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.
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 Summer Reading Assignment - Summer 2023
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.
1. Purchase a copy of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (ISBN: 9780072435177). If you are unable to purchase a copy, please contact or visit one of the teachers listed, and we’ll provide you a book to check out.
2. As you read The House on Mango Street, please 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 consider the following in your annotations:
- Track Esperanza’s neighbors (who are the children and adults she lives near?)
- Track descriptions of the house itself in which Esperanza and her family live
- rack quotations for the “Quotation Identification Assignment” (see #3 below).
3. After you finish reading and annotating The House on Mango Street, 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.
- Type up a list of three quotations from The House on Mango Street that describe Esperanza’s understanding or experience of home (MLA required).
- Make sure each quotation is typed verbatim and cite the page number.
- Describe in three sentences or fewer the overarching idea Esperanza has about the meaning of “home.”
- Type up a list of three quotations from the novel that describe other people’s (NOT ESPERANZA’S) understanding or experience of home.
- Make sure each quotation is typed verbatim and cite the page number.
- How do the other ideas about home compare OR contrast to Esperanza’s? Explain in two-three sentences.
- In one paragraph, respond to the following prompt: Considering the quotations you found that describe “home” for Esperanza and others as well as the title of the book, why do most of the chapters focus on people rather than the house on Mango Street? What point is Cisneros making with Esperanza’s focus on her neighbors?
- 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 The House on Mango Street
_____ correct MLA citations (refer to https://owl.purdue.edu for help)
_____ clear and specific support for your claim
_____ concluding sentence that refers to your paragraph’s claim
_____ formal English grammar and conventions
4. Finally, be prepared to submit paper copies of the two assignments (quotations and analysis) 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 a summative assessment for the unit. This assessment will contain passage analyses and an essay.
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: email@example.com