AP® English Literature and Composition

To support AP* English Literature teachers, this course will focus on strategies for teaching students to analyze novels, short stories, plays, and poetry and to produce thoughtful and effective responses to the AP* English Literature exam’s essay and multiple choice questions.  As we discuss how to help students recognize and explain the effects of the strategies professional writers use to make their works effective, we will also discuss how to encourage students to incorporate such strategies in their own writing and to evaluate and revise their own compositions more successfully.  Our approach will be less about what to teach and more about how to teach students to read, analyze, and write effectively, confidently, and independently.

The goals of the four-day session are to assist participants with:

  • Recognizing and teaching skills necessary to respond effectively to the multiple choice and essay questions in the AP* English Literature Exam
  • Building confidence in scoring AP* English Literature essays and using sample essays effectively
  • Incorporating revision in improving students’ compositions
  • Adding strategies and resources, especially those provided by the College Board, to their teaching repertoire

Participants should bring the following:

  • Laptops (most materials will be digital)
  • Additional note taking materials (thumb drives for electronic copies recommended)
  • Post-It Notes
  • Blue, green, and yellow highlighters
  • Copy of their course syllabus (print or electronic) for their own use
  • Optional: an especially productive unit, lesson, activity, or strategy to share electronically in 5 minutes

Course Outline (Subject to Change):

Day 1

  • Brief comparison of the AP* English Literature and AP* English Language exams to familiarize participants with each exam and what they assess
  • Review of the 2018 AP* English Literature and Composition essay questions to facilitate discussion of each question’s objectives and the skills each requires
  • Review of sample AP* English Literature Multiple Choice Questions, the close reading and analysis skills they require, and discussion of strategies for helping students develop these skills
  • Related best practices sharing

 

Day 2

  • Holistic scoring and discussion of student essay samples responding to  the 2018 AP* English Literature poetry question
  • Sharing, discussion of, and practice with strategies to improve students’ success with poetry analysis with an emphasis on students’ learning analysis skills through writing and analyzing their own poetry
  • Strategies for student evaluation and revision of poetry analysis essays
  • Related best practices sharing

 

Day 3

  • Holistic scoring and discussion of student essay samples responding to  the 2018 AP* English Literature prose analysis question
  • Sharing, discussion of, and practice with strategies to improve students’ success with prose analysis with an emphasis on writing effective commentary
  • Strategies for student evaluation and revision of prose analysis essays
  • Related best practices sharing

 

Day 4

  • Holistic scoring and discussion of student essay samples from the 2018 AP* English Literature “Open” question
  • Sharing, discussion of, and practice with strategies to improve students’ success with reviewing for and writing “open” question essays
  • Strategies for student evaluation and revision of “open” question essays
  • Related best practices sharing

 

*AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, used with permission.

Instructor

Norma Wilkerson Norma Wilkerson taught English for 35 years at Fort Worth Country Day School in Fort Worth, Texas, where she was chair of the English Department.  She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington. Country Day’s first AP English Literature and AP English Language teacher, she has been an endorsed College Board consultant since 1994, read the AP English Language Test for nine years, and served on the AP English Language Test Development Committee.