Mrs. Sonnier - AP English Literature and Composition Summer Reading Assignment

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1 Mrs. Sonnier - AP English Literature and Composition Summer Reading Assignment How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster **Read this one first. The Kite Runner, by - Khaled Hosseini. Welcome to Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition! In order to get a head start on all the fun that awaits us next year, we have a few things to do this summer. I. Obtain a copy of Thomas C. Foster s How to Read Literature Like a Professor and read it in its entirety. You can buy or borrow the book buying will allow you to annotate the book and to bring it to class throughout the year. If you don t want to pay full price, check out amazon or half.com to buy a used copy. You will need to complete the paragraph assignments on required chapters before we return from summer break. I will expect you to be an expert with the contents of this book. I mean it. Why How to Read Literature Like a Professor? I don t want to hear your excuses all year that you re not a good reader, you don t understand poetry, etc. Thomas Foster's book will help you read literature analytically. Professors and other informed readers see symbols, archetypes, and patterns because those things are there -- if you have learned to look for them. As Foster says, you learn to recognize the literary conventions the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice. (xiv). Note: Whenever I ask for an example from literature, you may use short stories, novels, plays, or films (yes, film is a literary genre). I highly encourage you to refer to works you studied previous years in English. If your literary repertoire is thin and undeveloped, use Foster s Appendix to jog your memory or to select additional works to explore. At the very least, watch some of the "Movies to Read" that are listed on pages Please note that you are only required to do ten paragraph responses. Again, remember your responses should be paragraphs -- not pages! Some chapters do not have a prompt. They present ideas that we will cover in the course of the year, but are not topics to respond on for summer reading. Even though this is analytical writing, you may use I if you deem it important to do so; remember, however, that most uses of "I" are just padding. For example, I think the wolf is the most important character in 'Little Red Riding Hood' is padded. Additionally, the use of I think only weakens your argument. As you compose each written response, re-phrase the prompt as part of your answer. In other words, I should be able to tell which question you are answering without referring back to the prompts. Support your opinions with evidence from the texts you use. You must back up your assertions with quotes from the texts. Always record the page numbers from quotes and use MLA guidelines for referencing page numbers. Concerning mechanics pay special attention to pronouns. Make antecedents clear. Write Foster first; not "he." Remember to capitalize and punctuate titles properly for each genre. Refer to a MLA handbook or MLA website. My personal favorite resource for MLA is the OWL at Purdue website. Bookmark it! Attached you will find eighteen BRIEF writing assignment options (paragraphs, not pages). You will choose ten of them to complete and submit them on the first day of class. You may use the same work more than once in completing the other prompts. You will need to read each chapter first in order to understand what the prompts are asking.

2 Writing Assignments for Foster s How to Read Literature Like a Professor Introduction: How'd He Do That? How do memory, symbol, and pattern affect the reading of literature? How does the recognition of patterns make it easier to read complicated literature? Discuss a time when your appreciation of a literary work was enhanced by understanding symbol or pattern. Chapter 1 -- Every Trip Is a Quest (Except When It's Not) List the five aspects of the QUEST and then apply them to something you have read (or viewed). Chapter 2 -- Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion Choose a meal from a literary work and apply the ideas of Chapter 2 to this literary depiction. Chapter 3 -- Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires What are the essentials of the Vampire story? Apply this to a literary work you have read or viewed. [Look at works that have a vampire-like character, not an actual vampire story, so nothing from the Twilight series.] Chapter 4 -- If It s Square, It s a Sonnet Chapter 5 --Now, Where Have I Seen Her Before? Define intertextuality. Discuss three examples that have helped you in reading specific works. Chapter 6 -- When in Doubt, It's from Shakespeare... Discuss a work that you are familiar with that alludes to or reflects Shakespeare. Show how the author uses this connection thematically. Read pages carefully. In these pages, Foster shows how Fugard reflects Shakespeare through both plot and theme. In your discussion, focus on theme. Chapter Or the Bible I suggest that you read the short story "Araby" by James Joyce (available online) and discuss biblical allusions that Foster does not mention. You may use a title other than Araby if you wish; just be sure to draw your own original parallels between the literary work of your choice and the Bible. Chapter 8 -- Hanseldee and Greteldum Think of a work of literature that reflects a fairy tale. Discuss the parallels. Does it create irony or deepen appreciation? How? Chapter 9 -- It s Greek to Me Chapter It's More Than Just Rain or Snow Discuss the importance of weather in a specific literary work, not in terms of plot. Chapter More Than It s Gonna Hurt You: Concerning Violence Chapter Is That a Symbol? Use the process described on page 106 and investigate the symbolism of the fence in "Araby." (Mangan's sister stands behind it.) or you may use another work. Chapter It's All Political Assume that Foster is right and "it is all political." Use his criteria to show that a literary work is political. 2

3 Chapter Yes, She's a Christ Figure, Too Apply the criteria on page 119 to a major character in a significant literary work. Try to choose a character that will have many matches. This is a particularly apt tool for analyzing film -- for example, Star Wars, Braveheart, Gladiator, Matrix Trilogy, The Green Mile, Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings. Chapter Flights of Fancy Chapter It s All About Sex You may skip reading this chapter if it makes you uncomfortable. Chapter Except Sex. You may skip reading this chapter if it makes you uncomfortable. Chapter If She Comes Up, It's Baptism Think of a "baptism scene" from a significant literary work. How was the character different after the experience? Discuss. Chapter Geography Matters Discuss at least four different aspects of a specific literary work that Foster would classify under "geography." Chapter So Does Season Chapter Marked for Greatness Figure out Harry Potter's scar. If you aren't familiar with Harry Potter, select another character with a physical imperfection and analyze its implications for characterization. Chapter He s Blind for a Reason, You Know Chapter It s Never Just Heart Disease... Chapter And Rarely Just Illness Recall two characters who died of a disease in a literary work. Consider how these deaths reflect the "principles governing the use of disease in literature" ( ). Discuss the effectiveness of the death as related to plot, theme, or symbolism. Chapter Don't Read with Your Eyes After reading Chapter 25, choose a scene or episode from a novel, play or epic written before the twentieth century. Contrast how it could be viewed by a reader from a previous century with how it might be viewed by a contemporary reader. Focus on specific assumptions that the author makes, assumptions that would not make it in this century. Chapter Is He Serious? And Other Ironies Select an ironic literary work and explain the multi-vocal nature of the irony in the work. 3

4 Read The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini and read it like a professor. The Kite Runner is a story about a boy named Amir and his experiences in Afghanistan during the fall of the current regime and the rise of the Taliban. I will expect you to have completed the novel when we return from the summer. II. Annotate the novel; if you check it out of the library you will need to annotate using sticky notes. See the attached instructions on how to annotate. With your annotation, show off your interpretative skills by addressing the themes of the works, any pertinent symbols the authors use, and significant quotations whose analysis, in your opinion, sheds light on the texts, and anything else that peaks your interest. From your annotations, it should be clear that you have read your other summer book, How to Read Literature Like a Professor: Is there a quest? A dark and stormy night? Baptism? How does geography matter? How is it political? Include your analysis as well as issues on which Foster has enlightened you. Bring your annotated text the first day of school. Annotate well! You will be graded on how you have marked and/or sticky noted your novels. Be prepared to write essays the first week of school on the novel. If you have access to the Internet this summer, I also strongly encourage you to post your observations on your reading of both Foster and your novels on Edmodo.com. You should also respond to other students postings as well. This will prepare you for the discussion atmosphere of our classroom. In addition, thoughtful and insightful posts and responses can earn you extra credit. Now a Word on Note-Taking vs. Annotation First, what is the difference between annotating and "taking notes"? For some people, the difference is nonexistent or negligible, but in this instance I am referring to a way of making notes directly onto a text such as a book, a handout, or another type of publication. The advantage of having one annotated text instead of a set of note papers plus a text should be clear enough: all the information is together and inseparable, with notes very close to the text for easier understanding, and with fewer pieces to keep organized. What the reader gets from annotating is a deeper initial reading and an understanding of the text that lasts. You can deliberately engage the author in conversation and questions, maybe stopping to argue, pay a compliment, or clarify an important issue much like having a teacher or storyteller with you in the room. If and when you come back to the book, that initial interchange is recorded for you, making an excellent and entirely personal study tool. Did I Do it Right? Using your annotated copy of the book six weeks after your first reading, you should be able to recall the key information in the book with reasonable thoroughness in a 15- to 30-minute review of your notes and the text. This will be helpful when we prepare for the free response essay on the AP test. Tools: Highlighter, Pencil, and Your Text 1. Yellow Highlighter A yellow highlighter allows you to mark exactly what you are interested in. Equally important, the yellow line emphasizes without interfering. While you read, highlight whatever seems to be key 4

5 information. At first, you will probably highlight too little or too much; with experience, you will choose more effectively which material to highlight. 2. Pencil A pencil is better than a pen because you can make changes. Even geniuses make mistakes, temporary comments, and incomplete notes. While you read, use marginal notes to mark key material. Marginalia can include check marks, question marks, stars, arrows, brackets, and written words and phrases. Create your own system for marking what is important, interesting, quotable, questionable, and so forth. 3. Your Text As you read, section by section, chapter by chapter, consider doing the following: At the end of each chapter or section, briefly summarize the material. Title each chapter or section as soon as you finish it, especially if the text does not provide headings for chapters or sections. Make a list of vocabulary words on a back page or the inside back cover. Possible ideas for lists include the author's special jargon and new, unknown, or otherwise interesting words. 5

6 ---In Summary--- By the end of the school year you will have completed the following: Read the summer assignment packet, clarifying any questions with me. Fill out the bottom of this page (a parent also needs to sign) and return to me. By the first day of the school year, you will have completed the following: Read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Foster. Write ten paragraph responses of your choice on the chapter prompts. Print these out and bring them to class on the first day. Read The Kite Runner, annotate it and bring it to class with you on the first day. If you have questions or need help throughout the summer, contact me through at 6

7 Student & parent confirmation of receipt of AP English Literature summer reading assignment Student & parent confirmation of receipt of Honors English III summer reading assignment The English department and DHS administration have approved the following list of novels which MAY be studied in advanced classes (whole class, small group, or independently). Because literature often deals with difficult social and moral issues, we encourage you to review the materials before agreeing to enroll your child in this class. If you have any concerns, please contact the school administration. The Stranger by Albert Camus The Things They Carried by Tim O Brien The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald Go Ask Alice - Anonymous Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton The Awakening by Kate Chopin Macbeth by William Shakespeare Hamlet by William Shakespeare Henry VII by William Shakespeare One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest by Ken Kesey Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller Various short stories, poetry, and nonfiction texts from a variety of time periods Your signature below indicates your acknowledgment and acceptance of this reading policy. Failure to sign will result in your child being placed in a different English class. Student s name: (Please print legibly) Student s signature: Parent s name: (Please print legibly) Parent s signature: Student s address: (Please print legibly) Date: 7

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