AP LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION

COURSE PROFILE

GATEWAY REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

PURPOSE STATEMENT/PHILOSOPHY

 

This course is divided into two parts:

 

The first part is an advanced placement approach to the study of British literature. Students are required to read and analyze classic works from each literary period: Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, Elizabethan, 17th Century, 18th Century, Romantic, Victorian, and 20th Century. Students are encouraged to concentrate on various literary periods and produce three major critical literary analysis and critical analysis papers. Literature is studied in depth from a literary, sociological, and historical perspective. Novels such as A Portrait of an Artist, Jane Eyre, and Heart of Darkness are read an analyzed. Grammar, mechanics, and usage are addressed as needed in the student writing. The approach to writing focuses upon short college-level research papers based on literary periods as well as critical analysis. Strong written and oral communication skills are essential. Particular areas of writing instruction are outlined in the Literary and Critical Analysis Unit below. Lastly, vocabulary instruction focuses on SAT preparation.

In part two, the novel is the main genre of the course, and the theme of the novel lends itself to examinations of poetry, drama, and short stories with similar themes and/or approaches. There is not chronology involved, and selections for the course are works suggested by A.P. materials and publications. The novels covered include: As I Lay Dying, Wise Blood, Return of the Native, Crime and Punishment, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Song of Solomon, Kite Runner, Cat's Eye, and Catch-22, Students will pre read selections of the novel via a timetable and three days per week will be set aside for discussion of assigned poetry, plays or short stories. During a nine-week marking period, students will discuss and write on one to two novels, twelve poems, four short stories and one play.

WRITING ASSESSMENTS AND INSTRUCTION

For each writing assessment, the teacher sets up the parameters and expectations for the essays. The teacher directly instructs the students how to be successful on AP caliber essays. When assignments are due, the teacher grades the essays and hands them back to the students. On the day the teacher hands back the essays, the teacher uses exemplary papers and deficient papers to model what is needed in the essays. For some assignments, he/she provides the students with the opportunity to resubmit their writing to demonstrate mastery of what is taught in the classroom.

Moreover, in a writing workshop format, the teacher makes written comments regarding the mechanics, usage, grammar, organization, and style of essays. The teacher may offer suggestions for improvement or make commentary that pinpoints for the students why a certain component of the writing was successful.

Finally, the teacher works with the students throughout the year to develop their analytical voice in crafting a coherent, well-structured, academic piece of writing.

The assessment and instruction of writing is further discussed in the Literary and Critical Analysis Unit below.

 

UNITS AND ASSESSMENTS

The units are arranged beginning with a discussion of writing and vocabulary. These units are not taught in isolation, rather as units that are continuously instructed throughout the course. Those units are in place to augment the study of literature. The literary units encompass British and World literature. Each unit has a set of key objectives as well as the suggested assessment to meet that specific objective.

Literary and Critical Analysis Unit (Year-long instruction within each unit plan)

 

Objectives:

1.  Evaluate the purpose of writing and synthesize sample writings with a focus on: generating a well-constructed thesis, considering the audience, providing textual evidence to substantiate student's writing, maintaining tone, providing variety in word choice, sentence structure, and syntax.

Assessment: Formative Assessment Based on the Writing Process:  Develop and apply skills in brainstorming, thesis development, outlining, organizing and supporting ideas, drafting, editing, and revising as formative assessment.

2.  Differentiate and apply the conventions of formal and technical writing while adhering to the standards established by the Modern Language Association (MLA).

Assessment: Character Analysis:  Based on the content of study in a given unit, analyze the author's use of characterization while adhering to the established conventions of formal writing.

3. Synthesize primary and secondary (in-text and bibliographical) citations to substantiate written literary and critical analysis.

Assessment: Analytical Essays and Research Paper:  After researching critical commentary from renowned scholars on a studied text, incorporate that commentary as well as own perceptions in an analytical paper. Apply the proper method for citations according to the Modern Language Association (MLA).

4. Critique samples of peer writing for the purposes of promoting self-editing and effective writing practices.

Assessment: Peer Editing:  Given a peer's paper and using an assigned AP-style rubric and checklist, critique and evaluate a peer's essay. Document specific references to the essay that support the assessment.

5. Synthesize creative pieces to emulate style, structure, and voice of the studied authors, and reflect an understanding of audience and purpose.

Assessment: Creative Writing:  After studying the literary devices associated with each genre, and after studying the style of various authors, create original stores and poems that apply the various devices and styles to the newly generated stories and poems.

6. Implement literary language to enhance the quality and accuracy of analytical writing.

Assessment: Revise and Edit Assignments:  Given AP-style rubrics, assess own work for effectiveness and use the provided rubric to enhance the quality and voice of the writing piece. 

Vocabulary Unit (Year-long instruction within each unit plan)

Objectives:

 

1.  Identify, articulate, and define words commonly found on the SAT.

Assessment: Unit Test:  Match the appropriate term to the definitions; demonstrate correct use of the word by writing the word within the context of a sentence; respond to word analogies to demonstrate understanding of word relationships; identify synonyms and antonyms of a studied work.

 

2.  Apply learned words to writing and speech.

Assessment: Writing and Speaking Assessments: Through writing and speaking assessments throughout the year, demonstrate proper use of the word and infuse the word into own vocabulary repertoire used to communicate in class on a constant basis.

3.  Evaluate the word roots, suffixes, and prefixes, pars of speech, and origins when applicable to enhance comprehension of meaning.

Assessment: Unit Test:  Match the appropriate root, prefix, or suffix to the definitions; demonstrate correct use of the prefix, root, part of speech, or suffix by writing words within the context of a sentence.

  

Anglo-Saxon Literature Unit

Objectives:

1.  Identify the characteristics of Anglo-Saxon culture as referred to in the writings of the period.

Assessment: Unit Test:  After reviewing "The Wanderer" and excerpts from Beowulf, students will answer objective and essay questions on the characteristics of Anglo-Saxon culture.

2. Analyze the relationship between literature and history.

Assessment: Unit Test and Essay:  Students will be assessed on historical background of a literary selection and, through literary analysis, explain how it relates to the development of various types of literature.

3. Create examples of literary devices of the Anglo-Saxon literature.

Assessment: Literary Devices Project: After examining the kennings and alliteration in Anglo- Saxon literature, students will create their own kennings and alliterative phrases.

4. Analyze the thematic and epic structure of Beowulf.

Assessment: Open-Ended Responses:  Based on an open-ended question prompt students will analyze the recurring themes and elements of an epic present in Beowulf.

 

 

Middle Ages Unit: Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales

Objectives:

1.  Evaluate how medieval literature relates to and addresses the history and culture of the time.

Assessment: Short Response:  After reading an introduction to the Medieval Age, answer discussion questions on the effect of the Norman invasion on the English language.

2.  Evaluate the "job" or "characteristic" descriptions of Chaucer's pilgrims and relate those jobs/characteristics to their worth and how they were perceived in medieval times

Assessment: Comparative Analysis: Compare the job descriptions and personality of Chaucer's pilgrim's with Chaucer's opinion of the good or bad qualities of each.

3. Apply the definitions of satire and irony to Chaucer's use of the terms in his text.

Assessment: Formal Essay: In essay form, analyze Chaucer's use of irony and satire in the “Prologue” and in the “Pardoner's Tale”

4.  Evaluate the elements of chivalry and medieval romance in the tales of King Arthur.

Assessment: Open-Ended Response:  Based on an open-ended question prompt, students will analyze the recurring elements of chivalry and Medieval romance in the legends and tales of King Arthur and his knights.

 

5.  Compare and contrast Chaucer’s critique of courtly love in his “Nun’s Priest’s Tale” and his “Miller’s Tale.”

Assessment: Comparative Essay: Compare Chaucer’s attitude towards his romantic characters in the two stories.

  

Elizabethan Age Unit

Objectives:

1.  Analyze how the Renaissance in England assisted in the development of British literature.

Assessment: Unit Test and Essay: Students will be assessed on the historical background and respond to comprehensive essay questions regarding the history of Renaissance England.

2. Analyze the existential nature of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Assessment: Open-Ended Question: In a multi-paragraph response, describe what Hamlet's fatal flaw is and what in his psychological nature brings about his destruction?

3. Identify the structure and format of the sonnets of major Elizabethan writers.

Assessment: Literary Devices Project: After identifying the format of the sonnet, students will create their own sonnets based on the Elizabethan pattern.

4. Evaluate the major themes of the play Macbeth.

Assessment: Analytical Essay: Students will evaluate Shakespeare's thematic structure in the play Macbeth.

5. Identify the significance and characteristics of the various characters in Macbeth.

Assessment: Comparative Analysis: Students will write a comparative essay analyzing the specific characters essential to the play.

6. Critique the culpability for the tragic consequences between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth,

Assessment: Open-Ended Response: Justify, using textual evidence as support, who is more responsible for the demise of Macbeth's kingdom, Macbeth or Lady Macbeth.

7. Analyze the significant dialogue in Macbeth.

Assessment: Essay Response: Given various quotations from the play Macbeth, discuss how the given quotes contribute to the recurring themes present in the play.

8. Compare and contrast the make-up of the tragic hero to the characters of Hamlet and Macbeth.

Assessment: Comparative Essay: After defining the tragic hero, explain how the fatal flaw of each of the characters bring about their demise.

9. Evaluate Shakespearean sonnets with a focus on the tone of the speaker, figurative language, and the theme generated from the couplets.

Assessment: Open Ended Response:  Analyze the audience, narrator, figurative language, and theme from selected Shakespearean sonnets.

  

17th Century and the Restoration Unit

Objectives:

1. Identify the cultural changes in 17th Century England in terms of religion, politics, and scientific developments.

Assessment: Unit Test and Essay: Students will be assessed on the historical background and respond to comprehensive essay questions regarding introductory material.

2.  Analyze and identify the elements of metaphysical poetry and define metaphysical concepts.

Assessment: Unit plan: Students will identify and evaluate metaphysical images and devices from selected metaphysical poems and sermons.

 

3. Evaluate the elements of cavalier and carpe diem poetry.

Assessment: Unit Test and Essay: Students will evaluate images from nature and the strategies of Cavalier arguments.

4. Identify the elements of the epic and of Puritan poetry as seen in the Paradise Lost.

Assessment: Open-Ended Response: Analyze the effectiveness of the arguments between Satan and Beelzebub in Paradise Lost.

5. Compare and contrast the arguments of the arch-devils in their plan to get back at God. Assessment: Comparative Essay: Compare and contrast the arguments presented by Moloch, BeHal, Mammon, and Beelzebub.

6. Compare and contrast the argument presented to Eve by the serpent and by Eve and Adam. Assessment: Comparative Essay: In a multi-paragraph essay, argue the viewpoints of the tempting of Eve as seen in Milton's text.

 

Restoration/Neoclassic Literature Unit

Objectives:

1. Identify popular genres, recurring themes, and dominant style of literature of the 18th Century. Assessment: Unit Test and Essay: Students will be assessed on the historical background and respond to comprehensive essay questions regarding the introductory material in the text.

2. Evaluate the relationship between social concern and the production of satire and realism. Assessment: Response Essay: Students will analyze the social concerns that are satirized in Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal."

3. Define the types of political satire presented in Gulliver's voyages to Lilliput, Brobdingnag and the land of the Houlyrrinhitinis.

Assessment: Creative Project: Students will create a satiric essay entitled "Gulliver at Gateway" in which students utilize the elements of satire and apply them to a satiric representation of a critique of their school.

4. Define various genres through relevant neoclassical readings.

Assessment: Unit Test: Students will define and provide examples of literary genres of the current age of study.

5. Compare and contrast the classical epic form and Pope's mock-heroic format.

Assessment: Open-Ended Essay: Students will take an element of epic tradition and demonstrate how Pope trivialized it within his satiric framework.

6. Define the role of the biographer in illuminating the art of the literary subject.

Assessment: Comparative Essay: In a multi-paragraph essay, show how Boswell's examination of Johnson in his biography differed from the idealized literary giant.

  

Romantic Age Unit

Objectives:

1. Identify major authors and recurring themes characteristic of Romantic period literature.

Assessment: Literary Analysis: After stating the rules of Romanticism, students will analyze themes and other elements of Romanticism from selected works they have not previously studied in class.

2. Evaluate the humanity's role in relation to nature in Romantic period literature.

Assessment; Response Essay: Students will describe; in essay form, William Wordsworth's development of the understanding of nature as seen in his renowned work, "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey."

3. Analyze the relationship between literature and political movements during the Romantic Age.

Assessment: Unit Test: Students will identify the elements of poetry through an analysis of Romantic period poets and their works.

4. Analyze the political agenda of Shelley and Byron in their nature poetry.

Assessment: Comparative Essay: Compare Byron 's homage to Napoleon to Shelley's call to revolution in "Ode to the West Wind."

5. Analyze and interpret the figurative language present in British Romantic poetry.

Assessment: Open-Ended Essay: Using information from the various literary works to support a response, students will determine the symbolic meaning of literary elements found in the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Ode to the West Wind."

6. Dissect the poetry of Keats in terms of sensory images.

Assessment: Chart Comparison: Students will chart the poem, "Eve of St. Agnes" according to language that appeals to the five senses.

7. Evaluate Keats's Philosophy of Aesthetics in his poetry.

Assessment: Open-Ended Essay: Using information from the poem to support a response, students will analyze the poem, "Ode to a Grecian Urn" as Keats's homage to art.

 

 

Victorian Age Unit

Objectives:

1. Evaluate how Lord Alfred Tennyson's works are representative of Victorian literature in terms of recurring themes, dominant genres, and stylistic characteristics.

Assessment: Unit Test: After reading a series of poems written by Tennyson and taking notes on those poems, trace the development of Tennyson's philosophy towards death and how his works are characteristic of Victorian Literature.

Open-Ended Essay: Given an open-ended prompt, students will respond to the prompt by evaluating Tennyson's "Lady Shallot" or Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach." Students will evaluate either poem in terms of recurring themes and the use of metaphor.

2. Analyze and interpret Victorian attitudes toward recurring philosophical concerns.

Assessment: Unit Test and Open-Ended Essay: Students will be assessed on the historical and sociological background of a literary selection, and explain how it relates to the various types of Literature. Students will focus on the following: aesthetics, death, immortality, religion, faith, and nature.

3. Evaluate the cultural attitudes of Victorian writers as seen through the narrator of their works and the inter-psychological make-up of dramatic monologues.

Assessment: Literary Devices Project: After examining Tennyson's Ulysses and Browning's "My Last Duchess," students will create a dramatic monologue emulating the style of the two authors.

 

4. Compare and contrast the persona of the hero in Tennyson's Ulysses.

Assessment: Comparative Response: In a multi-paragraph essay compare the personae of Tennyson's Ulysses with that of the contemporary hero.

Short Story Unit

Objectives:

1. Evaluate selected themes that apply to the study of various works of short fiction.

Assessment: Oral Presentation: In literature circle formal, each student will verbally present an analysis and response to assigned interpretative question based on plot, style or conflict of studied works.

2. Critique the motivation and the conflicts of the characters in various short stories.

Assessment: Comparative Response: In a multi-paragraph essay, students will compare and contrast the studied pieces of short fiction in analysis the recurring themes, conflicts, and character behaviors throughout the works.

3. Assess the style, language and dialogue in each of the studied works of short fiction.

Assessment: Critique: Students will produce a short critique or brief literary criticism paper based on the study of a short story of their choosing.

 

 

As I Lay Dying (by Faulkner) Unit

Objectives:

1. Evaluate the themes of As I Lay Dying.

Assessment: Open-Ended Response Essay: In a multi-paragraph essay, and using the text as support, students will evaluate how the plot or characters contributes to the development of a selected theme.

2. Differentiate among the multiple narrators and stream of consciousness style of writing as presented in the novel.

Assessment: Comparative Response: In a multi-paragraph essay and using the text as support, students will evaluate and compare the various narrators' personalities.

3. Analyze the language in selected passages in the novel.

Assessment: Literary Device Project: Students will evaluate various excerpts from the novel and explain in an essay and presentation how certain dialogue and figurative language contributes to conflict and characterization in the novel.

Oral Presentation: In a literature circle formal each student will verbally present an analysis and response to assigned interpretative questions based on excerpts from the novel.

Creative Writing Assessment: Assuming the personae of a character in the novel, students will write a correspondence to another character in the novel using information from the text to guide the subject matter of the correspondence.

 

 

Crime and Punishment (by Dostoyevsky) Unit

Alternate Text Options: Song of Solomon (by Morrison),

The Picture of Dorian Gray (by Wilde)

Objectives:

 

1. Evaluate the themes of Crime and Punishment (or alternate texts).

Assessment Oral Presentation: In a round table discussion format, each student will verbally present an analysis of how the plot and characters bring about the themes of the novel. Students will be given assigned questions to present.

2. Analyze the overall "atmosphere" of the novel.

Assessment: Literary Analysis: In a multi-paragraph essay and using the text as support, discuss the ramifications of the novel if selected changes were made to the format of the book.

3. Critique the motivation for the major characters in the novel.

Assessment: Comparative Response: In a multi-paragraph essay and using the text as support, students will evaluate and compare the female characters as an inclination of the rise of women in a Czarist society. If using alternate text, students will evaluate and compare characters relative to the historical/social/cultural context.

4. Analyze the language and interpret selected passages in the novel.

Assessment: Essay Response: Students will respond in essay form to a choice of situational and thematic questions based on readings and discussions about the language choice and key passages in the text.

Return of the Native (by Hardy) Unit

Alternate Text: Kite Runner (by Hosseini)

Objectives:

1.  Evaluate the themes of Return of the Native.

Assessments: Oral Presentation: In a round table discussion format, each student will verbally present an analysis of how the plot and characters bring about the themes of the novel. Students will be given assigned questions to present.

2. Analyze how the overall "mood" of the novel contributes to the novel's themes.

Assessment: Literary Analysis: In a multi-paragraph essay and using the text as support, discuss the ramifications of the novel if selected changes were made to the format of the book.

3. Analyze the rural language and interpret selected passages from the novel.

Assessment: Creative Writing: Students will recreate an opening from a chapter in the novel by modernizing the dialogue and setting of the text.

4. Evaluate the author's use of characterization.

Assessment: Essay Response: Students will respond in essay form evaluating the situations of the text and thematic elements as prompted by various open-ended questions.

 

 

Wise Blood (by O'Connor) Unit

Objectives:

1. Evaluate the themes of Wise Blood.

Assessment: Oral Presentation: In a round table discussion format, each student will verbally present an analysis of how the plot and characters bring about the themes of the novel. Students will be given assigned questions to present.

2. Analyze the gothic imagery in the novel.

Assessment: Literary Analysis: In a multi-paragraph essay and using the text as support, discuss how the presence of gothic images contributes to the overall themes of the novel.

 

3. Evaluate the structure and characterization as seen in the novel.

Assessment: Creative Writing: Students will recreate the novel's structure by changing the point of view of the study from that of Motes to Enoch.

Essay Response: Students will respond in essay form evaluating the situations of the text and thematic elements as prompted by various open-ended questions.

 

 

Cat's Eye (by Atwood) Unit

Objectives:

1. Evaluate the themes of Cat's Eye.

Assessment: Oral Presentation: In a round table discussion format, each student will verbally present an analysis of how the plot and characters bring about the themes of the novel. Students will be given assigned questions to present.

2.  Analyze the mood and literary devices present in the coming of age novel.

Assessment: Creative Essay: Students will write a speculative essay, based on significant changes in plot and sequences of the novel.

3. Evaluate the conflict among the characters as seen in the novel.

Assessment: Essay Response: Students will respond in essay form evaluating the situations of the text and thematic elements as prompted by various open-ended questions.

 

 

CATCH-22 (by Heller) Unit

Objectives:

1. Evaluate the themes of Catch-22.

Assessment: Oral Presentation: In a round table discussion format, each student will verbally present an analysis of how the plot and characters bring about the themes of the novel. Students will be given assigned questions to present.

2. Analyze the psychological and sociological effects of war and a cultural time-period.

Assessment: Formal Essay Assignment Students will in a multi-paragraph response, evaluate how war and culture generate both internal and external conflict for the main characters. Students will use significant excerpts from the novel to support.

3. Critique the author's style and sequential structure in the novel.

Assessment: Essay Response: Students will respond in essay form evaluating the situations of the text and thematic elements as prompted by various open-ended questions.