Pineda, Mr. R. » A. P. Literature & Composition

A. P. Literature & Composition

Mr. Pineda

Los Angeles High School

Room 356

rxp8548@lausd.net

 

Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition

 

Course Overview

The AP Literature and Composition course is designed to engage students in close reading, critical analysis, and thoughtful interpretation of imaginative literature. This course reflects the College Board’s recommended approach to teaching literature which emphasizes “experiencing literature, interpreting literature, and evaluating literature”. The course provides students with the intellectual challenges, such as teaching and learning strategies, and assignments/ assessments which will prepare them for the AP exam as well as college and university study.

 

Through a close reading of selected texts, students will develop a deep understanding of the works by analyzing the ways writers use language to provide meaning-often times multiple and pleasure for their readers.  Students will read a variety of literature, diverse in period and tradition, including classical and modern drama, diverse styles of poetry, non-fiction and satire, the novel and novella (pre and post twentieth century), and short stories.  Students will consider each work’s structure, style and theme(s), as well as the range of literary devices and figurative language. Students will evaluate these literary works by closely looking at the writer’s craft as well as the implicit social and cultural values. These assignments will require analysis, interpretation and argument.

 

The class is structured to mirror an actual university course where there is much student to teacher and student to student discussion on the reading. The Socratic Method will be utilized frequently as we delve into the analysis of our texts. This will allow us to share and articulate our personal reading experiences we encounter with the literature. It is through reading, discussing, analyzing, frequent writing and revising that students will develop a critical perspective on a theme or topic. To go beyond the reading, students will complete a range of writing requirements to include:

 

  • Writing to Understand- annotation, dialectical journaling, and reflections;
  • Writing to Explain- expository, analytical essays that require students to draw upon textual details and develop an extended explanation/ interpretation of the meanings of a text;
  • Writing to Evaluate- analytical, argumentative essays that require students to draw upon textual details to make and explain judgments about a work’s artistry and its social and cultural values. 

 

Writing to explain and writing to evaluate will be in the form of in-class (timed) writing and out of class (process) essay writing. These writing assignments will be based upon what has been read and studied in class. These assignments will require analysis, interpretation and argument.

 

Several major (process) essays will be assigned throughout the year.  Prompts will require the student to analyze a specific passage in a text and examine how it relates to the work as a whole, discuss the significance of a specific portion of the work, examine a certain stylistic element (diction, figurative language, syntax, and tone), or compare and contrast how such elements function in two different works. Each essay must have a strong, argumentative thesis that you can prove and support in the required number of pages. Two of the essays will require the use of at least one outside source (critical, historical, or theoretical). These papers must have a title and be typed according to the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. See the Owl at Purdue (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/) for guidelines and tips on MLA formatting, citation, etc.

Writer’s Workshop: Throughout the year students will practice their writing skills, sharpen their rhetoric, and craft their writing style during writing workshops. Students will work both independently, and collaboratively with their peers as they engage in the writing process.  All essays scoring less than 6 on the AP rubric may be revised and resubmitted for a better grade each semester. Along with these workshops, student will have the opportunity to get feedback during various stages of the writing process.

College Credit: Students who score a 3 or above on the A. P. English Literature & Composition exam (in May) will receive college credit for the course (at the discretion of the particular college/university they attend.

Grading: This is an advanced class filled with motivated and bright students; however, grades are earned based on hard work and demonstrated mastery of AP skills.  Graded coursework will consist of timed writes, formal writing assignments , and Socratic Seminars . 

Academic grades are determined by students’ mastery of learning targets, which are aligned to the ELA Common Core State Standards for this grade level. Throughout the semester, students will have multiple opportunities to demonstrate proficiency, and all graded assignments include rubrics with areas of focus for particular assignments.

 

Grade Description

 

4-Point Rubric Description

 

A: Demonstrated mastery in at least 80% of learning targets (12/15) and proficiency in the rest.

4 - Mastery The student demonstrates complete and detailed understanding of the learning target.

B: Demonstrated proficiency in at least 80% of learning targets (12/15) and basic ability in the rest.

3 - Proficiency The student demonstrates considerable understanding of the learning target.

C: Demonstrated at least basic ability in all learning targets.

 

2 – Basic Ability

The student demonstrates basic understanding of the learning target.

D: Demonstrated at least novice ability in all learning targets.

 

1 – Novice Ability

The student has partial but incomplete understanding of the learning target, or has multiple misconceptions about the learning target.

F: Does not demonstrate at least novice ability in all learning targets.

0 – No Evidence

Student  has not submitted work which shows any evidence of a grasp of the learning target.

 

 

Homework: As in most university classes, students will be expected to have completed their reading assignments before coming to class. Students must be prepared to do a large amount of assigned reading (ranging from 60 to 90 pages per week), of rather challenging books, independently before coming to class. Most, if not all, of the initial reading will be assigned as homework, so that when students arrive in class, they should be ready to discuss and further analyze the reading material. As an advanced class, we will be covering a wide range of books, and the pacing will mirror that of a university class, with more books and other texts assigned than would be assigned in a regular high school level class.

Late Work: All assignments are to be turned in at the beginning of class on due dates. LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED AT MY DISCRETION.  If there is a legitimate reason for late work, you must communicate with me as early as possible. However, the decision to accept (or not) late work is up to me. While an excused absence from school will provide you with an opportunity to make up the work, it will not excuse you from deadlines. Assignments may be sent to me via email or may be dropped off by another student, sibling, or a parent. While technology can be our friend, it can also be our foe! Technology glitches will not excuse you from deadlines. Plan accordingly.

Academic honesty / plagiarism policy: All work submitted by students must be their own original work. When quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing, or in any way including any ideas that are not your own (i.e., coming from any writer other than you), you must properly cite the source of information. This is called in-text citation. Failure to properly cite information sources is academically dishonest and constitutes plagiarism, and should be avoided.

See The Owl https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/ for more details regarding in-text citation procedures.

Any violation of this policy (i.e., any instance of plagiarism) will result in a score of zero points for the assignment (which will negatively impact students’ grades) and/or a teacher/parent conference.

Weekly Schedule: in order to cover as much material ( thoroughly) as possible, our week will be divided into three sections. Mondays and Thursdays we shall focus on our current novel or play. Tuesdays and Wednesdays we shall focus on poetry. Fridays will be set aside for A. P. Exam practice (at different points of the year we will focus primarily on timed essays, at others, we shall focus on the multiple choice section of the exam).

 

How to Succeed in AP Literature

  • come to class every day on time
  • complete all assigned reading and homework assignments
  • participate in class discussions and ask questions
  • take control of your learning and develop a sense of curiosity
  • set high standards for yourself and those you work with
  • proofread everything written more than once
  • save all written work in more than one form (flash drive, hard drive, Google Docs, and hard copy)
  • have a positive attitude and a desire to learn and interact with others


Grade Description

 

4-Point Rubric Description

 

A: Demonstrated mastery in at most learning targets = 80 – 100%.

4 - Mastery The student demonstrates complete and detailed understanding of the learning target.

B: Demonstrated proficiency in most learning targets = 60 -79%.

3 - Proficiency The student demonstrates considerable understanding of the learning target.

C: Demonstrated at least basic ability in most learning targets = 40 -59%

 

2 – Basic Ability

The student demonstrates basic understanding of the learning target.

D: Demonstrated at least novice ability in most learning targets = 29 -39%

 

1 – Novice Ability

The student has partial but incomplete understanding of the learning target, or has multiple misconceptions about the learning target.

F: Does not demonstrate at least novice ability in most learning targets = 0 – 19%

0 – No Evidence

Student  has not submitted work which shows any evidence of a grasp of the learning target.

 

Conversion of AP Rubric Scores to Essay Grades

Conversion of AP Rubric Scores to Essay Grades

These essays are initially scored using The College Board’s 9-point rubric. This score will reflect what I believe your essay would receive, were you to have submitted it at an actual A.P. English Literature & Composition exam, and is meant to guide you in improving your writing. That score is then converted into a 4-point rubric when I enter it into the grade book, so it is consistent with the grading procedures I set forth in the previous pages. These essays will correspond to Learning Target #10 on the Learning Targets chart above. Below is the conversion chart for the essays.

AP 9 Point Rubric Score

(marked on your essay)

4 Point Rubric Score

(entered in the grade book)

 

8-9

 

4/4

 

6-7

 

3/4

 

5

 

2/4

 

 

3-4

 

1/4

 

1-2

 

0/4

 

In preparation for the AP Exam, we will examine previous exams and take timed writing tests. It is important that students practice writing under time constraints, but also dismantle and fully examine these test questions and writing prompts.

Teacher-assessed essays will be scored using a variety of strategies; however all will include the scoring of the essay with a universal version of the AP College Board essay rubric. Holistic grading or taking into account everything that should be in the essay and noting all strengths and weaknesses will be the preferred choice of grading, although grading for only one aspect and even ignoring the rest may be used for such things as effective introductions, developing arguments, tone supporting statements, effective closing paragraphs, integration of quotations and the structure of the body paragraphs. Timed essays will be returned w/a rubric score only. This means students must become very familiar with the rubric in order to understand what the score means. You are encouraged to conference with me (during after school tutoring hours) regarding your essays. In class, student will work with peers to analyze the essay and marking those parts that help to explain the score. Peer-assessment is a valuable means of writing instruction that may also be used. When one can learn to see strengths and weaknesses in the writing of others, it becomes easier to see strengths and weaknesses of one’s own work.

 

 

Units of Study

The following units will comprise each semester of this course. In addition, two days each week will be set aside for analysis of poetry ranging from the English Renaissance through contemporary poetry, and students will write semi-weekly timed essays based on past AP Exam essay prompts.

Fall Semester:

Unit 1: Greek Drama

  • Unit Objectives: students will demonstrate (through short writing pieces as well as class discussions) their understanding of the elements of classic Greek drama, as well as demonstrate their understanding of broader issues addressed, and the cultural significance of classic drama within the traditions of Western literature.
  • Focus Text: Oedipus Rex (assigned as summer reading, to be completed by the first day of class).
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quiz, formal/process essay #1 – character analysis, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 2: Shakespearean Drama

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate (through writing assignments and participation in class discussion) their understanding of Shakespeare’s use of dramatic conventions, poetic devices, as well overarching themes addressed in the play.
  • Focus Text: William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (or a suitable substitute such as Hamlet, King Lear, ).
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, formal/process essay #2 – literary/theme analysis, Socratic seminar.

 

Writer’s Workshop: The  Personal Essay

  • Unit Objectives: by the end of this short (one to two week) workshop, students should be able to utilize their understanding of the personal statement (its purpose, requirements, components, etc.) to write their own personal statements in preparation for upcoming college applications.
  • Focus Standard’s: W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: peer-evaluations, individual teacher/writer conferences.

 

Unit 3: The Satirical Novel

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding of satire as it is used by writers to critique society. Students will analyze a variety of satiric pieces, in multiple media, and be able to discuss both the technique as well as the author’s intent in creating satire.
  • Focus Text: Voltaire’s Candide, as well as shorter satires (i.e., selections from The Onion, and various television clips).
  • Focus Standards:12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, satirical newsletter/pamphlet project, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 4: The Romantic/Gothic Novel

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding (both through writing assignments and participation in class discussions) of the development of Romantic aesthetic and philosophical thought, including the sub-genre of gothic literature, in the early 1800s, especially as it pertains to the development of literature.
  • Focus Texts: Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, formal/process essay #3 – theme analysis, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 5: The Problem Play

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding (both through writing assignments and participation in class discussions) of the genre of the Problem Play (drama dealing with social issues), in particular, how Ibsen’s play Doll’s House, addresses social issues of its time.
  • Focus Texts: Henrik Ibsen’s Doll’s House.
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, Socratic seminar.

 


 

Spring Semester:

Unit 5: Colonialism In Literature

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding (both through writing assignments and participation in class discussions) of the history of European colonialism and its impacts on society. Students will further demonstrate their understanding about the issues surrounding colonialism as it pertains to literature and what impact writing about colonialism has on both readers and literature, both in the past as well as in the present.
  • Focus Texts: Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, formal/process essay # 4 – theme analysis, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 2: Twentieth Century Drama

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding (both through writing assignments and participation in class discussions) of how authors in the twentieth century use dramatic and other literary conventions in their works, as well as be able to trace the development of a central character in the play.
  • Focus Texts: Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie (or a suitable substitute, such as August Wilson’s Fences, or Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman).
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, formal/process essay #5 – character analysis, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 3: The Existentialist Novel

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding (both through writing assignments and participation in class discussions) of the concept of existentialism as it influenced literature of the mid-twentieth century.
  • Focus Texts: Albert Camus’ The Stranger.
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, formal/process essay #6 – theme analysis, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 4: The Post-Modern Novel

  • Unit Objectives: Students will demonstrate their understanding (both through writing assignments and participation in class discussions) of the development of late twentieth century literature, focusing on the influence of post-modernism. Students will be able to analyze the intent of author’s use of post-modern techniques in their writing.
  • Focus Texts: Toni Morrison’s Beloved (or a suitable substitute, such as Morrison’s Song of Solomon).
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, Socratic seminar.

 

Unit 5: The Critical Lens Project

  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of a particular critical lens (as assigned to their collaborative groups), through which they will interpret the novel Brave New World. Students will be able to lead the class through a mini-lesson on the novel that utilizes their assigned critical lens.
  • Focus Texts: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
  • Focus Standards: RL.12.1, RL.12.2, RL.12.4, RL.12.5, RL.12.6, W.12.1 a-e, W.12.4, W.12.5, SL.12.1 a-d
  • Assessments: literary analysis quizzes, Critical Lens Project/mini-lesson.