AP Literature-2016


for 9/19

Finish Kite Runner, along with the post its

Today terms

each Monday, along with any other quiz will be 27 0f the new words over a month-four quizzes in total

1-27 words    9/18  1. abstract   2. academic  3. aesthetics 4. allegory  5.  Alliteration  6.  allusion  7. anachronism  8. analogy  9. anectdote  10. antecedent  11. anthropomorphism.  12  anticlimax  13.  antihero  14. aphorism  15. archaism  16.  aside  17 assonance  18. atmosphere  19. ballad.  20 bathos, pathos  21  black humor  22.  bombast  23. cacophony  24. cadence  25. canto  26.  caricature  27.  catharsisi

28-54             9/25

55-82      10/2

83-104        10/9



Have Post-its for first hundred pages

Quiz on Kite Runner, first hundred



Notebook Check

Writers Workshop


Grammar workshop


Next pages due on Kite Runner/quiz seminar


extra credit, if interested.  Read the short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” and watch the movie “Birdman.”  Write a three page, double-spaced essay on how the themes of the story connect with the themes of the film. The Film is Rated R and you will need a parent’s permission to watch it.


Have your 5 DJs for Cathedral

If you forgot your book, here’s the story:

cathedral (2)


Raymond Carver intro

go over notebook

read around of work

for Wednesday, read cathedral by Ray Carver-five djs bring the Big Book.

Friday:  Collect, How To Read.  We will begin Kite Runner

Alert:  Notebook check Next Tuesday 9/6, no loose pages.  All in.  Hopefully, just a walk around look to ensure all is in the notebook.


Quiz on final pages



Grading first prompt, read around




For Monday


Writers Workshop/notebook check in one week


Tuesday: Quiz on three short stories/

Final DJ’s due, one per every tine pages.


Due up to the end of “It’s All About Sex” in How to Read like a professor.

7 more DJ’s


three columns




AP Prompt










Quiz on How To Read

Seminar 2

Collect DJ’s


Literary-Criticism-Psychoanalytical ppt

DJ’s for 100 pages of How To Read, for Monday/10 djs, about one every ten pages/This will have to be due for Tuesday, as we have the movie on Monday


The Kugelmass Episode-homework

Questions Page 358 2-5


Collect over break work

Program Cards


Website/notebooks go over

My Name

Notebook due Friday

My Name

My Name by Sandra Cisneros

Summer, 2017

AP Literature and Composition Summer Assignment

Welcome to AP Lit! I’m excited that you’ve all chosen to challenge yourself, and I hope that we’ll all have a fantastic year together. The first key to a successful year is to ensure you guys all keep practicing your critical reading skills over the summer. I would hate for your brains to atrophy! =) It is vital that you complete all parts of this summer assignment as our first few weeks of class (and therefore a large chunk of your first quarter grade) w ill be dealing with the books you read this summer and the notes you take over them. You’ve all earned a well-deserved break, and I sincerely hope you enjoy your summer. Just do yourself a favor and don’t put this all off until August. You’ll want to kick yourself if you have to spend the last two weeks of break doing homework instead of enjoying your last summer hurrahs.

The Assignment:
Choose a book: I have attached a reading list taken from previous AP Lit and Comp tests. Your assignment for this summer is to read two of these works. You have many titles and authors to choose from, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. Reading some reviews (Amazon’s a great source) may help you narrow down your options to something you’ll find interesting. The books on this list are probably not the type of books you would typically choose for some light, vacation reading. However, they serve a few important purposes:

They are a sampling of the types of texts we’ll be reading, discussing, and writing about next year.
They provide you with enough depth and complexity to get you thinking about key themes and the elements used to express them.
They begin/add to your literary storehouse of knowledge which you’ll need to pull from when you take the AP exam next spring.

Take notes: In order to get the most out of your reading (and make your fall assignments much easier),make sure you’re an active reader of these books. As you read, take notes over character/character development, conflict, theme, rhetorical devices/word choice, setting, and form/structure. (You’ll have two sets of notes—one for each work.) I would recommend setting up a couple of pages for each category in a notebook or journal. Pose questions and do your best to answer them. Remember to jot down page numbers so it is easy to find the passages you want. These notes should be ample proof that you have carefully read the work. Do not just summarize the plot!

Write a final response: Write a one-page response as soon as possible after you finish each book. This is just an informal, first person reaction to the novel. Did you like it? Why or why not? What did you find to be interesting in the text as a whole? There are really no rules for a response; it’s just a chance for you to collect your thoughts on the entire piece and vent your excitement, frustration, or questions.

Your notes and responses will be due the first day of class—make sure to bring them with you! Structured writing assignments will follow.

Wuthering Heights—Emily Bronte

Wise Blood—Flannery O’Conner

Catch 22—Joseph Heller

Notes from the Underground —Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Invisible Man—Ralph Ellison
Moby Dick—Herman Melville
Great Expectations—Charles Dickens

Gulliver’s Travels—Jonathan Swift

Frankenstein—Mary Shelley
The Trial—Franz Kafka
The Metamorphosis—Franz Kafka
The Loved One—Evelyn Waugh
Benito Cereno—Hermann Melville
Miss Lonelyhearts—Nathanael West
The Winter’s Tale—William Shakespeare
The House of Seven Gables—Nathaniel Hawthorne

Brave New World—Aldous HuxleyWide Sargasso Sea—Jean Rhys
All the Pretty Horses—Cormac McCarthy
Bless Me, Ultima—Ruldolfo A. Anaya Ceremony—Leslie Marmon Silko
The Color Purple—Alice Walker
Crime and Punishment—Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Cry, the Beloved Country—Alan Paton
Emma—Jane Austen
Heart of Darkness—Joseph Conrad
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—James JoyceThe Portrait of a Lady—Henry James
Song of Solomon—Toni Morrison
The Stone Angel—Margaret Laurence
The Tempest—William Shakespeare
Their Eyes Were Watching God—Zora Neale Hurston Twelfth Night—William Shakespeare
As I Lay Dying—William Faulkner
Bleak House—Charles Dickens
Cat’s Cradle—Kurt Vonnegut
Jane Eyre—Charlotte Bronte
The Optimist’s Daughter—Eudora Welty
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead—Tom Stoppard
The Turn of the Screw—Henry James
Waiting for Godot—Samuel Beckett
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—Edward Albee
An American Tragedy—Theodore Dreiser
Another Country—James Baldwin
The Awakening—Kate Chopin

The Bluest Eye—Toni Morrison
The Diviners—Margaret Laurence
The Grapes of Wrath—John Steinbeck
House Made of Dawn—N. Scott Momaday
Light in August—William Faulkner
M. Butterfly—David Henry Hwang Medea—Euripides
The Merchant of Venice—William ShakespeareMiddlemarch—George Eliot
Moll Flanders—Daniel Defoe
Murder in the Cathedral—T.S. Eliot
Native Son—Richard Wright
The Sun Also Rises—Ernest Hemingway
Winter in the Blood—James Welch
A Passage to India—E.M. Forster
A Midsummer Night’s Dream—William Shakespeare Antony and Cleopatra—William Shakespeare
A Tale of Two Cities—Charles Dickens
The Woman Warrior—Maxine Hong Kingston Anna Karenina—Leo Tolstoy
Things Fall Apart—Chinua Achebe
A Streetcar Named Desire—Tennessee Williams The Great Gatsby—F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mansfield Park—Jane Austen
The Scarlett Letter—Nathaniel Hawthorne
A Farewell to Arms—Ernest Hemingway
The Age of Innocence—Edith Wharton
Alias Grace—Margaret Atwood
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man—James Weldon Johnson
Daisy Miller—Henry James
Ethan Frome—Edith Wharton
A Gathering of Old Men—Ernest J. Gaines
Go Tell It On the Mountain—James Baldwin
The Handmaid’s Tale—Margaret Atwood
Hedda Gabler—Henrik Ibsen
The Joy Luck Club—Amy Tan
Pride and Prejudice—Jane Austen
Ragtime—E. L. Doctorow
The Scarlet Letter—Nathaniel Hawthorne
Sister Carrie—Theodore Dreiser
Slaughterhouse Five—Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Falling on Cedars—David Guterson
The Things They Carried —Tim O’Brien


Order for final project

  1. Genesis and Jonas
  2. Winter/Reem
  3. Crystal
  4. Yoseline
  5. Andy
  6. Ruby
  7. Chester/Vach
  8. Brandon
  9. Daniela
  10. Erica
  11. Ryan
  12. April
  13. Kyra
  14. Julie
  15. Tarha
  16. Lily


Extra Credit

Due date, June 3rd:

In five pages, compare “Il Postino” and another book we read this semester, discuss how one person can make a difference in the world.  Use quotes and examples from the book of your choice and the movie.



AP’ers–Can one person from each group who still need to present please contact me through email.  We just need to work out which groups go on Monday and which groups go on Tuesday. There is no other homework before the exam.  I meant to get to another essay on Google docs but things got crazy with GetLit this week. Tonight I’ll finish up the rest of the essays I never went through and give feedback.  Then this week I need to catch up on all the other grading.

After Wednesday, we are going to start on a final project. Promise there won’t be any essay writing involved.



2015. In literary works, cruelty often functions as a crucial motivation or a major social or political factor. Select a novel, play, or epic poem in which acts of cruelty are important to the theme. Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how cruelty functions in the work as a whole and what the cruelty reveals about the perpetrator and/or victim.

By Sunday at 5 draft

By Monday night, rewrite


4/21 in journal–one page

. It can be said that poetry is alive and kicking in America. Many records, films, advertisements, posters, and dances are conscious efforts at poetry. Some of these efforts are more successful than others, but all of them provide proof that poetry is not confined to the printed pages of textbooks. Select one of the above media that you consider poetic and explain what elements of poetry it contains. Restrict your observations to a single recording or film, or consider several advertisements or posters that you have studied. Make a connection between the medium you have selected and poetry clear by mentioning specific elements such as imagery, figurative language, rhymes, or rhythms. If your imagination needs to be prodded, just think of the many figurative ways in which dirt, evil, danger, pollution, good, popularity, success, and so on, are portrayed on film, videotape, television, or the stage


Finish Prompt

Grade groups

Begin Girls in Their Summer Dresses–One for the Guys


Do women think like Michael too?   Or is Michael’s views exclusive to men?

In the story, is the protagonist an honest, caring guy or a disgusting human being?

Begin Girls in Their Summer Dresses-in joutnsl

100 words each

Tuesday: 4/19:

Seminar on Girls

Homework: Practice Prompt

Wednesday: Prompt together as a class

Finish Prompt for homework.


  • Hold on to annotations from essay, your job tonight is to write an outline for the 2003 response, trying to structure it like the annotated essay.  For example, you may want to decide where you are going to use quotes, how you will respond to quotes, how many paragraphs you have, etc.  Try to have some words that you know that you show off strong diction.  It would be a good idea to see how many quotes the annotated paper used.   Tomorrow you will bring that outline to class to write your response and hand it in with your essay.  You can start it when you enter class.  I am asking that you not write the essay at home, just your outline.

Monday, 4/11, I’m collecting journals tomorrow, to go through.  Also, I’ll collect your anntations to lit response. Tomorrow Ms Bottel will be in to go over State testing.  We may have a little time for Cesar’s group to finish up


For Friday, Finish up review of books and plays this year–with the exception of True West

for 4/6.

 Imagine that you are the editor of a literature anthology and that you must choose three poems

that are related in some way. Review the poems you have in your journal.  Choose three that are

somehow connected to each other.  In a page, explain this relationship, giving clear reasons for your

choices. Be sure that your reader knows what unites the three poems and how the poems relate to

each other. 


for 4/59. Create a “hodge-podge” poem by piecing together words, phrases, and lines from the poems in your poetry journal to create an original poem.

for 4/4.  Along with notebook, in your poetry notebook write down the lyrics to your favorite song and analyze it using the PRJ style.

Week of 3/31

Thursday, Friday and Monday 4/4 are days to work on project

Notebooks.  Simplifying it and giving in. Just doing a 20 point check on Monday 4/4. that there are no loose pages in the three ring binder  and the has some organization.  That’s it.

No more poems for this week


Week of 3/28

Tuesday–finally check notebooks together and more poetry, give back work. We’ll wait till Wednesday for a a test on your book, in case you’re wondering.

For Week

Only Homework, keep up on poetry daily.  I’m okay with you finding poetry away from the book

words for test: 1. burlesque, 2cacophony, 3cadence, 4. canto, 5. caricature, 6. catharsis, 7. chorus, 8. classical, 9. coinage, 10. colloquialism 11. complex, 12. conceit, 13. connotation

14. Consonance 15. couplet. 15. decorum, 16. diction, 17. dirge, 18. dissonance 19. doggerel 20. dramatic irony 21. dramatic monologue 22. elegy 23. elements 24. enjambment


Quiz on next terms won’t be till Friday and Othello, since I didn’t mention it in class

Monday: Finish Up Othello

Review of how to respond to poems, with class example

Tuesday: Review of what we’ve read

Wednesday: Othello-final seminar on Othello/and go over notebook

Thursday and Friday:  Review of book assignment for vacation,

Looking at Poetry Terms



Week of 3/7–One poem a day in PRJ form, see sheet, must be from Lit Book

For Monday, 3/7–Find a poem, any poem from anywhere, write out the lines of the poem in your journal and respond in a half page, in any form, on what you think of the poem, why you like it, etc.  That’s it.  No special way to respond or anything like that.

Monday: Finish up writing

Sheet reviewing works we’ve read this year

Seminar on Invisible Man

Wednesday: Quiz on Twenty Words

Looking deeper at poetic devices

Thursday and Friday: Othello.  Friday/notebook Due

For Spring Break: I am asking you to select one book from the AP selected books and read it.  I’ll figure out a way to assess.

Simplified–this week

Tuesday–Writing Poetry

Wednesday: Looking at Poetry through Bob Dylan–give back work, including writing and quizzes

Thursday, 2/25–test on Invisible Man ch.23-end of  book, collect motif chart and give credit for post-its–Seminar, give out prompt for Friday

Friday–Prompt on poetry.  No homework. We begin Othello on Monday.


3/2  Quiz on terms



sorry, duh, tomorrow is Tuesday, so there will be a quiz–17, 18-19, 20

Look at baseline Paper, and grade from Friday


We are going to return to seminars as usual, with a caveat.  We will have times when we stop everything and give people who want to talk a chance.

Thursday:  AP strategies/writers workshop

Friday: Another AP Prompt

Two week heads up: March 2nd, there will be a notebook check on all the stuff on the chart paper, which isn’t much.



AP Terms/To be tested on:

The first list: Quiz on March 2nd on these words.  As agreed, only 20 out of 25 will be on the quiz:

  1. Abstract     2Academic        3. Accent             4. Aesthetics      5. Allegory 6. Alliteration 7. Allusion 8. Anachronism 9. Analogy   10. Anecdote 11. Antecedent 12. Anthropomorphism 13. X 14. Anticlimax 15. Antihero 16. Aphorism 17. Apostrophe 18. Archaism  19. Aside 20. Aspect 21. Assonance 22. Atmosphere  23. Ballad    24. Pathos  25. Black humor 26.  Bombast.

Sorry, 13 was a mistake.  The final word is bombast


My apologies as to making thing any more complicated over the last week.  I will check your post its tomorrow.  As to quizzes, I will be giving them on the due dates, but not everyone of them. I am asking up that your caught up for any due dates.  We will be doing a lot of test prep coming up, but I am trying to keep homework solely to the reading

  • February 3rd—7-9/quiz/notes on invivisible/begin motif chart
  • february 4th ap test lesson
  • February 5th chapter 10-posits/ap prompt
  • February 8th—ch. 11—collect post-its for  8-11 and djs for 7/quiz chapters 7-11
  • February 10, chapter 12-13 post-its
  • February 12, 14-16 post-its
  • February 15, 17-20 post-its
  • February 17, 21-22 post-its
  • February 19, 23-24 post its
  • February 25, 25-epilogue.  collect post-its for 12-25 and epilogue–final test on 2/25 o chapter 23-end of book on 2/25.  On that day post-its and motif chart checked and collected.

Essay on symbolism due on Tuesday, when you enter

2/3 quiz, discussion of invisible–motif chart

motif chart up to date by the eighth

2/4  AP stratgies and beginning to look at multiple choice

2/5 in class prompt


read until the end of chapter 7.   1 dj per 3 pages.

This email has been cleared with Ruby


Invisible Man 1/26–be up to page 125/quiz on Thursday

If you want take notes on Crimes and Misdemeanors. I am going to try to fit in a paper on Existentialism



Yellow Wallpaper

for each page one dj:  /homework

1 – The Yellow Wallpaper and Why I Wrote It


Eyes Were Watching God presentations

read Yellow Wallpaper for homework, with DJ’s

1/20 Seminar on Yellow Wallpaper

1/21-1/22 quick group project on Yellow Wallpaper

weekend, begin reading “Invisible Man”


All AP students–finished with “Their Eyes Were Watching God”


literary_analysis_rubric1 Owen Meany
Extra Credit/100 points


In both The Great Gatsby and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Characters deal with the past in unique ways. In Gatsby he tries to relive the past, whereas characters in Eternal Sunshine attempt to erase the past. Write a thousand word story between a character from the movie and the book, discussing their feelings on this topic. There should be conflict in the story.
1000 words

Monday: Read chapter 3 in class. No quiz, will wait till Wed. For homework ch. 4. Handout for movie.
Tuesday: Rubric on final and Begin Film
Wednesday: Quiz on 2, 3, 4, 5. We will discuss Gatsby and then get back to film
Thursday: Film
Friday: I’m asking everyone to bring in a draft of the final. I will be generous with what I call a draft, but please bring in something that we can help you with in class.

Finish rest of Gatsby for the day of final
Final will be handed in on Turn It In, day of final. However, there won’t be time to work on it in class. On day of final, we will have a final quiz on Gatsby, discuss a little. Then gift of words and discuss HW for break

Essay topics: (possible topics for Owen Meany
1. Discuss the first paragraph and the last two paragraphs or last line of this novel in
terms of their significance to the whole novel.
2. Track all references to bible verses and songs. What is the significance of the words
and biblical songs that Irving chose to use in this novel?
3. If Owen is the second coming of Christ, how is he both a suitable representative of
the Christian faith and also an unsuitable or odd choice?
4. Discuss the way this story unfolds with all the flashbacks and forwards. This is not an
ordinary plot line. How does the plot structure add to the novel or take away from
it in any way?
5. Foreshadowing is very prevalent in A Prayer for Owen Meany. Discuss how foreshadowing
affects the novel as a whole.
6. The search for and the revelation of who John’s father may be is a significant mystery
that is solved in the novel. Discuss John’s father and the similarities and differences
between this man and John. How does this man affect John, and how does
John affect his father’s life?
7. Mr. and Mrs. Meany are very odd people. They do not appear very often in the
novel, yet they remain significant characters. Discuss these characters and how they
affect the novel as a whole.
8. Investigate any of the motifs that appear in this novel (fatalism, amputation, resurrection,
Owen’s voice, etc…) and trace their significance to the novel as a whole.
9. John leaves America after Owen’s funeral. Discuss John’s departure from America,
the effect that Owen’s death had on the rest of John’s life and his faith, and also
the political significance of John leaving the United States.
10.So much of this novel is humorous. How did Irving use humor as an overall effect in
this novel and what did humor add to the novel?

Thank you to the one person who emailed me about Othello.
So ladies and gentleman, here’s how the end is going to go:
Whoever has not given me a rewrite of your narrative, I need it by the end of the week or the grade turns into a high F.
I will give back your persuasive papers tomorrow. If asked to rewrite their paper, it is due next week on the seventh.
Tomorrow, we will have our final quiz on Owen, as well as final seminar
Tuesday: we will work on the final (Owen Meany Paper) and how to write a response to literature paper. Give back AP papers and short disucssion
Wednesday: We begin the play True West. There will be a handout that will ask you to look at techniques in a play. We will act it out in class.
Thursday: Continue True West.
Next week, we will wrap up with a movie–the Fisher King. Yes, we will watch the movie in its entirety–crazy, huh? By the way, on Thursday I am going to hand out permission slips to watch the movie.
The final on Owen Meany will be due on the day of the final.

Can an APer please email me. I was going to wrap up the semester with Othello and then I remembered Viskanta taught the play. Have most students in the class already read it?
and that’s it. There will be reading over the break, but I promise you for the next few weeks there will be no other surpises.

Monday–quiz on the final reading for Owen Meany.
On Friday, a quiz on the reading up to 509.

Since I screwed up the dates, we won’t be finished with the book until after Thanksgiving.

Back to diction sheets
An historical look at the events behind Owen Meany
Tuesday: Response to Literature and the last writer’s workshop piece of the semester.
Wednesday:  diction sheet and sentence work.  Owen Meany seminar
Thursday:  AP Essay practice
Friday: Quiz on the reading so far/time for writing/along with a Thanksgiving warmup.



Group Assignment for Thursday

It’s so sad that no one laughed. Awwwwwwwww Pobrecito
Dear Group of Owen Meany Masters,
On Wednesday, we would like you to deliver a five minute lecture on the use of symbols in Owen Meany, Feel free to discuss actual objects, names, etc. We are almost half finished with the book and would love to know what clues we should start identifying The event is sponsored by our organization, the Balboa Book Loving Butchers. We’ve heard you also studied “How To Read Like a Professor,” and would love to know about the new insights you’ve been given into the book. Just so you know, your audience is a group of educated teenagers, so don’t talk over their heads and don’t patronize them. And please, please, please do not bore them. They’re at an age where they lose their concentration easily. I’m sure you remember how it is to be that age. Also our members have asked that you not look on line for help. They can do that anytime, and surely you wouldn’t want to bore them with what’s been out there forever. They want your fresh insight. You can do a powerpoint, but no need to. They can’t wait to hear what you’ve dug up. Don’t worry about being wrong or right. That’s not what a close reading is. Worry about showing you can back up your point. No theories will be wrong, and all comments will be highly respected by the group.

Week of 11/9
Monday–No Quiz/I think I’m getting burnt out of them as much as you guys are, but we will do one on the 12th, covering up to P.336. So feel free to get back to your Calc homework. The only other assignment I’m grading before grades go out this week is from anyone who had a third rewrite of the first paper. We will start a group Owen Meany assignment on Monday
Tuesday– Writer’s workshop–talk about next deadline
Wednesday–No Schoool 🙁
Thursday: Quiz Owen, ,time for group work
Friday: Group presentation and discussion of Owen

11/5 quiz on Owen  1-96 and 146-200


Week of 11/1

Final draft of writing due on Friday, 11/6

Friday: short writing lesson/

time to finish drafts before handing them in:  I will try to have computers in class

on Tuesday and Friday.

November 9 201-255
November 12 256-336
November 16 337-416
November 19th 417-509
November 21th 510-617
May or may not be quizzes on these dates

What the AP test looks like.

Quiz on Owen


Seminar On Owen/continue on diction and sentences


Writers Workshop


More work on Diction and sentences

Quiz on Owen: My bad, the chapter goes up to page 149.  I know Jamie was disappointed that I used online questions, so I will try to be a little more clever.


writers workshop.  I will wait on final draft till Tuesday, as I won’t be in on Friday


Back to Tone We will discuss

Quiz up to 93 on Owen Meany


Quiz Owen Meany

Writers Workshop–Grammar discussion and tone


Monday 10/26, continue with reading schedule

Looking at Tone:

About a page, How does Diction in the two poems create a contrasting tone:

the Poems

contrasting poems

The poems

Reading Schedule for Owen Meany:

up to Page P.93 due on October 28th




Due: 10/26:   first fifty pages of “A Prayer For Owen Meany”


Discuss “A Rose For Emily”

Read “Where Are You Going?  Where Have You Been?”  by Joyce Carol Oates

Answer Questions


Quiz how to read, final chapters

Seminar on How To Read

Homework: Read “A Rose for Emily.”

Discussion Questions “A Rose For Emily”

Discussion Questions A Rose For Emily




Writers Workshop


Finish Read  Around of Work

Harvard Video

Formulating Seminar Questions in groups

collect DJs

10/18:  Nelly asked if we also had to provide djs for chapter 27 (which is the last chapter in the book that has a chapter number) or continue on to the sections called “postlude” and “envoi”.

I can see why you might not see it necessary.  So feel free to not do them. I’ll give a little extra credit if you do complete this part.


Evening AP’ers.  Here’s this week’s schedule::

10/16–Read Around of latest writing/all should have a draft/copies of your draft would be helpful

Homework: Finish How To Read, along with DJ’s–1 every 5 pages


Quiz on How to Read125-200


Rewrites due


PSAT/need to find out how many of you are taking it before I can be sure of plans.



Writers Workshop


Notebooks talk



Angels in America

Star Wars and Archetypes–looking at pennys and Lincoln–handouts

Homework: Next 25 pages of How To Read with five dj’s/because I didn’t announce this, I will not check it tomorrow.  However, to simplify, I am asking that by 10/19 you finish the book and continue to average 1 dj per five pages.


10/7–B’s and G’s I’ve updated this week’s stuff and made some clarifications, as things I wanted to do this week got blown out the window.  So, if there’s any confusion, please feel free to email me.  To be honest, I lose sleep wondering if everything is understood.  Feel free to email me if you have any questions or just to say, “I get it.  All we have to do tomorrow is answer the questions for  the semimar, and over the weekend we have more reading and DJs.”  Or anything like that.

upcoming:  first draft of a two thousand word new piece will be due on 10/20.  This is one date that will be up for discussion tomorrow, as I know many of you are working on rewrites.

People who were asked to rewrite their story: due 10/14


Writing time/discussion of grammar

for weekend homework next 75 pages.  with 15 djs

If you are handing in the study questions, leave them in the basket up front.


Seminar on How To Read


Take home questions on How To Read for Seminar

Looking at AP Prompt/Kite Runner

Quiz on How to Read Like a professor

Answer for tonight. About half page each
Examine your favorite movies. What clues are there that tell you how it will go. How the ending will go. How characters react. If there’s a formula, what is it?

So if movies are so formulaic what makes for a good one, despite the formula?


Give back a ridiculous amount of work, discuss with people who need a rewrite

Quiz Tomorrow




Start celebrating, I will be out tomorrow.  We’re not going to move on to anything new.  Instead, I have a handout for you on How to Read Like a Professor that is a review before a quiz on Wednesday.  Note: quiz on Wednesday on what we read so far.

Today: I expect you to take notes on the question sheet, only on the parts we’ve read so far:


If time, work on monologue.

Hand in the 25 djs

I will have a lot of work to give back on Tuesday.  Also, I will post the rest of the week tomorrow.  Sorry it’s not up tonight.  Have a sick child and not as much time as I like.

Friday 10/2


Forgiveness Poem

forgiveness poem

You are going to write your own forgiveness Poem

10/1 Only homework tonight is to finish monologues. For this weekend, the next 75 pages from How To Read, along with DJ’s. Tomorrow I’ll collect the DJ’s from earlier in the week.


Kite Runner Prompts:

We will be using the 2007 prompt.  However, I want to show you other ones that used The Kite Runner, so I posted them too.  .  You do not have to print this up.  However, you will see the question on page four.  If you want to see responses from that year,go to: http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/members/exam/exam_information/2002.html

Help with essay: what ap longs to see





Week of 9/27

You will need y0ur lit book in class most of the week, along with How to Read Like a Professor

Monday–Cain and Abel, Love Song of Prufrock, How to Read Like a Professor–discussion.  Homework: Read Araby by James Joyce and complete questions.  you will need your textbook.  check dj’s

cain and abel

Tuesday: collect homework. writers workshop.  a look at how to answer a prompt to the Kite Runner.  Collect Homework.  Only homework will be to prepare for in class wiritng

Wednesday: in class writing prompt on Kite Runner–ap open response. For homework: Read Good Man is hard to Find and answer questions, we may begin in class, if time.

Thursday: Discussion of Sonny’s Blues, Araby and tying it all together with How To Read.  Homework, Thursday to Monday, continue, next 75 pages of How To Read Like a Professor.”  15 dj’s

Friday: Writers Workshop–beginning of persuasion, but may be changed.  Either way, you won’t need anything but paper

I will try, the operative word “try” to finish reading your stories by Friday.

I will not quiz on Monday, but sometime this week I will give a quiz on what we’ve been doing.  I will give you 24 hours notice.

Now is the part where you start texting one another:  Baer just posted this week’s lesson, and I’m even more confused.

weekend of 25th.

For the weekend, due Monday,read the first 56 pages of How To Read Like a Professor.  You need ten DJ notes.  You do not need post-its.  If you don’t have you notes on DJ’s, here is the link:

dialectical journal
Note: I get it that you can’t respond to characters, as this is non-fiction. I more care that you interact with the text. If you are having trouble understanding DJ’s, feel free to email me.
Also, AP English asks you to be someone who understands and critiques the world around them.  So. . .  Sit under a tree and read poetry, visit a museum, watch an artsy movie, etc.  Have a good weekend.

Also, from here on if you need to contact me by email: rbaer1@lausd.net



Some help for tonight. I will also give you time to work on your paper tomorrow. Also, don’t forget there will be a quick quiz on sentences and style, like the example that you saw on Monday. If there are any questions or confusions, feel free to email me at rbaer1@lausd.net.

You will have two rough drafts and stapled on top one final draft, for a total of 3 drafts.

Here’s what I will have  you fill out:

  1. Give five example of how you made sure to vary your sentences.

In the first paragraph I have a sentence with 20 words, and then two sentences with three words

2. Diction–give 5 examples of verbs you made stronger:

ex.  In the first paragraph, instead of “she is going,” I wrote, “She fled.”


3. Sentence Structure: Give 3 examples showing you know how to use a comma to make a compound sentence.

Ex.  School can get crazy sometimes, but I still love Calculus.

4.  Is your paper 2,000 words?

Here is a hard copy, if you want to fill out tonight, although you certainly don’t have to.  I will have copies in class.
Narrative Self AnalysisName2




Week of 9/21

This week:  We will wait on the quiz till Friday

Monday:  Finish handout, looking at your own sentence variety–due on Tuesday

Tuesday:  Work on story, addressing sentence variety and verbs

Thursday: give back papers.   You won’t need your book, we are going to have a final seminar on The Kite Runner.

Friday:  Quick quiz on sentence structure and style.  You will have time to finish your paper after.  We will be returning Kite Runner and reading the first 50 pages of how to read Like a Professor, over the weekend.  There will be response a response journal, with a quote and response every five pages.

I will have you fill out a sheet, speaking of how you showed sentence variety (35 points), verbs (diction)35ints, understanding how to grammatically write sentences–35 points–all in 2,000 words-25 points

You will have two drafts and your final draft.



we will discuss this: Emille Griffith vs Bernie Paret


Homework due: Closer look at my writing

Writers Workshop/you do not need any books


OK, feel free to text one another: Finally, Baer posted something.    By the way, no one volunteered to write a letter to Vecky yet for Donors Choose. So I’m desperate.  If anyone hands me a letter tomorrow, I will hand you a homemade cookie.  Limited to the first seven.

Quiz on Style and syntax:

If you don’t have the handout on style:

Stylistic Elements

What you need to know for Syntax–More to post later

What we will be doing on Monday:
periodic loose parallel sentences


Sentences: Simple, Compound, and Complex

A common weakness in writing is the lack of varied sentences. Becoming aware of three general types of sentences–simple, compound, and complex–can help you vary the sentences in your writing.

The most effective writing uses a variety of the sentence types explained below.

1. Simple Sentences

A simple sentence has the most basic elements that make it a sentence: a subject, a verb, and a completed thought.

Examples of simple sentences include the following:

    1. Joe waited for the train.
      “Joe” = subject, “waited” = verb
    2. The train was late.
      “The train” = subject, “was” = verb
    3. Mary and Samantha took the bus.
      “Mary and Samantha” = compound subject, “took” = verb
    4. I looked for Mary and Samantha at the bus station.
      “I” = subject, “looked” = verb
    5. Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station early but waited until noon for the bus.
      “Mary and Samantha” = compound subject, “arrived” and “waited” = compound verb


Tip: If you use many simple sentences in an essay, you should consider revising some of the sentences into compound or complex sentences (explained below).

The use of compound subjects, compound verbs, prepositional phrases (such as “at the bus station”), and other elements help lengthen simple sentences, but simple sentences often are short. The use of too many simple sentences can make writing “choppy” and can prevent the writing from flowing smoothly.

A simple sentence can also be referred to as an independent clause. It is referred to as “independent” because, while it might be part of a compound or complex sentence, it can also stand by itself as a complete sentence.

2. Compound Sentences

A compound sentence refers to a sentence made up of two independent clauses (or complete sentences) connected to one another with a coordinating conjunction. Coordinating conjunctions are easy to remember if you think of the words “FAN BOYS”:

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

Examples of compound sentences include the following:

    1. Joe waited for the train, but the train was late.
    2. I looked for Mary and Samantha at the bus station, but they arrived at the station before noon and left on the bus before I arrived.
    3. Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon, and they left on the bus before I arrived.
    4. Mary and Samantha left on the bus before I arrived, so I did not see them at the bus station.


Tip: If you rely heavily on compound sentences in an essay, you should consider revising some of them into complex sentences (explained below).

Coordinating conjunctions are useful for connecting sentences, but compound sentences often are overused. While coordinating conjunctions can indicate some type of relationship between the two independent clauses in the sentence, they sometimes do not indicate much of a relationship. The word “and,” for example, only adds one independent clause to another, without indicating how the two parts of a sentence are logically related. Too many compound sentences that use “and” can weaken writing.

Clearer and more specific relationships can be established through the use of complex sentences.

3. Complex Sentences

A complex sentence is made up of an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses connected to it. A dependent clause is similar to an independent clause, or complete sentence, but it lacks one of the elements that would make it a complete sentence.

Examples of dependent clauses include the following:

  • because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon
  • while he waited at the train station
  • after they left on the bus

Dependent clauses such as those above cannot stand alone as a sentence, but they can be added to an independent clause to form a complex sentence.

Dependent clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions. Below are some of the most common subordinating conjunctions:

  • after
  • although
  • as
  • because
  • before
  • even though
  • if
  • since
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • whereas
  • wherever
  • while

A complex sentence joins an independent clause with one or more dependent clauses.

The dependent clauses can go first in the sentence, followed by the independent clause, as in the following:

Tip: When the dependent clause comes first, a comma should be used to separate the two clauses.
  1. Because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon, I did not see them at the station.
  2. While he waited at the train station, Joe realized that the train was late.
  3. After they left on the bus, Mary and Samantha realized that Joe was waiting at the train station.

Conversely, the independent clauses can go first in the sentence, followed by the dependent clause, as in the following:

Tip: When the independent clause comes first, a comma should not be used to separate the two clauses.
  1. I did not see them at the station because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon.
  2. Joe realized that the train was late while he waited at the train station.
  3. Mary and Samantha realized that Joe was waiting at the train station after they left on the bus.

Complex sentences are often more effective than compound sentences because a complex sentence indicates clearer and more specific relationships between the main parts of the sentence. The word “before,” for instance, tells readers that one thing occurs before another. A word such as “although” conveys a more complex relationship than a word such as “and” conveys.

The term periodic sentence is used to refer to a complex sentence beginning with a dependent clause and ending with an independent clause, as in “While he waited at the train station, Joe realized that the train was late.”

Periodic sentences can be especially effective because the completed thought occurs at the end of it, so the first part of the sentence can build up to the meaning that comes at the end.

Beginning Sentences with “And” or “Because”

Should you begin a sentence with “and” or “but” (or one of the other coordinating conjunctions)?

The short answer is “no.” You should avoid beginning a sentence with “and,” “or,” “but,” or the other coordinating conjunctions. These words generally are used to join together parts of a sentence, not to begin a new sentence.

However, such sentences can be used effectively. Because sentences beginning with these words stand out, they are sometimes used for emphasis. If you use sentences beginning with one of the coordinating conjunctions, you should use these sentences sparingly and carefully.

Should you begin a sentence with “because”?

There is nothing wrong with beginning a sentence with “because.”

Perhaps some students are told not to begin a sentence with “because” to avoid sentence fragments (something like “Because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon” is a sentence fragment), but it is perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with “because” as long as the sentence is complete (as in “Because Mary and Samantha arrived at the bus station before noon, I did not see them at the station.”)


For homework, hand out on tone and theme

check notebook, all three hole punched–promise you not a big deal.  I just don’t want the notebooks to be a big mess.

Tomorrow, you do not have to bring AP Books.  We will have writer’s workshop


No Homework tonight, due to problem with copies

Make sure you have notebooks tomorrow.


big boy

finish up Kite Runner with post its

quiz on book tomorrow


Foul Shot by Edwin A Hoey–writing model–verbs

for your paper due on 9/25

things to be graded:  syntax–correctly used and variety

use of at least some strong verbs

dialogue-correctly used

If you would like to write the letter thanking a student, here are the instructions:

  1. Address it To Vecky
  2. No personal information–do not write your name
  3. Sincerely thank her

This weekend, next 100 pages of Kite Runner

Writers Workshop today.  You do not need to bring any text books

I know the sheets for checking the grade are going out today.   If there are any mistakes, see me during nutrition or after school, pretty much any day.   I am planning on updating many items over the weekend.  So you may want to wait till Sunday night to have the most up to date grades


My apologies for getting behind on updates

Today: quiz on Kite Runner/up to page 200

Motifs in the Kite Runner/finish at home

Notice the cool changes on the website  Thank you Crystal and Yoseline.


Update, Kugelmass was collected on Friday

For the break, 150 pages of The Kite Runner.  Make sure to use post it’s for at least every other page and that it is done in the fashion of the sheet I handed back with quotes.

Also, don’t forget your story that we will workshop on Tuesday.

Love to hear your ideas how we can have a more interactive sight, so we can discuss AP and clear up misunderstandings.


BTW, I heard another one of those grade reports is calling homes.  Do not be concerned.  The grades are extremely incomplete.  I don’t know why it’s doing it.  Also, please contact me with any questions.  I noticed there is an increase in activity on the website, like 30 more users tonight.  If that means confusion, contact me at rbaer1@lausd.net.

Read the “Rocking Horse Winner” and answer the questions.

If any student would like to fix up this website, I would highly appreciate it.  I can’t offer you extra credit, but perhaps food???  An In N Out Meal?

Extra Credit opportunity: The following are movies that are based on a Raymond Carver short story.  For extra credit, watch one of the films and review it.   Of course, any that are rated R, you will have to ask your parents about first.  Birdman was film of the year for 2014.

Everything Must Go

Short Cuts


August 31

Quiz on Style

Review and collect Homework


Read story we will discuss. Give example of type of sentence. To be discussed in class.

August 28th

Homework: Read the three sample essays, annotate them and then on a separate piece of paper, tell what scores you gave each paper and why, in detail.

August 27

1.) What is it about Robert that unsettles the narrator? What does Robert do to put the narrator at ease?
2.) How does Robert shatter the narrator’s preconceived notions of blind people? How do his appearance and bearing resist every stereotypical image the narrator has about blind people, and why is this so upsetting?
3.) What does the narrator learn from his encounter with Robert? Is the ending convincing? Do you believe that there will be a significant change in his outlook from this point on?
4.) Contrast the author’s tone and the narrator’s mood at the opening of the story with the tone and mood at the end. How does the change in style reflect the change that has occurred in the narrator?
5.) How or why is the cathedral an important image or symbol in the story? What is the significance of Carver’s choice of a cathedral as catalyst for the narrator’s learning experience? What added dimension does this symbol bring to our understanding of the story? Can you tie it to any previous detail?

Stylistic Elements

August 26th

AP Prompt:  Respond in class to the second prompt

ap test 2011

August 25

Looking at commas in”Cathredrals”

Commas and

Writer’s workshop, need a draft 1,500 words by next Friday

August 24

Review of Post its

Read “Cathredral”by Raymond Carver and use post its throughout.

cathedral pdf file

Study Questions

Is Sammy’s quitting a form of rebellion or a statement of some sort? Does it have any meaning? What is he rebelling against? Are there unconscious targets of his rebellion? Who is the enemy here? Are there any forms of oppression at work in the story? Who is oppressed (or “embarrassed” for that matter)? Is Sammy’s standing up for the girls in some way a form of standing up for himself?

Why was the world going to be so difficult for him now? Is Sammy fully aware of the character and implications of his gesture?

Is the girls behavior itself a kind of statement or rebellion of some sort? What message are they sending by walking into the A&P in their bathing suits? Why does the store manager oppose the girls’ behavior? Is this a technical (i.e. insurance considerations) or a moral issue for him? Should he be more concerned with making his customers happy?? Are those conflicts related to socioeconomic ones? Are the younger generations pushing for different (more liberal) models of economic behavior?

What in a sense is he trying to achieve by impressing Queenie?

How are sexuality and desire related to issues of class and socioeconomic status? How are they related to issues of consumption and merchandising? Is Sammy in a sense choosing a “commodity” which he’d like to consume? How is that commodity related to his own socioeconomic position?



Read A%P

A&P by John Unpdike

Dialectical journal–10 entries

dialectical journal


strong readers think about what they don’t know; they pay more attention. They think that what they notice is worth thinking about.

for julia

use three different colors.  During each reading we will underline for what we don’t understand and rate our understanding on a 1-10.

After, discussion


8/19 three columns write 3 columns of your life, in random then respond to one thing you wrote about in a quickwrite. Syllabus ap-english-lit-sample_3_1058819v1   8/18 Nine Inch Nails–Video for Hurt Johnny Cash–Hurt

Look at the two videos for the same song.   Identify the audience, purpose, and tone of the piece. How are the same words used differently, in terms of audience, purpose and tone. This is the the type of analysis we will be doing all year. Next: Anthony Decurtis interview he conducted with Trent Reznor for Rolling Stone  is a good study of rhetoric.  Annotate the verbs that stand out, what makes them strong. Reznor interview hurt lyrics Homework for Friday, You will need an 81/2 x 11 notebook and a ring binder.

Leave a Reply