Prerequisite Reading Assignments
The following courses have pre-reading and preparation requirements due on the first day of class.
These assignments are mandatory for all students enrolled in the courses listed. Assignments should be completed by the first day of class. Fall and spring courses have the same expectations.
- Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition
- Advanced Placement English Language and Composition
- Advanced Placement United States History
- English 9 Honors
- English 10 Honors
In order to introduce you to the kind of reading we’ll be doing, we are sending you a few reading assignments that you may find challenging and enjoyable. Having your own book will allow you to practice the close and active reading strategies outlined by the enclosed Mortimer Adler essay.
Day 1 evaluation: timed essay on the novel during week 1; quizzes on AP Terms week 1; intensive discussion of the novel week 1.
- Look over the Literary Terms sheet. Define those terms with which you are unfamiliar or uncertain. You may find it helpful to type in “literary terms dictionary” if you go to the Internet as a resource; otherwise, use a dictionary of literary terms (Oxford, Penguin, and Norton are good). You will be quizzed on your knowledge of these terms during the first week of the course.
- Read through Mortimer Adler essay, “How to Mark a Book.” We strongly encourage you to practice his suggestions on the required summer novel. When you read for this class, please look for things that puzzle you, disturb you, or resonate with you. Mark them. Ask questions in the margins; underline things that interest you. Read actively. If you’re using a book you don’t own, use post-it notes to create a response log as you read.
- Purchase (or borrow) a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. As you read Adler-style, please write your responses to the following questions on a separate piece of paper. We will collect this on the first day of school. In addition, pay special attention to the concept of identity.
- What is the author’s style?—consider diction, syntax, and tone. Find three passages that illustrate the author’s style best. You really must learn what these terms mean before you discuss them.
- What are some illuminating quotes or passages? (Pare your choices down to 3-5.) Paraphrase – don't quote – them and cite page numbers. State in one paragraph (that discusses all selected passages) the reason(s) you think these quotes or passages are illuminating to the meaning of the work as a whole.
- What themes are presented in the novel? Remember that a theme is statement (a complete sentence) – not a word. Briefly explain why you’ve selected these themes. (Three to five themes are sufficient.)
- Be prepared to write a timed essay response on Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut during the first week of the term.
- Review and prepare to discuss. When you’ve finished the novel, please review your markings, notes/comments, questions, and so on.
- Ask yourself, and briefly respond to the questions below:
- How does Vonnegut use setting to develop character and theme?
- How do Vonnegut’s plot choices impact the themes presented in the novel?
- How does the point of view impact character development, tone, and audience perception of the main character? (You are the audience.)
- Keep your responses to these questions separate from your responses to questions A-C from #3.
- Our first three-four days together will center on discussion of Slaughterhouse-Five. The organization and legibility of your responses to question #4 will help you participate intelligently, so write clearly!
- If you have not taken the Mythology class and/or have little knowledge of Greek/Roman mythology, obtain a copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology (from the library or bookstore) and familiarize yourself with the Greek and Roman gods, goddesses, and myths covered. Many works of literature assume knowledge of this subject.
- Enjoy reading! If you have any questions about this assignment, please email the AP Literature teacher listed on your schedule. We will check our email at least once per week this summer.
"I would like you to begin thinking about the idea of literature as a made thing. By this I mean that the writers of great fiction do more than tell a story by simply relaying information about characters and events. They deliberately guide us through fictional representations of worlds, making choices about how to tell their story in order to bring certain aspects of a (our) world into focus and give them presence. Using the story as a roadmap through our own human experience, we often begin to explore the questions that are most important to us as human beings."
Words of wisdom from high school teacher, Eileen Murphy
Additional recommendations: annotate novel and essay (and all other readings) according to prescriptions in Adler’s essay; prepare for intensive discussion of the novel; read Hamilton’s Mythology if you have not studied mythology or taken Mythology; return to annotations to review and consider them.
Enroll in the AP English Language and Composition Canvas page. Keep in mind: formats for these files are occasionally scrambled in browsers, so we recommend downloading the files and opening them independently of sharing systems like Google Docs. In AP formatting, use of space and all other components of writing are important. This includes margins, typeface (font) and placement of graphics.
This work must be completed by the first day of class. It is critical for you to be prepared and to have an understanding of how our course works and what our goals will be. If you fail to complete these assignments, you demonstrate to us that you are not ready for the rigor and required effort of an Advanced Placement course, more specifically this Advanced Placement course.
- Read Kevin Kling’s essay "Rhetoric". Write up a working definition of rhetoric (about 200 words, though that’s an arbitrary amount of writing; write more if it takes more). Think of this as an exploration of what rhetoric is and isn’t. Consider how language works in various situations. What is Kling saying about language? About rhetoric?
- Read and take quality notes on Part I of Everything’s an Argument. Part I is comprised of four chapters:
- Chapter 1 – General
- Chapter 2 – Pathos
- Chapter 3 – Ethos
- Chapter 4 – Logos
We recommend printing them so you can highlight and annotate. Note: use the "rotate document" button on the web reader version of Adobe Reader.
- Close-read Annie Dillard's essay "The Death of a Moth" and create a thorough Close Reading Journal. You may notice that the document has a wide right margin. This margin is no accident. If you prefer, stop by and borrow a hard copy of "50 Essays," which contains the Dillard essay and many other pieces we will study.
- Beware: Virginia Woolf wrote an essay called "Death of The Moth." You may read this essay but it is not the assigned essay. Further beware: several versions of Dillard's essay are found on the web. Most omit some of the text we will study. Reading the wrong essay is not an excuse for missing questions. The last two paragraphs of the proper text begin "And that is why..." and "I have three candles..."
- Follow these directions: Dillard Close Reading Journal (CRJ) to complete the assignment. This will take you a fair amount of time if you do it correctly.
Optional: AP Comp is a course about writing. The teachers have been heavily influenced by books about writing. We recommend that you read in this genre, too. We recommend that you read Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott, Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, Words Like Loaded Pistols by Sam Leith, or another book about writing. As indicated, this is optional, but because this course is a close study of language and the composing process, books like the three listed will prime you for this new way of thinking about how we use language – how we write.
Advanced Placement U.S. History has required summer reading due on the first day of the class. This includes notes on the first chapter of our textbook and marking up an essay for a Socratic seminar. Visit our Canvas page to find the materials. If you have any questions, email Elyssa.McIntyre@wazyataschools.org.
Honors English 10 PLC/2021
Honors English 10 Summer Reading Assignment
Welcome to Honors English 10! Below you will find assignments you need to complete before the first day of class as they will form the basis of our first week of classroom discussions. This assignment is intended to help you build understanding of the work we’ll do in class over the semester.
Summer Reading Requirements for Honors English 10
1. Purchase a copy of Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai (ISBN 10: 0618065822 or ISBN 13: 9780618065820). If you are unable to purchase a copy, please contact or visit one of the teachers listed below, and we’ll fill out a scholarship form so that you may receive a book.
2. As you read Fasting, Feasting, you must annotate the text. NOTE: This means that as you read, when you find something “note-worthy,” write in the margins or on a post-it why you are highlighting or underlining that sentence, paragraph, passage, etc.
Please annotate for the following:
□ Track commentary on food and food rituals (preparation, eating, etc.)
i. This simply means to take note of scenes in which food plays a role
□ Track quotations for the “Quotation Identification Assignment” (see #3 below).
□ Note and define unknown vocabulary words.
3. Important to note. Part One of the story is told from Uma’s perspective. Notice how the author indicates time (look for verb tense). Notice if/when the tense shifts. How does time help Desai organize the story? Part Two of the story is told from Arun’s perspective.
4. After you finish reading and annotating Fasting, Feasting, complete the following two assignments:
NOTE: Please complete these two assignments in ONE DOUBLE-SPACED DOCUMENT using Times New Roman, 12-point font. Be prepared to submit it to turnitin (plagiarism website) on the first day of class.
□ Quotation Assignment
i. Type up a list of three quotations from Fasting, Feasting that describe Uma’s understanding or experience of freedom.
a) Make sure each quotation is typed verbatim and uses MLA citations.
b) For each quotation, please include at least three sentences that explain how successfully Uma attains the freedom she seeks.
ii. Type up a list of three quotations from Fasting, Feasting that describe Arun’s understanding or experience of freedom.
a) Make sure each quotation is typed verbatim and uses MLA citations.
b) For each quotation, please include at least three sentences that explain how successfully Arun attains the freedom he seeks.
□ Analysis Assignment
i. In one paragraph, respond to the prompt: What function does food play in the novel? In what ways do the two terms of the title, “fasting” and “feasting” apply to EITHER (NOT BOTH) the section on Uma OR Arun?
ii. Use the following rubric to assist you in constructing your paragraph.
Paragraph Rubric (what we will use to assess your analysis)
5 = nuanced and fluent 3 = competent and correct 1 = inadequate
_____ topic sentence that points to your claim and paragraph’s direction
_____ two quotations from Fasting, Feasting
_____ correct MLA citations
_____ clear and specific support that expands upon your initial claim
_____ concluding sentence that refers to your paragraph’s claim
_____ formal English grammar and conventions used
5. Finally, be prepared to hand in your copy of Fasting, Feasting and paper copies of the two assignments at the beginning of class on the first day of school.
□ It is important to note that after a week of class discussions, you will be expected to take the summative assessment for the unit. This assessment will contain vocabulary-related questions, passage analyses, and a written component.
We are so glad you have enrolled in Honors English 10! We hope you find the novel interesting and are excited to discuss books this upcoming school year. If you have questions before school starts, feel free to e-mail either one of us. We look forward to meeting you!
The Honors English 10 Team
Robyn Van Horn