AP ENGLISH  
LITERATURE & COMPOSITION 

 

On-Line for 2012-2013 School Year

 

We have four sections, taught by Lili Serbicki, Maya Richman Inspektor, Debra Bell, and Ruth Green. Space in all sections is limited.

 


 

Section 1

 

Instructor: Lilianna Serbicki (LSerbickiAP@gmail.com)

Course fee: $600

 

Suggested Summer Reading:

Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose

 

Required Texts:

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything that Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor

Selected short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald (all available online)

Selected short stories by Stephen Crane (all available online)

Selected short stories by Kurt Vonnegut (all available online)

Various poems by T.S. Eliot, Margaret Atwood, Robert Browning, William Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, W. B. Yeats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, and others (all available online)

 

Tech requirements: High speed internet, Microsoft Office (or equivalent word processing capabilities), and Adobe Reader. Skype capabilities suggested but not required.

 

Length of course: August 27, 2012 to May 2013 (Exam Date TBA).

 

Course Description:

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 for success in the Advanced Placement English Literature exam, the material is structured to encourage an ongoing love of composition through story. I believe the best way to develop writing structure and style is through narrative. Humanity connects and communicates through stories, characters, and worlds (be they fiction or nonfiction). The pieces chosen for the course reflect a wide variety of tastes and themes; there is something here for a lover of any genre and style.

My goal in AP English Literature is to help students pursue knowledge and creativity in an active manner. I provide these active opportunities by offering optional creative fiction assignments, hosting live IM chats, and featuring an online “Dinner Party” analysis project. All of these opportunities are in addition to required short essay and multiple choice assignments.
Students will have the opportunity to participate in a live Skype discussion twice a month. These webchats will consist of brief lectures, open discussion, MCQ analysis, and other activities. All Skype chats are optional; if a student is not able to participate, he or she will be able to read lecture notes as they are posted on the website.
One of the primary interactive activities in AP English Literature is the spring Dinner Party project. In last year's AP English Literature Dinner Party, I spoke as writer Flannery O'Connor. I invited my students to visit “my” home in Georgia in 1952. In reality, this discussion took place on a web forum that the students could access at any point during “Dinner Party week”. Our forum hosted characters as eclectic as Professor Henry Higgins (Pygmalion), Dorian Gray, George Emerson (A Room with a View), and all of the main characters from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Our discussion topics ranged from ethics and justice to literature and childhood. I was truly impressed by how enthusiastic my students were! All of us enjoyed researching our characters and interpreting each unique voice.

This class is designed to be rigorous and exciting, while still flexible.
Weekly assignments may include:

·         Short essays and multiple choice quizzes in preparation for the AP exam in May.

·         Reading assignments ranging from 30-80 pages.

·         Optional bonus assignments

·         Longer writing assignments including:

1.      Mandatory research papers

2.      Optional short fiction projects: Once students establish their mastery of basic writing skills, they may choose to complete fictional responses to select course texts. These may include original short stories or a “retelling” of a course text from an alternate perspective. This allows students to transcend merely “retaining” important literary and rhetorical devices - they are able to use those devices masterfully in their own writing!

 

Hours of study each week:

8-12 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.

 

Instructor Qualifications:

I am a 2009 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in Communication Arts and a Minor in Philosophy. From 2009-2011 I served as the Web/Sales Coordinator for WTOV9, the NBC affiliate in Steubenville, OH.  My work included managing web traffic, designing and writing copy for web ads and creating effective commercial scripts. I joined the AP Homeschoolers team in 2011, teaching both AP English Literature and English Language during the 2011-2012 year. I also have experience teaching Creative Writing for Aim Academy (with Debra Bell). This year, one of my Creative Writing students won a Silver Key in the National Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. My other current projects include serving as the Fiction Editor for Life Matters Journal.

Please visit the following link to view reviews of my AP Classes from students and parents:

http://sites.google.com/site/mrsserbickiapclassreviews

 

Click here to read class reviews from this year’s participants in Lilianna Serbicki’s class

Click here to download an application for Mrs. Serbicki’s AP Literature class

 

 


 

Section 2

 

Instructor: Ruth M. Green (mrsgreenap@gmail.com)

                       

Course Description:

 

Instructor: Ruth M. Green (mrsgreenap@gmail.com)

 

Course Application: Click here for application.

 

Course Description:

 

This highly-interactive class is designed for 11th and 12th graders who demonstrate an interest and aptitude for literature study. In my course students learn to appreciate and articulate the subtleties and complexities of language through close readings of poetry, drama, short stories, novels, and essays of the English canon.

 

Our class has avid readers and competent writers — courageous enough to share their opinions and writings with classmates, and courteous enough to respond to others in a manner which fosters intellectual exploration and debate. We enjoy a lively discussion of ideas, and work towards the effective formulation of those ideas in written form. In this community of scholars, students find not only literature, but also friendship — we even have our own alumni Facebook group!

 

Assignments are given out weekly. Students do not need to be available at any particular time, and can arrange their work around other responsibilities. However, the commitment is significant. A student who can not easily read eighty pages a week will struggle to keep up with the assignments. Plan to allow 2 hours per day for this subject.

 

Although the focus of this class is the study of literature, we also prepare for the challenging AP exam. Students can expect to gain a vocabulary of literary terms as well as a familiarity with test-taking tips and tricks (skills and strategies!).

 

Through this course, students develop independence of judgment, a capacity for critical reading, and a strong, clear voice as writers. They participate in reading that fully engages both the intellect and the imagination. By the end of the course, the quality and depth of students’ writing has increased and is typified by confidence and insight.

 

Course Texts:

 

·         The Chosen, Chaim Potok

·         Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

·         The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

·         The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

·         The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro

·         Hamlet, William Shakespeare

·         Reading Like a Writer, Francine Prose

·         Cliffs AP Literature and Composition, 2nd edition,  Allan Casson (optional)

 

Class Fee: $650. This price includes enrollment in WordMasters Challenge (a national competition of AP Lit students), three released exams, a student handbook, and other materials. Purchase of novel texts is recommended but not required.

 

Class Size: The class is limited to 21 students for greater collegiality.

 

Course Schedule: Class runs for 34 weeks, from August 27th to the AP Lit exam in May, 2013. There is a two-week break in December and a one-week break in March.

 


Questions?: I answer all questions! Just e-mail me at  mrsgreenap@gmail.com.

 

Instructor Qualifications: I hold a B.A. in English Literature (High Honors) from Lehigh University, and have completed graduate level Summer Institutes in AP Literature instruction at both Goucher College and St. Johnsbury. I am a veteran of 26 years of homeschooling five sons. Formerly, I taught at the Master’s Academy of Fine Arts as well as classes in my home; currently, I teach literature at Excelsior Homeschool Academy. I also substitute for the English Department of Lehigh Valley Christian High School. This is my tenth year teaching on-line AP English Literature & Composition Over those years my students have earned a 98% qualifying rate on the AP exam (scores of 3 or higher).

 

Click here to read class reviews from former participants in Ruth Green's class

Click here to download an application for Mrs. Green’s AP Literature class

 


 

Section 3

 

Instructor: Maya Inspektor (minspektor@pahomeschoolers.com)

 

Course fee: $650

Note: this course is open to 11th and 12th graders as well as 10th graders who can present excellent credentials, such as previous AP exam or SAT scores. I will not consider AP English Literature applications from 9th grade students.

 

Required Texts:

 

· Summer Reading: How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines, Thomas C. Foster. ISBN: 006000942X

· Perrine's Literature:Structure, Sound and Sense. Essentially any edition will be fine, but all of the page numbers I supply will be from the 9th edition. I also referred to the 4th and 6th editions in crafting my syllabus. Students using other editions may need to rely on web texts (which I provide) for more of the readings. Used editions are available for just a few dollars each! Note: we will start the start the year with an intensive, month-long unit of short stories drawn from Perrine's Literature, so please buy this anthology before the course begins.

· Cliffs AP English Literature and Composition, third edition, Alan Casson.

· Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (any edition; free e-texts are available online)

· Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte (any edition; free e-texts are available online)

· The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (any edition)

· Othello, the Moor of Venice, by William Shakespeare No need to purchase! This play should be included in the drama section of Perrine's Literature.

· The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams-- No need to purchase! This play should be included in the drama section of Perrine's Literature.

· Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad (any edition; free e-texts are available online.)

 

Suggested Text:

 

· Grammar Smart: A Guide to Perfect usage http://pahomeschoolers.c2.ixwebhosting.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=48 (While I will not assign work from this text, I strongly recommend it to students who need to brush up on the finer points of grammatical writing. It's excellent prep for the writing section of the SAT.)

 

Registration deadline: Applications will be accepted through August 1st, though the class may fill up sooner.

 

Tech needs: Full web and printer access (broadband Internet recommended but not required). Students must be able to view Adobe PDF files. It is useful but not essential for students to own a digital camera or scanner.

 

Length of course: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 to Friday, May 10, 2012, including a fall break, a winter break, and a spring break. In August, students can choose to participate in an optional unit on short story writing.

 

Hours of study each week: Approximately 10-12 hours. We don't meet at set class times; rather, you will have assignments due by midnight Eastern Standard Time on most days of the school week. I will also post an instructional message every weekday morning by 8 AM EST; usually this message involves a response. I do accommodate student travel plans and special events.

 

Who should apply: Students with a love for literature who would like to invest time and energy into pondering the deeper meaning and construction of the texts they read. Students should come in with the ability to write with few grammatical errors, but they do not need to have had extensive prior formal literature study or extensive experience writing formal essays. They should, however, come in with extensive experience as avid readers!

 

Course description: This highly interactive, college-level course is designed to prepare students for the AP English Literature and Composition exam in May. It will push students to read imaginative literature (novels, poetry, and plays) closely and deeply. We will explore the way that writers manipulate their readers and seek to recognize the way that historical and social context impacts writing. We will actively engage with literature on every level and tease apart its complexity, considering (for example) diction, style, theme, imagery, symbolism, and tone.

I have selected books that I feel can be enjoyed even more upon rereading and that can be used fruitfully in open-response questions on the AP exam. These range from 16th century to 20th century works and involve some mature situations and themes, although I have tried to avoid works with strong sexual content or vulgarity. We will also study a range of poetry and short stories, using Perrine's Literature as well as online sources. In addition, students will form independent book clubs to discuss high-quality literature they select in informal discussion groups.

Students should anticipate reading 40-70 pages each week and writing one essay (or the equivalent) weekly. Students will also pose and respond to critical questions about the weekly readings on our online discussion board and will thoughtfully critique their classmates' writing. Finally, they will engage in targeted test preparation for the AP English Literature and Composition exam.

I also want students to come to understand what college literature study might involve, so we'll study "real" literary criticism about the works that we read, entering this way into the broader literary conversation occurring all over the world.

 

The writing assignments students will complete during this course vary. They will include informal journal entries, discussion question responses, formal analytical essays, poetry, and even parody. I will also emphasize peer review and the writing process, as students bring their essays through multiple drafts and hone their ability to write organized, creative analysis. Students will write two short (first 3-5 pages, second 7-10 pages) papers in response to literature and literary criticism that they will read independently. If they wish, students can extend one of these papers beyond ten pages to meet the requirement of some diploma programs. Of course, a major focus of our study involves writing exam-style essays, and I help students develop mature, complex, and non-formulaic (but organized) essay style.

 

While our primary focus will be on the analysis of literature, this course is well suited to students who also love to write creatively. Throughout the year, I will draw connections to creative writing and help students come to understand the process of professional writers. Students will also have the option of sharing their creative writing for peer review under the Writer's corner portion of the web site.

 

Ultimately, I hope students leave this course with a zest for uncovering the many layers of meaning in the fiction they read and an appreciation for the music and meaning of poetry. They will gain not only an arsenal of literary terms, but also a sense for the patterns that underlie the books they read. Literature throughout the ages is an interwoven web, and I look forward to exploring this web with my students.

 

I also hope my students do well on the AP exam, and in the past this has certainly been the case-- in 2009-2010, for example, fully 90% of my students earned top grades of 4 or 5 on the exam, and my 2010-2011 class had an even higher average score.

 

Instructor Qualifications: This is my fifth year teaching online AP English Literature and AP English Language, and I feel I improve every year. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004, majoring in English nonfiction writing and Psychology. I obtained a Masters of Education in Secondary English from Carlow University, studying homeschooling English programs for my masters thesis. I taught at a private school in Pittsburgh for two years, taught creative writing classes at the School of Advanced Jewish Studies in Pittsburgh, and served as an SAT tutor for a major test preparation company. I live in northern Israel with my husband and young daughter, which means I can literally grade while you sleep, because I'm seven hours ahead of you. :) As a past participant in many online AP courses (including AP English Literature), I'm thrilled to have returned as a teacher!

 

Details: I am happy to respond to any and all questions about the class; my e-mail is minspektor AT pahomeschoolers D0T com. (Note: for certain addresses, my spam filter automatically diverts e-mails coming to this account. If you don't hear back from me within a few days, you can contact me at yiyehtov AT gmail D0T com or contact PA Homeschoolers directly.)

 

Click here to read letters from Mrs. Inspektor's students during the 2007-2008 school year.

Click here to read class reviews from former participants in Mrs. Inspektor’s AP Literature class

Click here to download an application for Mrs. Inspektor's AP Literature class.

 


Section 4

Instructor: Debra Bell debrabell2000@yahoo.com

To apply, request an application from instructor.

 

Teaching Assistant: Rebekah Taylor, Wheaton College (Rebekah earned a “5” on the exam. This will be her third year as my TA.)

 

Prerequisites:  At least one high school level literature course. At least one high school level composition course. 

 

Student Readiness: As a quick rule of thumb, students are reading on the college level if they have scored 600 or above on the SAT verbal section or score post high school on a standardized test.

 

  • Open to students in 10th-12th grade (who meet the prerequisites)
  • College-level class leading to AP testing in May
  • Students should be ready for college level work, reading and responsibility
  • Potential for 6 college credits based upon AP test score
  • Assignments are due Friday midnight your time zone, but not considered “late” if received before the following Monday morning. Technically, I’d like them in on Fridays but the weekend “grace period” is available when needed.
  • 34 weeks. Course begins week of August 29, 2012
  • To apply, request a student application from the instructor

 

Tuition: $$650

 

Collaborative Groups: Students are encouraged to work collaboratively on many assignments. This strategy has helped prior students make significant gains in their critical reading scores and essay writing, plus it is fun. Groups will be determined shortly after the class begins, and students have input into their group assignment. Students can opt-out, but most realize this is a powerful learning tool and I provide support and technology that help make these groups work well.

 

Communications: I provide recorded video lectures for core course content; in addition, we have a class website and forums where we discuss the texts and posts comments on each other’s work. Several times a month I host “optional” live discussions during office hours where students can ask me questions and I can review their work through screen sharing. These are also recorded and provided to all students. I am additionally available to students through g-chat and Skype, and I do one-on-one tutorials at student’s request.

 

Office Hours: TUESDAY/THURSDAY 2-3 PM EST, other times by request.

 

Technical needs: Google Account – I use Google applications extensively in this course. The course website is a password-protected Google Site. Broadband, high speed Internet and an e-mail account that accepts large files a must. Weekly assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website.

Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend 5-10 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering multiple-choice questions, writing short essays and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums.

 

Class Meeting Time: Students do not "meet" at a scheduled time, but all homework is due by Friday evenings, midnight your time zone. I update the website syllabus and send out weekly class updates via e-mail by Monday morning. Homework is not technically late if received before I update for the week. 

 

Qualifications: By the time this course begins, I will have a PhD in Educational Psychology from Temple University; I also have a Masters in English. I am permanently certified to teach in PA, with experience at the high school, community college and university levels. From 1988-2008, I taught literature and composition classes at several home school co-ops. This will be my tenth year teaching for PA Homeschoolers.

 

Class Description: The number one priority of this course is to prepare you to nail the AP English Literature exam in May. (More than 80% of prior students earn a 4 or 5 on the test). But transcending that noble goal, I aim to deepen and broaden your love for literature and the arts and improve your ability to write analytically and elegantly about it. You will do a lot of reading and a lot of writing. And you will receive a lot of feedback from your peers and from me.

Representative Assignments: Some of the things we have done in the past that I will likely use again include working on our Great English Literature Timeline Wiki, individual author projects, poetry writing contests and movie week.  If an appropriate movie is released, then we make it a class field trip to see it and discuss it (Life of Pi, for instance, is due out next year).  Students who wish to improve their grade in this course are always free to keep working on major assignments and projects and resubmitting for additional points.  As long as the effort is producing student learning, I’m game.

 

Required Texts: I realize many students have probably studied some of these texts before, and I am frequently asked to consider different texts for that reason. However, that’s missing the point of studying literature. I’ve purposely chosen several books I hope many students have read previously. Great literature bears increase pleasure and understanding with every re-reading. And most students are yet inexperienced at reading critically, which only begins once we are beyond reading for plot alone. So, if you have read some of these books, all the more reason to consider the class. (We may not discuss all of these texts, but they are what I recommend in preparation for the AP exam.)

 

  • Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  • The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • The Road¸ Cormac McCarthy
  • The Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  • Hamlet, Shakespeare
  • Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, 8th edition or later.
  • 5 Steps to A 5: AP English Literature by Estelle Rankin & Barbara Murphy

 

Optional Summer Reading and Activities:

 

  • How To Read Literature Like A Professor, Thomas Foster
  • Reading Like A Writer, Francine Prose

 

To apply or ask a question regarding this class, e-mail Debra Bell at debrabell2000@yahoo.com

 

Who should apply: Students should be in 10th, 11th or 12th grade and have some experience writing analytically (creative writing does not apply). The well-prepared applicant also has completed a noteworthy reading list of classics and modern titles of literary merit.   Also, online learning requires a great degree of organizational and time management skills from the student. So, are you ready to improve in this area and/or take responsibility for initiating interaction with me if you are confused or discouraged? Then ask for an application and let’s get started.

 

Click here to read class reviews from former participants in Mrs. Bell’s AP Literature class

 


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