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Note: This is a tentative outline for the first trimester; it is subject to change based on
student needs and the pace of the class.
Independent Reading: One play from Trimester 1 AP Reading List
Classical Mythology: We will begin the year with a study of Greek and Roman
Mythology using Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. This will give you a background for the
many allusions that occur in literature. In addition to reading Hamilton, you will work in
groups to focus on a specific chapter and you will prepare a presentation for the class
on this chapter. These presentations could include puppet shows, game shows, skits,
academic style lessons, artistic visuals, or Power Point slides.
Drama: Read introduction to Tragedy: “The Tragic Vision: Affirmation Through Loss”
and Introduction to Comedy: ““The Comic Vision: Restoring the Balance”
King Lear (William Shakespeare): This unit is based on activities inspired by the
Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It requires that you understand the performance of the
play and how this affects its interpretation. You will also analyze the play on four levels:
physical, psychological, mythical, and spiritual. You will complete an archetypal
character analysis essay and an AP final essay.
Two Short Comedies: The Bear by Anton Chekhov and Am I Blue by Beth Henley
Introduction to AP Exam Format: I will introduce the format of the AP Exam, and I will
clarify college credit options. We will also look at sample questions (multiple choice and
essays) from past exams and learn about the evaluation process. You will learn
techniques for close analysis of literary passages and how to write an AP style essay.
Introduction to Literary Criticism: We will explore a basic introduction to various
literary theories: Moral/Intellectual, Topical/Historical, New Critical/Formalist,
Structuralist, Feminist, Economic/Marxist, Psychoanalytic, Archetypal/Mythic,
Deconstructionist, and Reader-response. We will read a sample short story to
demonstrate these theories.
Poetry: We will begin our study of poetry this trimester, but we will continue next
trimester as well. We will begin with an exploration of what poetry is. You will learn to
respond to poetry on an analytic, subjective, evaluative, and emotional level. You will
read various forms of poetry: lyric, narrative, sonnet, villanelle, sestina, ode, and free
verse, and you will learn various poetic techniques: metaphorical language, imagery,
symbolism, allusion, sound, shape, rhyme, rhythm, tone, voice, and theme. We will read
from a diverse range of poets, such as Dickenson, Hughes, Ginsberg, Frost, Donne,
Cummings, Rich, Marvell, Harjo, Shakespeare, Plath, Keats, Blake, Browning, Snyder,
Paz, Sexton, Olds, Rossetti, MacLeish, Wright, and Parker. You will also begin to work
on your own poetry project and presentation, which will be continued next trimester.