briefly explain each theme you identify.)
  1. Literary Devices.
  • Identify any specific devices which affected your reading/understanding of this work and the author’s message(s).
  • Briefly explain the use of the device and how it affected your reading of this work.
  • You should examine devices such as diction, syntax, symbolism, metaphor, imagery, irony, or any other element the author uses which has a noticeable impact on any part of the work.
  1. Recommendation.
  • Did you like this work?
  • Why or why not?
  • Would you recommend it to others?

 Courtesy of B. McDaniel, <rmcdaniel@jfksberlin.org> 

LITERARY ANALYSIS PROJECT ORGANIZER

AP English Literature & Composition

Summer 2012 Reading

Literary Device

Identify three devices used in both books and cite passages from the text that represent each (be sure to include the page number)

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston

The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

by James Weldon Johnson

Literary Device & Definition:How the author uses the literary technique to bring meaning to the work : Passage / Page #:How this passage moves the story forward: Passage / Page #:How this passage moves the story forward:
Literary Device & Definition:How the author uses the literary technique to bring meaning to the work : Passage / Page #:How this passage moves the story forward: Passage / Page #:How this passage moves the story forward:
Literary Device & Definition:How the author uses the literary technique to bring meaning to the work : Passage / Page #:How this passage moves the story forward: Passage / Page #:How this passage moves the story forward:

LITERARY ANALYSIS PROJECT RUBRIC AP English Literature & Composition

Their Eyes Were Watching God & An Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Below Basic (5)

Basic (10)

Good (15)

Excellent (20)

Organization Presentation is not sequential or logical and it may be hard for the audience to understand the purpose Presentation may not be sequential or logical but the audience understands the purpose Presentation is sequential, logical and audience understand the purpose Presentation is sequential, logical and effectively conveys the meaning and purpose to the audience
Knowledge Presenters have only a basic understanding of the content and do not develop reasonable conclusions Presenters show a basic understanding of the content but do not develop reasonable conclusions Presenters demonstrate a firm grasp of the content and generalize reasonable conclusions Presenters demonstrate an in-depth understanding of THREE LITERARY DEVICES and provide valid and/or reasonable examples conclusions from BOTH texts
Speaking Skills, Eye Contact Presenter does not engage the audience, doesn’t not speak clearly and reads directly from slides or notes Presenter does not engage the audience or speaks in a low voice and reads from slides or directly from notes Presenter engages the audience, speaks clearly, makes eye contact often, but relies on slides or notes Presenter engages the audience, speaks clearly, makes frequent eye contact and does not read from slides or notes
Visual Product The presentation is not engaging or effective or does not make use of available technology effectively and has errors or bugs that detract from its effectiveness The presentation may not be engaging or effective but utilizes available technology but has errors or bugs that detract from its effectiveness The presentation is engaging, effective, utilizes available technology effectively but may have errors or bugs that detract from its effectiveness The presentation is engaging, effective, utilizes available technology effectively and is free of errors / bugs
Connecting to Resources The presentation does not demonstrate adequate research, all resources are electronic, some of which may be unreliable and has not been formatted in MLA format The presentation does not demonstrate adequate research, relies heavily on electronic resources, some of which may be unreliable and has been formatted in MLA format The presentation reflects adequate research (print and electronic) but relies heavily on electronic resources, some of which may be unreliable and has  been formatted in MLA format The presentation reflects wide ranging research (print and electronic), show use of reliable resources and has been formatted in MLA format and may be annotated

TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE:           100 TOTAL POINTS EARNED:       ____________

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Greetings, English-lings!

Welcome! So we’ve found each other. A perfect beginning. Obviously, you’ve discovered me at the antedate of class which means: a) you’re a well-prepared student b) you’re anxious about the reading requirements for AP Lit c) you have dire questions that need answering (uhm, like last month) d) you have no clue whose site this is, but it sounds kind of weird and intriguing e) all the above.

Peruse to your pleasure. Comment or contact me. There’s more to come…And may the odds be ever in your favor!

Ms. M