Length of course: This course begins Tuesday, August 28th, 2018 (that is the first date homework is posted) and extends through the AP exam in May of 2019. Optional weekly live meetings occur EVERY THURSDAY at 2PM EST beginning Week 1 of class.
Fiction and Drama:
Macbeth by William Shakespeare (buy or rent any edition)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (buy or rent any edition)
Persuasion by Jane Austen (buy or rent any edition)
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (buy or rent any edition)
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (buy or rent any edition)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (buy or rent any edition)
“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane (available online; I will provide)
“Bernice Bobs Her Hair” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (available online; I will provide)
“Everything that Rises Must Converge” by Flannery O’Connor (available online; I will provide)
Various poems by T.S. Eliot, William Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, W. B. Yeats, John Donne, Emily Dickinson, and others (all available online).
Required Reference Texts:
5 Steps to a 5 AP English Literature. 2016 Edition by Estelle Rankin. ISBN-13: 978-0071846288. The 2015, 2017 or 2018 edition is also acceptable.
Scholarly articles, nonfiction pieces, and resources that I will provide.
SUGGESTED BUT OPTIONAL REFERENCE TEXTS
Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (ISBN-13: 978-0060777050)
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules and Real-World Examples (ISBN-13: 978-1118785560)
SUGGESTED BUT OPTIONAL Summer Reading from our reference list:
Chapters 1-2 of Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation: An Easy-to-Use Guide with Clear Rules and Real-World Examples
This class is intended for 10th, 11th and 12th graders who possess a love of story and energetic discussion. While this course is designed to prepare students to successfully take the Advanced Placement English Literature exam, the material is structured to encourage an ongoing love of writing and in-depth textual analysis. The ability to thoughtfully evaluate what we read is one of the best skills to develop in high school and beyond! I believe the best way to develop writing structure and style is through the study of storytelling and narrative. Humanity connects and communicates through stories, characters, and imaginative worlds. The pieces chosen for this course reflect a wide variety of themes and styles; there is something here for a lover of any genre and style, from classic drama to biting satire to realism and beyond! I have chosen classic works of fiction from a variety of time periods and backgrounds to help students explore a three-dimensional, vibrant scope of humanity.
My goals in AP English Literature are to:
- Guide students as they master a wide breadth of literary analysis concepts, vocabulary, and devices (such as figurative language, motif, symbolism, characterization, conflict, narrative perspective, tone, and more) that help us to interpret and enjoy the narratives we read.
- Help students to master the ability to write concise, well-structured, specific essay responses.
- Encourage students to pursue knowledge in an active manner.
- Create an interactive community of rich discussion and exchange of ideas.
I work to achieve these goals through many activities, including but not limited to:
- Hosting OPTIONAL live, interactive chatsevery week via the ZOOM conferencing program. If you are not able to attend live meetings, you may ALWAYS listen to the recordings. Our live meetings include lecture material from me AND interactive student discussion.
- Regular student interaction and discussion in our website forum on a weekly basis. Reading and responding to the insights of their peers is a great learning and social activity; we always have a thoughtful, vibrant student community in this course, and students have formed enjoyable study groups and lasting friendships.
- Providing in-depth written feedback on every essay assignment. I provide regular instruction and feedback in areas such as depth of analysis, organization and structure, balance of generalization and specific detail, effective use of literary elements, correct syntax and grammar, and correct use of a wide-ranging vocabulary and diction. My essay critiques are geared to help students hone in on challenge areas and improve their essay scores!
- Guiding students as they complete assignments that prepare them for each concept and section of the AP Exam, including fiction analysis, poetry analysis, drama analysis, free response, and multiple choice questions. Students who complete all of the preparation assignments I assign feel prepared and ready for success! Please read the student reviews below for detailed feedback from course participants.
- Providing optionalcreative writing assignments (fictional reflections from the point of view of a character we’ve encountered, poetry responses, and more) to help students “get involved” and enjoy writing! All creative exercises are optional; students may focus on essays alone if preferred.
- Moderating an interactive, week-long “Dinner Party” project each spring. This is a lively website forum discussion that involves students “interacting” as authors and characters we’ve encountered throughout the year. Students interact “in character” and discuss many issues that involve analysis and creativity. This is an excellent way for students to practice their research skills and develop their ability to see from the point of view of a fictional character – or a classic writer. This is wonderful preparation for the AP Exam!
- Longer writing assignments, including a mandatory 6-10-page midterm literary analysis paper. This is excellent preparation for college-level writing, as I help to guide students through multiple checkpoints for this project and encourage original critical thinking and strong structural skills.
- Students are encouraged to consider participating in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and I offer guidance if desired.I have a background which includes Creative Writing instruction; my students (including all course and tutoring students) have won many Silver Keys and Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.
This class is designed to be rigorous and exciting, while still flexible.
Weekly assignments may include:
- An optional live discussion.
- Interactive discussion of course texts and concepts in our web forum.
- Visual presentations, concept handouts, and other materials.
- Short essays and multiple choice quizzes in preparation for the AP exam in May. These assignments are designed to develop the specific skills your student needs!
- Reading assignments ranging from approx. 30-100 pages.
- Optional bonus assignments and an in-depth extra credit vocabulary prompt of the week.
- ORa portion of a longer writing assignment, including a 6-10-page midterm literary analysis paper which prepares students to write at a college level.
- Homework will be assigned/due weekly on our course website. I will also send out a weekly homework update email to both students AND parents! I provide regular, clear communication to ensure everyone is “in the loop.” By featuring ONE weekly due date for ALL weekly homework, students have the maximum amount of flexibility; this is helpful for busy students who have a variety of commitments. I am always happy to help students with time management as needed.
- Students will access recorded audio lectures, audiovisual material, detailed visual handouts and presentations, posts, and activities on the website.
- All homework will be submitted and critiqued via the website. Detailed instructions will be provided for all assignments.
- REQUIRED: High speed internet and Microsoft Office (or equivalent word processing capabilities). You must have the ability to read Word Documents and PDFs.
- Headset or microphone capabilities suggested, but not required.
- OPTIONAL LIVE meetings via the ZOOM Meeting Center will occur EVERY THURSDAY at 2PM EST.These meetings will always be recorded for your convenience.
LIVE Course Meeting Time: OPTIONAL LIVE meetings via the ZOOM Meeting Center will occur EVERY THURSDAY at 2PM EST. They will be 50-55 minutes long. These meetings will consist of lecture material AND interactive discussion time with fellow students and myself. All course meetings are OPTIONAL and will be RECORDED for your listening convenience. Approximately 70% of my AP Literature students attend live meetings; the rest listen to lectures asynchronously (afterwards) to fit their schedule. Students who are unable to attend live lectures may also participate in group discussion on the course website forum.
Hours of study each week:
8-10 hours, depending on the week and the amount of bonus material the student chooses to cover. This includes required reading, extra credit, group discussion, short essays and multiple choice questions.
Mrs. Serbicki is an experienced Advanced Placement English instructor with a professional background in writing, media, editing, and advertising. She is a 2009 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in Communication Arts and a Minor in Philosophy. This upcoming school year will be her eighth year teaching high-level online courses. She has many years of experience providing student tutoring in areas of writing and mechanics as well as experience in small print publication and editing. Her students (including all course and tutoring students) have won many Silver Keys and Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.