“Only connect!....Live in fragments no longer!”
General Course Information
1.0 Credits (.5 per semester)
Prerequisites: Accelerated English is recommended
• This class will prepare students for AP English Literature and Composition Exam, as well as the AP English Language and Composition Exam. When registering for exams in the Spring, students will choose which exam to take.
• This course is set according to the requirements listed in the AP English Course Description.
• The reading in the course will cover a wide variety of genres. You will be introduced to everything from formal literary theory to creative writing. Deep reading, the kind that poses as many questions as it answers, will be expected. We will read for a variety of reasons, sometimes to grasp a thematic element and sometimes to simply enjoy the sounds of words. We will not only identify literary elements, but also why they are used and discuss their effectiveness. We will read across curriculums and relate English literature and its themes to those in philosophy, science, and psychology.
• This course also intends to hone your skills as writers. We will learn how to appeal to a certain audience and how vocabulary and structure change depending on the type of writing. We will practice deep revision and constantly recognize that writing is not simply putting thoughts down on a page, but a craft that takes a lifetime to perfect. We will discover our own individual styles as writers and use these to our advantage. Mechanics, citations, and technical writing will all be monitored closely. Above all though, we will see how our own words can excite, persuade, and create understanding.
• Finally, the course will hopefully make you a critical thinker. We live in the information age and no skill will be more in need than the ability to interpret information. The critical thinking skills you develop in this class will go on to help you on the AP Exams, the SAT, and in almost every aspect of your life.
• This course is divided around the different thematic ideas of conflict in literature, non-fiction, and life in general. While the traditional elements of conflict seem simple, we will explore the motives behind them. Finally, we will attempt to figure out how the characters choose to live (or die) with conflict and find resolution. Through non-fiction, we will explore how conflict has been created and resolved through rhetoric and argument. And how a well-written and polished argument can create a path of possibility even through the most mired of conflicts.
Elements of the course:
• Writing. Drafts will be submitted to me and returned with comments. All papers will have a first and a final draft. Students may be asked to correct their drafts twice before submitting a final draft. All compositions will be graded on the AP rubric. One Friday a month, students will access their writing from the past month from their portfolio in class. During this time, we will have a writer’s workshop and address specific revision strategies. We will focus on revising sentence structure, organization, rhetorical structures, transitions, detail, imagery, conventions, and grammar. While timed writings are a part of this class, the Friday writer’s workshops will illustrate the importance of constant and careful revision. Students will also sign up for a meeting with me after-school every 2 months. At the first meeting, students will discuss with me their strengths and weaknesses. Together, we will assess their improvement throughout the year.
• Wordly Wise Vocabulary book will be due weekly. Periodic quizzes will test students’ knowledge. Wordly Wise is an excellent preparation for the SAT. The class will also have a Word Wall. The Word Wall will function to remind students of past vocabulary learned and encouraged the use of new vocabulary in writing.