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May 31, 2019 
 
Dear Reader, 
 
One of the challenges of teaching teenagers in the 21st 
century is to give them authentic tasks. You want to 
challenge them individually and also allow them to 
pursue their passions through your content. As an AP 
Literature teacher to a wonderful group of high school 
seniors, I sought to take a very 21st century classroom 
concept, 20Time in Education, and adapt it to support 
students’ reading and writing.  
 
This year, for 20% of their instructional time, AP 
Literature students at Chicago Academy High School pursued their own reading challenges and 
became the authors who they had only read before. In the first semester, students chose their 
reading. Some students set out to discover classic authors from the literary canon such as Jane 
Austen and Tennessee Williams. Other students explored dystopian novels such as George 
Orwell’s ​1984​ and Margaret Atwood’s ​The Handmaid’s Tale.​ Still other students indulged in 
pleasure reading with authors like Stephen King and Angie Thomas. I wanted to give my 
students the opportunity to get lost in a book because, paradoxically, I have always learned 
more about myself and the world around me when I have been exploring the literary 
landscapes of my favorite authors.  
 
What you see on this website is the culmination of the second semester’s work. After reading 
for pleasure and also reading critically to achieve success on the AP Literature and Composition 
exam, the focus for 20Time in the second semester changed from developing personally as 
readers to developing authentically as writers. Students were charged with writing original 
petry, prose, and creative non-fiction to explore their identities as writers. They engaged in 
peer review, and edited their work to publish a literary magazine. You are reading the only 
thing I developed for this website. Everything, from the organization to the website design to 
the biographies and literary pieces has been curated my my 8th period AP Literature class. I am 
very proud of them. They are graduating in a little over two weeks, and I know I will miss this 
very special group. I am so proud that they are each leaving a bit of themselves with us in this 
website.  
 
Thank you for exploring my students’ work. I have come to see this website asa a kind of time 
capsule where each of these young authors has stored a bit of who they are. I hope you enjoy 
their efforts as much as I have enjoyed teaching them. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Meghan O’Keefe 
English Teacher 
Chicago Academy High School 
mlokeefe@cps.edu