AP English Language Summer Assignment This packet contains the assignments required for entrance into AP English Language for Fall 2016. The entire packet must be completed and brought with you to the first day of class when we return in August. Failure to complete this packet may result in un-enrollment in AP English Language. For all reading, you will be expected to annotate and answer the questions provided (these are on the calendar). The questions (provided at the beginning of the passage with the summary of the text and theme) must be answered on a separate piece of paper. The annotations, however, should be done directly in the packet (post-its are fine, but you should still be marking the text itself). I encourage you to use the HSA annotations guide you generally use (provided here), but for the kinds of reading we will be doing in class, I recommend the following strategy for marking up the kinds of non-fiction texts we will be reading: ● CIRCLE any unfamiliar words. Then, once you finish that sentence or paragraph, write in the margin the definition of the word. (You should also reread the sentence/paragraph after you’ve defined the word, to ensure you understand the overall meaning.) ● At the end of every long paragraph, or after several short paragraphs, WRITE IN THE MARGIN a brief summary of what the author is literally saying. Then, go back and underline key words or details that show this is really what the author is saying. (I like to also draw lines to connect these underlines to the summary, so I know that is what they connect to.) ● As you come across an important idea, or you make connections between the text and an idea you have, STAR or INFINITY SYMBOL the text. Then, WRITE IN THE MARGIN your thoughts about that particular section. (These I also “connect” to the comment with lines, so I remember what stars go with what comments.)
Now, I’m a color freak, so I like to do each of these things in a different color when I can; that way, I know what goes with what. But seeing as you will only have a pencil/pen for the AP exam, you may want to do everything in the same color. I also find that all this writing will cover up a lot of the page. Sometimes, if there is less margin room, I will write the either the summary or the comments on post-it. Generally speaking, the comments are more valuable to you as a reader, so I recommend that you put those on the actual page. If you put a summary
on a post-it, then as you get to know the text better and better, you can remove it because you should have a better understanding of the author’s meaning. The calendar included is a recommended pacing guide. I DO NOT recommend waiting until the last week to do everything, but if you want/need to move the times around, you may. It is expected that you read all of the passages (including their intros) and answer all of the questions before the first day of school. Feel free to read the passages with other students and discuss the ideas presented, but I expect that all the work you show in annotation AND in answering the questions is your own work and thought. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail me directly at [email protected]. Enjoy your reading, and I look forward to working with you next year! ~ Ms. Finney Summer 2016 Reading Schedule & Analysis Questions Week 1 (June 13 - 19) ● COMMUNITY: What is the relationship of the individual to the community? ● “Learning About Humanity On Public Transportation” (Vice)
1. In the first paragraph, Gethard communicates that he sees himself as part of the New York community (“The stereotype of New Yorkers is that we’re people who…,” but he wasn’t always. How does Gethard show he used to be part of another community? 2. Beyond the “New Yorker” community, Gethard finds community on each of the trains he takes. In the two instances when people picked fights with other passengers, how did the rest of the people on the train communicate? 3. What similarities and differences is there between this communication (from #2) and communication among passengers during the toddler and body incidents? 4. When Gethard writes “It was New York at its coldest,” what might he have been talking about other than the weather outside the train? 5. How, according to the author, does public transportation reflect humanity (“civilization”)? Week 2 (June 20 - 26) ● SPORTS: How do the values of sports affect the way we see ourselves? ○ “The Ride of Their Lives” (The New Yorker)
1. In the first section, Bilger describes the legend that is J31/Bodacious. What makes this bull different from the average rodeo animal, and therefore more dangerous? 2. Reread the segment of the second section about the riders Wacey, Trigger, and Jet. How does Bilger describe the boys? What effect does this description have on the reader, as it comes right after the description of Bodacious? 3. What does Ted Nuce mean when he states that “‘[riding] bulls is a Jesus trap?’” Use the context of the paragraph to explain your answer. 4. What did the author observe that made these boys both “the best-behaved boys I’d ever met… and the rowdiest, the least domesticated?” 5. Counsellor Keith Hutton describes “religion and rodeo” as the best “training for life.” What skills does he say young people learn through religion and rodeo that their Western Oklahoman lives fail to give them? 6. Consider Custer’s letter to the National High School Rodeo Association. How is this similar to or different from the Brooklyn parents’ request to remove or “soften” the rocks? 7. What kinds of life lessons do the kids involved in the rodeo learn? Week 3 (June 27 - July 3) THE ECONOMY: What is the role of the economy in our everyday lives? ○ “How An ad Campaign Invented the Diamond Engagement Ring” (The Atlantic)
1. According to Friedman, what, specifically, is the “diamond invention”? 2. Companies regularly influence the supply of goods and services, or controlling how much of something is available as a way to make people pay more money for the item. But DeBeers and their advertising agency went a step further and highly influenced demand for the product as well. What did they choose to advertise instead of diamonds? How did they accomplish this (name at least 3 different things that DeBeers did)? 3. The phrase “A Diamond is Forever” is one of the most brilliant marketing slogans because it perfectly captures what diamond sellers what customers to do or believe. Consider the language and specific wording. Why do you believe that “A Diamond is Forever” would be more successful than another phrase like “Diamonds Last Forever” or “Let a diamond show your eternal love”? (Consider what the article says about what the ad campaign made people believe and do.)
4. Once DeBeers had fully tapped the American market for diamonds, they expanded to deliver their message to other countries. How has their message shifted over time as the company expanded to Japan, and as we now see them shifting in China? Week 4 (July 4 - July 10) ● THE ENVIRONMENT: What is our responsibility to the natural environment? ○ “The Joys and Dangers of Exploring Africa on the Back of an Elephant” (Smithsonian)
1. Theroux begins his article by describing the Okavango Delta. How does he describe it? What is the general impression that his description gives (how does his language make you think or feel about the area)? 2. What is the “unique opportunity” does Abu Camp advertise? What was the camp’s original purpose? 3. In the 8th and 9th paragraphs, Theroux describes some of the features of Abu Camp and juxtaposes (compares) them with the natural environment. What do you think his attitude is toward the camp, and what in his language makes you believe this? 4. Michael Lorentz describes Abu as a “complete immersion in a single species,” where guests can get to know the African elephants on a deeper, more personal level. Consider his description of what this means. Do you agree? Why or why not? (Use the text to support your opinion.) 5. At one point, Theroux writes that in the camp he sat down with a beer and “was greeted by the staff, offered sushi—sushi!—from a tray.” What do you think he meant with the exclamation in the middle of the sentence? 6. What happens to the elephants at the end of the day? Why do you think the camp does this? 7. Why do you think that, when on the back of elephant Cathy, Theroux’s “strongest impression” was on the other “herd of elephants, idly grazing”? (Consider what else is happening at that moment.) 8. Consider the end of his article. Summarize what happens with Nathan and Sukiri, and Sukiri’s fate. What idea or impression does this tale leave the reader with?
Week 5 (July 11 - 17) ● EDUCATION: To what extent do our schools serve the goals of a true education? ○ Excerpt from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
1. What does it mean to go to college for the young people in Maya’s home town (Stamps, AK)? What kinds of skills and training do African Americans receive there?
2. What kinds of graduation gifts do students receive upon graduation? 3. How does Maya feel about her brother’s gift? How can you tell? 4. To the casual listener, Mr. Donleavy’s graduation speech might sound like a positive, uplifting, and inspiring message. Angelou, however, picks up on an ironic subtext. What does she hear, instead of praise? What does Donleavy say or do that makes her hear this other message? 5. One thread of Hamlet’s “To Be Or Not To Be” (Shakespeare) soliloquy is the idea of the pain of consciousness -- that is, to be alive (and thinking), one must also suffer mental pain and stress including the “outrageous” way the world treats you. Hamlet is often seen as a coward (highlighted by his speech, here) because he is tired and afraid of the pain of this world, but he is also too afraid of the unknown afterlife to do anything permanent about ending his life. You are beaten down in this life, but you may also get beaten down in the next. How does Henry Reed shift away from his planned speech and show the kind of courage Hamlet wishes he had? What does this do for the community? Week 6 (July 18 - 24) ● GENDER: What is the impact of the gender roles that society creates and enforces? ○ Excerpt from The Scarlet Letter
1. What effects does the letter have on Hester Prynn over the seven year interval? 2. What crime (as described in this passage) has Hester committed which, if known to the Puritans, would have resulted in her death? (Hint -- it’s not adultery) 3. The narrator notes that “[s]ome attribute had departed from [Hester], the permanence of which has been essential to keep her a woman” and describes her loss of femininity (paragraph 2). What does the narrator state is a major reason why Hester has become so “marble cold” (paragraph 3)? 4. What does Hester see as necessary before women would be treated equally in society? 5. Using context clues, what is the meaning of the word “office” in the final line? What does is the narrator saying about the scarlet letter that Hester wears? Weeks 7 & 8 (July 25 - August 7) ● Writing Sample & Reflection
The readings you have done over this summer represent a variety of issues that we currently see in America, some of which we will be discussing throughout the year. Other topics we may consider: politics, the English language itself, ethics, family, and pop culture. What do you think is the biggest issue Americans face today? ● Is it climate change? ● The presidential election? ● Do we talk endlessly about the importance of education, but then make college so expensive that it is impossible to actually go? ● Do you like Bernie Sanders’ message about stopping the greed of billionaires and the big banks? ● Do you like Donald Trump’s message about protecting America's borders? Are we not doing enough about crime and terrorism? ● Does the country have a responsibility to help more people throughout the world? ● Do we already get too involved around the world? ● Do you believe that people take Instagram and SnapChat more seriously than they do the world around them? ● Do we take ourselves too seriously? ● Should there be more art and music classes in school? ● Should schools do a better job of teaching math and science, if we want to eventually colonize Mars and the moon? ● Should people have stronger religious faith, and should religious organizations play a larger role in communities? ● Is religion taking over the world?
Pick one issue and explain why you believe that this is the most important issue we face today. Include details that show what you know about the issue as well as your reasons why this one issue is the most important issue. I hope I don’t have to say this, but there is no right answer. I’m not here to judge you, either. Essay questions for the AP Exam can be on ANYTHING, any issue that the US faces, from whether or not it’s important to eat “local” food to whether or not we should close the US postal service to whether or not there is any value in “polite speech” (or political correctness). We’ll discuss and debate a variety of issues, but I want to get a sense of what you are already thinking about and how well you are able to write out your ideas. For this reason, this should be your own original work. Show me what you got. As a teacher, I can make you a better reader and writer, but not if I can’t tell how you read and write.