AP English Literature
On-Line for the 2021-2022 School Year
Teacher: Shannon Deegan
Tuition: $675 before July 1st, $700 after July 1st
To apply: Please click on this form to apply for the class
Who should apply: 10th through 12th grade students who have excelled in - and enjoyed! - foundational English curriculum, including basic composition and literary study. 10th graders, you’ll have to explain in the application why you believe you are ready for this course, since it's typically a space for upperclassmen.
Length of course: Monday, August 23rd until Friday, May 6th. The AP test will be sometime the week of May 2nd. There will be a week long break in October, a half-week long break for Thanksgiving, a two week break in December, and a one week break in March.
All these can be found for free online, but I recommend obtaining a physical copy for at least the longer works - that is, everything except the plays. Check your local library or buy used copies online at places like Thriftbooks.com.
-Lord of the Flies by William Golding
-The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
-A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (play)
-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
-Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
-Hamlet by William Shakespeare (play)
I will provide digital copies of short stories and poetry, which will be ample. We’ll start our year with short stories and we’ll have at least two poetry units throughout the year.
Course meeting times and weekly assignments
The course is designed with flexibility and student-directed pace in mind. The major aim is to read, study, and fall in love with timeless works of art, and to an extent, you will direct your daily schedule to make space for that overarching goal. There will be no formal meeting times for this class, and we will instead use Flipgrid and discussion boards to have group discussions. I will send out all work for the week in an email by Sunday evening and ask that it be completed by Friday afternoon, and you can choose how to structure and prioritize the assignments. Within my weekly Sunday email will be a video of my lecture containing any background knowledge that will help you move through the assignments. Additionally, I will send out a quick video 2-3 times a week where I model creative analysis and thesis generation related to a text we are studying. A detailed, week-by-week syllabus, including weekly assignments corresponding to each text, will be distributed the first week of the course, so that you can always move through the course material as it suits your schedule.
Typically, the week’s assignments will include most of these activities, with variance from week to week:
- About 100 pages of reading a week, depending on our novel
- Quote/poetry analysis and commentary for group discussion board, with emphasis on creative thinking; generating meaningful questions and offering responses on Flipgrid (short 1 minute videos)
- Thesis statement practice and body paragraph drafting, with emphasis on clear composition
- Creative writing: poetry imitations of our authors; original poetry
- Multiple choice progress checks
- 40-minute timed essays (every other week)
- Self-assessment reflections on essays (every other week)
- Goal-setting reflections (based on the skills in the class)
- Longer literary argument essays on a text of your choice from our class (3 total)
Time, rigor, and assessment
- You can structure your week as you see fit, but the assignments and reading expected each week will total about 8-10 hours (half reading, half commentary and writing)
- The study and writing required of you is collegiate and intense in terms of original, creative thinking. I will help you develop this kind of analysis, but it will require you to rely on your own powers of creativity to make connections in our study. There will not be ‘right’ answers or ‘correct’ themes that a novel offers; there will not be one formula for excellent essays. Breakthrough insights in literary contemplation cannot be replicated from another source; instead, they must be nurtured and created.
- Assessments are based on a model of goal orientation and growth. You will set your own major goals for the course, which will be linked to the general course goals, and you will track your growth in those areas using data from your writing and thinking. When it’s time for a grade, you will propose one to me in a conference, using your data to support the grade. Similarly, you will self-assess your timed essays, seeking to better understand your strengths and areas for growth, and I will respond to your self-assessment with my own score and detailed feedback for your continued improvement. Though I will be the content expert guiding your way, we are partners on your journey to excel in the curriculum.
Technical details: please ensure you are equipped with
- A computer
- Access to a printer, to print poems for annotation
- Reliable internet
This will be the tenth year that Shannon Deegan has taught AP Literature, and she has also taught a wide range of English classes from Honors 10th grade to American Literature to Journalism. Above all, she loves to help people sharpen their unique intellectual voice, and she has always been an editor to friends, colleagues, principals, and especially seniors when it comes to college essays. She has been published in the Virginia Education Journal and been a grant-winning presenter at the annual National Council for Teachers of English conference, though her greatest honor has been her selection by student vote to be the faculty representative on the graduation stage. AP Literature is special to her because of its careful focus on great books and poetry: she loves the study of art - which is to say, literature - for its power to deepen and reveal the most complex and hidden truths about us and our lives. Mrs. Deegan graduated with Distinction in English and American Studies from the University of Virginia in 2006, where she also got her Masters in Teaching (Secondary English) in 2010. She writes poetry and creative non-fiction in her free time, and otherwise enjoys whitewater kayaking, gourmet cooking, and spending time with her family.
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