Gateway Regional High School

Course Information

Page  

AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE & COMPOSITION

Teacher

Elizabeth Desmond

Email

edesmond@gatewayhs.com

Phone Number

(856) 848-8200 ext. 526

Google Classroom Code

aha4nd3

Course Description

AP English Language and Composition is a college-level course. In accordance with the College Board guidelines, students are expected to read critically, think analytically, and communicate clearly in both writing and speech so that they learn to “write effectively and confidently in their college courses across the curriculum, and in their professional and personal lives.”  The level at which you have mastered these skills will be measured by the AP English Language and Composition Exam, which will be given by the College Board on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018.    

With that said, you should not think of this course as merely a test-prep class, because I certainly do not.  Rather, this is a course about exploring how humans develop and express their ideas about the most pressing issues in their lives.  As readers, we will examine various texts, both written and visual, and exclusively non-fiction, to decipher how great writers articulate their most passionate or insightful realizations about the world around them.  As writers, we will endeavor to express not only our own critique of these ideas, but also our own deeply felt beliefs about these issues.  The issues themselves will run the gamut—from how our economic predicaments can either paralyze or propel us, to how our society’s beliefs about gender or race can shape the way we not only treat each other, but also how we see ourselves.  Throughout all these explorations, we will remain focused on honing your abilities to both analyze the success of specific choices in a piece of sophisticated writing as well as choose wisely when crafting your own written pieces.

Thus, AP English Language and Composition is a class for people who not only love to read and write but also love to think about reading and writing—and love how both skills can be used to develop a richer and deeper understanding of the ideas that shape our world.

Course Expectations and Assessments

Tests/Timed Essays/Process Essays/Projects (60%)

Tests:  Tests will be “cold reading” tests in which you will answer a range of multiple-choice questions about several non-fiction excerpts related to the theme of the Marking Period.  Questions will focus on critically reading the text for rhetorical devices, formal organization strategies and developed arguments.


Timed-Essays:  Timed Essay will be completed in a 40-minute class period.  Some timed essays will ask you to create an argument based on your synthesis of a range of readings.  Others will ask you to write an analysis of the rhetorical strategies used by a writer or writer(s).  Additionally, other timed essays will ask students to write an expository piece in which students compare and contrast how two authors explore a given issue, or an argumentative piece in which you build your own argument about an idea in response to a quotation from another author.


Process Essays:  Process Essays will be completed both inside and outside of class, and will often be built off a Timed Essay from that marking period.  Processed essays will be created through a multi-step revision process that includes teacher feedback on such areas as vocabulary usage, effective and appropriate sentence structure, organization, effective use of both generalizations as well as illustrative details, as well as the writer’s use of rhetorical strategies.  The final drafts of all process essays will be submitted in correct MLA format, including all in-text citations and a works cited page.
Projects:  Projects will ask you to apply ideas explored through thematic unit to additional full-length texts read outside of class.

Quizzes and Response Essays (30 %)

Quizzes are used primarily to check for understanding of a text.  Also, each marking period has at least one quiz on vocabulary and sentence structure. In addition each unit will have one quiz that focuses on rhetorical devices, mechanical concepts or syntax explored in the readings.


Response essays will be assigned weekly throughout the marking period.  Response essays will be about one page in length, and will ask you to respond to  a significant quotation from the week’s readings.

Daily Classwork (10%)

Daily assignments consist of a variety of tasks.  Some of these tasks involve individual steps leading towards a larger product, such as plans, research, drafts and revisions for an essay.  Other tasks will focus on applying reading strategies to unpacking and analyzing a complex text.  Additional tasks consist of grammar reviews, vocabulary exercise, annotation of texts, and fluency writing.

Required Summer Reading Texts:

**A Summer Work Packet for this class was distributed to all students at the end of last year.  Extra copies of this packet were also left in the Guidance Department.  If you did not receive a copy of this packet please see me ASAP!!!

Required Academic Year texts:

Course Outline:


The following outline of this course is a tentative plan for our year.  As a teacher, I think it is important to adjust readings and assignments based on both my students’ academic needs as well as their interests. Therefore, while the outline below is my carefully thought-out plan for our year, it is by no means set in stone.  I will most likely alter our path as I get to know you better as readers and writers.  Nonetheless, I thought it was important for you to see at the beginning of the course an example of what our work will be like this year.

MARKING PERIOD 1—THE ECONOMY


Essential Questions:


To what extent is an economic system ethical and fair?
What defines satisfying work within that economy?
What role does consumption play within our economy and our own personal lives?

Marking Period Readings:

Barbara Ehrenriech, from Serving in Florida
Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
Booker T. Washington, The Atlanta Exposition Address
Lars Eighner, On Dumpster Diving
Eric Schlosser, from In the Strawberry Fields
Matthew B. Crawford, The Case for Working with Your Hands
Wendell Berry, Waste
Phyllis Rose, Shopping and Other Spiritual Adventure in the World Today
Marge Piercy, To Be of Use (poem)

Visual Texts:


Jeff Parker, The Great GAPsby Society
Tom Tomorrow, This Modern World
Michael Moore, excerpts from Capitalism:  A Love Story
Lauren Greenfield, excerpts from The Queen of Versailles

Assignments:

Reading Quizzes
Vocabulary Quiz
Rhetorical Device Quiz
Reading Test:  Rhetorical Analysis of Ehrenriech & Swift
Timed Essay 1: Rhetorical Analysis of Washington
Timed Essay 2: Argumentative essay using Eighner and Schlosser
Process Synthesis Essay: Students will be asked to revise Timed Essay 2 into a larger argumentative essay in which they synthesize the ideas of Eighner and Schlosser plus two other student-selected readings from the Marking Period 2 syllabus in order to produce a position of their own on the role the economy plays in our lives.
Ongoing Outside Reading Project:  Students will complete at least 3 response papers.

MARKING PERIOD 2—GENDER


Essential Questions:
How are gender roles formed within a society?
What are the effects of these roles on individual lives?
Can we (or should we) challenge or resist those roles?

Readings:

Stephen Jay Gould, Women’s Brains
Virginia Woolf, Professions for Women
John and Abigail Adams, Letters
July Brady, I Want a Wife
Brent Staples, Just Walk on By, A Black Man Ponders His Power to Alter Public Space
Judith Ortiz Cofer, The Myth of the Latin Woman:  I just Met a Girl Named Maria
Marge Piercy, Barbie Doll (poem)
Paul Theroux, Being a Man
Gretel Ehrlich, About Men
Rebecca Walker, Putting Down the Gun
Mark Bauerlein and Sandra Stotsky, Why Johnny Won’t Read

Visual Texts:

Charles LeBrun, Chancellor Seguier at the Entry of Louis the IIV into Paris in 1660 (painting)
Kehinde Wiley, The Chancellor Seguier on Horseback (painting)
Leonarde McCombe, Marlboro Man (photo)
Alain Berliner, excerpts from Ma Vie En Rose (film)
Mira Barkhammer, excerpts from We are the Best! (film)

Assignments:

Reading Quizzes
Vocabulary Quiz
Rhetorical Device Quiz
Reading Test:  Rhetorical Analysis of Woolf and Cofer
Timed Essay 1: Synthesis essay on Gender.
Timed Essay 2: Expository analysis of Theroux and McCombe
Process Synthesis Essay:  Students will be asked to revise Timed Essay 2 into a larger argumentative essay in which they synthesize the ideas of Theroux and McCombe plus two other student-selected readings from the Marking Period 2 syllabus in order to produce a position of their own on the impact of gender roles created and enforced by society.
Ongoing Outside Reading Project:  Students will submit a reading journal of at least 8 entries, 4 of which analyze how Hurston uses narrative techniques as well as rhetorical strategies to explore the idea of gender roles.

MARKING PERIOD 3—COMMUNITY


Essential Questions:
What values or beliefs define a true community?
What should the relationship be between the individual and the community?
In what way can the community become a destructive force?

Semester Outside Reading:  In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

Readings:

Richard Rodriguez, Aria:  Memoir of A Bilingual Childhood
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
Henry David Thoreau, Where I Lived and What I Lived For
Ellen Goodman, The Family That Stretches (Together)
Lori Arviso Alvord, Walking the Path between Worlds
Robert D. Putnam, Health and Happiness
Scott Brown, Facebook Friendonomics
Sherry Turkle, Alone Together
Malcolm Gladwell, Small Chanage:  Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted
Andrew Carnegie, from The Gospel of Wealth
Bertrand Rusell, The Happy Life
Peter Singer, The Singer Solution to World Poverty
Christian Science Monitor Editorial Board, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and the Billionaire Challenge
Der Speigel Online, Negative Reaction to Charity Campaign
Aurora Levins Morales, Child of the Americas

Visual Texts:

Norman Rockwell, Freedom from Want (painting)
Roz Chast, The Last Thanksgiving (cartoon)
Nissan Motor Company, The Black Experience is Everywhere (advertisement)
Sean Penn, excerpts Into the Wild (film)

Assignments:


Reading Quizzes
Vocabulary Quiz
Rhetorical Device Quiz
Reading Test:  Rhetorical Analysis of King and Rodriguez
Timed Essay 1: Synthesis Essay—Violent Images
Timed Essay 2: Expository Analysis of Thoreau and Putnam
Process Research Argumentative Essay:  Students will be asked to revise Timed Essay 2 into a larger argumentative essay in which they synthesize the ideas of Thoreau and Putnam plus two other student-selected readings from the Marking Period 3 syllabus in order to produce a position of their own on the relationship between the individual to the community.
Ongoing Outside Reading Project:  Students will submit a reading journal of at least 4 entries in which they analyze how Capote uses narrative techniques as well as rhetorical strategies to explore the relationship between the individual and the community.


MARKING PERIOD 4—POPULAR CULTURE


Essential Questions:
How are trends with popular culture developed?
What impact do these trends have on individual and group beliefs?
To what extent does pop culture reflect our society’s values?

Readings:

James McBride, Hip Hop Planet
Mark Twain, Corn-Pone Opinions
David Denby, High School Confidential:  Notes on Teen Movies
Robin Givhan, An Image a Little Too Carefully Coordinated
Steven Johnson, Watching TV Makes You Smarter
Daniel Harris, Celebrity Bodies
Chuck Klosterman, My Zombie, Myself:  Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead
Hans Ostrom, Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven (poem)
Thomas Friedman, The Revolution is U.S.
Heather Havrilesky, Beseiged by “Friends”
Deirdre Straughan, Cultural Hegemony:  Who's Dominating Whom?
Josef Joffe, The Perils of Soft Power
Joseph S. Nye Jr., The U.S. Can Reclaim “Smart Power”

Visual Texts:

Andy Warhol, Myths (painting)
Mark Tansey, The Innocent Eye Test (painting)

Assignments:

Reading Quizzes
Vocabulary Quiz
Rhetorical Device Quiz
Reading Test:  Rhetorical Analysis of McBride and Twain
Timed Essay 1: Rhetorical Analysis of Warhol and Givhan
Timed Essay 2: Synthesis Essay—The Media’s Influence
Process Research-based Argumentative Essay:  Students will be asked to revise Timed Essay 2 into a larger research-based essay in which they synthesize the ideas of several student-researched texts that focus on current pop culture trends in order to produce a position of their own on the relationship between pop culture and society’s values.
Ongoing Outside Reading Project:  Students will submit a reading journal of at least 8 entries, 4 of which analyze how Capote uses narrative techniques as well as rhetorical strategies to illustrate the relationship between pop culture and society’s values.

 

Course Policies 

Homework Policy 

Primary Assessment Retake Policy

Attendance/Lateness/Missing Work Policies

 

Required Materials 

Assistance

        

Classroom Behavioral Expectations 

 

All additional Gateway rules will be followed.  Also, please note:

 

Discipline Process

 

Failure to follow classroom rules and other discipline guidelines will result in movement through the following process:

 

  1. In-class warning
  2. After-class conference
  3. Teacher detention
  4.  Administrative referral
  5. Continuation of discipline process as defined by the Gateway Code of Conduct