Advanced Placement Literature & Composition

School: Wilkinson County High School
Teacher: Gloria Newsome
Syllabus for 2015-2016 Academic Year

Course Description
This two-semester course takes students beyond the level of basic literary analysis
to give them a high-school English course that is the equivalent of an introductory
literature course at the college level. Students will read literature representative of
various genres and periods and engage in literary analyses of these selections
through discussions, essays, and presentations as well as various performance tasks
designed to elicit their deep understanding of required elements and readings.
Students will demonstrate mastery of their understanding of literary terms in all
analyses and shall participate in an ongoing study of vocabulary building. Students
will become adept in using elements of style, rhetorical devices, and figurative
language as their tools of analysis. Students will participate in an ongoing dialogue
of how all literature is art as well as a reflection of life and, hopefully, as a result of
this course, develop a lifelong appreciation of the beauty and power of the written
word as well as improve skill levels in analysis and writing. All students will take the
AP exam in the spring; students do not have to pay a registration fee to take this
test, which will be given on campus on a school day.

Supplies
Three-ring binder with dividers and loose-leaf notebook paper
Pencils for daily work
Dark ink pens (dark blue or black) for tests and essays
Highlighters
Box of markers (6-12)

Course Outcomes
Students shall improve their

analytical skills by participating in the reading and discussing of selections
and texts from multiple genres.

ability to write in various genres, timed as well as take-home assignments,
demonstrating control of purpose, tone, diction, syntax, style, and critical
thinking.

test-taking skills (multiple-choice questions as well as timed written
responses) through practice on past AP exams that have been released for
student practice.

vocabulary acquisition through a systematic approach that includes study of
word roots, prefixes, suffixes, and etymologies and requires students to apply
knowledge of vocabulary contextually on tests and in their writing.

ability to connect reading selections thematically, structurally, and
historically.

ability to identify and understand literary devices in literature and analyze
their effectiveness in selections read.

revision skills by rewriting returned essays and resubmitting them for
evaluation.

Methods
Students will actively engage in large-group teacher-led discussions as well as
student-led small-group discussions and shall work in cooperative learning groups
for many in-class assignments. Most formal assessments shall be individual and not
group assignments.

Resources
Vocabulary Workshop, Level H
Perrine’s Literature Structure, Sound, and Sense
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Hurston
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Beloved by Toni Morrison
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor
“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
American Gothic Tales, Joyce C. Oates, ed.
As I Lay Dying by W. Faulkner
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Canterbury Tales by Chaucer (Prologue and the Wife of Bath’s Tale and the
Pardoner’s Tale)
Beowulf, anonymous
Other satirical and persuasive selections
Assessments
Notebook Checks
Vocabulary tests
Quizzes
Daily class work
Literary Terms Test
Essays
Discussions—Everyone is expected to participate in discussions.
The AP Holistic Essay rubric will be used to grade all essays.
Semester exams will be required of all students in the fall semester.
Semester exams will be required of only those students who do not take the AP
exam in the spring semester.
Semester exams will be practice AP exams.
Grading Scale
A = 90-100
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
F = Below 70
The teacher will use the school’s uniform grading policy to determine individual
averages:
Homework = 5%
Daily Assignments = 15%
Quiz= 20%
Test=30%
Project/Lab/Performance Task = 30%

At the end of each semester, advanced placement students receive 10 bonus points
added to the semester average.
Students must take the SLO pre-assessment (August 2013) as well as the SLO postassessment (May 2014). Students also must take the AP Exam in English Literature
and Composition (May 8, 2014).
The following agenda should be viewed as a flexible guide. Although we
will adhere to the general skills and assignments outlined, pacing and
choices of reading material are subject to change if the teacher deems
such changes are for the students’ edification and betterment.

1st Semester
Unit 1: Introduction to the AP Exam format: Essays and Multiple-Choice
questions (3 weeks)
The AP holistic essay rubric
Writing the timed essay —Essay 1 (first attempt)
Return first attempt (with teacher commentary) for revision. Submit revision
to be graded.
Grammar Review and Practice: sample sentences from students
Practice rating other AP essays (2 days)
Sample AP multiple-choice questions: practice
Vocabulary Units 1 & 2: Exercises and Tests
Comma Test
Assign short etymology assignment that will be due next week. Give
students etymology rubric.
Unit 2: Canterbury Tales (3 weeks)
Canterbury Tales Prologue (Middle English and Modern English), Pardoner’s
Tale, and Wife of Bath’s Tale
Focus: analysis of symbolism, imagery, structure, and theme; journey motif;
frame story
Essay 2: Thematic Analysis (Canterbury Tales)
Vocabulary Units 3, 4, & 5: Exercises and Tests.
Unit 3: Short Fiction (4 weeks)
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “A Good Man Is Hard To Find,” “Young
Goodman Brown,” & “The Ugliest Pilgrim”

Focus: allegory; archetypal journey
Vocabulary Units 6, 7, & 8: Exercises and Tests
Essay 3: comparison/contrast of archetypal journeys in above stories
Unit 4: Persuasive Writing/Satirical Writing (2 weeks)
“A Modest Proposal”
Other selections: famous speeches
Focus: satire; rhetorical devices
Vocabulary Units 9 & 10: Exercises and Tests
Essay 4: Effect of rhetorical devices in a persuasive selection
Unit 5: Shakespeare (5 weeks)
Macbeth
Hamlet
Focus: Shakespearean language, figurative language; journeys of the mind
Essay 5: Analysis of a soliloquy
Vocabulary Units 11-15: Exercises and Tests
Unit 6: More Test Prep
Test on Literary Terms
More practice from AP tests
Semester Exam: Essay

2nd Semester
Unit 1: Drama: Hamlet (4 weeks)
Background information on Elizabethan England and theater
Drama Terms
Acts I-V
We will read each act and demonstrate comprehension of characterization, plot,
Shakespeare’s language, figurative language with a variety of assessments.
Unit 2:

Poetry (4 weeks)

Focus: poetry elements and poetry types; various poetry selections for
discussion
and analysis
Essay 7: Poetry Explication
Unit 3: Their Eyes Were Watching God (4 weeks)
Focus: archetypal journey; search for love and acceptance; structure (frame)
and dialect
Essay 8: Essay on symbolism or journey’s effects on protagonist
Unit 4: Beloved (3 weeks)
Focus: archetypal journey; effect of past on the present; forgiveness; concept
of home

Unit 5: As I Lay Dying (2 weeks)
Focus: archetypal journeys; motifs; style; historical context
Essay 10: Effectiveness of stylistic devices in the novel or
comparison/contrast between character from this novel and character from
another novel
Unit 6: More AP Test Practice (1 week)
Practice tests, test strategies, essays
Unit 7: Comprehensive review of selections we have read, literary terms
covered, and a final literary analysis (MLA format)

Grading Policies: You will have many and varied types of assessments to provide
evidence of your knowledge and understanding of the material covered. You will
have informal as well as formal assessments. Quizzes, homework, daily class
assignments, my observation of you as you work individually and in groups and as
you respond in discussions about literature are some examples of informal
assessments. The weights of these assessments have been noted earlier in the
syllabus.
When I give you a homework assignment, you should have it ready to turn in when I
request it the next day if you want to receive credit for it. I will grade at least two of
the homework assignments each week; I will choose these randomly. Students who
do not turn in a daily assignment (whether homework or class work) will need to
complete a No Assignment sheet.

Assignments turned in after the due date are subject to point deductions at the
discretion of the teacher. Exceptions will be given to students with documented
accommodations or those with prior teacher approval.
At the end of the second semester, I will add ten (10) points to your average (policy
for AP classes).
Independent Reading: Each grading period you will have independent reading
assigned. You will take an assessment over the independent reading, and it will
count a minimum of one test grade.
Behavior:
In this class we will use the Progressive Steps to Discipline to record
minor instances of misbehavior. The first infraction will result in a warning. The
second infraction will result in contact with your parent or guardian. The third
infraction will result in detention. Additional infractions, depending on severity
and/or frequency, may result in additional break detention or a discipline referral to
the administration. All major behavior infractions (fighting, harassment, blatant
disrespect, etc.) will result in a referral to the administration.
Detention:
I will assign break detention as necessary; the teacher will determine the number of
days depending on severity and/or frequency of infractions.
Optional Assignments
Periodically I make optional assignments available to any and all students in a class.
It is your choice whether to do these assignments and adhere to rubrics and
deadlines for these. It is an opportunity for you to improve your grade in this class.
No Food or Drink in the Classrooms
School policy states that students are not to eat or drink in the classroom. This
means NO food items, including gum. The only exception to this rule is bottled
water.
Tardies
On your first tardy to class, you will receive a discipline step (a warning). On your
second tardy to class, you will receive break detention, and I will contact your
parent. The teacher may assign break detention, lunch detention, or refer students
to administrators for frequent tardies.
Absences
On your third absence, I refer you to the counselor / Attendance Support Team. I
then keep the support team informed about any additional absences.

When you have an absence, it is your responsibility to get your missed assignments
on your first day back to class and to make them up in a timely manner. (It is up to
you to pick up your missed assignments.) You may not make up an assignment if
you have more than six unexcused absences or more than 6 parent-excused
absences. You must still take previously scheduled assessments at the scheduled
time. For example, if on Tuesday I announce that we will have a test on Friday, and
you are absent on Wednesday and/or Thursday, yes, you still have to take the test
on Friday. Also, if you are absent and miss a test, quiz, essay, or other assignment,
your make-up assignment may not be the same as the one everyone else
completed. Be forewarned!
Cheating / Plagiarism
Cheating on assignments will not be tolerated, whether it is a daily assignment or a
formal assessment. To eliminate any confusion about copying the work of others, I
have included a definition of plagiarism for your edification. The following is a
definition of plagiarism taken from an educational web site:
“Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as if it were your own, whether you
mean to or not. ‘Someone else’s work’ means anything that is not your own idea,
even if it is presented in your own style. It includes material from books, journals or
any other printed source, the work of other students or staff, information from the
Internet, software programs and other electronic material, designs and ideas. It also
includes the organization or structuring of any such material.” (Victoria University
of Wellington, http://www.vuw.ac.nz/home/glossary/)
Cheating on any assignment will result in a grade of “0” on that assignment. If you
can’t afford to earn a “0,” don’t copy the work of others; don’t let others copy your
work.
Passes Out of Class
You will be allowed 5 passes out of class per nine weeks.
Class Format: Each day you can expect the following in this class:
o

o

A warm-up activity, which will be posted on the active board. If the
warm-up activity involves a handout or worksheet, it will be on the cart
next to the hall door. Begin the warm-up as soon as you enter the
room.
It is your job to start on and complete the warm-up during this time
and while I take roll.

o

An agenda for the day’s lesson, along with standards and essential
questions, posted

o

Delivery of instruction / content (a reading assignment, for example).

o
o
o

An activity (or activities) demonstrating your comprehension and
application of knowledge.
Closure of the lesson (last 10 minutes of class).
Dismissal by teacher.

Mrs. Newsome
Advanced Placement Literature & Composition
Syllabus / Grading Policies / Classroom Policies
To be completed by student and parent:
NAME: _______________________

CURRENT MAILING ADDRESS: _________________________
_________________________
_________________________

PARENT CONTACT : __________________________ Relationship __________

DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER WHERE PARENT MAY BE REACHED: __________

I have read Mrs. Newsome’s syllabus for Advanced Placement Literature &
Composition. I understand Mrs. Newsome’s classroom policies and grading policies
as specified in the syllabus. Also, I have read the definition of plagiarism. I
understand that I must take the AP English Literature exam in the pring in order to
receive the ten additional points on my semester average.

PARENT’S SIGNATURE _________________________

Date __________

STUDENT’S SIGNATURE ________________________

Date __________

This sheet is due to be turned in no later than Thursday, August 6.